Metal store

Welcome to Annie B’s: Kelliher Liquor Store’s new log structure pays homage to ‘quite a lady’ – Bemidji Pioneer

KELLIHER — Just in time for Mother’s Day, a lasting tribute to the late Angeline “Annie B” Bieganek is taking shape in the town she loved.

Family, friends, neighbors, even strangers, came together to build “Annie B’s Bee Hive”, a log structure attached to the Kelliher Liquor Store. This is the municipal watering hole and restaurant where Ann was a frequent customer.

She died last July at the age of 86. Her husband, David, died five months later. The Bieganeks owned and operated the Kelliher Mall store for 57 years.

“My mom was a real lady,” Mark Bieganek said. “She really was. She had a caring spirit and an absolute love of her community. I was so lucky to have one hell of a mother. Dad was more of a private guy, but he would be tickled pink.

“Annie B” Bieganek loved her Kelliher community and spent time at the Kelliher Liquor Store, which she called “The Muni”. Annie Bee died last July at the age of 86.

Contributed

It took the crew just four days to build the 24-by-28-foot structure, which features large boulders supporting logs and a metal roof.

“With the help of many community and family members, this napkin idea came to fruition,” Mark wrote in a Facebook post last week.

Kelliher’s Heim Log Homes led the project. Mark’s son Cory works for Heim Log and was the lead builder on the project. Owner Nate Heim worked with Dickinson Timber general manager Jeff Peterson, who cut the roof purlins and rafters and donated them.

A family friend, Travis Duresky, donated the stones. Bob Kenel of Grizzly Bob’s RG Kenel Log Builders will be donating the dye. Brent Benusa of Minneapolis provided architectural drawings. Jerry Dudley of Ponemah donated some of the logs. Todd Mortenson of Mort’s Electric donates electrical work.

On the roof.jpg
Workers place logs on huge boulders during the construction of Annie B’s bee hive at the Kelliher Liquor Store.

Contributed / Mark Bieganek

Cory Beiganek has been building log homes with Heim for nine years and said the project was especially rewarding given that it paid homage to his grandmother.

“Every second you would be thinking about her,” Cory said. “She was like, ‘You didn’t have to build this for me. But you know damn well she’d be sitting there having a beer. It’s way more special than anything I’ve ever built. Every house we have built has a lot of meaning for the owner and for us. But building this was really special.

Cory lived with Ann and David for the first few years after moving to Kelliher to take up the position at Heim Log Homes. He forged a special relationship with Grandma Annie.

“She was just the nicest woman ever,” Cory said. “She would give you the last dollar in your pocket. She did that for a lot of people. Even after her death, Dad discovered many people from the things she had given them. She was so adorable.

Mark said siblings Jewel Eggen, Karen Thayer, Ron Johnsrud and Greg Bieganek were all on board with the project, even if it meant spending part of their inheritance.

Bieganek store.jpg
David and Ann Bieganek ran the Kelliher Mall for 57 years.

Contributed

“I said, here’s the deal, you’re not going to get what you think you’re going to get if we do this,” Mark said. “And they were all absolutely thrilled.”

The family hopes to host an open house at the Kelliher Liquor Store this summer. A permanent sign on the structure will read, “Welcome to Annie B’s Bee Hive. Where fun, camaraderie and mutual respect are a virtue.

“Mom always said, ‘Have fun and fellowship,'” Mark explained. “She was great in morals. You have to do what it takes. What does your conscience allow? You can do whatever you want in the world, but you have to be able to look in the mirror at night and like what you see.

Placement of the logs.jpg
Workers place logs on huge boulders during the construction of Annie B’s bee hive at the Kelliher Liquor Store.

Contributed / Mark Biegenak

Annie B would definitely like what she saw if she could visit her favorite watering hole today.

“That’s where she met all her friends and loved the atmosphere,” Mark said. “It’s just what she loved to do. My parents had given a lot to the community over the years, and we found a way to leave a legacy of sorts.