We had a rather unexpected day stay at Kettle Falls hotel. Early one morning we headed out from Pine Aire resort on Lake Kabetogama with our fishing guide, Don Granger for a days fishing trip across Namakan Lake then portage around Kettle Falls/dam over to Rainy Lake on the Canadian border. Just as we got close to Kettle Falls, Don's wife called to say it was storming and hailing back home and headed our way. Luckily the portage crew was able to load & haul our boat overland from Namakan to Rainy lake just before the storm fully hit. Kettle resort then loaded the 5 of us onto a couple of their golf carts and portaged us to Kettle hotel. Needless to say it was much preferred to sit on their covered screened-in side porch watching the wind and rain blow by vs riding the storm out in a boat on the lake.
The hotel is an old lodging house built around 1910 by a timber baron in a remote part of Voyageurs National Park. (Reputedly Madame Nellie Bly also had connections to the establishment). It is only accessible by boat or float plane, so has a very secluded and laidback atmosphere. The hotel had about a dozen quaint/antiquey rooms upstairs and a separate set of modern villas to rent for larger groups. For some reason the Kettle Hotel's layout reminded me of a wilderness backwoods mini-version of the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park or the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. The most interesting find was the Kettle's LumberJack Saloon with its famous sloping floor. The bartender told us the original corner posts had all sunk into the ground over the years. When it was restored into the Kettle Hotel, 3 sides were shored up level but they left the corner of the building where the bar was located sloping. You stand at one end of the pool table waist high but the other end is almost up to your shouldars. The bar also slants as do the booths and benches in the saloon. See their website for info on hotel's rooms, rates, etc.
The hotel has 3 stages of electric backup. A tree had fell on the main power lines, so the hotel went on auxillary power, which meant the kitchen and bar areas shut down. Only electric lights and refrigerators remained powered. After the storm blew by, we took a wooden boardwalk over a wooded marsh to the marina on Rainy Lake where our boat was docked. We still caught enough Walleye on Rainy Lake to head back to the Kettle Hotel by noon to have them cook our shore lunch for us. Unfortunately, since the storm crippled the electricity, their kitchen was still closed. So the Kettle kitchen crew fired up their Weber charcoal kettle grills and grilled our walleye, potatoes&onions and pork&beans. Luckily the cooler in the LumberJack saloon was fully functional, so we had some cold LaBatts and Nordeast beers while waiting for our shore lunch.