As news was breaking Tuesday morning of a devastating fire at the Lutsen Lodge on Minnesota's North Shore, the Star Tribune asked its readers to send their own memories of a place that for decades hosted tourists both near and far to one of the state's jewels. Here are a few:
"How do you sum up a place that has meant so much? I was there as a kid, then on my 10th wedding anniversary in 2009, came back two years later with my now 19-year-old daughter, made another trip a few years later with both of my daughters. Finally, the four of us visited during July of 2020 during the pandemic. … I'll never forget sitting on the beach with the fam, eating, drinking and skipping rocks with our new puppy. Does it really get any better?"
— Don Beauclaire, Minnetonka
"Our family memories go way back. My parents honeymooned there in 1952. … Growing up, Lutsen was always a favorite stop along the North Shore. Later, in the 1980s, my husband and I developed an annual tradition of staying at Lutsen Lodge over a fall weekend when there were few people around and the waves were often wild. … We'd have dinner in the cozy lodge — in those days there was a fire in the big stone dining room fireplace and Swedish dishes on the menu."
— Gloria Gunville, Afton
"This lodge touched so many over the years so I know I'm not alone. From falling in love with the North Shore while attending [University of Minnesota-Duluth] almost 40 years ago. … It was the fanciest place for dinner after an annual canoeing trip in the [Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness]. Since then booking one of their two amazing corner room suites was always such a special treat on Labor Day! I'm sure they will rebuild something amazing but we can't replace such amazing history."
— Scott Weilage, Mankato
"My mom, Mae Contos, worked at and ran a ski bus from the Continental Ski Shop parking lot in Duluth up to Lutsen a few times a winter when I was a kid. We of course would park and get on at the little historical marker parking lot at the Ryan Road and Highway 61. … One time when the bus was overbooked my sister and I rode up and back lying in the luggage racks above the seats."
— Lori Stroner, Minnetonka