Mary Bugbee, Jack's mother, was the driving force and visionary of the resort. The building of the first cottage (pictured at right), primarily a rain shelter, in 1921 signaled the start of an era. At that time paved roads were nonexistent and the only access to the property was by a rambling, twisting logging trail. The lack of easy road access did not deter the building of five more cottages by 1946. All of the cottages were 20 feet wide x 22 or 24 feet long and had no running water or plumbing. Over 1,000 feet apart, at each end of the property, were springs and they carried all of the drinking water back to the cottages.
Jack returned from the Navy and purchased interest in the property in 1946. Property was appraised in 1947 and 26 acres of land with five cottages was valued at $27,000. Four additional cottages were added and Jack and his mom jointly ran the resort until Mary's death in 1971.
Because Jack grew up on the lake, he was an admirer of the diving tower at Van's Beach. When he bought into the resort, he began to explore a way to have a diving tower at Bug-Bee Hive. To this day it is the only remaining tower on the lake. Insurance coverage is a high expense, but Bugbee feels it is worth the investment for people to have the option to use the tower. Many of the youth using the tower take that one memory away from the Hive.
The theme presented with the Bugbee name has been carried out in the naming of all the cottages: Wasp Nest, Lazy Bee, Honey Bee, Hornet's Nest, Yellow Jack, Baybee, Drone, Bumble Bee, and Keeper of the Bees.
Many changes have taken place since the 1940s in terms of the lake. For example, the whole shoreline has changed dramatically. In the 40s many more hills and low areas existed. At that time people tended to build on hills to achieve a good view of the lake. Overall, the lake was not used as extensively as it is today. During the 40s and 50s lakeshore property became more valuable. In terms of the resort, they needed to utilize all of their property. In 1946 they had 30 feet taken off a steep hill to make it easier to access the lake. See picture at right before hill was excavated. In 1947 they contracted to have a hill cut down into a low wet area. This area was developed into attractive lake level property.
Bugbee purchased an additional 24 acres in 1967 and developed a thriving recreational vehicle campground. Thirty sites share 400 feet of beach and the docking system can handle approximately 40 boats. Sticking with the "bee" theme, the RV Park is called "King Bee Camp."
Paul Bugbee, Jack and Audrey's son, assumed management in 1988 and continues with this job today. Since 1990 ambitious building, remodeling, and expansion projects have been ongoing and Bug-Bee Hive Resort now offers 20 lake homes or suites for visiting tourists.
The beach as it is today.
This is the 82nd year of operation for the Bug-Bee Hive Resort. Twelve hundred feet of lakeshore are involved in the resort. That which started as a supplemental business has turned into a big business today. Over 1,000 guests visit the Hive each summer and another 1,000 utilize the King Bee Camp. The third generation of family is involved and they confidently look forward to the challenges of the new millennium. As long as I can glance over to the Hive and see all the activity, I'll confidently know that many people will share in my view from the lake.
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