LEINOS RESORT has been in the Leino family since 1937 when Ellen (Kananen) and Eino Leino began operating the resort along with the grocery store with a dance hall upstairs. The Riverside Dance Hall was a local institution with dances every Saturday Night.
Ellen was an elementary teacher until she retired, and Eino was a butcher by trade and played the accordion with his band.
Upon their passing in the middle '80's, Bruce and Sandy Leino began operating the resort from their business at THE HILL, which they purchased in 1972 after graduating from graduate school.
THE HILL, which began as a Liquor Store in 1934 and continued as a bar until we began adding a fireplace lounge, restaurant, dining room, a laundromat, and the motel with a log lodge in the 1980's.
In the early 1990's the HARBOR BAR and RESORT was purchased from Mary Mudra. Years later, the bar was closed and most cabins were removed to make room for our new HARBOR CAMPGROUND, which was installed with water, electricity and sewer.
Docking and launching of boats is also available. Reservations for a campsite can be made at LEINOS RESORT by calling 218/659/4299.
After selling THE HILL in 2001, we moved to the resort and began building, remodeling and removing older cabins.
Sandy Leino opened a new GIFT SHOP in the store building in 2012. Along with the assistance of son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Brigitte Leino and their hardworking children Brock, granddaughter Kennedi, daughter Kari, and her husband Cory Smith, the resort maintains the family tradition of welcoming both new and ongoing customers.
New for 2018 will be the addition of "The Pub" which Cory and Kari Leino Smith plan to have up and running for the 2018 fishing opener. The pub will be incorporated into the gift shop located along Hwy 46 on the resort grounds. Watch for updates and photos as they become available!
Bruce's grandfather Emil Kananen emigrated from Finland in 1904 and built a log trading post in Squaw Lake in 1905.
Emil began trading furs with the local Indians for basic essentials like milk from his cow, sugar, salt, flour, coffee and tea; He purchased these items from towns like Bena (a two day trip) and Blackduck.
He married a mail order bride from Finland who was an indentured servant in Boston to pay for her passage and raised 4 children. His two boys continued and expanded the fur business by hiring buyers from as far away as North Dakota and northern Canada.
They were also pioneers in the wild rice industry and were even able to open the market for wild rice in New York because of their close personal and business relationships with the Rothschild family developed during their years of fur bargaining.
So the Leino family (Kananen) has been in continuous business in Squaw Lake for over 110 years and look forward to continue providing quality customer service.