The Lakeland Times, Minocqua´s paper, had a nice article about
Evergreen Lodge on the front page of the Extra section-
Summer vacations to the Northwoods are always special, but sometimes certain circumstances can make those relaxing getaways even more important. For Bill and Juanita Zitnick of Cottage Grove, their time spent at Evergreen Lodge in Boulder Junction this spring has been priceless. Bill has been in hospice for seven months and Jaunita retired early from her job as a nurse to look after him. “I retired at age 62 to take care of him,” said Juanita. “Economically, it was a hard shock to us but I wouldn’t trade the time we’ve had together.” That economic shock nearly jeopardized the vacation that Bill and Juanita had planned for the end of May. Juanita initially planned to take Bill to the Northwoods because of the strong connection he has to the area. Bill grew up going to a family cabin in Mountain, Wis. every year since he was a young child. “This area means a lot to him,” said Juanita. “He’s hunted this area, he’s been around this area since he was a young boy and he loves it up here. That’s why we picked here.” While Bill’s childhood memories prompted Juanita to find a destination in the Northwoods, it was an even more personal reason that helped narrow the search to Evergreen Lodge. “Evergreen is something very special to us. Bill’s handle was Evergreen when he used to have a CB in his car. Roy Orbison has a song named ‘Evergreen’ and that was our wedding song,” Juanita said. “So I was searching for places to go this summer and I came across Evergreen Lodge and I thought wow, how appropriate.” Soon after Juanita made reservations however, other expenses put pressure on the couple’s finances and they prepared to abandon the vacation. “I was going to cancel our reservations but then my social worker from Agrace Hospice told us that there was this organization called Twilight Keepers,” Juanita said. Through the Twilight Wish Foundation website, their social worker created a profile for Bill, explaining how he wanted to spend time with his children and grandchildren and how he loved nature. The purpose of a Twilight Wish Foundation profile is to attract donors. “It’s like a free-will offering, people looked at his profile and decided to donate,” Juanita said. “She called us three weeks later and said that people had donated $2,000 for us to stay at this place for a week. So we came up here on a shoestring and a prayer and we’re just enjoying the time here.” The generosity didn’t end there — Laurel and Doug Malicki, owners of Evergreen Lodge, donated the use of the lodge’s pontoon boat during Bill and Juanita’s eight-day stay. “He enjoys sitting out there and watching the loons and the lake and just being together,” said Juanita. Bill and Juanita also received donations from Headwaters Restaurant, Boulder Bear Bar, Mad Dog Jakes and Coontail Market. “The people around here have been incredible, just incredible,” said Juanita. During Bill and Juanita’s first weekend at Evergreen Lodge, their two youngest daughters visited with their five-year-old granddaughter, and during the second weekend they were visited by their oldest daughter. “We’re just getting the family together and spending time together,” said Juanita. “You don’t have that time with your children once they’re grown and married and have children of their own, so this has been really nice. We’re very grateful.” “This is just a real gift,” said Bill.Michael Strasburg
18, 2006 The Lakeland Times, Minocqua´s paper, had a terrific story
Evergreen Lodge on the front page of the Extra section, July 14
Bill and Juanita Zitnik relax during a boat ride on Little Crooked Lake. Contributed photograph Donations allow hospice patient to spend time in Northwoods lodge
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