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Bena, Minnesota Community Guide


Location:

Bena is located midway between Grand Rapids and Bemidji on US Highway 2. Located on the south shore of Lake Winnibigoshish and only a few miles from Leech Lake, the Bena area is home to some of the best fishing in the state.

Population
 Bena (city) 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2000-2010 Change
Actual Percent
Population 169 153 147 110 116 +6 +5.45
Land Area (sq. mile) 0.50 0.54 0.50 0.50 0.50 0 0.00
Density (persons per sq. mile) 338.0 283.3 294.0 218.0 232.0 +14.0 +6.42
Housing Units 65 83 74 72 60 -12 -16.67
Households -- 53 52 48 43 -5 -10.42
Persons Per Household -- 2.89 2.83 2.29 2.70 +0.41 +17.90

Geography:

Bena is a city in Cass County, Minnesota. US Highway 2 serves as a main route in the community. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.5 square miles (1.3 km˛), all of it land. The elevation is 1,316 ft (401 m) above sea level.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Demographics:

As of the census of 2010, there were 116 people, 43 households, and 24 families residing in the city. The population density was 232.0 inhabitants per square mile (89.6/km2). There were 60 housing units at an average density of 120.0 per square mile (46.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 19.8% White, 69.0% Native American, and 11.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.9% of the population.

There were 43 households of which 37.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 18.6% were married couples living together, 20.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 16.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 44.2% were non-families. 41.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.79.

 The median age in the city was 30.5 years. 32.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.5% were from 25 to 44; 23.3% were from 45 to 64; and 12.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.3% male and 51.7% female.

As of the census of 2000, there were 110 people, 48 households, and 31 families residing in the city. The population density was 218.0 people per square mile (84.9/km˛). There were 72 housing units at an average density of 142.7/sq mi (55.6/km˛). The racial makeup of the city was 24.55% White, 70.00% Native American, and 5.45% from two or more races.

There were 48 households out of which 27.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.3% were married couples living together, 22.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.4% were non-families. 33.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.3% under the age of 18, 10.9% from 18 to 24, 19.1% from 25 to 44, 25.5% from 45 to 64, and 17.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 103.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $11,563, and the median income for a family was $6,563. Males had a median income of $17,083 versus $19,063 for females. The per capita income for the city was $7,619. There were 73.7% of families and 58.0% of the population living below the poverty line, including 95.0% of under eighteens and 26.7% of those over 64.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


History:

Bena, a city adjoining the most southern bay of Lake Winnibigoshish, in T. 145N, R. 28W, sections 26, 27, and 34, on the Leech Lake Reservation; incorporated as a village on November 14, 1906. It had a station of the Great Northern Railway in section 27, and its post office was established in 1898, with Ernest Flemming, owner of the hotel and dealer in general merchandise and heavy hauling, as postmaster. Its name is the Ojibwe word meaning "a partridge," spelled binT in Frederic Baraga's Dictionary of the Ojibway Language. This game bird species, formerly common throughout the wooded region of this state, is the ruffed grouse, called the "partridge" in New England and in Minnesota, but less correctly known as the "pheasant" in the middle and southern states. Henry W. Longfellow used this word in his Song of Hiawatha: "Heard the pheasant, Bena, drumming."

Courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society

Pioneer Businessman Founds Bena

Ernest Flemming, one of the first people to settle the town of Bena, was an enterprising young man.

Born in 1865 in Minneapolis, he delivered the Minneapolis Tribune when he was 10, became a cookee in a lumbercamp at 17, and was delivering ice cream by horse and wagon by the age of 19.

As he grew older, he made a living cooking in lumber camps, including those in the area near Backus and Pine River. After spending a number of years as a cook, however, Flemming began a business of his own. He moved to a point just north of Federal Dam in Cass County, and built a general store and other buildings from logs. His new business helped put Bena on the map.

Ernest Flemming Remembers ..

My first log stopping place was two stories high and built lumberjack style. I had steel beds upstairs for lumberjacks and charged them 25˘ a night. My wife ran the stopping place and I ran the store later on. We had a cook and a cookee. We ourselves lived in a separate house, or, at least, were separated from the hotel rooms.

