How it all started...
In 1947, Lee and Neta Schumacher acquired a plot of land on Crooked Lake as a wedding gift. In the years to come, many camping trips and overnights at Crooked Lake Resort brought them back to the true wilderness that anyone seeks in a vacation. When in 1974, Crooked Lake Resort came up for sale, Lee and Neta saw their dreams ahead of them - to live and retire on a resort in the Superior National Forest.
Having both grown up in the resort business, Lee and Neta knew just what they were doing when they purchased Crooked Lake Resort. While still operating Sandy Point Resort on Gull Lake, they managed to move up to Crooked Lake and start in on some remodeling. Working as a team, with some help from their son, the cabins were insulated and remodeled and new ones were built. And then there's Gramma, who would tend the store from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, selling everything from hamburgers, pop and ice, to nightcrawlers.
In the early spring of 1980, while on a snowmobiling adventure, Lee and his son Kurt came across an abandoned railroad trestle last used in the 1920's. With permission from the Forest Service, they disassembled the bridge. One at a time, with Lee's 1948 Willys Jeep, they hauled the 8 x 16 x 33 ft. long Douglas Fir timbers weighing 1950 pounds each five miles back to the resort. There they were piled for future use. By this time, the resort on Gull Lake had sold and the Schumachers put full time effort into Crooked Lake Resort.
Lee and Kurt labored at punching a snowmobile trail south to intersect with the North Shore Corridor Trail. Snowmobilers could come from Duluth or Grand Marais - and they did! It was time to open a trail toward Ely - known today as the Tomahawk Trail. The snowmobilers poured in.
With eleven year round cabins, a bait shop, gas station and off-sale liquor, business was booming in more ways than one. Kurt and his wife, Patty, have operated the resort since 1986. The fishing in Crooked Lake is great. If you can't seem to catch a walleye, you're sure to latch onto some bass or maybe a muskie. Fall brings on a most spectacular show of colors as the birches turn yellow and the maples take a glow of oranges and deep reds. Hunting grouse, bear and moose are among the popular things to do along with hiking and fishing.
But is was the snowmobilers that came from all directions that really kept the Schumachers on their toes. When the 3.2 bar inside the store could no longer handle the crowds, it was time to put those timbers to use. Crooked Lake Resort needed a building to accommodate those looking for food, drink and a place to relax. Thus, the Trestle Inn was created. Central indoor facilities were included in the construction for the added convenience of the cabin guests. The Trestle Inn, a unique restaurant/saloon, was completed and opened in the fall of 1985. It became a popular stop for travelers of all kinds. Lee and Neta followed their dreams, and with a lot of hard work they have achieved quite a success.
In October of 2000 the Trestle Inn was sold to Sue Butler. She continues the tradtion of Friday Fish Fry and Saturday all-you-can-eat BBQ ribs. Trestle Inn opens at 11am daily and remains a place for family and friends to gather.