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Gemmell Minnesota Community Guide


Location:

Gemmell was one of the largest logging communities in Minnesota in the early 1900's and evidence of this history is visible still in the logging shacks which sit among the swamps and bogs in the Gemmell area. Explore Kyro's Domain, the man who built his own railroad. Today, Gemmell is home to one of the largest bogs in the world. Snowmobilers can experience the Big Rock, a miniature mountain left by the glaciers millions of years ago. Enjoy great fishing and recreation on Clear, Dark and Little Dawson Lakes.


Population: 

Unincorporated


Geography:

Not available
 


Demographics:

Not available
 


History:  

Gemmell was first known as Stoner. The name was later changed to Gemmell in honor of W. H. Gemmell. He was the first road master of the Minnesota and International Railway. In November 1906 the Joseph Reinarz family moved to Gemmell, Minnesota from Neilsville, Wisconsin. They then proceeded to buy the Stoner Hotel, which was the first hotel built in Gemmell, from a Miss Aadberg. His son Hubert Reinarz later owned one of the largest cedar mills in Gemmell. Other large cedar mills in Gemmell included the National Pole Company, Page and Hill, American Cedar, Northern Cedar, Larson Bros., Oscar Fortenson, Martin Bros., and E. A. Johnson. There were also many other small cedar mills. Frank Miller built the first cedar mill in Gemmell which he later sold to Leon Hoyt. The National Pole Company's was thought to be the largest of them all.

Many people, like the Reinarzes, moved to Gemmell when the Minnesota and National Railway built tracks through Gemmell in 1905. They moved because of the promise of jobs that came with a growing city. Gemmell's main industry was cedar. It also had 17 hotels, an ice cream parlor, two schools, four or more restaurants, one gas station, one church, more than ten sawmills, and a number of other businesses. At its highest peak Gemmell had a population of 2,000 people and was known as the Cedar Capitol of America.

Then the town burned down because of a forest fire. Nobody ever found out who started it. All the mills burned down as well as many other business and homes. After the fire almost everybody left. Every night another group of people left on the train. The businesses that did not shut down burned down because of the decreasing population.

Now in the year 1998 Gemmell has only one business and a population of about 40 people. Now the once proud and prosperous town of Gemmell is a ghost town compared to what it was 90 years ago. It is not even a pale shadow of its former glory.

By Jamie Salmonson

 
Click for more Gemmell History
 

Gemmell Minnesota Street Scene, 1905
Gemmell Street Scene, 1905
From the Northome Bicentennial Book, 1977


Government:

Unincorporated


Post Office:

Gemmell Post Office opened in 1905 and closed in 1974. The first postmaster was A. Juleson. The Post Office is now a house for rent. The nearest Post Office is in Mizpah, about 5 miles away.

US Post Office
101 Woodland Avenue
Mizpah, MN 56660-2001
Phone: (218) 897-5034
Toll Free: (800) ASK-USPS
Web: www.usps.gov

Regular Business Hours:
Week Days      
8:30 am - 12:00 pm
                       
12:30 pm - 4:15 pm
Saturday           8:30 am - 10:00 am
 
Latest Collection at Post Office:
Week Days            4:30 pm
Saturday                4:30 pm

News:
Weather:

Click for Blackduck, Minnesota Forecast


Map:


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Minnesota State Highway Map of the Gemmell Minnesota area
Minnesota State Highway Map of the Gemmell Minnesota area


Events:

none


Attractions:

none


Recreation:

Pine Island State Forest

Pine Island State Forest, located in Koochiching County in northern Minnesota, is the largest of Minnesota's 58 state forests, encompassing 878,040 acres. •Pine Island State Forest is named for the pine habitat that emerges from forested and nonforested peatlands, bogs, and shrub swamps •Numerous species of orchids thrive in this scenic forest. Late May into June provides peak viewing for many of these beautiful wildflowers.

Pine Island State Forest, Gemmell Minnesota

Lakes:
Lake Name Size
(acres)
Lake info Lake Map Rec Map Topo Map
Clear 84
Dark 117

Health Care:

none


Schools:
Northome School
11731 Hwy 1 East
Northome, MN 56661
Phone: (218) 897-5275


Churches:
Gemmell Community Church
10609 Town Road 34
Mizpah, MN 56660
Phone: (218) 897-5966
Web:

Sunday School     9:00am
Sunday Worship  10:00am


Media:

none


Motels:

none


Resorts:
Clear Lake Resort
11070 County Road 25
Mizpah, MN 56660
Phone: (218) 897-5305
Web: www.clearlakeresort.net

Nestled between two lakes, Clear Lake Resort is amidst the pines, birch, maple, and poplar trees of Northern Minnesota. Great for a romantic weekender, hunting trip, or family getaway, here you will find an amazing vacation destination. Thank you for visiting our website and we look forward to helping with any of your upcoming resort vacations.


Campgrounds:

none


Businesses:
Back Achers Sawmill & Logging
10737 County Road 64
Mizpah, MN 56660
Phone:
(218) 897-5572 ‎
 
Clear Lake Resort
11070 County Road 25
Mizpah, MN 56660
Phone: (218) 897-5305
Web: www.clearlakeresort.net

Nestled between two lakes, Clear Lake Resort is amidst the pines, birch, maple, and poplar trees of Northern Minnesota. Great for a romantic weekender, hunting trip, or family getaway, here you will find an amazing vacation destination. Thank you for visiting our website and we look forward to helping with any of your upcoming resort vacations.

Max Dahl's Canvas Craft
11003 Town Road 300
Mizpah, MN 56660
Phone: (218) 897-5000
Web: www.dahlcanvas.com

If you are looking for the services of a first-rate canvas shop, you have come to the right place. In addition to canvas fabrication done in my own shop here in northern Minnesota, I also am a dealer for several top-notch canvas manufacturers.

 
Seretha North Fork Inc
10382 Seretha Lake Road
Mizpah, MN 56660
Phone:
(218) 897-5904 ‎
 

Aerial Photo:  


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

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

 

 
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