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He and his family supported themselves through fishing, logging and trapping. The original cabin, built on the site of the current Lutsen Resort lodge, grew into an ever-larger family home. In the early days, long before a road was built, travelers found Lutsen a stop of convenience as they made their way up the lake. The Nelson children vacated their beds for travelers.

As its reputation for welcoming guests grew, Lutsen began to attract visitors who came to stay – to hike, fish and hunt. Known as a friendly haven for weary travelers, the family home evolved into one of Minnesota’s favorite destinations. 

  • 1863CAA Nelson born in Norkoping, Ostergotland, Sweden
  • 1881CAA came to America
  • 1885Papers filed for homestead
  • 1886First guests stayed at the Nelson home
  • 1893CAA built house that had hotel rooms on the second floor
  • 1896School built at top of hill behind the resort
  • 1887-1910Steamships ran supplies up the shore and to Lutsen Resort
  • 1918Road is open to Duluth
  • 1918Electricity introduced to the resort via water powered electrical plant on river
  • 1920sLobby, dining room and 30 rooms added to the main lodge
  • 1928Cliff House built
  • 1948First fire destroyed original main lodge
  • 1948Ski hill opened
  • 1949Lundie-designed main lodge opened
  • 1951Second fire destroyed main lodge
  • 1952Second Lundie-designed main lodge opened
  • 1955Dupont’s Mylar Bubble is built over the pool; first of its kind in the world
  • 1964First chair lift installed on Ullr Mountain
  • 1967Conference room added to main lodge
  • 1968Sea Villa Townhome development started
  • 1977Alpine slide opened
  • 1980Ski area separated
  • 1988Lutsen Resort sold to Scott Harrison and Nancy Burns
  • 1993-2000Lakeside Log Cabins developed
  • 1997Sea Villa Guest Services building opened
  • 2003Poplar River Condos opened
  • 2005Cliff House Townhomes developed
  • 2018Lutsen Resort sold to current owners: Bryce and Sheila Campbell
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