Early settlers by the name of Ernest
& Katherine Smiley built a log
homestead at Cullen Creek just north
of old 371 (Lower Cullen Road), and
when surveyors platted the local
township of 36 square miles, they
named it Smiley.
In 1898 the U.S. Postmaster General
recognized the Smiley homestead as
an official Post Office, Village of
The trains, however, had trouble
stopping downgrade at the Smiley’s
on their northbound trip, and
starting upgrade when southbound. So
they picked up their funny little
depot and moved it south to the
crest of the incline. And thus was
our present village born!
Our famous little village was
conceived in 1897…and born as Smiley
in 1900…finally baptized as Nisswa
in 1908. In 1947 it became the
BIRTH OF A RESORT
On February 23, 1915, James &
Bridget Quinn took the plat of the
Smiley Subdivision to the Notary
Public for Crow Wing County, having
it renamed Nisswa Park-the very same
property where Nisswa (Smiley) was
born. Jim Quinn moved the old Smiley
cabin back in the woods (now Eagles
Nest Resort property) while he built
a fine new cabin for his family.
Thence they began dipping lightly
into the tourist business,
occasionally renting the old Smiley
cabin, or living in it themselves
while more fastidious customers used
their home. Quinn’s Cottages
operated until 1943 when it was sold
to their daughter Emily
Mrs. McCabe operated McCabe’s
Hideaway until the sale of the
resort to Sigard & Karen
Christopherson in 1948.
The Christopherson’s only operated
the resort for 1 year, but Sikaren’s
Resort would remain the Resort’s
name for the next 32 years.
In 1949 Sikaren’s Resort was
purchased by Lester & Augusta
The Kephart’s operated Sikaren’s
Resort until selling it to Karl &
Mona Herbst in 1964.
The Herbst’s operated Sikaren’s
Resort until selling to John & Nancy
Thoele in 1981.
The Thoele’s changed the resort’s
name to Good Ol’ Days Resort and
operated Good Ol’ Days until the
sale to Raymond Davey & Nancy
Carpenter in 1997.
In 1999 Good Ol’ Days was sold to Bob & Cindy Tyson.
The Tyson’s wanted the resort to
cater primarily to families and felt
the resort’s name should reflect
that vision. The name was finally
changed to Good Ol’ Days Family Resort.
Bob & Cindy operated the original
resort until the fall of 2006 when
all original buildings
were removed and replaced with 10
brand new Cottages and an eight unit
Complete reconstruction of Good Ol’
Days Family Resort assures that the
rich tradition and history of
northern Minnesota hospitality lives
on for generations to come.
In 2010, the resort was purchased
by GOLD Resort Property, LLC with the
intent to continue the rich
tradition and history already
established by previous owners.
We invite you to explore and enjoy
the birthplace of Nisswa!