“Pinewood is magic.” With those words, Bea Magnuson described her feelings about Pinewood Resort and Ten Mile. The Magnusons first heard about TML in 1948, the year they were married, when her husband’s friend at work described a lake where he had been fishing as “paradise.” Mr. Fontaine convinced the Magnusons to visit TML and a lifetime love was born, drawn by the incredible sand beach, the great open space in front of the cabins on the lake as space for kids to play and the beauty of the site on the bay on the southwest corner of the lake.
Bea, now 87 years old, remembers that her husband immediately found the great fishing spots. He was led by Joe Welch, another friend on the lake. “That was before fish finders and fancy rigs,” says Bea. That’s how their days at TML were spent – fishing their favorite spot and enjoying the beauty. They started out with a ten-horse motor, and it would take thirty minutes to get to the fishing spot; eventually, they cut that time down to ten minutes and it was easy to get back and forth.
Herman and Mary Siever owned Pinewood Resort before WW II. They had no children and closed the resort during the war to return to jobs in the shipyards in Bremerton, WA. The Sievers returned after the war and re-opened Pinewood. That’s when the Magnusons came along in 1948 to stay in one of the small cabins at the resort. Bea said there were nine cabins at that time that had been originally used as a lumber camp before the turn of the century, and there was no heat or electricity until about 1952. There were several groves of Jack Pine trees on the resort site, and people would sight on the Jack Pines to find their way back to the cabins when on the lake. Thus, the name Pinewood was born. “You could see billions of stars in those days ― the Milky Way. It was just incredible ― the beauty and tranquility on the lake,” stated Bea. “We visited weekends at first; then, eventually made trips more often after we retired. We always said we would take other vacations when we had time, but the car was always loaded the day after school let out and never went past the front door at Pinewood!” Bea’s mother once said “If you buy that cabin, you will never go anywhere else.” She was right! Originally, an arched sign marked the entrance to Pinewood Resort, set on the stone pillars that are still on the site today.
The Sievers eventually sold the resort to Henry and Janet Heinsch, friends of the Magnusons from St. Paul. The Heinsches sold the resort to the Witham family in 1970. The Withams sub-divided the land and sold individual lots to friends from Iowa. The Magnusons retained their cabin and purchased it in 1976.
Bea says that her gardens keep her motivated during the summer. “I love working in my garden and I love being at Ten Mile Lake” says Bea. She remembers the families that used to come to Pinewood and use the land behind the cabins as a playground. “Today the owners and renters park there but years ago we had a play area set up for all of the children.”
The property managers have been an important part of the history of Pinewood; the current on-site managers, Del and Donna Arbuckle, recently completed their 15th year at Pinewood. “Del and Donna are indispensible” says Bea. “They are always there to help, are friendly and really keep the resort in beautiful condition.” The Pinewood ownership and association is very stable, only 3 cabins were sold in the past ten years. Most of the modern cabins are available for rent from May thru September. There are still four original owners from the 1970’s – Bea, the George and Judy Jorgensen family, the Keith and Jan Rolston family and the Herb and Carol Williams family.
Most cabins have been renovated over the years, but Bea says it’s the charm and beauty of Ten Mile Lake that have been the constant over the sixty one years she has been at the lake. “We had such great luck fishing those early years,” says Bea. “There was one man who came from a small town in Illinois with his friends. He was actually the mayor. They would catch so many fish, they would have enough to take home and feed the entire city at a fish fry!”
“Pinewood is magic.” Those simple words describe a lifetime of joy at Ten Mile. I’m sure we all have our wonderful memories of Ten Mile Lake and Bea Magnuson has 61 years of great memories at Pinewood Resort and Ten Mile.