Bay Lake in Minnesota - Information



Bay lake Minnesota

Bay Lake in Deerwood, Minnesota

Although Bay Lake was known to the early trappers and fur traders, it wasn't until the railroad began building from Duluth to the West Coast in 1870 that this area began to be settled. Deerwood became a station on the new railroad in 1871 and opened up new land for development. Dave Archibald became the first permanent settler at Bay Lake in 1881. He located just east of what is now Ruttger's. A cooperative colony was organized in 1886 to develop the area. Joe Ruttger was one of its original members and later bought part of the original property which was to become Ruttgers Resort.

Other early settlers were: Nick Newgard 1882, Verner Taylor 1882, Robert & Archie Downey 1882, Abe Christensen 1883, H.F.J.Knieff 1883, Robert Maghan 1883, G.A Hunt 1883 & Otto Wasserzieher 1883.

BAY LAKE was named for its irregular outline.  
With many bays, projecting points, and islands.
Its Ojibwe name, like that of another lake of similar form in Aitkin County, was Sisabagama (accented on the third syllable),
meaning, "Every-which-way lake, or the lake which has arms running in all directions."

Tim Stone remembers Bay Lake:

Good Morning My family and I are former Minnesotans, who owned property on Bay Lake / Brighton Point, from 1953 - 1980.  
From 1953 through 1962, my mother would take up residence on the lake for the summer, and we children (my sister and I) would stay with her, and my father would commute every weekend to be with us. During that time, many of the families on the lake did the same, and so there would be a large contingent of kids, all in the 14 -18 year age group that would run together on the lake in their families boats at all hours of the day or night, and would look forward to the summer months to get back together again.

During this period, there was no air-conditioning, and Polio was a big concern to all. As a result, while one of the only sources to cool off, the city lakes were a place to be feared, and many families purchased summer homes in the north woods to be away from the heat and the risk.

For recreation ( and to earn a little extra money) we would put on water-skiing shows for the "tourists" staying at Rutgers Lodge.
On occasion we would be permitted to attend the teen Friday Night parties that Rutgers would throw for the Guests (locals not allowed), and Hob Nob with the fancy folk.

Tim Stone


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