15782 Wilderness Drive, Lake Itasca, MN 56470 PHONE: 218‑266‑3312
Bert’s Cabins, serving Itasca State Park visitors for
The land was homesteaded by the Drews who were early settlers in 1898, then owned by timber companies, and Dallas & Art Savage in 1937 and finally by Bert & Alice Pfeifer in 1939. Bert came to the Park from ND in the mid 1930’s to work for his great uncle, Theodore Wegmann, who had a store and was one of the first homesteaders at Itasca State Park. There he met his bride, Alice Lundberg and together with encouragement from Theodore Wegmann they purchased 40 acres from Dallas Savage. Since the property had cabins and park visitors were numerous, the cabins were made into rentals and “Bert’s Cabins” came to be. There were two small cabins, #1 & #6 and a log tavern built from balsam logs in 1937. The land had been logged, leaving mostly brush and small trees. Over the years, the resort was carved out of this wilderness; select cutting of trees and brush allowed the small pines to take hold yielding the scenic tall pines of today.
After World War II, #2, #3 & #5 were added. These were rustic cabins without running water, limited lighting provided by a generator and an ice box for refrigeration… this was “touristing” back then. Alice managed the resort while Bert worked out for additional income. Then modernization came in the 1950’s with REA. The swimming pool, one of the first in Northern MN, was built in 1961, with the main home added shortly after allowing for 7 cabins. After 50 years of development, the resort was taken over by their daughter Pat and spouse, Dave in 1990.
The resort was updated and expanded with 5 deluxe cabins. Even the original Drew homestead logs have been re-utilized for a 3rd time as an outbuilding. These tamarack logs were just seedlings on the property during George Washington’s time 250 years ago.
As for the guests, friends and acquaintances — they have come from all over the world by various means of transportation from hiking to airplane and even chauffeured. Some guests stay a night, others return year after year, for some it has been a 50 year tradition and in 2012 the resort’s first guest returned for a stay 73 years later! Into the 21st century Bert’s Cabins continues to change and serve Itasca State Park visitors.
Dave & Pat
Over the years nature is anew and brings an abundance or in some cases a lack of something…
- 1992 year of timberwolves
- 1993 year of mushrooms
- 1994 year of mayflowers
- 1995 year of the wind storm
- 1996 year of cold (fifty below)
- 1997 year of grouse
- 1998 year of ladyslippers
- 1999 year of no winter
- 2000 year of moons
- 2001 year of eagles
- 2002 year of rain
- 2003 year of deep frost
- 2004 year of orioles
- 2005 year of measureable rain every month
- 2006 year of no red pine cones
- 2007 year of winds
- 2008 year of April snows (52 inches)
- 2009 year of record cold October (early snow – little sunshine)
- 2010 year of record low barometric pressure (28.25 in Hg)
- 2011 year of the trilliums
- 2012 year of spectacular red fall
- 2013 year of never ending winter
- 2014 year of Northern Crescent butterflies
- 2015 year of rabbits
- 2016 year of no acorns