The story of Burnt Point Lodge

Burnt Point Lodge sits on a picturesque promontory, overlooking the Back Channel of Wolfpine Lake. 

An old trapper named John McCracken built the first cabin here. He kept a tame grizzly, which he would saddle and ride into town. Many years later McCracken sold the land to railroad baron Bartholomew Noble for $50 and a bottle of scotch. Noble built the grand lodge to entertain his friends and confound his enemies. Most of it still stands here today, but the floating ten pin bowling alley sunk several years ago. During prohibition, the lodge (far from the eyes of "Johnny Law") attracted the great and the good from around the world for both its famed namesake cocktail “The Burnt Point Sour” and its infamous annual sled-dog race, which the New York Times once described as a "horrifying debauch, but a damn fine race". The lodge's ancient caretaker, Whitney, claims to have witnessed most of it, which seems unlikely. But in the front hall there is a faded picture of him guiding Teddy Roosevelt on a hunting trip, so who knows.

Burnt Point changed hands several times in the 20th century, before the current owner Nick Taggart won it from a notorious Floridian bingo magnate in a high stakes poker game. Taggart has now reopened the lodge to guests and our dry goods shop to everyone.

We always keep a well-stocked bar and a roaring fire on the hearth. Carved into the pine beam above our front door are the words "Only the Finest" - Noble's family motto which still guides us today.  We believe in using only the most rugged and reliable gear, classic wilderness kit to get you there and back. So please, strap the canoe to the car and come visit. We'd love to show you around.

 

How to find us

Burnt Point Lodge is situated on Wolfpine Lake. To reach us, take US 39 north past Springfield village for 5 miles. Turn right at the sign for Graeber's Landing and park your car at the bait shop, next to the boat launch on the north side of town. Put your boat or canoe in the water there, then head straight across the lake to Tin Can Narrows. When you get to the Back Channel, the lodge is set back in the trees a ways, but you can see it clearly when you're close enough. If you call in advance, we can send Whitney the caretaker to pick you up in the boat.

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About us

Nick Taggart
Nick Taggart is our CEO. Every autumn, he and his father would make the long drive up to Wolfpine Lake from Brooklyn. In fact, Whitney was the one who taught him how to build a campfire and call a Loon. Now the owner of Burnt Point, Taggart spends most of the year here, playing cards with the guests and making sure every visitor gets a tour of the canoe shop and a proper drink before they leave.
Gladys Breckenridge
Gladys Breckenridge is our fly-fishing guide. Her Georgia accent still comes out, despite a decade spent stalking Rainbow Trout on the Flathead River in Montana’s foothills. She’s one of the world’s best fly-fishing guides, can portage a canoe farther and faster than anyone else at the lodge, and currently holds the Graeber’s Landing Elks Lodge Tenpin Bowling Championship Trophy.
Whitney
Whitney is the lodge caretaker. He lives in the back cabin, out behind the boathouse, and keeps busy repairing canoes, chopping wood, and regaling our guests with impossible tales. Whitney has spent almost his entire life on Wolfpine Lake, although he claims to have kicked around New York “between the wars”. Which wars, exactly, remains something of a mystery.
Scott
Scott is the hunting guide. He grew up climbing and hunting in the Alberta Rockies, then accidentally fell into a career as a diplomat. Happily, this ended after a rather spectacular misunderstanding involving the Emir of Qatar, his daughter, and his prized falcon. He has now traded the pinstripe suits for his beloved Filson cruiser jacket, and keeps things running behind the scenes at Burnt Point Lodge.
Rees
Rees isn’t actually staff; he’s more of a permanent houseguest. Rees grew up in Nova Scotia, before sailing off for London, the Balkans, Timor, Java, and finally the Northwest Frontier Province between Afghanistan and Pakistan. After years overseas, he has now come back with a chest of artifacts, a thousand stories, and the intention to spend all of his time fishing for Brown Trout in the cold reaches of Whiskey Water Creek.

 

The Canoe Shop Playlist

Our canoe shop sits down by the dock. It's where Whitney repairs and stores the canoes, paddles, packs, and the rest of our gear. And, you'll often find several of us there, sitting at one of the benches tapping away at a laptop, perched on one of the old ammunition boxes reading the Graeber's Landing Daily, or just hanging out looking at the lake. Maybe it's because when the double doors are open, the entire shop fills up with a golden light; or because nothing smells better than cedar shavings; but probably because Whitney (in spite of or because of his remarkable age) has the most entertaining and eclectic taste in music. Here's what he's playing today.

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