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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I learned today that the owner of the Hungry Jack Lodge, Jerry Parson passed away on Christmas Eve.

I met Jerry for the first time 15 years ago by chance. I was riding with some friends up the Gunflint Trail and saw a sign for Beer, Food and Gas. Perfect. I rode up to the back of the lodge, walked onto the porch, coaxed the 125 pound choclate lab away from the door and walked in behind the dog who led the way. From the second he introduced himself I knew this guy was one of a kind. I have consumed alot of "Beer, Food and Gas" at the Hungry Jack over the years.

Jerry became a friend to me over the last 15 years and was one of the nicest people I have ever met. He is legendary in Grand Marais as someone who would do anything to help you out. The stories he would tell over a few beers in his bar were some of the best times I have ever had and kept me going back to Hungry Jacks year after year. (even when there was no snow!)

I know some of you also know Jerry so I will try to keep you in the loop on funeral services and a possible memorial.

RIP Jerry Parsons

Full history link History of Hungry Jack Lodge


In 1958 the lodge and resort was sold to the Patrick McDonald family. They proudly ran it for 14 years, then sold it in 1972 to Jerry Parson - A Duluth native. In purchasing this beautiful resort, Jerry fulfilled his life's dream of owning a lodge and living in the wilderness he so loved.
In December 1972, the lodge was entirely destroyed by fire again! The magnificent structure was reduced to ashes with only part of the fireplace left standing. This time the fire was believed to have started from a faulty flue in the chimney. It was indeed a tragic and sorrowful fate. Though sad and discouraged, Jerry's true pioneer spirit kept him from giving up and he began making plans for a new lodge. He found a beautiful log structure in Grand Marais owned by the Department of Natural Resources - State of Minnesota. It was previously used as the game wardens headquarters and was unoccupied. Jerry purchased the building from the state of Minnesota and planned to move it to Hungry Jack Lake. However, the building could not be moved in one piece as it was too wide for the roadways. This obstacle could be overcome by dismantling the building log by log and transporting it piecemeal. So the very painstaking labor ensued of removing each log, marking it, and transporting it 32 miles to Hungry Jack Lake. This laborious task was accomplished by a local logging contractor who use a large boom truck semi. It took two months to dismantle the building and one day to transport the logs.
Construction of the new lodge began on the same site as the previous lodges. It is certainly the most spectacular site on the lake where the land forms a point and the lake therefore surrounds the lodge on three sides. A full basement was dug and laid. Before the lodge was built, all the logs were restored to their natural finish, as they had linseed oil on the inside and yellow paint on the exterior. This was done by stripping each log by hand using a draw knife. The logs were then reconstructed in their original position with fiberglass insulation placed between each one. No lifting equipment was used, only the strong backs of Bill Gentry, Jerry Parson, and Archie Kirk, Jr. These three men worked long hard days to complete this mammoth project as winter was approaching and the lodge had to be completed by Christmas 1973. A full house of guests has been promised lodging for the holidays. Happily, Jerry moved into the new lodge on December 15. It was quite a day. The two large stone fireplaces were lit and much rejoicing followed.
The lodge stands large, sturdy, and beautiful. A local artist has painted a wall mural depicting "Wild Life in the North Woods." Much of the furniture is hewn from logs and hand carved. It has a very rustic and warm atmosphere. The resort also has 13 smaller cabins for accommodations all facing the lake. May the new lodge be longstanding.
 

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Wow, my heart just dropped! I knew Jerry and I am good friends with Jerry's son Forrest.
Me and a buddy stop at Hungry Jack for the first time just by chance also and have been going back ever since.
Jerry Parsons was a genuine and honerable man.
He will be missed.
Dave J
 

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what happend to him. we are going up to stay up there new years weekend as i just talked to them the day before he died. they said they were snowmobiling up there so we were headed up there. thats too bad, I have met him a few times when we stayed there in the past and like you all say he was a very nice guy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am not sure what happened. I do know he was having health issues the last few years. I had a bit of scare myself and he and I were discussing because our issues were somewhat similiar. It was affecting how active he could be around the resort.

Forest is a great guy, keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

Jeff
 

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I just heard today about Jerry, and thought it wasn't true. I've been going up to the lodge since ~'94, summer and winter, and as has been said, he was one of the best. (After knowing him for 5-6 yrs, I took my wife of 1 yr up to show her why I love staying there so much, and the first thing he says upon meeting her was, " That isn't the gal you bring up in the winter!". My wife shot me a glance before she realized he was setting me up. Just his kind of 'mischevious' humor.) It will sure put a damper on our annual trip in March. My prayers and best wishes to his son Forrest, and his family and friends far and wide. I'm going to tip a beer and salute our old friend as soon as I log off, 'till we meet again! :dunno:

FYI I just looked up his obit in the Cook County News-Hearald, if you are interested.
 
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