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Century-old Minnesota resort keeps them coming back

The Spaeth family has been holding family reunions at Pinehurst Resort in Naytahwaush, Minn., every summer for about five decades. David Samson / The Forum1 / 6
Pinehurst Resort in Naytahwaush, Minn., is between North Twin Lake and South Twin Lake, seen here. David Samson / The Forum2 / 6
Dick LaVoy's parents took over Pinehurst Resort in Naytahwaush, Minn., in 1959. LaVoy purchased the business from his parents in 1969 and since 2000 the business has been owned and operated by LaVoy's son, Greg, and daughter-in-law Julie. David Samson / The Forum3 / 6
Greg and Julie LaVoy operate Pinehurst Resort in Naytahwaush, Minn. David Samson / The Forum4 / 6
Pinehurst Resort in Naytahwaush, Minn., is nearing 100 years old. Its large octagon "roundhouse" is used for many activities, including weddings. David Samson / The Forum5 / 6
Altha Spaeth, left, and other members of the Spaeth family have been holding family reunions at Pinehurst Resort in Naytahwaush, Minn., for 50 years. David Samson / The Forum6 / 6

EDITOR'S NOTE: To celebrate the height of summer, Summer Hideaways is a weekly Monday feature running the next several weeks. It aims to explore some lesser-known gems in our area.

NAYTAHWAUSH, Minn.—Pinehurst Resort, situated between North Twin Lake and South Twin Lake in Naytahwaush, will be 100 years old in 2018.

Pinehurst Resort in Naytahwaush, Minn., is between North Twin Lake and South Twin Lake, seen here. David Samson / The Forum

For about 50 of those years, the Spaeth family has been holding family reunions at Pinehurst every summer.

"We've been coming since we were little, we have the same cabin every single year," said Jessica (Spaeth) Ford, who at 36 is "the oldest of all the grandkids" of Altha Spaeth, who helped institute the family reunion tradition five decades ago when she brought her 10 children to the resort.

The Spaeth family has been holding family reunions at Pinehurst Resort in Naytahwaush, Minn., every summer for about five decade

Such long-term connections are what make Pinehurst special, said Julie LaVoy who, along with her husband, Greg, run the resort purchased by Greg's grandparents, Howard and Ruby LaVoy, in 1959.

In 1969, Howard and Ruby sold Pinehurst to their son, Dick, and his wife, Babe, and they in turn sold it to Greg and Julie in 2000.

Greg and Julie LaVoy operate Pinehurst Resort in Naytahwaush, Minn. David Samson / The Forum

A prominent fixture of Pinehurst is the mammoth "roundhouse" built in the early days of the resort using vertically planted logs that form a rustic, cathedral-like structure.

The LaVoy family has added many features to the resort, including a dining room and a bar.

They also added to and upgraded the resort's inventory of cabins, which now number 16.

Pinehurst has about 90 spots for trailers, though it may be some time before any new ones move in, as there is a waiting list.

The resort is a popular wedding venue—12 wedding parties were held there last year—and it draws lots of regulars, like the Spaeth family, many of whose members are from the Mahnomen area.

Pinehurst Resort in Naytahwaush, Minn., is nearing 100 years old. Its large octagon "roundhouse" is used for many activities, in

In other times of the year the resort hosts a curling tournament and the cabins are home to snowmobilers who explore the 160 miles of trails in the nearby White Earth State Forest.

Julie and Greg LaVoy are in the process of turning operation of the resort over to their son, Andy, and their son-in-law, Ben Baumann, who have become a big part of the manpower that keeps the resort running.

And it's a big job.

"We close Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving—three days a year," Julie LaVoy said, adding that her father-in-law, Dick LaVoy, continues to pitch in around the resort, doing much of the mowing during the summer.

Dick LaVoy said he has always enjoyed the work and the rewarding smiles he gets from visitors, many of whom have been returning for generations.

"Makes the ol' heart feel pretty good," he said.

Dick LaVoy's parents took over Pinehurst Resort in Naytahwaush, Minn., in 1959. LaVoy purchased the business from his parents in

Dave Olson
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