Ice off Lake Bemidji damages 100-year-old cottages at local resort

Ruttger's Birchmont Resort on Lake Bemidji
Ruttger's Birchmont Resort on Lake Bemidji(Ruttger's Birchmont Resort)
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 11:22 AM CDT
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BEMIDJI, Minn. (Valley News Live) - A resort that has been a staple along the northwest edge of Lake Bemidji is left doing repairs to several buildings after an intense ice-out of the lake.

Winds gusting up to 35 miles per hour from the south/southeast caused the ice on Lake Bemidji to blow onto shore on May 7, crashing into the boat house and several cottages at Ruttger’s Birchmont Lodge.

Owner Karrie Nelson tells Valley News Live four cottages and the boat house sustained damage. All of the buildings were original to the property built in 1915. The estimated cost of damage is unknown at this time.

Nelson says they first noticed the ice moving toward shore around 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 7. Around 3:00 p.m. the winds shifted, causing the ice to move toward unoccupied cottages. She says a majority of the damage happened within a 15-minute time frame.

“Ruttger’s has operated on the north shore of Lake Bemidji for 107 years,” Nelson said. “This is the first time that anything of this nature has ever happened at our location.”

Ruttger’s Birchmont Lodge continues to operate as normal and will be assessing the situation daily.

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