The Lakeland Times, Minocqua’s paper, had a terrific story
Evergreen Lodge on the front page of the Extra section, July 14
Lodge: A true Northwoods experience
since 1929...By: Joyce Laabs
The original lodge at Evergreen Resort.
Evergreen Lodge, one of the oldest resorts in Boulder Junction, is still a favorite place for vacations. It was in 1928 that Larry Doolittle bought two 40−acre parcels and seven lake lots on Little Crooked Lake to build a resort. Then, with the help of his son, Kenneth, they built a lodge and two cabins, and opened Evergreen Lodge as a resort in the summer of 1929. He continued to build cabins until they could accommodate 50 guests. The Doolittles ran the resort until the late 1940s, when Larry decided to sell and establish a career in real estate. He sold to the Rhodas and Marskes, who eventually sold to the Vodas, who eventually sold to the Spristers, who, in 1989, sold to Noel and Laurel Malicki, who run the resort today. "We are the last resort in the Boulder Junction township to have a restaurant license, "Noel said, "although we ended the American Plan in 1995. We still offer breakfast to our guests and Laurel cooks a breakfast special every day.
Water so clear you can drink it
"Little Crooked Lake is 154 acres, fed from Wolf Lake and underground springs. It is a clear lake − so clear, in fact, that you could drink the water. We don’t, of course, because as we have an artesian well at the resort. There are no invasive species in the lake. "We discourage jet skis as we would like to keep it a wilderness lake. In addition to the boats they trail to the resort, our guests use canoes, kayaks and paddle boats." There are 12 cabins at the resort −open for guests from the beginning of fishing season through the end of the hunting season. One family returns each year and occupies all 12 cabins for their extended family reunion. "Noel and I were working in high−rises near the Sears Tower in Chicago when we decided that we would like to live and work in a less−crowded, less−stressful area," Laurel said. Although we both had degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago, we knew we needed a change of lifestyle −a simpler kind of life.
Vacationed in Wisconsin
"We had vacationed in Wisconsin. We’re big skiers and stayed in the Boulder Junction area when we skied in the Upper Peninsula. We decided to look at resorts in that area. "We looked at several resorts, but when we walked in the lodge at Evergreen, we looked at each other and knew we had found what we were looking for. It was beautiful." Five of the cabins are one−bedroom, seven are two−bedroom and one is a three−bedroom. The resort can accommodate 57 people. "We have kitchenettes in the small cabins and full, completely equipped kitchens in the others," Noel continued. "We supply linens and towels but no longer have daily maid service in the cabins. "There is 1,000 feet of frontage on six acres with screened porches on all the cabins. Since we took over, we have put all the electricity underground and a new septic system." "I do all the laundry here at the lodge," Laurel said. "When we first took over there was a standard washer with a wringer, and I used to iron the sheets. We have gone to a modern washer and, weather permitting, I just hang the sheets outside to dry."
In the lodge on rainy days
"Many guests gather in the lodge on rainy days, where we have my grandfather’s player piano, a pool table and all kinds of games. There are no TVs in the cabins and no video games. Guests adjust to this quite quickly and find their entertainment in the out−of−doors. We do have game night each week, with drawers full of various games, and weather permitting, we have a campfire each night. "During the summer a week is a minimum stay, but we book shorter stays in the "shoulder" seasons. July and August are completely booked, but we would like to see more bookings in May and June. Some guests use the kitchen. There are six siblings in one family who return to the resort each year. They use the kitchen, with one sibling taking over each night. I help them with the clean−up." The Malickis have had two children since they took over the resort −Douglas,12, and Julie, 7. The entire family is involved in the Boulder Junction community. Douglas is the official bugler for the Boulder Junction American Legion, Noel belongs to the Lions and Laurel is a Lioness as well as a member of the board of the Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce. Noel also helps arrange the kids Christmas party. The Malickis said that when you run a resort you have to take the good with the bad. "We have a very low percentage of "grumps" −but, if we get one that is unhappy with our resort, we try to direct him to a resort where he’ll be happier." Noel said getting nine cabins ready for winter is a big job as the water has to be drained, plus other jobs that must be done before the snow flies. The other three cabins are winterized and remain open during the hunting season. With the children in school, the family stays in the area almost all winter, when they catch up on their first love & skiing. They ski at Indian Head, where Doug has won medals. During school vacations, they can often be found at Aspen or Steamboat Springs in Colorado. The Malickis are pleased with their life at Evergreen Lodge and with the ability to offer their guests a true Northwoods experience. "We have no future plans." they agreed. "We just go along from year to year."
To view the resort, go to www.evergreenlodgewi.com. For information go to firstname.lastname@example.org This is the second in a series on housekeeping cabin resorts in the Lakeland area, focusing on the survivors of a once−flourishing industry that has succumbed to the condominium boom.
As many of you know Noel passed away May 31, 2011. There was a
beautiful memorial here at the lodge and a wonderful gathering and
memorial in Chicago.
An out pouring from family, neighbors- old and new. friends, school
chums, ski club friends, work mates. Noel is missed every day but he is
in a better place. Doug and Julia and I are doing well and the lodge is
thriving. When you drink a cup
of Stewards coffee remember Noel. Pam remembered his giggle
and his watching Mash. A work-mate remembered his kindness
and patients. Others remembered him sharing his Ed Sullivan
tapes and his love of watching the White Sox. As you
think of things about Noel email them to me so that I can save them for
Julia and Doug. Noel wrote limericks for our wedding
announcement and both birth announcements. So I wrote a short one for
once was a laddie named Noel
A 299 game he did bowl
Family and friends were his love
He will always be skiing above
Serving country and friend his role
Farewell dear kind soul, Noel