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Tomahawk
 
11/03/2018 07:55PM
I was attempting to get more info on Tomahawk Timber Co. and their Camp 4 & Camp 5 north of Isabella Lake. I got onto this sight and read some of Jackpine Jim's comments on the Maniwaki Lake camp. I had been there back in the late 1960s and also in the early 1970s and would like to find out more. Is Jackpine Jim still out there somewhere?
 
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JackpineJim
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11/04/2018 09:20PM
Yep, I'm still kicking and log in now and again. Happy to share what I know.
The Great Outdoors
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11/05/2018 12:55AM
Tomahawk Timber Co. had their office in Ely, and was located upstairs of Frank's Variety next to the State Theater.

You may want to contact the Trygg Land Office, as they had maps that show logging camps and several Indian Villages in the entire area. I also think they have a book with the info.

There are still some old loggers that worked in those camps, and I know one that was born in a camp next to Insula Lake.

All the Camps had numbers for names, and the history is very interesting.
EL
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11/05/2018 10:31AM
Jackpine,
Good to hear from you! As I said earlier, it was ironic how I got on this website. I was hoping to get pictures of Tomahawk Timber's Camp 4 but so far, no luck. But I got onto your response and you seemed so knowledgeable about the area. I'm here to pick your brain of your experiences in that country.
I knew of Camp 4 back in 1967 or thereabouts and as we were on our way from Polly Lake to Hazel lake, I knew we would come across Camp 4 at the end of Polly. I was disappointed to find out that not much was left of the buildings I somehow expected to see. All that was left at that time were the concrete footings of some buildings and some rotted out wooden timbers, I'm sure that the powers-to-be have somehow even eliminated those footings by now to make it appear more like a "wilderness." When we continued to Hazel Lake on Phoebe Creek, we crossed the portage going east out of Hazel back into Phoebe Creek. On that portage was a road the width of the Tomahawk Road back in the days of Forest Center. All graveled, heavily used and wide enough for 2 pulp trucks to pass, the road came from just south of Kawishiwi Lake. Many years later I was back there, coming up from Phoebe Lake to Hazel. I knew the road had been there but you really had to look hard for it, a person not knowing it was there would never know it was there.
I know a guy that lived in not only Forest Center (Camp 3) but also Camp 4 and Camp 5. I knew about Camp 4 but had no idea where Camp 5 was. I asked him about Camp 5 and he said he couldn't recall, he was only 6 or 7 yrs. old at the time. But you claimed Camp 5 was near the southwest end of Maniwaki Lake. I was also in to Maniwaki back in the late 60s. We usually camped on Insula Lake and went through Hope, South Hope to get into Maniwaki. The area was loaded with moose at the time, supposedly the highest moose numbers per mile in the lower 48. As you left South Hope and went south on a creek to a portage that ran east/west (I recall it as around 120 rods) that went to Maniwaki Lake, the portage crossed Maniwaki Creek just before arriving at the lake. My memory of that time tells me that at that crossing there was also a truck bridge at that location for a road that came from the Isabella North Road. The North Road was only about 1/4 mi. (or less) away at this point. Do you have any recollection of that bridge? Where exactly was Camp 5 at this point?
I talked to a logger from Ely that cut that area after Tomahawk left in 1964 and he said he doesn't recall a bridge there. If no bridge then there must've at least been culverts there for that road that ran north up into the Fishdance Lake area. My memory might be all wet on that bridge but was wondering if you knew of one there? It's bothered me ever since I asked this logger about it and he didn't recall it.
Back in the early 70s a friend & I walked up to this point on the Isabella North Road and walked into Maniwaki Creek and I seem to recall that bridge there then also (but memories are fine when they work, but recalling something that far back might be a challenge), came back to the North Road and continued on up past a road the went into Baskatong Lake. I think Camp 5 and Camp 4 were only about 5 miles apart and our goal was to get to Camp 4 but there was a culvert that had been pulled out after Baskatong on the North Road and we turned around and headed back toward Isabella Lake. The North Road that went north past Camp 4 went up into Malberg/Koma Lake area but forked south of Polly Lake and went to the west over toward Townline Lake. It crossed the Townline portage and you could definitely see the road that was starting to grow in.
So, do you recall that bridge at Maniwaki Creek? Is that where Camp 5 was? What is your connection to area that makes you so very knowledgeable?
Hope to hear back from you soon.
ellahallely
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11/05/2018 04:45PM
After the Pagami fire I was amazed how many old roads and rail road grades that could easily be seen from the air. I also heard an old car was found up in the Hope lake area. Before the fire from the air you couldn't see any sign of a road or people. I always knew the roads were there but they were hard to spot. As things are growing back now things are disappearing again. I am sure if you flew above the area in the early spring you could still see signs of the camps and roads you talk about.

