Located on the southern shore, Whitewood Resort is the only resort left on Spirit Lake. We are 7 miles south of Aitkin, and 11 miles north of Garrison just 2 miles east of highway 169 on Aitkin county road 28.  In the past, it has been known as "Duke's," "Allen's," and "Peek's" and has seen quite a few changes over the years. I moved to the resort with my family in 1971, and, at that time, the large log cabin--refered to as "the lodge"--still had a wood cook stove in the kitchen! Things are pretty different now with a modern kitchen, but we have tried to maintain that vintage vacation feeling where families get together to enjoy each other's companionship and some good outdoor fun. We have 9 self-housekeeping cabins that are filled with extended families many times over the summer. We have many guests that have been coming for 35 years or more.

Rob Doenges and I took over Whitewood resort in 2009 when my mom, Mavis McGuire, passed away. When my Father, Mike McGuire, passed away in 2005, Rob and I spent the summers at the resort helping my Mom, and we and fell in love with the beautiful area, fantastic wildlife, and great guests. Rob and I had both been working in professional and academic theatre and were lucky to be able to spend our summers in Minnesota. Rob is a technical director and lighting/sound/secenery and properties designer, and I am a costume technician and designer. Rob had his own production company in Louisville, KY, and I was a professor/supervisor at UCLA before we converged in Hanover, IN at a small liberal arts college. We have put our design and technical skills to work at the resort--updating and repairing the cabins.

In the winter of 2011/12 we worked on cabin 1, redoing the kitchen and repairing some of the floor. Cabin 1 is the orginal log cabin on the property, and was probably built as a hunting shack for the railroad company that owned much of the surrounding property for the railroad that was to connect Duluth with St. Paul. Lucky for us, that railroad didn't go through the property! The cabin is around 100 years old and has wonderful vintage charm. It has the orginal stone fireplace and a great front porch, but it didn't have a user friendly kitchen. The kitchen walls were installed in 1926, stuffed with some great newspapers with stories about prohibition and resulting crimes. Great reading! However, we are no longer using a wood cookstove and standfree washstand, with a cellar in the crawlspace for food storage.  As we repaired, updated and finished the cabin this spring, we certainly hoped that the changes would be welcomed. 2011 marked the 40th year that the resort has been a family adventure, and we hope to add many more.

If you are looking for a quiet summer spot with some good fishing and a chance to enjoy a campfire and a good book, we would love to hear from you. Have a great day!  

-Wanda McGuire