Historic Forest Supervisor’s Office

Chippewa National Forest, Near Bowstring Lake, Minnesota

Historic Forest Supervisor’s Office does not offer reservations through Recreation.gov. Please take a look at the area details below for more information about visiting this location. Enjoy your visit!

Overview

Welcome to the Historic Chippewa National Forest Supervisor's office.  Office hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

We can help you with: 

HISTORY:

The Forest Supervisor’s office is on the National Register of Historic Sites and was built in 1936 by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Company 705. As you enter you will notice the spirit of the Civilian Conservation Corps can be found in the notched logs and hammered iron of the office. 

This historic landmark embodies the craftsmanship of men like Ike Boekenoogen, Nels Bergley and the boys of Civilian Conservation Corps Company 705, Pike Bay Camp.

The CCC and Work Project Administration laborers created this log structure using a Finnish-style log construction.

Ike Boekenoogen, a master woodsman, supervised the technique and construction. Logs were traced, notched and grooved by hand. Each layer of logs was tightly fit and required no chinking or nailing. Craftsman at the time earned $100 per month.

The 8,500 square foot building was made from 100-year-old native red pine logged from Star Island and Lake Thirteen near Cass Lake. More than 16,000 lineal feet of red pine logs 10 to 16 inches in diameter were used for outer walls and partitions. Heavy wooden pegs set into drilled holes, allowed the logs to settle without shifting.

Early visitors walked beneath a huge log arch to reach the entrance. A large-wooden fire tower stood behind the building.

Hand-hammered ironwork on the doors and hinges still greet visitors today. Gnarled stairway railings, constructed with frost-damaged maple, lead visitors up hand-hewn split log steps. Birch, oak and white pine were also used as finishing materials.

In the center of the building stands a 50-foot-high fireplace and chimney made of split and matched glacial boulders, native to the area. Measuring 14 by 14 feet at its base and tapering to 10 by 10 feet at its top, the massive fireplace is made of 265 tons of rock. Nels Bergley of Walker, Minn., was the designer and builder. Look closely to find his carefully selected rock shaped as a Forest Service shield.

The log headquarters building was completed in 1936 at a cost of $225,000. It was originally designed for use as administrative offices with a museum and reception area, the Chippewa National Forest Supervisor's Office still serves this original purpose.

On Jan. 31, 1976, the Chippewa National Forest Supervisor’s Office was designated on the National Register of Historic Sites.