JIM
The Great Outdoors
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11/05/2018 08:46PM
Yes there are a lot of old artifacts left from the logging days. At the Palmquist Cutting site on the Wolf Lake Road a few miles before Schlamn Lake, there is a '56 Chevy in the woods.
EL
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11/06/2018 11:46AM
I was grouse hunting once way back when on what was the Isabella East Road. The road ran east out of Forest Center over toward Perent River and Kawishiwi lake. At that time the road was still driveable but closed to the public. I had passed the trail into Tomahawk Lake when I scared up a bird that flew off the side pf the road. I shot the bird and went over to pick it up, about 30'-40' off the east Road. When I picked bird up I stepped on something that made a holow sound and moved. I kicked a layer of leaves and soil off what was the hood of a red car. A closer look told me that an entire car had probably been bulldozed over and flatteened from the Tomahawk days instead of hauling it out. On another trip I scared up a bird over on the roaf that went toward Quadga Lake. The bird kept flying on short flights and I never did get a shot off but I came right up to a '53 black Buick. It was mostly intact and to this day I still reember looking at one of the tail light lenses, of all things. The tail light lenses back then were glass and about 1/2" thick............
The Great Outdoors
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11/06/2018 12:41PM
Some may not know that the taillights had the year of the car stamped on them.
ellahallely
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11/06/2018 12:45PM
EL, Jackpine do you live in the Arrowhead region? I remember people living and logging in the Sawbill landing area. I think it was the early 70s when they left Sawbill Landing. Some of the house were moved to Isabella. I know a girl that lives in Isabella and her father lived and worked at Sawbill Landing.
JackpineJim
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11/06/2018 08:34PM
ellahallely: "EL, Jackpine do you live in the Arrowhead region? I remember people living and logging in the Sawbill landing area. I think it was the early 70s when they left Sawbill Landing. Some of the house were moved to Isabella. I know a girl that lives in Isabella and her father lived and worked at Sawbill Landing."
My Dad grew up in the Tomahawk Timber Company logging camps in in the early 1940s beginning at Camp 1 near Babbitt, MN. He went to grade school in Camp 2 at the juncture of the Tomahawk Road and Highway 1 going East to Isabella Lake. His first job as a logger he lived in Camp 4 Polly Camp then Boga Camp near Boga Lake. He logged the South East of Koma Lake and other relatives logged the East side of Boze Lake. I was born in Winton hospital when we lived in Calamity Camp, very near Camp 5 close Maniwaki Lake. I don't remember that area as we moved to Camp 6 near the Stoney River when I was 4 yeas old in 1959. We kids from Camp 6 were bused to grade school in Forest Center and my family were the last to leave Camp 6 in summer of 1965. We moved to northern Wisconsin where I went to high school. I then went away to the University of California, Berkeley and then on to grad school at MIT in Cambridge, MA.
After a few more stops I worked my way back to the Twin Cities where I live now and have had a few chances to poke around the old logging camp sites and roads. There are some photographs and videos of the camps on the
Forest Center Facebook page maintained by Bill Hamlin, the son of Luke and Lee Hamlin. Luke Hamlin was a Logging Superintendent in the camps. One of the videos shows scenes from Camp 4 and there are at least two pics from Camp 5, one with my great aunt Tress' white picket fence.
Story: My Dad ran a trap line in the spring up the North Road after they moved out of the "roadless area" and closed it off. He told me the only building left from Camp 5 was the Blacksmith's shop. It was really cold so he sought shelter in the small building nd made a fire on a piece of sheet metal. He let the fire burn down an while he was out checking his traps the coal dust from the forge caught fire and burned down the small building and all his supplies with it :(

Another story: There is an old car body just north of the Tomahawk Road on road 387 heading toward Bald Eagle Lake. There was a logging camp there called Smithville, after the several members of the Smith family who lived there. Dad told me the car belonged to two brothers that came home from the service and were logging there and both drowned while fishing in Bald Eagle Lake.