For the meals everyone sat at a table, the same as at a lumber camp. Traveling men used to come in for Sunday. We charged 25˘ a meal.

We didn't have any bedbugs around here. We worked hard to keep them down. The traveling men would have them most — picking them up at various hotels. The lumberjacks didn't have any around camp.

After I got a little money I got some groceries and dry goods. They were pretty cheap then. The Indians couldn't go very far and had to trade with me. They brought in mink, muskrat, fox, wolf, coon and bear hides, and I paid them with money as much as they could get from anybody. Hides weren't worth much — muskrat 10˘ apiece and it had to be a good rat. too — couldn't be damaged. Bear hides weren't rare and we could get good money for them. Mink was worth about $3 a hide. The skins were all stretched and dried; they wouldn't keep otherwise. I usually sold to a fur buyer from St. Paul, who came through here. If I didn't like his price I wouldn't sell to him but wait until someone else from another place would come through and give me my price.

I also bought blueberries and rice from the Indians — anything they had — and gave them the money. Then I sold to them.

I expected and intended there would be a town here [where Bena is now], but I sat for 12 years, from 1898 on, before a town was organized.

From "In Our Own Backyard" by Carol Russell
© 1979, North Central Minnesota Historical Center

Flemming's Lake Winnibigoshish Tourist Camp, Bena Minnesota
Flemming's Lake Winnibigoshish Tourist Camp, Bena Minnesota
Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society


For more historic and recent Bena area photos,
visit the Bena Photo Gallery
 


Government:
Bena City Hall
38 County Road 8

Bena, MN 56626

Phone: (218)
665-2261

Council meeting is the 1st Monday of each month at 7:00 pm

 
Title Term ends Name and Address Phone
Mayor 12/31/2018 Patrick Rooney
15017 16th Street NE
Bena MN, 56626
(218) 256-2196
Clerk - Treasurer appointed Michelle "Missy" Charnley
23961 County Road 434
Bena MN, 56626
(218) 665-2261
Council Member 12/31/2018 Rita Juhlin
14000 16th Avenue NE
Bena MN, 56626
(218) 252-5547
Council Member 12/31/2018 Robert Zygutis
14000 16th Avenue NE
Robert Zygutis
(218) 760-1734
Council Member 12/31/2020 Bryan Finn
406 1st Avenue S
Bena MN, 56626
(218) 308-5691
Council Member 12/31/2020 Stephanie Anwiler
PO Box 37
Bena MN, 56626
(218) 398-3589

Post Office:
US Post Office
38 County Road 8
Bena, MN 56626-1042
Phone: (218) 665-2214
Toll Free: (800) ASK USPS
Web:
www.usps.com
US Post Office
Regular Business Hours:
Week Days      
8:00 am - 11:30 am
                        1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Saturday          
8:00 am - 8:30 am  
Latest Collection at Post Office:
Week Days            4:00 pm
Saturday                8:30 am

Utilities:
Utility Type Utility Name Utility Phone
Electricity

n/a

--
Electricity n/a --
Natural Gas n/a --
Wastewater n/a --
Water n/a --
Telephone n/a --
Cable TV n/a --

Major Employers:
Employer Products/Services Employees

n/a



News:


Weather:

Click for Bena, Minnesota Forecast


Map:


View Larger Map

Minnesota State Highway Map of the Bena Minnesota area
Minnesota State Highway Map of the Bena Minnesota area


Events:

none


Attractions:

none


Recreation:

none



Lakes:
Lake Name Size
(acres)
Lake info Lake Map Rec Map Topo Map
Ball Club 3,936
Drumbeater Lake 260  n/a
Leech Lake 111,527
Portage Lake 1,488
Six Mile Lake 1,288
Winnibigoshish 53,425

Health Care:

none


Schools:
Bena is part of Cass Lake - Bena Independent School District #115. Students are bussed to Cass Lake.

