The Resort Years
At the turn of the century, Frank Broulette’s father purchased property (where Dockside is now) on Lake Independence from L. S. Donaldson company. The property had been used as a vacation place for employees.
Broulette’s was a small resort that catered to fishermen and sportsmen, and was primarily a boat rental operation. At first the roads were mostly old Indian trails, often a quagmire of mud and deep ruts. Eventually the roads improved and people began coming out in automobiles. Broulette added picnic tables, as well as a small roadside stand selling ice cream, beverages and sundries, with a gasoline pump for the automobiles.
Johnson's Bay Resort
In 1926, the Johnson family purchased the resort from Frank Broulette. They also purchased a home across County Road 19 from the resort. Johnson then build four cottages by the lake, and a store across the road selling fishing equipment, beverages and other items. The resort had picnic tables and a nice sandy beach that was very popular with swimmers. Johnson owned 50 boats that were rented to fishermen who sometimes came as early as 4:00 a.m. The Johnsons sold the resort sometime before 1941 and it was renamed Bohanan's Resort.
No information available about Bohanan’s.
Front and back of Johnson's Bay Resort
Credit: Both photos are from the Maple Plain Museum
Classified ad for Johnson's Bay, Star-Tribune, 1933
Postcard from Bohanan's Resort
In 1944, Bohanan sold the resort to Art and Adella Gertz (who formerly operated Unity Camp). There were 6 cabins, the director's residence, and a main building serving drinks and some food. Dressing rooms were available for swimming. The Gertzes operated the resort from 1944-1955.
Postcard from Gertz's Resort
Credit: Patricia Everson
Editor's Note: The history of later resorts and restaurant/bars in this location, including Glampe's and Dockside, are in later sections.