Lots of other random stories and legends from the area I find endlessly fascinating.
andym
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11/07/2018 04:39AM
Fascinating stuff. A while ago people were discussing possible old portage’s from Kawishiwi Lake to Perent. I looked on google maps and used the time function to look at older imagery. I was probably seeing some of those roads on some of the older images. Not sure how much there is for this area, but the USGS has online access to not only satellite imagery but also aerial photos that can be much higher resolution and older todo maps. Poke around at USGS.gov and you might find some more older stuff.

Just a random coincidence, but Jim is 4 years older than me and so we might have been at MIT at the same time when I was an undergrad. I was there from 1977-1981.
ellahallely
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11/07/2018 02:50PM
Jackpine Thanks for sharing your memories! I know that area better then most, however not like you know it. I was born in 1960 so many of your memories are a little before my time. I started spending time in that area around 1970. You could still snowmobile in the b dub then. The old logging roads were our winter routes. I remember seeing the car you mentioned south of Bald Eagle. The winter route from Ely to Isabella and the Shore went through there. Omaday, Bogberry, and August Lakes area.

Did any of the camps have generators? Where do you get your water in the winter? Did you go the town (Isabella) or any of the resorts like Evergreen lodge or the Knotted Pine?

My Grand Father was superintendent of schools in Ely when you were born in Winton. Winton was a happening town. With schools and a hospital like you mentioned.


If your in the area sometime try to get in touch with me. Maybe I could pick you up in my float plane and we could fly over the old camps. No promises but if there was a time that worked for both of us it would be fun .


JIM P.
Harv
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11/07/2018 08:07PM
This is a great thread! Love reading about how Ely and the surrounding area was before the BWCA, etc.
Ellahall - can I can the name of your grandfather who was Superintendent of Ely schools?
JackpineJim
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11/07/2018 08:22PM
andym: "Fascinating stuff. A while ago people were discussing possible old portage’s from Kawishiwi Lake to Perent. I looked on google maps and used the time function to look at older imagery. I was probably seeing some of those roads on some of the older images. Not sure how much there is for this area, but the USGS has online access to not only satellite imagery but also aerial photos that can be much higher resolution and older todo maps. Poke around at USGS.gov and you might find some more older stuff.

Just a random coincidence, but Jim is 4 years older than me and so we might have been at MIT at the same time when I was an undergrad. I was there from 1977-1981."


Andym, I had a 10 year hiatus of gallivanting before going off to college so was at MIT from '87 - '92. Course 5 Ph.D.
JackpineJim
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11/07/2018 08:26PM
ellahallely: "Jackpine Thanks for sharing your memories! I know that area better then most, however not like you know it. I was born in 1960 so many of your memories are a little before my time. I started spending time in that area around 1970. You could still snowmobile in the b dub then. The old logging roads were our winter routes. I remember seeing the car you mentioned south of Bald Eagle. The winter route from Ely to Isabella and the Shore went through there. Omaday, Bogberry, and August Lakes area.


Did any of the camps have generators? Where do you get your water in the winter? Did you go the town (Isabella) or any of the resorts like Evergreen lodge or the Knotted Pine?


My Grand Father was superintendent of schools in Ely when you were born in Winton. Winton was a happening town. With schools and a hospital like you mentioned.



If your in the area sometime try to get in touch with me. Maybe I could pick you up in my float plane and we could fly over the old camps. No promises but if there was a time that worked for both of us it would be fun .
JIM P."


