Before housing the Ely Folk School, this spacious building at the top of the hill was home to Bourgin’s Dry Goods and later Gordon’s Dry Goods, Clothing and Shoe Store. Around 1949, Fisherman’s Headquarters and Canoe Outfitters was born into fruition. At some point the building expanded to fill two lots, making it large for an Ely store. In addition to maps and fishing equipment, the business also sold canoes and other boats and motors.
Later the building was home to the Ely Surf Shop, a 50’s style clothing store and restaurant. More recently, it held an extension of the Schurke’s Wintergreen clothing store, until 2009 when it became Toys in the Woods. The Ott family purchased the building shortly after, creating a space for Ely Folk School on the first floor and luxury apartments on the second.
Before we occupied the space, the Fisherman’s Headquarters building housed one full apartment on the second floor. In order to maximize space and support a mixed-use interior, we noticed that it could be split into three separate apartments: two that were accessible by the front door, and one in back side of the building.