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A Nostalgic Walk Down Memory Lane With Real Stories From Boyd Lodge Guests

Recalling positive memories often brings forth emotionally charged moments rooted in time spent with loved ones. Whether it’s birthdays, weddings, holidays, reconnecting with relatives, or simply feeling the warmth of togetherness, the joyful time we spend together gets deeply ingrained in our hearts. As Boyd Lodge and our valued guests celebrate an incredible 90 years, another classification of core memory emerges: the resort vacation. If we’re lucky, we have experienced more than a few of these nostalgic adventures—time spent in the sunshine, reflecting on the year, and taking part in activities we love with those we love even more. 

Reflecting on Boyd Lodge’s journey from a 1934 fishing lodge to the upcoming celebratory events in 2024, a captivating timeline unfolds. From the beginning, pivotal moments like passing the torch to the next generations and renovations made to the beautiful grounds mark this incredible past. Yet, what truly blankets this timeline are the bonds formed, the fun had, and the enduring core memories made that will last a lifetime.

Among these markers on the timeline are the memories shared by Jerry and Judy Ryan of Crossville, Tennessee:

My wife, Judy, and I have spent our annual two week vacation at Boyd Lodge for several years. We live in a lakefront home in the mountains of East Tennessee and often wonder why we travel 17 hours each way to enjoy the super nice folks at Boyd Lodge. It’s because we love it and it’s worth it!

To celebrate Boyd Lodge’s 90th anniversary celebration I thought I’d share a couple stories. 

My very first year taking Judy up to Minnesota, not long after we were married, we rented a boat and went onto Whitefish Lake to do some fishing. I enjoyed telling her about the fun vacations I had over the years and all the great fishing I had experienced. On the day we began our fishing adventures, it wasn’t long before Judy snagged a really nice sized Northern Pike. As she was reeling it in she was yelling with excitement, “get the net, get the net!” I jumped to my feet and began searching around the boat for the net but it was nowhere to be found. The fish was too big to get into the boat by hand so it ended up getting away. That was many years ago but I am often reminded as we load the boat for a day of fishing, “don’t forget the net.”

Two years ago, on Whitefish Lake, we had been fishing for a few hours with not a nibble. As we started to think about leaving, Judy, the more persistent one of the two of us, suggested we give it a few more minutes. She so badly wanted to catch at least one fish! She recalled years past when, while staying at Boyd Lodge, she caught several three, four and five pound Northern Pikes.   

So I came up with an idea! The good Lord has been good to us over the years and has blessed us and responded to our prayers. I decided to give it a try and say a short prayer while sitting on my end of the boat. I simply asked God to let Judy catch at least one fish before our vacation came to an end.

I promise you, this is a true story!

It wasn’t five minutes later that Judy got a strike as a rather large Northern Pike broke water about 30 feet from the boat, bending her fishing pole to the near breaking point. She spent several minutes trying to reel the fish in as it fought, pulling more line out from her reel. Once again she began excitedly yelling, “get the net, get the net!” I grabbed it, and leaned over the boat to capture the monster when it broke water and landed on top of the net. Since the fish was larger than our net, I couldn’t get it in before it flipped and broke the line. It was really exciting . . . and disappointing that it got away. After this exhilarating occurrence, we realized that my prayers were answered. Five minutes after I asked for a fish, during a no-bite two week vacation, Judy caught a fish!

And it kept happening! A few minutes later, Judy snagged another large Northern Pike. Again, she was able to reel it in to the side of the boat, and again it fought and flipped and broke the line. But, we saw the fish up close and had a fun time. A few minutes later I was sitting next to her with my line in the water and she caught a third one! This time we were able to get it into the net and take a picture of it before releasing it. I’m a believer and always have been. Ask and you shall receive. Amen!

With or without catching fish we have always enjoyed our visits to Boyd Lodge. They have been the highlight of our retirement years.

Boyd Lodge has evolved over the years in ownership and in look, but what hasn’t changed is what it means to people. When a guest can recall specific details of a fishing trip and the way they felt, it says that time spent here is meaningful, that the moments have stayed with them, and that they likely always will. And that is something worth celebrating.