Every child is important at Cass Lake - Bena Elementary School. Teach staff have individual classroom plans that recognize positive student contributions and behavior. As a school, we also provide many opportunities where students can be recognized and rewarded for positive contributions and behavior.

 
Bug O Nay Ge Shig School
15353 Silver Eagle Drive NW
Bena, MN 56626
Phone: (218) 335-3000
Toll Free:
(800) 265-5576

Bug O Nay Ge Shig School

The Bug O Nay Ge Shig School was founded in 1975 in Cass Lake, Minnesota as an alternative school to serve 35 Ojibwe students from Leech Lake Reservation. The school was started in response to parents' concerns that public schools were not meeting the students academic and cultural needs. The school was named in honor of Bug O Nay Ge Shig, a local Ojibwe who lived in that area at the turn of the century. Since that time, the school has transformed its role into a magnet school which serves Native American students living on or near Leech Lake Reservation. After 25 years, the Bug O Nay Ge Shig now Serves more than 200 of various tribal backgrounds. It is operated by the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and governed by the Bug O Nay Ge Shig School board. It is located in the Chippewa National Forest in North central Minnesota and is now a K-12 school that provides open enrollment.


Churches:
Bena Alliance Church
121 State Highway 8
Bena, MN 56626
Phone: (218) 665-2344

Bena Alliance Church, Bena Minnesota

St. Anne's Catholic Church
Bena, MN 56626
Phone: none

Note: St. Anne's is now closed

St. Anne's Catholic Church, Bena, MN


Media:

none

 
Motels:

none

Check for motel rates and availability on:
Expedia.com no one deals like we do!

Resorts:
Becker's Resort
17048 Wild Rice Drive NW
Bena, MN 56626
Phone: (218) 665-2268
Toll Free:
(800) 348-1329
Web:
www.beckersresort.com

Lake Winnibigoshish is the fourth largest lake in Minnesota, noted for its excellent walleye, northern & perch fishing. The state record Muskie has been taken out of Winnibigoshish. The uninhibited shoreline is beautifully wooded with pine, birch, oak, and maple trees. There is deer, duck and grouse hunting in seasons.  Resident and non-resident fishing licenses are available on site.  We also offer a full line of tackle, outboard motors, gas, boat & pontoon rentals, excellent fish cleaning facilities (fish cleaning available), freezer service, and ice. Our ultra modern, four season cabins have 2 or 3 bedrooms and are fully furnished. They include built-in ranges and ovens, microwaves, refrigerators, color television, dishes, and cooking utensils. Bed linens are provided, but guests are asked to furnish their own towels.  Cabins are clean and attractive with comfortable furniture and stand at the edge of the Mississippi River where they command a picturesque view and receive every cooling breeze. Cabins are well spaced for privacy.
Cherney's Resort
13887 6 Mile Lake Road NE
Bena, MN 56626
Phone: (218) 665-2271
Web:
www.cherneysresort.com
Cherney's Resort is the only lodging on Six Mile Lake located six miles from Bena, Minnesota. It has been owned and operated by the Cherney family since 1945. All cabins are lakeshore and surround the lodge which is a nightly gathering spot. Not only is Cherney's a great fishing location, but its uniqueness of being the only resort on the lake makes it a retreat back to the days of giving your kids freedom to roam by themselves.
Denny's Resort
PO Box 8
Bena, MN 56626
Phone: (218) 665-2222
Toll Free: (888) 665-2298
Web:
www.dennysresort.com

