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Ralph Griffis

Ralph in 1958, shortly after buying Chik-Wauk

Ralph Griffis, last owner of Chik-Wauk Lodge, passed away on Saturday, February 9, 2013, in Harlingen, TX. He was 87.

A native Texan, Ralph bought Chik-Wauk with his wife in 1957. After the passage of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Act in 1978, Ralph and Bea sold the property to the federal government in 1980. Through a special agreement with the U.S. Forest Service, they continued to spend their summers on the Gunflint Trail in the stone lodge building until the late 1990s.

Ralph, with Bea, on the Chik-Wauk grounds in the mid 1970s.

Although Ralph and Bea never had a chance to visit Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center after it opened in their beloved lodge building in July 2010, they enthusiastically supported the project and the work of the Gunflint Trail Historical Society in every way possible.  Ralph provided the GTHS with countless photographs, artifacts, and stories for the museum and he helped ensure that the lodge building received recognition on the National Register of Historic Places.

Ralph and Bea at their 60th wedding anniversary celebration in 2009

Many museum visitors fondly remember the kindness of Ralph and Bea. Ralph is also remembered for his fishing prowess. Appropriately, Ralph’s ashes will be buried on the Chik-Wauk grounds this summer.

Ralph is survived by Bea, his wife of 64 years. Click here to view his full obituary or to sign the guestbook.

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