Jim P, at Camp 6 the water came directly out of the stream running out of the 'Trout Pond'. I vividly remember the pipe sticking in the stream with only a coarse screen on the end. In the summer someone would wrap a piece of t-shirt on it to add some extra 'purification'. In the winter my dad dipped directly from the pond to fill our two milk cans with water. My Dad had a generator in a shack that started up when you flipped the light switch in our shack. I can still remember the put-put sound of it starting up in the morning. Later, Camp 6 had a generator that supplied the many shacks of the camp. I was just there at the end of October and you can easily find the concrete footings or pedestals the generator building was mounted on. Socializing was often done at the Happy Wanderer bar on highway 1.
I'd love to take you up on that offer of the float plane ride next summer. I'll dig up the maps Dad marked up for me.



Moosepatrol
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11/07/2018 09:39PM
I enjoyed the videos on the facebook page.
ellahallely
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11/08/2018 06:54AM
Harv: "This is a great thread! Love reading about how Ely and the surrounding area was before the BWCA, etc.
Ellahall - can I can the name of your grandfather who was Superintendent of Ely schools?
"



My Grandfathers name was Willard Murphy. My Mother and Aunt where also going to school in Ely at that time.
andym
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11/08/2018 07:34AM
JackpineJim: "andym: "
Just a random coincidence, but Jim is 4 years older than me and so we might have been at MIT at the same time when I was an undergrad. I was there from 1977-1981."



Andym, I had a 10 year hiatus of gallivanting before going off to college so was at MIT from '87 - '92. Course 5 Ph.D."


I see. I was course 12 but I had to look up 5 so I’ll make it easy and say geology. By your years I was done with my Ph.D. and working at the USGS in Menlo Park. But those years gallivanting sound good. Its a lot easier to do that before school than afterwards.

I am really enjoying the info you are providing. It’s helping me visualize what the logging days were like better than some of the books we have.
DrBobDerrig
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11/08/2018 08:18AM
Neat thread guys... thanks for sharing this...

dr bob
Northwoodsman
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11/08/2018 08:44AM
Great thread. I have enjoyed following along. I found the Facebook page a good resource. I found myself spending a couple of hours looking at aerial photos, Google Maps and Google Earth trying to find evidence of the camps and roads.
JackpineJim
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11/08/2018 09:34PM
EL, We've walked some of the same paths for sure. The East Road was one of my favorite bird hunting haunts before the burn. What is your connection to this area? Are you a member of this site that just posted as "EL Guest Paddler"?

By the way, while bird hunting off the Tomahawk road the last week of October I happened to chat with a fellow from Virginia, MN who mentioned walking the North Road, and other old roads in the area. Was that you by chance?
Pinetree
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11/09/2018 07:38PM
JackpineJim: "EL, We've walked some of the same paths for sure. The East Road was one of my favorite bird hunting haunts before the burn. What is your connection to this area? Are you a member of this site that just posted as "EL Guest Paddler"?

By the way, while bird hunting off the Tomahawk road the last week of October I happened to chat with a fellow from Virginia, MN who mentioned walking the North Road, and other old roads in the area. Was that you by chance?"


Every year we walked the old logging roads on the Pow Wow-Arrow lake and Parent river and north of Ferne lake also. Often we ran onto a individual from Virginia whom once worked with the forest service and he would start a half hour before daylight and hike up the POW Wow trail grouse hunting. He started early to get ahead of other hunters in the 1980's and 90's. That was grouse heaven.
I had a favorite road just before the Island river on thenorth side I walked for grouse. It was like 4 miles long and ended just across the Mitiwan creek at a old logging shack with the wood stove still in it.
JackpineJim
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11/09/2018 08:49PM
Pinetree: "JackpineJim: "EL, We've walked some of the same paths for sure. The East Road was one of my favorite bird hunting haunts before the burn. What is your connection to this area? Are you a member of this site that just posted as "EL Guest Paddler"?


By the way, while bird hunting off the Tomahawk road the last week of October I happened to chat with a fellow from Virginia, MN who mentioned walking the North Road, and other old roads in the area. Was that you by chance?"



Every year we walked the old logging roads on the Pow Wow-Arrow lake and Parent river and north of Ferne lake also. Often we ran onto a individual from Virginia whom once worked with the forest service and he would start a half hour before daylight and hike up the POW Wow trail grouse hunting. He started early to get ahead of other hunters in the 1980's and 90's. That was grouse heaven.
I had a favorite road just before the Island river on thenorth side I walked for grouse. It was like 4 miles long and ended just across the Mitiwan creek at a old logging shack with the wood stove still in it."

