Picture of Jack Stone at Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply

I Wanted You to Know

By Jack Stone

In the early 1970s, I started working for a small outdoor shop in Sun Ray Shopping Center in St. Paul. When I left for the Army, the store was closed, and I kicked around for a little bit. In 1972 or 1973, I worked for a small start-up named The Lob Pine. EMS bought them out, and I went to work for Eddie Bauer, the premier outdoor shop in the country at that time. While working there, I found that I loved the quality gear, and I enjoyed working with like-minded customers.

I left Eddie Bauer to pursue the occupation I learned in the military in the petroleum industry. I worked at various companies, but I always spent my vacations and off time in the Grand Marais area (both summer and winter). And whenever I was up here, all I could think of was what I had at Eddie Bauer.

I continued to rock climb, climbing Devils Tower in 1979, which led me to quit smoking. I continued to canoe and camp. I did some fishing. But I missed the interaction with like-minded people and the quality outdoor gear. When I would come through Grand Marais, I would stop at other local shops, but I always thought the town could use another outdoor shop.

In June of 2010, after years of living in Grand Marais, I realized my dream and opened Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply. I was able to stock it with quality products and offer our customers rentals, tours, and advice. I met some great people, and I am not talking about the celebrities and names that you know. I met small business owners, farmers, schoolteachers, college students, etc., etc., from places near and far. We shared stories and adventures. For the past 12 years, I have been blessed with their presence.

Why am I saying all of this? Well, you will hear that I have put Stone Harbor on the market. Some people would like to buy my building but want to close the business. I really don’t want to do that–I would like to see this wonderful outdoor store continue in Grand Marais.

But I am getting a little older, and I need to start thinking of retirement. I will list Stone Harbor for a couple of months, and if it doesn’t sell, I will shut it down and sell the building. If that happens, I suspect we will be here through the winter and maybe into next summer, but all that depends on staffing and deadlines from other people. I just wanted you to hear it from me instead of through the grapevine.

Meanwhile, I will be here a lot, and it will be great to say hi. And I want every one of you to know how much I have valued your loyalty and friendship. Don’t be a stranger.

Image credit: Shawn Nielsen, Nielsen Studios

  1. MaryJun 06, 2022

    I’m so sad to hear this!!

  2. Mike BestgenJun 06, 2022

    Thank you Jack for everything you have done.

  3. martha williamsJun 06, 2022

    I agree with you 100% – Grand Marais needs this business, You’ve done an amazing job. It is a very very special place.

  4. YvonneJun 06, 2022

    Well well well. I wish you the best, Jack.

  5. Charles PetersJun 06, 2022

    Thank you for the news!

    Hope all new plans and adventures are fun and successful!!!

    Kindest Regards,

  6. Ruth DrakeJun 06, 2022

    Stopped in while home over the Holiday and really missed seeing you guys.
    Hope all works out for you and yours.
    Hope to see you at Mail Run. I’ll be home.
    Be Healthy! Be Happy!

  7. Ann JorgensonJun 06, 2022

    Jack I have enjoyed giving you a good ribbing over the years! Wherever this journey takes you, we wish you well! Your water festival have entertained many folks over the years! Thank you!

  8. Carl MadsenJun 06, 2022

    Thank you Jack, I’m so glad you are going to be able to enjoy retirement on your own terms. Jealous! See you at Trail Center more often?

  9. BrendaJun 06, 2022

    Congratulations on retirement! I come up to Grand Marais every year to visit family on the trail . Have truly enjoyed shopping your store, you and your store will be missed.

  10. AnonymousJun 07, 2022

    All the best to you. Love all the items I have purchased over the years from Stone Harbor!

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