Written by Margaret Kurth
Belmar Lodge was built in the 1930’s by Al Shinneman and his wife. There was a lodge, 4 housekeeping cabins as well as an old trapper’s cabin. A brochure from that time describes Belmar Lodge as “The Vacation Spot of the North. A resort built and operated for your convenience and comfort. In addition to modern housekeeping cabins, fishing, swimming, boats, motors and minnows are available”.
In 1972 John and Carol Raun took over ownership. They ran it as a resort until 1979 and then after that as a meeting/retreat venue for businesses and other groups. John and Carol Raun died in 2013 and 2011. The property was then taken over by their daughter Cynthia Raun. She continues to live in the lodge and also still owns one of the cabins that was made into a garage as well as the trapper’s cabin. The other three cabins were sold and now other cabins/homes have been built on their sites. One of the cabins was moved to Summerhill Farm and was used as a gift shop.
The Belmar Lodge was used by the George Pillsbury family for vacation while the Shinneman family were owners. Mr. Pillsbury donated an elk and moose head that still hang in the lodge to this day in thanks for the wonderful family vacations they had at the resort.
One of these cabins was actually an old fur trapper’s cabins which Hubbard county tax records show was built in 1838. It is of square log construction from white pines that were harvested off the property. The joists were filled in with branches and concrete. There were even some newspapers used as insulation in the cabin dating back to the late 1800’s. The original cabin was one room with a small loft above. Later a bedroom and bathroom were added on the back of the cabin using similar construction with square logs. The “Trapper’s Cabin” still stands in its original position on the property and is used as a guest house by Cynthia Raun.
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