Pinetree, I've never walked that road nor did I know it was there. I can see it on the satellite map so might have to poke around a bit next time I'm in the area. Some of these roads are getting pretty difficult to walk with all the growth.
Pinetree
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11/09/2018 09:29PM
JackpineJim: "Pinetree: "JackpineJim: "EL, We've walked some of the same paths for sure. The East Road was one of my favorite bird hunting haunts before the burn. What is your connection to this area? Are you a member of this site that just posted as "EL Guest Paddler"?



By the way, while bird hunting off the Tomahawk road the last week of October I happened to chat with a fellow from Virginia, MN who mentioned walking the North Road, and other old roads in the area. Was that you by chance?"




Every year we walked the old logging roads on the Pow Wow-Arrow lake and Parent river and north of Ferne lake also. Often we ran onto a individual from Virginia whom once worked with the forest service and he would start a half hour before daylight and hike up the POW Wow trail grouse hunting. He started early to get ahead of other hunters in the 1980's and 90's. That was grouse heaven.
I had a favorite road just before the Island river on thenorth side I walked for grouse. It was like 4 miles long and ended just across the Mitiwan creek at a old logging shack with the wood stove still in it."

Pinetree, I've never walked that road nor did I know it was there. I can see it on the satellite map so might have to poke around a bit next time I'm in the area. Some of these roads are getting pretty difficult to walk with all the growth.
"


That road just before the river had I believe class 5 gravel on it. It was a major logging road.
The years just before the big fire the forest was taking over the road pretty much and I see now it is burnt over and lot of downfalls. Yes On old aerial photos you should see the open field at the end of the road where the shack was. I also took old roads that came out on the little Isabella river like a 0.5 miles up from the parent river I believe those were satelite(sp) roads from the Island river road.
The Island river road also had a spur that went south toward bog lake but stopped just short. Lot of red pine plantations back there.
I have paddled up the Mitawan creek from Island river and intersected the old road where the bridge crossed the creek but it was removed.
I would love to see photo's from the logging city by Isabella lake. I don't think I ever have seen any?

Pinetree
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11/09/2018 10:39PM
JackpineJim
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11/10/2018 08:36AM
Pinetree:"That road just before the river had I believe class 5 gravel on it. It was a major logging road.
The years just before the big fire the forest was taking over the road pretty much and I see now it is burnt over and lot of downfalls. Yes On old aerial photos you should see the open field at the end of the road where the shack was. I also took old roads that came out on the little Isabella river like a 0.5 miles up from the parent river I believe those were satelite(sp) roads from the Island river road.
The Island river road also had a spur that went south toward bog lake but stopped just short. Lot of red pine plantations back there.
I have paddled up the Mitawan creek from Island river and intersected the old road where the bridge crossed the creek but it was removed.
I would love to see photo's from the logging city by Isabella lake. I don't think I ever have seen any?"


Pinetree, here are a couple photos of Forest Center. The store and Post office building with gas pumps was up on the hill overlooking the wood yard and railroad tracks where the BWCA Entry parking lot is now.
The small brown shacks on mid right in the second photo is where my Uncle Ted and Aunt Tress lived. This is across the road to the south of the BWCA parking lot. Easy to locate and still looks much as it did.
The Village was along the stub road south of wood yard, which was in the clearing at very top of that photo. You can see the old school house (round roof) in the village photo. It is now an open gravel pit. You can find the concrete footings of the new school house, which was built later just to south of old one if you look. You can also find some evidence of the houses along both sides of the road if you kick around in the burned down trees from Pagami fire. Frank and Sylvia Lundberg and the Housey family lived in a couple of the houses on the left side of that road as I recall.

Moosepatrol
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11/10/2018 10:07AM
A link about Forest Center.|

The link is from Ely Echo archives page, it is best viewed in full screen. There is also a search function, although not the best search engine. Also try Sawbill landing or Winton, etc ….. if looking for other logging info.
JackpineJim
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11/10/2018 11:36AM
Moosepatrol: " A link about Forest Center.|


The link is from Ely Echo archives page, it is best viewed in full screen. There is also a search function, although not the best search engine. Also try Sawbill landing or Winton,
etc ….. if looking for other logging info."

