Known as the “Root Beer Lady” and “Nightingale of the Wilderness”, Dorothy Molter lived alone on the Isle of Pines on Knife Lake in Minnesota for more than 56 years until her death in 1986. With no electricity and other modern conveniences, she sold homemade root beer to the 7,000 people who visited her each year. It was cooled by ice hand cut from the lake and stored in a non-refrigerated ice house. After the Isle of Pines Resort was forced to shut down due to the Wilderness Act, she was the only resident in a canoe wilderness area 3 times the size of Rhode Island. Friends circulated petitions in order that her property not be condemned and she be allowed to stay. The U.S. Government granted her lifetime tenancy in 1975. After Dorothy’s death, her two cabins were dismantled and transported by dogsled and snowmobile to Moose Lake, and then on to Ely where volunteers opened a museum so Dorothy’s story could be preserved for future generations. And of course root beer is sold.
P.S. Inspiration for Twin Peaks Log Lady?