Beaver House Bait Shop, Grand Marais, Minnesota
Although large corporate chains have made inroads with "sportsman" megastores, the independent bait shop still thrives in in the lake districts. The Beaver House in Grand Marais is a quintessential example of the form, with a home-made decor and a complete line of original tackle. The tasteful exterior decor seduces the timid with a promise of "Beaver Flicks" within. They are not the x-rated videos
that those inclined toward the baser desires may surmise, but instead merely small lures comprised of a hook, a brightly colored spinning fin and a small float to keep it off the rocks. "Good for all fish! Guaranteed or your money back!" The friendly mien of the proprietor makes it easy to spend a few dollars (or more!) on these colorful gadgets. The whole shop is an explosion of color, with the plastic wrappers refracting light in a thousand ways- there is a definite "aura" about the place. This is a family operation, and as close to folk art in a retail setting as you'll ever see. Grand Marais has been "upscaling" in recent years, I hope that the "Beaver House" will be spared that fate...