Sugar Beach Resort History
Sugar Beach Resort road sign in the 1950s.
How Sugar Beach Got Its Name
As told by Ralph Godin
The name Sugar Beach came about during World War I. Sugar was a rare item during World War I. It was very expensive.
The sugar was unloaded on the dock at Schroeder . . . by the way, the commerce in those days was largely by boat. Boats picked up fish and brought supplies to the various towns that had docks — Schroeder was one of them. There were 20 sacks of sugar and 100 pounds to a sack unloaded at the dock at Schroeder.
We had thieves in World War I like we have now. So a couple of thieves moved the sugar onto a boat and were rowing in an easterly direction toward Tofte to steal the sugar. When someone noticed the loss of sugar on the dock, they started out after the thieves. They were gaining on them because the thieves couldn’t move the boat as fast on account of the weight in the boat.
So they got as far as Sugar Beach. That beach is located on the point of land that extends out into the lake at what is now the eastern end of Surfside Resort. This point of land had a crevice about ten feet wide, and as the thieves were being apprehended, they pulled their boat into this crevice and threw the 20 sacks of sugar into Lake Superior. Then they rowed out into the open water again. So when they were apprehended, they had no evidence of the thievery. They couldn’t charge them with a crime when they didn’t have any evidence.
We had fenced the area, including the entire area south of Highway 61 for pasture for our cows. One day approximately a week after the thievery, I was looking for the cows in the pasture, and they happened to be down on this point. As I went down to chase the cows home for milking, I happened to get close to that crevice, and I saw those sugar bags because Lake Superior is a clear water lake. They were lying on the bottom in about 35 feet of water. Of course, then it became known what had happened to the sugar that had been stolen off the dock in Schroeder, and the property became known from that day on as Sugar Beach. That’s the way we called it up to now.
Anna and Lars Godin 1970 - Anna and Lars Godin homesteaded on the North Shore and built Sugar Beach Resort. Here they are seen having a picnic in front of their family home, "The House".
Cutting Wood 1970 - From Left to Right, Scott Godin, Ralph Godin and Ernie Godin cutting slab from the Forest Service on a 3 foot open blade saw connected to a Model-T engine. OSHA approved.
Evergreen Cabin 1965 - The Evergreen Cabin before the deck was built onto it. All in all the structure to the cabin remains the same as it was in 1965. A true Sugar Beach original.
Valhalla 1970 - In Norse mythology, Valhalla is a majestic, enormous hall located in Asgard, ruled over by the god Odin. Valhalla was the largest cabin on the resort and was "THE" cabin to rent before a fire destroyed it. Christine Godin, daughter to Ralph Godin builds a fire pit on the rocks. After Valhalla burned, The “Lighthouse” just west of Fridens Ro was built in its spot. For many years the Lighthouse was part of the resort. Eventually it was sold, was renovated, expanded and is now a private residence.
Olive's Cabin 1970 - Olive's Cabin is named after Olive Godin who was wife to Ralph Godin. This cabin used to be the office of the resort.
Olive's Cabin 1975.
Playhouse 1974 - Winter shot of the Playhouse cabin.
The Fish House 1965 - The most complete old fish house photo. Note the two old structures - one in back and one in between. There is also a door on the sea opening and boat skids.
The Sugar Beach Fish House still stands on the shore of Lake Superior. This is one of the few remaining family fish houses left on the North Shore of Lake Superior.
John Anderson's Fishhouse 1970 - John Anderson's Fish House used to stand on the rocks below the Autumn trail cabin. It was taken by force into Lake Superior by a Nor'Easter shortly after this photo was shot. Pieces of foundation can still be found in the cove.
Pine Cabin ca. 1950 - The Pine Cabin used to sit on the rocks across the road from where the current Pine Stuga Cabin now stands.
Pine Cabin ca. 1950
Center Cabin ca. 1950
Shangri La 1970
Playhouse 1970 - The Playhouse was built by Ernie Godin as a small "Play House" for his niece Christine.
Ski Hut Cabin 1970 - This is a shot of the Ski Hut Cabin while it was being built. The Ski Hut stood on the same property as The Phoenix cabin. In front is pictured Olive Godin
Ernie Godin's garden 1974 - Some folks may remember Ernie's big victory garden planted at the northwest corner of Sugar Beach.
Woodshed 1970 - The Woodshed used to stand across the road from the House. Above the garage was a small bedroom.