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Downtown Grand Marais 2nd Edition is in stores

Brian Larsen


Grand Marais historian Gene Glader has just published his second book about the history of downtown Grand Marais. The book will be on local store shelves just in time for Christmas or it can be purchased online from Amazon books. 
Staff photo/Brian Larsen Grand Marais historian Gene Glader has just published his second book about the history of downtown Grand Marais. The book will be on local store shelves just in time for Christmas or it can be purchased online from Amazon books. Staff photo/Brian Larsen Eugene (Gene) Glader is back with the second edition of Downtown Grand Marais, an expanded version containing a brief history of the first hotels, the harbor, and Wisconsin Street. It makes an excellent companion to his first book and is a great read.

History buffs will find this book absorbing. People that love Grand Marais will want to learn more about what made this richly colored little bayside town what it is today. The photographs are great and tell their story.

Here is a snippet from Mr. Glader’s book.

“From 1910 to 1911 an ad in the Cook County News-Herald advertised room rates for $1.00, $1.50, and $2.00 a day. The rooms, said the ad, were newly papered and painted with a first class buffet in connection with the Broadway Hotel.”

That’s just one morsel taken from Gene’s first book—a historical look at downtown Grand Marais.

When Glader’s first book Downtown Grand Marais came out, it quickly found an audience and sold out. That left Glader in a quandary. The first effort had taken quite a bit of time to research and write. Should he continue with the second effort about downtown Grand Marais, especially the harbor section that he left out of his first book? Or should he call his first book good enough and give up his pursuit?

“I guess I received enough encouragement, and my health was still good, so I decided to go ahead and pursue writing the second edition,” Glader said recently over coffee.

This version is updated, and expanded to include 50 more pages and photographs than his first manuscript.

“I started to learn more about the business north of Wisconsin Street and the businesses on the harbor, but the project got bigger and bigger,” he said.

As he continued his research, he included the history of the east and west side of the harbor. His second book also contains more information about some of the businesses missing from his first tome. It also adds photo progressions of buildings, showing what they were and what they later became. The research is first-rate and the book extremely well sourced.

When asked what started him down the path to research and write historical works, Glader exclaimed, “I always had a personal interest in history which grew as I grew older. My first book, if you want to call it that, was my Ph.D., ‘A History and Philosophy of Amateurism in Sports.’ I guess that was my start.”

As Gene pointed out, Downtown Grand Marais 2nd Edition couldn’t have been done without a lot of assistance. “I’m sure more than 100 people helped me with this project,” he said. “I’m very grateful for all of the support that I have received and truly couldn’t have done either of these books without a lot of aid.”

Before moving to Grand Marais, from 1961-1981, Gene spent 20 years as a teacher and track and cross country coach at Bethel College. He is a graduate of Bethel (AA), Wheaton College (BA), and the University of Minnesota (MA) and the University of Iowa (Ph.D.). He served two years in the U.S. Army and taught high school for three years before his employment at Bethel College.

Gene and his wife Laurene moved to Cook County in 1981 when they purchased Cascade Lodge, the restaurant and Blue Water Café in Grand Marais. After conducting research about the 75th anniversary of Cascade Lodge, Glader chronicled the history of the business. In 2004 the couple sold the lodge and one year later sold Blue Water Café.

As long as he stays healthy, Glader, who woke up one morning in 2007 to find himself paralyzed from the waist down, said he would keep writing. The mysterious ailment that put him down didn’t keep him down. He continues to play tennis and continues to serve on the Cook County Tennis Association and is a very active grandpa as well as a writer.

“I guess I love history and love to learn new things about the past continually,” he said with a broad smile and a twinkle in his eye.


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2016-11-26 digital edition


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