Craig Bierly making a stop at Maplelag for his one stop in Minnesota as he attempts to ride a mountain bike trail in every state.
Over the past five years, we have had three original Maplelag posters done by Fergus Falls artist, Charlie Beck. They have been absolutely fantastic and each one captures a different aspect of Maplelag. We are thrilled that he was willing to depart from his usual art forms to create these for us. And we have our fingers crossed that the muse will alight again and he can do a fourth for us.
Charlie is the wonderful artist who’s woodcut prints we have been showcased in the dining room of our lodge. We are honored that he has asked Maplelag to serve as gallery for his work. The prints certainly help to recreate the mood and feeling of the former Maplelag dining room. We also share an interest in duck and fish decoys and Charlie carves wonderful, sculptural shore birds and loons.
Many of you have asked where you can see and/or purchase his prints and decoys. Just give Joyce or Charlie a call at their home in Fergus Falls, MN, where his studio is located. Maybe you can catch them on your way to or from Maplelag or you can make an appointment. Charles and Joyce Beck, 529 Guttenberg Heights, Fergus Falls, Minnesota, (218) 736-3957.
We are still moving ahead with our depot project as we persevere in our quest for depot signs. I must admit it is harder, as we have checked out most of the old depots and less of them are turning up. We have made some wonderful friends along the way and we have been amazed at their wealth of knowledge. At last, we have some on display. Primarily in the library on the upper level and in the towers and there are also some in the lower walk out level.
For those of you who are not familiar with this project this is what I am trying to do: I have been taking pictures of old depots in the upper Midwest and the Prairie Provinces of Canada and researching their history. Whenever possible, I will purchase the depot signs of depots no longer in use. We will then have the signs on display and try to show how the towns fit into the various main and branch lines. I will also do a brief history of the town and try to find someone to write an interesting antidote about the town, as well. Any help that you can give us as to location of depots, signs, depot photos, photo depot postcards or any interesting railroad memorabilia is always welcome.
“What does this have to do with Maplelag and its role as a destination cross country ski resort?” Absolutely nothing! But, I think it makes Maplelag a more exciting place to visit and it gives you a hands-on approach to history. The small depot and the subsequent rail service was often the birth and death of many a small town. I know it has been interesting to guests who have been here and once you have been here yourself, I think that you will capture a little of the “depot fever”.
I know that all of you who knew our dog, Laddie, were saddened to hear that he passed away in the summer of ’99. As a registered Border Collie, he was bred for heart and courage as well as the working ability of herding sheep. He would put his herding instincts to use when going out with a group of skiers. During the summer, he would herd the campers, especially when they were playing volleyball or soccer. His heart and courage were apparent to everyone throughout the entire year. He was a very gentle, patient dog and especially good with children. The following sentiment, taken from a poster size card given to us by the Spanish campers, sums up our feelings quite well: “I am very sorry about Laddie. The good thing is, he lived a long and happy life.” Yes, he certainly did.
Here is a selection of top photos from over years at Maplelag.