Denny's Resort is a thirteen acre, year around resort located conveniently in the Chippewa National Forest where you can see native wildlife such as the American Bald Eagle, deer. ducks and occasionally bears (oh, and fish too). Enjoy a scenic ride by car, boat, bike or even hike to absorb the spectacular summer days or nights and the other beautifully colored seasonal settings.  These are a few things you can start your vacation with in the "Northwoods" of Minnesota on or beside our 60,000 acre lake!
Four Seasons Resort
952 River Drive NW
Bena, MN 56626
Phone: (218) 665-2231
Toll Free: (800) 525-0457
Web:
www.fishingwinnie.com
Four Seasons Resort, Bena, MN
We offer the best of the river, the best of the lake, and the best vacation you can take! Our accommodations include modern, fully furnished housekeeping units plus a campground with complete hookups designed for your convenience. For those desiring a vacation from cooking, we also have complete dining facilities.  We have everything the fisherman needs: tackle, live bait, licenses, gas, oil, boat and motor rental, a concrete boat ramp for ease in launching your boat, covered docks, a lighted, screen fish cleaning house, and a guide service - all you have to do is catch the fish ! See Rates for more information and packages.
Iowana Beach Resort
14877 Iowana Beach Road NW
Bena, MN 56626
Phone: (218) 665-2311
Toll Free: (877) 665-2311
Web:
www.iowanabeach.com

Iowana Beach Resort, Bena, MN

Iowana Beach Resort is nestled into the Chippewa National Forest on the shores of beautiful Portage Lake in Northern Minnesota, midway between Grand Rapids and Bemidji Minnesota. With only two resorts on the lake and little residential development here, guests find a relaxing atmosphere in which to enjoy nature. Iowana Beach Resort is an angler's paradise offering excellent fishing on Portage Lake as well as close proximity to world-class fisheries like Lake Winnibigoshish and Leech Lake.
Nodak Lodge
15080 Nodak Drive
Bena, MN  56626
Phone: (218) 665-2226
Toll Free: (800) 752-2758
Web:
www.nodaklodge.com

Nodak Lodge is located on Lake Winnibigoshish in the heart of the Chippewa National Forest in northern Minnesota.  A visit to our resort puts you on over 58,000 acres of prime fishing water and in the center of 660,000 acres of national forest waiting for you to explore!  We are a full service resort open year round ready to help you meet all your recreation needs whether it be fishing, hunting or simply a long overdue family get-a-way!  If you are looking for a place to relax, a new fishing or hunting spot, or would like to introduce the family to the beautiful Minnesota north woods, we can help make your trip a comfortable one with memories to last a lifetime.
Sunset Beach Resort
14703 Portage Road NE
Bena, MN 56626
Phone: (218) 665-2324
Web:
www.fishsunset.com

Portage Lake is a 60' deep, 1500 acre lake located in the heart of the Chippewa National Forest.  You won't find the lake crowded with other people or a lot of boats.  There are just two resorts and 12 private homes on its 7.5 miles of shoreline.   It is about 4 miles from your cottage door to two of Minnesota's largest lakes - Winnibigoshish and Leech Lakes. If you so desire, we will make arrangements for you to take a guided launch trip there.  You won't need a guide to catch fish on Portage Lake, as we have the correct bait and the right tackle and information and will send you in the right direction.  Portage Lake is occasionally stocked with northern pike, and the DNR stocks it with walleyes on a regular basis - over 10 million in the last 5 years.  You will also catch crappies, perch and largemouth bass.

Campgrounds:
New Leech Lake Campground
12962 Sunset Beach Road NW
Bena, MN 56626
Phone: (218) 654-3785
Web:
www.leechlakecampground.com

We have a variety of campsites and generally have plenty of room available. You can camp in one of our primitive areas or have electricity, water and sewer if you want them to hook your camper up to.


Businesses:
Becker's Resort
17048 Wild Rice Drive NW
Bena, MN 56626
Phone: (218) 665-2268
Toll Free:
(800) 348-1329
Web:
www.beckersresort.com
Becker's Resort, Bena Minnesota
Lake Winnibigoshish is the fourth largest lake in Minnesota, noted for its excellent walleye, northern & perch fishing. The state record Muskie has been taken out of Winnibigoshish. The uninhibited shoreline is beautifully wooded with pine, birch, oak, and maple trees. There is deer, duck and grouse hunting in seasons.  Resident and non-resident fishing licenses are available on site.  We also offer a full line of tackle, outboard motors, gas, boat & pontoon rentals, excellent fish cleaning facilities (fish cleaning available), freezer service, and ice. Our ultra modern, four season cabins have 2 or 3 bedrooms and are fully furnished. They include built-in ranges and ovens, microwaves, refrigerators, color television, dishes, and cooking utensils. Bed linens are provided, but guests are asked to furnish their own towels.  Cabins are clean and attractive with comfortable furniture and stand at the edge of the Mississippi River where they command a picturesque view and receive every cooling breeze. Cabins are well spaced for privacy.
Bena City Hall
Bena, MN 56626
Phone: (218)
665-2261
 
