My heart sunk when I received the message from Mama Zee saying,

Was going to tell you that Maplelag's main lodge burned today...you could see the smoke from Lake Park, Minnesota.

To give you an idea of why that's significant, MapleLag Resort is near Callaway, Minnesota and Lake Park is nearly 25 miles away. Which is why to see the smoke from there, means it was massive. For some of you, to help pin point better the location, it's north of Detroit Lakes about 15 minutes and a little over two and a half hours northwest of Saint Cloud.

Maplelag has always held a special place in my heart and holds many more memories than I can count. Growing up only ten minutes from it, it was a place my family often would drive to enjoy food, a cup of cocoa or just take in the beautiful scenery. As you can see here.

Photo by Maplelag Resort via Facebook
Photo by Maplelag Resort via Facebook
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As I got older it was the location where many of our junior high and high school Student Council day retreats were held. It was the highlight of every year. We'd spend the first half of the day in meetings and planning for the rest of the school year and then the second half of the day was to have fun, explore, relax and do what you want.

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One year I went cross-country skiing (which I'm terrible at).

Photo by Maplelag Resort via Facebook
Photo by Maplelag Resort via Facebook
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Another year a group of us played games, followed up by a hitting up their outside hot tub and rolling around in the snow and jumping right back in to warm up. One of my favorites though was the year I decide to explore and relax in the main lodge. My favorite find was the collection of lunch boxes they had lined in one of their rooms. They were the old school vintage tin lunch boxes and there were dozens upon dozens of them of all sorts. Similar to something like this:

Photo by Number 1in Service Via Amazon
Photo by Number 1in Service Via Amazon
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The place holds many memories for so many more people. There have been weddings, scrap booking and quilting events, family reunions, retreats and the list goes on.

Sadly, seeing billowing smoke from Maplelag Resort has happened before.

Photo of Maplelag Resort by Bailey Hurley/Valley News Live
Photo of Maplelag Resort by Bailey Hurley/Valley News Live
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I remember it vividly yet. It was my freshmen year of college, December 1999. Studying for finals my parents called me on my dorm room landline. Could tell from their voices it wasn't good news and it's then that they told me the main lodge had gone up in smoke. I had been there only a few short months before and as sad as I was for that loss in our community and to the great family that owned it, was happy to hear that they had decided to rebuild.

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What about this time though after another complete loss of the main lodge? Are there any positives. First off, everyone escaped from the fire and for that we thank God. Next, despite this devastation, owners say they will be rebuilding again and after reading many comments and more memories on social media from other Minnesotans who adore the beloved Maplelag Resort I know many will do whatever is needed to help them, this gal included.

No word yet on what exactly caused the fire, but you can read full story and see more footage of fire HERE.

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