(Originally published in Fall 1998)
Take a long-established year-round resort and team it up with a quality log handcrafter, and you
get a combination that can’t be beat. That is exactly what is taking place in Minnesota’s Lutsen Resort, thefirst resort in Minnesota. The main lodge was built in the mid to late 1800′s. Lutsen is located on the northwest shore of beautiful Lake Superior at the heart of a recreation area known as, what else, “Minnesota’s North Shore”.
Picture breathtaking views of a crystal clear lake – the largest of the Great Lakes – tall evergreens, nature all around, and the smell of fresh country air. You get all this and more in this wonderful little spot of the world just 100 miles north of Duluth, MN.
Lutsen Resort boasts of rich history and rustic appeal. The main lodge is constructed in the post and beam style that is not only elegant, but also solid and long- lasting. When it came time to expand the resort and add individual rental cabins, the owners wanted to maintain the rustic appeal and decided to go with logs. They did not have to go far to find a quality handcrafter that could fill the order. Senty Handcrafted Log Homes is located just a few miles up the road in Grand Marais, MN. Mike and Laurie Senty have been handcrafting log structures since 1981. When they were brought in to the project, they came up with a functional and elegant design that would fit perfectly.
In the 960 square feet of space you will find a 10′ X 12′ master bedroom complete with king size bed, desk and closet; a 10′ X 14′ guest room (left) with two double beds, dresser and end tables; a complete kitchen and dining room set up (right); and a cozy living room area (lower right) complete with fireplace/wood heater, sofa, easy chair, tv/vcr and a fantastic view of Lake Superior.
Mike Senty has a strong reputation for quality in the log home industry, as well as an eye for detail. The cabin construction for this project utilizes hand-picked logs that are scribe-fit in the Scandinavian style, and also includes saddle-notch corners for an air- tight fit. In all log construction – whether the logs are kiln dried, or green – there will be settling. Mike has devised some rather unique techniques in order to assure the joints as well as window and doorways remain air-tight throughout the settling process.
One technique he employs stems from the problem with modern building materials. Yes, I said problem. You see, in the old days (and perhaps even today in some cases), the Scandinavians utilized either slate, or sod as a roof material. These materials are very heavy, which aid in keeping pressure on all the joints as the house would settle. Modern asphalt shingles, shake shingles, and other such roofing materials are relatively light and do not put the pressure on the logs. Mike had to come up with another method of accomplishing the same effect. He developed a bolt and spring system in which he installs heavy-duty bolts the height of the wall and evenly spaced throughout the structure. These bolts are then fitted with a heavy duty spring either under the bottom logs between the floor joists, or on the top of the logs among the rafters. The bolt/spring combination then has an adjustable nut at the end for tightening periodically as the structure settles. The final adjustment is usually made in year 5 of the structure’s life. This system has proven to be highly effective and durable with a proven track record.
So, whether you are looking for some great downhill or cross-country skiing, excellent fishing and hiking, championship golf, mountain bike trails, alpine slide, or just to relax and get away from it all, Lutsen Resorthas it all within a stone’s throw from the new log cabins.