Big Fish
456 US Highway 2 NE
Bena, MN 56626
Phone: (218) 665-2333
Big Fish Supper Club, Bena, MN
The Big Fish Supper Club is on Hwy. 2 just outside of Bena, Minnesota, about halfway between Bemidji and Grand Rapids. The restaurant itself is in a normal building beside the fish. At one point, there was a hamburger stand inside the fish's belly, but that's long since been closed. Now it's just a roadside oddity. Fun tip: you can stand inside the mouth and pose for a picture. They only put the teeth in during the summer, though.
Big Winnie Bar
Bena, MN 56626
Phone: (218) 665-2265
Big Winnie Bar, Bena Minnesota
Big Winnie Cafe
122 County Road 8
Bena, MN 56626
Phone: (218) 665-2377
Big Winnie Cafe, Bena Minnesota
Big Winnie Resort & General Store
1510 US Highway 2 NE
Bena, MN 56626
Phone: (218) 665-2565
Web:
www.historicwinnieresort.com

Winnibigoshish General Store and Resort is one of the most famous sites in Northern Minnesota. This Federally recognized historic landmark has been serving Minnesotans since 1932.

Big Winnie Resort & General Store, Bena Minnesota
Big Winnie Trading Post
1526 US Highway 2 NE
Bena, MN 56626
Phone:
none

Now Closed

Big Winnie Trading Post, Bena Minnesota
Chain of Lakes Cabins
2290 US Highway 2 NW
Bena, MN 56626
Phone: (218) 665-2217
 
Cherney's Resort
13887 6 Mile Lake Road NE
Bena, MN 56626
Phone: (218) 665-2271
Web:
www.cherneysresort.com
Cherney's Resort is the only lodging on Six Mile Lake located six miles from Bena, Minnesota. It has been owned and operated by the Cherney family since 1945. All cabins are lakeshore and surround the lodge which is a nightly gathering spot. Not only is Cherney's a great fishing location, but its uniqueness of being the only resort on the lake makes it a retreat back to the days of giving your kids freedom to roam by themselves.
Denny's Resort
PO Box 8
Bena, MN 56626
Phone: (218) 665-2222
Toll Free: (888) 665-2298
Web:
www.dennysresort.com
 
Denny's Resort is a thirteen acre, year around resort located conveniently in the Chippewa National Forest where you can see native wildlife such as the American Bald Eagle, deer. ducks and occasionally bears (oh, and fish too). Enjoy a scenic ride by car, boat, bike or even hike to absorb the spectacular summer days or nights and the other beautifully colored seasonal settings.  These are a few things you can start your vacation with in the "Northwoods" of Minnesota on or beside our 60,000 acre lake!
Four Seasons Resort
952 River Drive NW
Bena, MN 56626
Phone: (218) 665-2231
Toll Free: (800) 525-0457
Web:
www.fishingwinnie.com
Four Seasons Resort, Bena, MN
We offer the best of the river, the best of the lake, and the best vacation you can take! Our accommodations include modern, fully furnished housekeeping units plus a campground with complete hookups designed for your convenience. For those desiring a vacation from cooking, we also have complete dining facilities.  We have everything the fisherman needs: tackle, live bait, licenses, gas, oil, boat and motor rental, a concrete boat ramp for ease in launching your boat, covered docks, a lighted, screen fish cleaning house, and a guide service - all you have to do is catch the fish ! See Rates for more information and packages.
Iowana Beach Resort
14877 Iowana Beach Road NW
Bena, MN 56626
Phone: (218) 665-2311
Toll Free: (877) 665-2311
Web:
www.iowanabeach.com
Iowana Beach Resort, Bena, MN
Iowana Beach Resort is nestled into the Chippewa National Forest on the shores of beautiful Portage Lake in Northern Minnesota, midway between Grand Rapids and Bemidji Minnesota. With only two resorts on the lake and little residential development here, guests find a relaxing atmosphere in which to enjoy nature. Iowana Beach Resort is an angler's paradise offering excellent fishing on Portage Lake as well as close proximity to world-class fisheries like Lake Winnibigoshish and Leech Lake.
Johnson Lumber Company
15149 W Winnie Road NE
Bena, MN 56626
Phone: (218) 665-2368
 
