The history of Juneberry Lodge begins on April 26, 1929, when Jack Dietz claimed 134 acres on the north shore of Kachemak Bay. His was the second claim in the area under the 1862 Homestead Act.
Jack and Gladys raised six children here. Upon his death in 1965, Jack’s grave stone read “The Last of the First.”
The homestead was subdivided in 1982, and Jake and Carol Ellison built a log family home on this lot in 1987, living on the first floor while they built up, as Alaskans do.
June Engstrom, a gold miner’s daughter from Nome, converted the home into a bed and breakfast and greeted guests for 15 years until she retired at age 86.
June’s handmade quilts, braided rugs and unique Alaskan artifacts still adorn the lodge. Her Alaskan sourdough starter dating from 1897 is the foundation of breakfast pancakes.
In 2014, Marcia and Mannfried arrived as guests, saw June’s For Sale sign, and left as the new owners. They sold their household goods in Seattle, packed what remained, and drove a U-Haul up the Alaska Highway to their new destiny.
Juneberry Lodge continues to share its pioneering heritage with visitors to the Kenai Peninsula and Kachemak Bay from around the world for an authentic Alaskan experience.