Mark and Kathy Zup are no strangers to the Northland. Both are Ely, Minnesota natives, with over 76 years experience between them. Mark grew up at the resort and followed in his father's
footsteps by beginning his canoe outfitting business at age 16. Their family is rounded out by daughters Raychal (son-in-law Alex and granddaughter, Claire and grandson, Jack)
and daughter Jennifer and our granddogs, Benelli and Maverick. The island is also home to their yellow labs, "Dawson
This season marks our 80th anniversary in the tourism industry and also welcomes Jennifer Zup as a partner. We could not be more proud to continue our tradition with the addition of our daughter on staff!
"A Quality Vacation" is guaranteed to all, and
includes one on one attention to all who enter their door.
The history of Zup’s is about a man and his dream. We like to call him a legend around these parts… and he truly was… Bill Zup Sr. began catering to fisherman at the
tender age of 16. After borrowing a small amount of money, he began building a fishing camp at the top of Curtain Falls on Crooked Lake in 1936. He flew his clients into the wilderness from Ely in Wako seaplanes. After a battle
with the government during the 60s, with new restrictions on motors and resorts in the “Wilderness Area,” Bill was forced to move from Crooked Lake.
With his dream still intact he began again in a new country, on a
different lake… Lac La Croix was where he settled… on the Canadian side
this time. Mark followed in his dad’s footsteps, with first hand
knowledge since birth, he began his canoe outfitting business also
at the age of 16. Bill passed away in 1989… but his dream of
catering to the outdoor enthusiast still remains intact. A small man
(only in stature) with a big story, he will always be missed around these
parts…79 years later his dreams remain with Mark & Kathy Zup and their wealth of wilderness knowledge.
Bill Zup Sr's Fishing Camp 1940s
Drawing by the late
Bob Cary - Ely, MN
|Bill Zup's Prayer
I pray that I may live to fish until my dying day...and when it comes to my last cast...then I most humbly
pray...when in the Lord's great landing net I lay, peacefully asleep...that in His mercy I be judged, big enough to keep. Amen