Sam Cohodas was born in Kobylnik, Poland in 1895, the son of Aaron and Eva Cohodas. In 1900 his father emigrated to Marinette, Wisconsin, fleeing the eastern European pogroms directed against Jews. The remainder of the family joined the elder Cohodas in 1903. Sam, his father, and his brothers worked in an uncle's produce business in the early part of the 20th century. By 1915, Sam and his brother Harry opened their own retail and wholesale produce company, Cohodas Brothers Fruit Company, in Houghton, Michigan. Under Sam's direction, the company boomed during the 1920s he expanded the operation to become the largest of its kind in the Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin. His success continued even into the depths of the Great Depression, with the company gaining national prominence as the nation's third largest fruit wholesaler. Cohodas built this lodge in part as evidence of his success.
Cohodas also was involved in the banking industry, opening the Miners’ First National Bank in Ishpeming, Michigan in 1934. He purchased other banks in local cities and formed the Michigan Financial Corporation.Cohodas was also a great philanthropist, raising money for the Mayo Clinic the Shaare Zedek Jewish Hospital in Detroit, the National Jewish Hospital in Denver, and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Sam Cohodas died in 1988.