Camp Van Vac History

There's a Past in Your Future

Nancy Tubbs currently manages Camp Van Vac. Camp's founders were Nancy's Great Aunt Kate, a school teacher, and Great Uncle Van Vacton Harris, who worked as a railroad and timber man. With the help of their Finnish neighbors, they began building log and stone cabins here in 1917. The first was today's cabin 6, where they lived and Kate conducted an early version of pre-school, teaching English to the young Finnish immigrants and neighborhood American Indian children who would soon enter public school. Kate designed the cabin floor plans. Van, a bear-chested timber cruiser, could wield an axe for hours.

Nancy's parents, Buell and Winnie Tubbs, began managing Camp in 1946. Over the next 38 years, they set the tone for today's rustic resort. Kerosene lanterns were replaced by electricity, and guests no longer had to walk to the spring for water. Nancy Tubbs came on board in 1984 to maintain Camp's 1917 flavor. Camp still features wild woods, a clear lake, cabins at the edge of the wilderness, and guests who come back to bring their children to savor it all, even to the fourth and fifth generations.

Camp Van Vac | 2714 Van Vac Lane | Ely, Minnesota 55731
218-365-3782 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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