Thanks for posting that Moosepatrol, I went to first grade in that school. One memory is of a big hornets nest someone brought in and it was hanging on display in the window.
Zwater
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11/10/2018 12:36PM
Jackpine,
This is very neat to read!! Have any more stories?
LindenTree3
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11/10/2018 02:46PM
Forest Center was in my division during the Pagami Fire.
I found this phone while kicking around in the ashes during the fire, on the south side of the road and BW parking lot.

Ps, if you can get a tour of the Isabella Work Center they have alot of pics and memorabilia of Forest Center. It's in their display case where they used to issue permits

Pinetree
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11/10/2018 07:59PM
JackpineJim: " Pinetree:"That road just before the river had I believe class 5 gravel on it. It was a major logging road.
The years just before the big fire the forest was taking over the road pretty much and I see now it is burnt over and lot of downfalls. Yes On old aerial photos you should see the open field at the end of the road where the shack was. I also took old roads that came out on the little Isabella river like a 0.5 miles up from the parent river I believe those were satelite(sp) roads from the Island river road.
The Island river road also had a spur that went south toward bog lake but stopped just short. Lot of red pine plantations back there.
I have paddled up the Mitawan creek from Island river and intersected the old road where the bridge crossed the creek but it was removed.
I would love to see photo's from the logging city by Isabella lake. I don't think I ever have seen any?"



Pinetree, here are a couple photos of Forest Center. The store and Post office building with gas pumps was up on the hill overlooking the wood yard and railroad tracks where the BWCA Entry parking lot is now.
The small brown shacks on mid right in the second photo is where my Uncle Ted and Aunt Tress lived. This is across the road to the south of the BWCA parking lot. Easy to locate and still looks much as it did.
The Village was along the stub road south of wood yard, which was in the clearing at very top of that photo. You can see the old school house (round roof) in the village photo. It is now an open gravel pit. You can find the concrete footings of the new school house, which was built later just to south of old one if you look. You can also find some evidence of the houses along both sides of the road if you kick around in the burned down trees from Pagami fire. Frank and Sylvia Lundberg and the Housey family lived in a couple of the houses on the left side of that road as I recall.


"


Thanks,quite a town. Its quite the lumber town,too bad someone didn't do a book on the town. A lot of peoples life was spent there.
Pinetree
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11/10/2018 08:02PM
LindenTree3: "Forest Center was in my division during the Pagami Fire.
I found this phone while kicking around in the ashes during the fire, on the south side of the road and BW parking lot.


Ps, if you can get a tour of the Isabella Work Center they have alot of pics and memorabilia of Forest Center. It's in their display case where they used to issue permits


"


The day of the fire expansion I came out from Island river to the Little Isabella parking lot that day and forest service already had yellow ribbon across the access. Drove down to Island river bridge and Isabella parking lot and you could see all hell was breaking out and Forest service trying to get everyone out. Ashes were flying everywhere. I knew it was time for me to get out of the way so I left.
I remember the day before the big cloud that looked like a atomic bomb went off but it died down some that evening. Hindsight they should of attacked with everything they got instead of waiting one more day and it flared up.
Pinetree
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11/10/2018 08:08PM
Keep the photos and stories of the Forest center up. I wonder when the Tomohawk trail was created itself?
Pinetree
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11/10/2018 08:08PM
Keep the photos and stories of the Forest center up. I wonder when the Tomohawk trail was created itself?
ellahallely
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11/10/2018 09:23PM
This photo of the Pagami was taken from county road 7 at Crooked Lake Resort, by the Trestle Inn. Shortly after this picture was taken the wind switched direction by almost 180 degrees. The closest the fire came to Crooked Lake Resort was 11 miles as the crow flies.
Pinetree
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11/10/2018 09:36PM
ellahallely: " This photo of the Pagami was taken from county road 7 at Crooked Lake Resort, by the Trestle Inn. Shortly after this picture was taken the wind switch direction by almost 180 degrees. The closest the fire came to Crooked Lake Resort was 11 miles as the crow flies. "

