Family shares more than a century of memories at Lutsen Lodge

In a corner of Bill Ewald's dining room in the west metro, there's a tribute to his family's favorite resort on the North Shore. So he's heartbroken after hearing Lutsen Lodge burned to the ground earlier this week.

"It means everything to my family. It's been the number one vacation spot that many members of our family have been able to go to," said Ewald.

Ewald says his grandparents, Ray and Ethel Ewald, first went to the resort in 1922 for their honeymoon and often returned as an escape from the dairy the Ewald family ran in north Minneapolis. Celebrating countless engagements, weddings and anniversaries at the historic lodge over more than a century felt like having their own cabin up north.

"It's like food, comfort food. We go to our comfort foods. This was our comfort place," said Ewald.

Ewald says his parents stayed at the lodge three times a year for 60 years or roughly 180 times. The serene surroundings, rustic atmosphere and friendly staff made it their home away from home.

"It was so beautiful. It's so beautiful. So many trails and hills and so much to do. Close to home. Didn't have to go a long distance to get there," said Ewald's mother, Ginny.

The light fixture in Ewald's corner used to hang in the resort before the new owners remodeled it. He hopes they can rebuild so the fifth generation of Ewalds can continue the family tradition into the future.

"There was no bad weather up there. No bad season. Just beautiful memories," said Bill Ewald.