One of the area’s oldest resorts still in business today, Wa-ga-tha-ka Resort is located on both Wabana and Little Wabana lakes off County Road 49 in northern Itasca County.  

When it opened in 1904, it was known as the Wa-ga-tha-ka Hotel.

In 1925, Morey and Barbara Miner, both school teachers, purchased the hotel and opened it as a resort during the summer months when not teaching. At that time it was known as the gateway to the Joyce Estates. Wa-ga-tha-ka in Ojibwe is “dwelling place among the birches.” Wabana in Ojibwe means “lake of many bays.” Second generation Jon and Doug Miner ran the resort from 1986 until 2006. Third generation owners, grandsons of Morey and Barbara, are brothers Jay and Mark Miner who have been operating the resort for 15 years. They currently have seven cabins. 

Since it became a resort in 1925, it has been busy during the summer months. They currently have seven cabins which feature either two or three bedrooms and are available for rent on a weekly basis. All cabins have views of Wabana Lake and dock space is included with cabin rentals. Jay says they are booked full this summer and again next summer. Wa-ga-tha-ka is open through October. 

As old as it is, the original structure along with additions is in immaculate condition.

An iconic wooden carved chipmunk greets guests at the front of the main house. The chipmunk was added in the late 80’s in memory of grandparents, Barbara and Morey Miner.

For more information, visit the resort’s website at  wa-ga-tha-ga.com.

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