Jack Pine Lodge History The Legend Legend has it that Blaine Brannon won the original Jack Pine Lodge in a poker game in 1936. Then in 1945, he build a new lodge only a few feet from the original one on M94. The newer lodge is much the same as when Brannon built it from the material gathered around the area. All the beautiful wood interiors were created with wood cut from the area. The lodge’s tables, chairs and lamps are especially unique, contructed from pine roots and stumps, almost making them appear to be growing from the floor and walls.
From left to right: John / Whitey (Grandfather), Laura (Grandmother), Wanda (Mother), John (Father)
Our Connection to Jack Pine Traditions that Span Generations As with many memories and traditions that the Jack Pine Lodge holds, the Knaffla family holds one of them.
Kevin’s grandfather John Knaffla (nicknamed Whitey) was introduced to the Jack Pine Lodge on a hunting trip by one of his friends Johnny Lakosky in 1946. Whitey and Laura Knaffla , and Kevin’s father John started the family tradition by renting Lakosky’s Crooked Lake cabins located in the Hiawatha National Forest near the Jack Pine Lodge every summer and Deer season.
Kevin’s father spent his childhood coming up to this area and when he married his wife Wanda he continued to carry on the tradition with his family. Kevin, his three brothers John, Tim, and Alan all love this area and the tradition continues now with their wives and children.
With over sixty years of memories for the Knaffla family, Kevin was always determined to continue this tradition of fishing, hunting, hiking and enjoying the outdoor lifestyle.
Kevin met his wife Janet (Zynda) Knaffla in 1999. Janet came up to the Upper Peninsula in 1988, graduated from Northern Michigan University and lived in the Marquette area until they met. Janet along with Kevin enjoy the UP lifestyle so they started a UP based company called JZ Environmental Consultants in 2000 which has allowed them both to work in the UP. They moved to the Hiawatha National Forest area in 2003.
Pictured Above: Janet and Kevin
Blaine Brannon - rebuilt the current Jack Pine Lodge after a fire.
Jack Pine Lodge Historyin the Words of A Previous Owner "This place is colorful, historic, quaint in a masculine sort of way. Fishermen, hunters, campers, tourists, snowmobilers, sportsmen, are drawn to the wildlife, hunting, activities and natural attractions that surround. Most of the lodge’s business comes from longtime, loyal customers who treat the bar more as an old and trustworthy friend that they grew up with. This is a landmark. You certainly don’t want to change a thing." —Mrs. Basse, past owner from the 70's