Deal saves historic Beaver Bay fish house, for now

Published 9:52 am Friday, August 23, 2013

BEAVER BAY — A wooden fish house built on northeastern Minnesota’s Beaver Bay more than a century ago apparently will remain standing for at least five more years, thanks to a new deal.

The building’s owner and the owner of the property on which it stands said they have reached a lease agreement.

Last month, the nonprofit Beaver Bay Club, which owns the lakefront property, began eviction proceedings against Bruce and Bonnie Anderson, the Duluth couple who own the building.

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The two sides were scheduled to appear in court Thursday, but Bonnie Andersonv said that she and her husband have reached an agreement with the Beaver Bay Club.

“We’ve agreed to a lease for five years, with the possibility to renew it for another five at the Beaver Bay Club’s discretion,” she said.

The club’s Duluth attorney, Charles Andresen, said he couldn’t comment on details, but he confirmed that “the matter has been settled and the lawsuit is being dismissed. We have worked out an agreement.”

The Andersons’ wooden fish house was built in 1898 by Martin Lorntson, a Norwegian immigrant who came from commercial fishing stock. The house has been in Bonnie Anderson’s family since 1974.

The house, boat launch, two boats and boat motors, nets and other equipment came to the Andersons three years ago after the death of Bonnie Anderson’s brother-in-law.

According to Bonnie Anderson, the owners of the fish house had never paid rent for use of the property.

The couple plans to restore the building.

“We are glad to have the five years,” Bonnie Anderson said. “Then we are hoping to keep all the doors open and be good tenants. Hopefully we’ll be able to keep working things out.”