From the "Spanish flu" in 1918 to the coronavirus in 2020, the history of the 105-year-old East Silent Lake Resort in Dent is bookended by two pandemics.

In 1915, “it was started by a fellow by the name of Charles Bublitz and he was a traveling minister,” current owner Andy Leonard said to the Focus in a phone interview. Bublitz originally bought the land to serve as a place for his family and friends to gather.

Not much is known about how the resort fared during its history’s first pandemic, the Spanish flu, which lasted for 15 months into 1919.

“I have to imagine even if it wasn’t a fully functioning resort, because it was meant for family gatherings, I’m assuming that they had challenges and faced things similar to what we are facing today," Leonard said.

A cabin at East Silent Lake Resort in 1937. (Submitted photo)
A cabin at East Silent Lake Resort in 1937. (Submitted photo)
The Resort Lodge at modern day East Silent Lake Resort. (Submitted photo)
The Resort Lodge at modern day East Silent Lake Resort. (Submitted photo)

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According to Leonard, East Silent Lake Resort eventually grew into the vacation spot that it is today, 105 years and five owners later. However, due to the current pandemic, this summer will look different than past years, Leonard said.

A typical summer at East Silent Lake Resort each sees about 100 to 125 people a week. “I definitely think that we will have guests who choose not to come,” Leonard said.

Leonard said that the resort offers more than 50 acres of space. With limited events planned and social-distancing guidelines in place, the resort still plans to host guests this summer. “We’re going to do our best to allow people to be able to come and gather, but it’s going to look different,” Leonard said.

More info

  • What: East Silent Lake Resort
  • Where: 30424 410th St., Dent
  • Phone: 800-242-6904
  • Online: eastsilentresort.com

Charles Bublitz (left) with his daughter Louise Johannaberg (right) and her son Billy Jahannaberg at East Silent Lake Resort in 1926. (Submitted photo)
Charles Bublitz (left) with his daughter Louise Johannaberg (right) and her son Billy Jahannaberg at East Silent Lake Resort in 1926. (Submitted photo)