The History behind Arrowhead Resort By Deloris Ekstrom
Did you know when Lt. Pike and Fr. Hennepin were exploring the upper Mississippi it exited Lake Andrusia on the west side of what is now McFees Resort? (Closed) (Old Anchorage Resort) We have a photo from space that shows its path. And that many different tribes of Indians used that area of western bank of what is now Ekstrom's Arrowhead Resort as their winter camp, for maybe as long ago as 5000 years? Archeologist have dug several places and found evidence of dwellings they think might go back that far.
It has also been a lumber camp, Kego Christiandon told me he supplied the camp with fish when he was 12 years old, and planted the 4 spruce trees along the driveway to our first cabin, and a Bible Camp, Camp Luna, run by the Reverend Joseph Jerdee and his family. We have their last guest book with guests from as far away as Africa. The Rev. baptized two of Jim's brothers in front of our fireplace!
Joe Parenteau stayed here when he was looking for property for his resort, and Ruth and Howard Wade spent their honeymoon here! They liked the area so much they built "Wade's Resort", now known as "Oak Haven".
When Jim and his brothers purchased Arrowhead in 1950, there was no electricity and water came from a hand pump. The Log Cabin, which became our home, was falling down, the fireplace at almost a 45o Angle! It took a railroad jack from the roundhouse in Cass Lake to put it back into place and a lot of cement to keep it there.
Jim and I met at my parents resort, Birch lane Lodge,(AKA The Great Escape, Now Misty Harbor) in 1957. We married in April of 1959, and raised our four sons here. A lot of interesting things have happened thru the years, such as in the 1960's and early 70's we had a group of scientist doing radio telemetry tracking of ducks, (mallards, wood ducks and Blue wing teal), using our resort as their base camp. I think they might have influenced our firstborn, Bob, to be a Biologist. He works for the D.N.R. as a fish habitat specialist. He is married; his wife's name is Tanya.
Jim's brother Reynold had his floatplane base just at the edge of the hill from the first cabin. He would take me flying, quite often holding one or another of the boys in my arms when they were babies. David and Eric are now both pilot's. Dave went a step further and builds experimental planes for a living. Dave's wife's name is Bonnie. They have two sons, Brent, 6, and Ian, 2. Eric is an engineer at Nortec, but as I write this, he is due back from one year in Afghanistan as he is also a Maj. in the U.S. Army Reserve, 367th Engineer Battalion. Eric's wife's name is Olena; they have a daughter, Lydia, 1 1/2 year old.
Our youngest, James, keeps the computers working at the 1st National Band in Bemidji. His degree is in Finance, and is also a Maj. in the same unit as his brother Eric. His wife's name is Sheri, and their three children are Rey,14, Aaron,13, and Annette,11.
Arrowhead has modern history as well. The Folk Dancers from Sweden dancing on the acorns in their bare feet! Funny times like when I made the dessert called "Dirt" with gummy worms, and Jim's brother was caught going around the corner and throwing away the "worms"- or when the boys made a space ship out of an ice-fishing house and took some of our guests on a trip to "Mars"! Several people have stopped thru the years to say, "Remember us? Your boys took us on a spaceship ride!" Jim and I are both retired now, renting the cabins by the season only, but I know memories of happy times spent here at Arrowhead live in the "Histories" of our guests from Boston to San Diego.