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Let us share the wonder and peace of our home in the Northwoods with you.

If you're fortunate, you get a week of vacation a year that you work hard for. We're honored to be able to host you for that week, show you the very best of the area and help you to make lifelong memories. We take this responsibility seriously. This is why we're proud to welcome back the same families, friends and outdoor enthusiasts year after year.
We hope to see you soon!

-Don, Joan & Cindy

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your friends in northern hospitality, since 1988

1983-1988

In 1983, Don Beans arrives in Ely and starts gaining experience working at local outfitters and resorts. Don and Joan meet on Jasper Lake, across the bay from
where their future would ultimately be in 1986.

In 1988, he opens the freelance guide business that will eventually become The Jasper Company.  

1989 - 2009

Purchase of the Jasper Lake property and construction of the family home, now known as The Bay House. Don and Joan marry in 1990. Cindy is born in 1991. 

2010 - 2021

The Guest House opens as the first vacation rental. In 2016, Jasper Company Bake Shop becomes Northern Grounds. 

2022

The Lake House will open for rentals and events!

Our lake front rentals are located on peaceful Jasper Lake, about 16 miles northeast of Ely, Minnesota.

We also offer in-town lodging options at the Stay Inn Ely - 112 West Sheridan Street in Ely. 

Guide and tow services are available from our Jasper Lake properties to many surrounding areas. For more information, check out our Guide Services page.

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Meet Your Hosts

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Don Beans

Don arrived in Ely during the April '83 thaw, where he started working at an outfitter and through out the following years he worked at various resorts and outfitters until opening his own freelance guide business in 1988. Don specializes in trophy smallmouth bass angling. Don offers a wide range of trip options and packages, for both overnight and day trips for their guests staying at A Stay Inn Ely and at vacation rental homes on Jasper Lake. In the off season, he enjoys wood working, as can be seen in the re-construction of A Stay Inn Ely, or by visiting Jasper Guest House, Bay House, Lake House and Northern Grounds. He enjoys hunting ducks & grouse with his Labrador retrievers and hiking the vast Northwoods in November after whitetail deer. 

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Joan is originally from Minneapolis, and is employed by the St. Louis County schools as a school psychologist and high school counselor. She has a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota. Her hobbies include scrapbooking and gardening at the Jasper Lake homestead where she tends to many raised beds of garden vegetables and flowers.

Cindy Smyka

Don and Joan's daughter, Cindy, attended the University of Wisconsin – Stout for Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management where she completed internships with the Biltmore Estates, Stockfarm Club and Hotel Sofitel. She studied Wine and Food Pairing at the Universitat de les illes Balears of Palma de Mallorca, Spain and obtained her Masters from Arizona State University in Sustainable Tourism Development. Drawn home in 2013, she rejoined the family business and in 2018, became the Executive Director of Visit Ely, MN and the Ely Area Tourism Bureau.