top of page

Cottage Chronicles
Croftville Road Cottages History

About Croftville...

A century ago Croftville was a bustling community of independent fishermen; hardworking families of pioneers harvesting the abundant fish of Lake Superior for shipment to inland seaports throughout the great lakes. Their work was difficult and sometimes dangerous but their spirit prevailed and was a historic part of the building of this beautiful shoreline. Fishermen would skid their boats up out of the raging lake on long logs; thereby keeping them from being smashed to bits on the rocky shoreline. Today the commercial fishing in Croftville is gone but some of the private residences still have their original fish houses remaining. The lake remains a spectacular part of one of America's favorite areas for breathtaking views and lush wilderness for everyone to experience, treasure, and enjoy.

Croftville Road...

Commercial fishing changed in Croftville when the highway was built in the 1930's. Fishermen began selling their fish to the public right from their fish houses. They also began to rent out cabins for vacationers who now had easy access via the highway. Croftville Road is a 1.5 mile stretch of the original North Shore Highway that winds closely to the shore of Lake Superior offering magnificent vistas at every turn. In the 1960's Highway 61 was rerouted up above the old highway leaving Croftville Road to become the lesser traveled "walking road" as it is now known.

Croftville Road Cottages...

The property that Croftville Road Cottages is located on has belonged to a number of fishing families from 1890 to 1928. Past owners include Frederick and Annie Jackson, William McLaunie, Frank and Susan Fallant, W. J. Horner, Joseph and Jenny Croft, Karl Johnson, and Edward and Anna Johnson. The Crofts who were part of the large family (many of whom still have property here) that Croftville is named after. In 1928 the property became the home of the Carlson family who sold fish at their fish houses into the 1970's. Margaret Carlson still lives next door and still owns the fish house she and her husband once operated. In 1973 Bill and Sylvia Mueller bought the Croftville Road Cottages property. Bill Mueller put a new foundation under the house, relocated the cottages to their current locations and then did a series of additions to both the cottages and house. He rented the cottages out as vacation units, ran a store in the basement of the house, and ran a small campground. After Bill Mueller's death the property remained unoccupied for many years until his son, Keith Mueller, sold the property in 2003 to Mike and Teresa Chmelik and Phil and Paige Kochan.

Croftville Road Cottages...

The Chmeliks with the help of their good friends, the Kochans, purchased their dream property to raise their family in the summer of 2003. That summer and fall was spent making the house habitable while the pregnant Teresa and son Joey lived in a borrowed camper trailer until Halloween. Mike was still commuting to work in Rochester. 2004 was spent cleaning the property up after years of neglect and making plans. 2005 and 2006 were used to extensively renovate the cottages. Croftville Road Cottages opened for business on January 1, 2007. In 2011 the Chmeliks decided it was time to expand the business and renovate the house. In June they bought a 37ft travel trailer to live in and serve as an office during the renovation. In December a variance for a 3 phase expansion was granted by the Board of Adjustment. Phase 1 involves reconstructing the house into the main inn for the resort. The building will provide living quarters for the Chmeliks, an office, and 5 vacation suites with private entrances. Phase 2 will add 3 lakeside cottages to the east of the inn. Phase 3 will add a laundry/garage/shop across the road from the inn. The Chmeliks were able to secure financing for Phase 1 in June 2013 after the deconstruction/demolition of the old house had already begun. The reconstruction began in August 2013.

bottom of page