Birch Point Resort in rural Bloomer is celebrating its 100 year anniversary this summer. Paul Maire, co-owner with his brother Dave, said the resort was built in 1919. He believes the resort opened in the fall of that year. The resort sits on Marshmiller Lake.
According to “The History Of Marsh Miller’s Lake” by Emil Robert Gehring, Leon Stevens built the resort and his son Dick Stevens moved back from Milwaukee to run the resort with his father.
Paul Maire said that Dick Stevens owned and ran the resort up until 1967. He also said that it’s rumored that Al Copone used to stop in at Birch Point and the Gateway in Bloomer.
In 1967, Vern and Liz Ross bought the resort and owned it until 1985. In 1985, the Maires’ aunt and uncle, Elaine and Jim Stuckert bought the resort.
In 1993, Paul moved up here from Woodstock, Ill., to work at the resort with his aunt and uncle. In Illinois, Paul had worked for eight years at Dean Foods Trucking. He also boarded and trained horses while living in Illinois.
Paul and his brother Dave purchased the resort from the Stuckert’s in 1997 but, “Elaine still cooks at the resort 34 years later,” said Paul.
“She’s a phenomenal cook and we’re famous for our buffets and our food,” said Paul.
He also said, “I’m lucky that most of the staff have been here as long as me or even longer.”
Three years ago, Dave retired after 30 years at a graphic arts company and moved up here to help Paul run the resort.
Talking about the resort Paul said, “It’s just been phenomenal the business here. We’ve always had a great group of campers and a very loyal customer base. It’s always a great time here.”
Outdoor writer Mark Walters—whose column appears in the Bloomer Advance each week—agreed that Birch Point is a great place to stay. He said it’s one of two places in northern Wisconsin he’s willing to plug in his column because it’s so well run.
Walters has been coming to Birch Point at least once every year since before his daughter Selena, who just graduated from high school, was born. Mark and Selena were at the resort over the weekend of Aug. 10–11, because Selena chose going to Birch Point when asked what she wanted to do before heading off to college in two weeks.
Selena, who has been coming to the resort since she was 6-months old, said she loves it at the resort.
“It’s a pretty relaxed atmosphere with a lot of really nice people. The fishing’s always good,” said Selena. “It’s a nice place to come and relax and spend time with family and friends. I’ve met a lot of cool people up here. I really love northern Wisconsin.”
The resort has 120 campsites and eight cabins, a bar and a large dining room. There are docks on the lake for guests to tie up their boats, and the fishing is great.
The Fishing and The Lake
Both Mark and Selena said the fishing is always good on Marshmiller Lake which is named after Marshall Miller.
According to Gehring’s book, Miller bought the land the lake sits on and in 1883 he and partner L. C. Stanley received authorization from the State of Wisconsin to construct and maintain, or maintain, a dam across O’Neil Creek. Originally it was called Pettits Pond, then “The Pond,” until 1946 when, according to Gehring, Dick Stevens had the name “Marsh Millers” registered (although it’s Marshmiller on Chippewa County maps and the Wisconsin DNR website refers to it as Marsh-Miller).
If Gehring’s book is any indication, the fishing has always been good on the lake.
A Lot Of Work, But A Great Life
While the guests are relaxing and fishing Paul and his staff are making sure everything runs smoothly.
“No one would realize the number of miles and number of hours it takes to run a place like this,” said Paul.
But he also said it’s a perfect life for him because he just can’t sit still.
And after 26 years—which is probably one of the longest owned bars in the area—Paul said, “I still love it. I have a blast with the customers and friends.”