The History of the Lakewood Inn…
There are many a tale told about the past owners, campers, uses and experiences at the wonderful Lakewood Inn. Come to the Lakewood and make your own history…
It all began in 1910, when Englishman Allen Allesbrook first settled the Lakewood property. He had a hard job in front of him, clearing the land with only his own steam and a mule. He built several outbuildings, including a fruit cellar, which is still standing close to the New cabin.
The first apple trees were planted around 1920, at which time he proposed to his childhood sweetheart Lucy. Lucy’s parents approved of the match, but before she could join him Allen had to put a phone line in. Allen and the other Shutty Bench settlers put a line through the woods and in 1925 Lucy joined him at the homestead. They worked hard and had their first apple crop ready for market in 1927.
About this time, they also built the first guest cabin for visiting relatives. Soon friends of friends were coming to visit and they soon converted outbuildings into cabins and thus the resort was formed.
The Allesbrooks had two children, Naomi and Eric. Naomi, whom is still alive, tells stories of taking people fishing in the rowboat, which happened to also be her transportation to get into town to attend high school.
Guests got to the Lakewood by taking the Moyie from Bonner’s landing or Nelson until the road was finally built in 1952.The Allesbrooks sold the resort in 1956 to the Chapman’s who then sold to the Sonnenbergs in 1964. Fred and Elizabeth Sonnenburg, with help from their children, built more cabins and the marina. Many changes to the area happened during this time, electric power was added to the cabins as well as indoor plumbing. Many people enjoyed Fred’s black dog that would patiently wait on the docks for people to bring in and clean their fish so that he could have the fish heads to eat. Elizabeth started many of the gardens and still gives us advice when things go wrong. The Perry/Bauer team ran Lakewood from 1988 until 1996 when we were fortunate to purchase it from them.
Susan and Doug Stark have been running the Lakewood Inn (with the occasional help from their children Rachael and Kyle) since 1996.
Running a small resort is lots of hard work but very enjoyable. The stories from the past remind us of how much harder it was and keep us from complaining. We try to keep the style and atmosphere similar to days gone by when life ran at a slower pace and enjoyment came from friends and family time together in the beauty of nature and the glow of a camp-fire.