Lake Country Communications
Bena, MN 56626
Phone: (218) 665-2579
 
McArdles Resort
1014 W Winnie Road NW
Bena, Minnesota 56626
Phone: (218) 665-2212
Toll Free: (800) 535-2398
Web:
www.mcardlesresort.com
 McArdle's Resort
We are located on the mouth of the Mississippi River entering Lake Winnibigoshish.  From our natural harbor you can travel mile after mile and view Lake Winnie's virgin shoreline. Lake Winnibigoshish is one of the finest Walleye, Perch and Northern Pike lakes in the state. This lake is a great producer of fish. As a general rule, the best time to fish is: Walleye - May to the first week in July and Mid August until freeze up. Northern Pike - July through October. Large Perch bite well all year! During the summer, on our well kept grounds, you will find the heated swimming pool for our registered guests. Also overlooking the waters edge is our dining room with reservations served at designated hours. Snowmobilers can enjoy miles of groomed trails in Minnesota wilderness while the ice fisherman and his family can enjoy catching Lake Winnie's famous perch
New Leech Lake Campground
12962 Sunset Beach Road NW
Bena, MN 56626
Phone: (218) 654-3785
Web:
www.leechlakecampground.com

We have a variety of campsites and generally have plenty of room available. You can camp in one of our primitive areas or have electricity, water and sewer if you want them to hook your camper up to.

Nodak Lodge
15080 Nodak Drive
Bena, MN  56626
Phone: (218) 665-2226
Toll Free: (800) 752-2758
Web:
www.nodaklodge.com
Nodak Lodge is located on Lake Winnibigoshish in the heart of the Chippewa National Forest in northern Minnesota.  A visit to our resort puts you on over 58,000 acres of prime fishing water and in the center of 660,000 acres of national forest waiting for you to explore!  We are a full service resort open year round ready to help you meet all your recreation needs whether it be fishing, hunting or simply a long overdue family get-a-way!  If you are looking for a place to relax, a new fishing or hunting spot, or would like to introduce the family to the beautiful Minnesota north woods, we can help make your trip a comfortable one with memories to last a lifetime.
Northstar Resort
584 Northstar Drive NE
Bena, MN 56626
Phone: (218) 654-3330
 
Safari Imports
987 River Drive NW
Bena, MN 56626
Phone: (218) 665-2224
 
Sunset Beach Resort
14703 Portage Road NE
Bena, MN 56626
Phone: (218) 665-2324
Web:
www.fishsunset.com
Portage Lake is a 60' deep, 1500 acre lake located in the heart of the Chippewa National Forest.  You won't find the lake crowded with other people or a lot of boats.  There are just two resorts and 12 private homes on its 7.5 miles of shoreline.   It is about 4 miles from your cottage door to two of Minnesota's largest lakes - Winnibigoshish and Leech Lakes. If you so desire, we will make arrangements for you to take a guided launch trip there.  You won't need a guide to catch fish on Portage Lake, as we have the correct bait and the right tackle and information and will send you in the right direction.  Portage Lake is occasionally stocked with northern pike, and the DNR stocks it with walleyes on a regular basis - over 10 million in the last 5 years.  You will also catch crappies, perch and largemouth bass.

Aerial Photo  


View Larger Map


Topographic Map: [click photo to enlarge, zoom in or zoom out]

Topographic map of the Bena Minnesota area
Topographic map is courtesy of the Minnesota DNR - click map to zoom or enlarge
 

 

 
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