Lloyd Olson and Pine Grove Hotel

Pine Grove Hotel (from the EHF Archives)

The EHF’s newest exhibit, Home Away From Home: Ephraim’s Historic Hotels, opens Friday, June 14, 2019.  The exhibit includes stories about eleven of the community’s hotels and the individuals who established each business.  It was difficult to pick just one person to talk about from each hotel’s history, and there are countless individuals whose stories could also be told.  One such person is Lloyd Olson, the longtime proprietor of the Pine Grove Hotel.

The Pine Grove began in 1905, when a visitor arrived at Anderson Dock and walked to the nearby Jarman farm in search of accommodation.  The farm gradually turned into a hotel, run by Augusta (Gusty) Jarman and her mother, Christina.  In 1917, Gusty married Alfred Olson and the business continued to grow.

Lloyd Olson, c. 1945 (from the EHF Archives)

Lloyd Olson was part of the Pine Grove Hotel from his birth in 1911 until he sold the business over sixty years later.  The only child of Alfred and Gusty, Lloyd was his mother’s main assistant, doing whatever task needed to be done to help keep the hotel running smoothly.

In 1937, Lloyd married Marion Smejkal, and the couple helped run Pine Grove.  They took over its operation after Lloyd’s parents passed away in the mid-1950s and continued until the hotel was sold in 1972.  The lodge and some of the cottages were torn down while others were moved offsite, and a new establishment called Pine Grove Resort was built in its place.  Lloyd was active in the community, serving on the Ephraim Board of Trustees and as Village President.  He was recognized for his contributions to Ephraim in 1976 when he was elected Fyr Bal Chieftain.  Lloyd passed away in 1992 at the age of 81, twenty years after selling the hotel.

Visit the Anderson Barn Museum to learn more about Ephraim’s hotel history.  Home Away From Home: Ephraim’s Historic Hotels is on exhibit through October 12.

-Guest blogger Emily Irwin

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