A view of Torch from the porch – Peterson’s to re-open

Posted on June 5, 2010


Today on my way to the Artist Reception at Sonny’s I saw activity at Peterson’s. Doors open. Vehicles in the parking lot. Tim Peterson’s vehicle in particular. This looked promising. I stopped in. Tim was there, along with a bunch of familiar staffers, fluffing the place up for a private party on Sunday. He said yes, the restaurant is reopening, certainly by the Fourth of July weekend, and most likely before then. They’ll have service on the back deck, and a view of Torch Lake from the porch, and that Up North atmosphere everywhere. He promised to send me an email.  I promised to tell you.

Back in the old days, the Palmers sent postcards–and kept pet deer.

After the Palmers came the Callendars and after them the Ricciardis.  Tim lent me a stack of old photos and postcards showing the tavern as it was in the 1940s–maybe before, I’m sure someone will tell me. It was Was-Wa-Gun then–a Cottage Colony on Torch Lake.

Besides the log tavern, there were a dozen tiny cottages, a dock, a diving tower, and a fleet of canoes.

The menu was a little different, too. Wonder if I could talk Tim into a Lake Trout dinner for $1.75 for old times’ sake?

Was-Wa-Gun was a lively place.  There are stories about hot music, cold beer and dancing on the tables, told by people who haven’t so much as waltzed on the floor for a long time now.  Sort of an indoor Sandbar.  Today it’s quieter.  The logs were sided over years ago, during the Ricciardis’ time.  The one thing that hasn’t changed is that big stone chimney. 

I’m glad. I always liked the fireplace. I liked the pizza and the walleye and the draft beer.  I liked the collection of old newspaper posters and political campaign posters and Presidential Portraits.  I’m going over there as soon as Tim gets it open.  I’m planning on sitting on the porch.