Joyce Estate, Chippewa National Forest Road 2144, 3 miles north of County Road 335, Grand Rapids, Itasca County, MN
Significance: During the first three decades of the twentieth century, northern Minnesota's scenic woodland-and-lake region developed a national reputation as a vacation area. As part of this general tourist boom, wealthy Chicagoan David Gage Joyce in 1915 carved out a large forested tract around Trout Lake in Itasca County for his personal use as a summer retreat. As the heir to a vast lumber fortune, Joyce had the financial resources to plan his resort on a grand scale. His models were the opulent "Great Camps" of the Adirondacks region of New York State. Although the utilitarian log architecture of the Joyce Estate was no match for the Swiss Chalet fantasies of the Great Camps, Joyce managed to to capture the essence of the Eastern prototypes their ability to create a sense of wonder. Joyce accomplished this feat by equipping his retreat with numerous unexpected amenities, combining rustic pleasures with civilized comforts. His private telephone cable, electric lighting, hot-water system, greenhouse, landscaped grounds, and golf course were all splendidly improbably in a region just emerging from its homestead era. Joyce commenced work on his estate in the spring of 1917 and most facilities were in place by the mid-1920s. After Joyce's death in 1937, the estate remained in his immediate family's possession until the death of his only child in 1972. Two years later, the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service purchased the property for the Chippewa National Forest.
Survey number: HABS MN-146