I probably was one of the closest person on the east side when that formed and I didn't have a camera,as I paddled out with temperature at 10 am in the 80's there was a big bull moose cooling off in little Isabella river with a cow also 20 yards in front of me. No camera. When I got home I bought a new digital compact camera.
JackpineJim
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11/10/2018 10:40PM
Northwoodsman: "Great thread. I have enjoyed following along. I found the Facebook page a good resource. I found myself spending a couple of hours looking at aerial photos, Google Maps and Google Earth trying to find evidence of the camps and roads. "

Northwoodsman, After reading your post About aerial photos I surfed around and found this site MNDNR Landview You can toggle between different years' IR and visible photos and a USGS map. Easy to spend a couple hours poking around looking at the old roads.
Jim
Northwoodsman
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11/10/2018 11:45PM
Jackpine,

I think you hit the mother lode with that website. That's incredible to be able to toggle back & forth between different years and different layers. Thanks for the link. It's funny how when I was back in high school and college I hated history, and now I'm hooked on it. Of course I never has a class on BWCA and surrounding area history, nor I had ever been to the area at that time. But then again I was born in 1964 so when I was in school this era wasn't really "history" yet. That statement just made me feel much older. It had to be an extremely tough and dangerous job but I'd give up my office job in a heartbeat to trade places with them. I think what amazes me the most is that I have paddled and traveled this area and had no idea the former life that it once had. I want to go back and explore and dream.
jhb8426
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11/11/2018 12:22AM
Northwoodsman: "...had no idea the former life that it once had."

Having lived here all my life with the exception of a couple of short interruptions, the logging and mining history of the region is familiar to me, but I always enjoy hearing first hand stories of those times.
11/11/2018 09:51AM
I have enjoyed reading this thread!
ellahallely
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11/11/2018 11:35AM
Jackpine Jim Where was camp 6? I see you said by Stoney River. Was it near the Happy Wanderer? I spent a little time at the Wanderer back when they sold gas and beer. Maybe 30 years ago. The Wanderer is for sale.
JackpineJim
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11/11/2018 12:10PM
ellahallely: "Jackpine Jim Where was camp 6? I see you said by Stoney River. Was it near the Happy Wanderer? I spent a little time at the Wanderer back when they sold gas and beer. Maybe 30 years ago. The Wanderer is for sale. "

Camp 6 was in the red circle on this map image. Just a grown over gravel pit now. Some artifacts if you kick around a bit.
JackpineJim
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11/11/2018 12:18PM
JackpineJim: "ellahallely: "Jackpine Jim Where was camp 6? I see you said by Stoney River. Was it near the Happy Wanderer? I spent a little time at the Wanderer back when they sold gas and beer. Maybe 30 years ago. The Wanderer is for sale. "


In the red circle on this map image. Just a grown over gravel pit now. Some artifacts if you kick around a bit.
"


Camp 2 was here (red circle) near Highway 1 Tomahawk Road intersection.
JackpineJim
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11/12/2018 07:40PM
Moosepatrol: " A link about Forest Center.|


The link is from Ely Echo archives page, it is best viewed in full screen. There is also a search function, although not the best search engine. Also try Sawbill landing or Winton, etc ….. if looking for other logging info."

My Mom kept a magazine from 1963 with a couple of good articles about Forest Center.
You'll have to expand the photos to read the articles.




The horse was named Colonel - best horse ever!, I was told.




LindenTree3
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11/13/2018 02:54PM
JackpineJim: "Moosepatrol: " A link about Forest Center.|



The link is from Ely Echo archives page, it is best viewed in full screen. There is also a search function, although not the best search engine. Also try Sawbill landing or Winton, etc ….. if looking for other logging info."

My Mom kept a magazine from 1963 with a couple of good articles about Forest Center.
You'll have to expand the photos to read the articles.





The horse was named Colonel - best horse ever!, I was told.





"


I worked with Oliver Thums (mentioned in the article) in the early 2,000's.
I ran the fire engine out of the USFS Isabella Work Station, Ollie was a SCEP employee.
Senior Citizen Employment Program. I also worked with a few other past people who lived at Forest Center.

I believe the building housing the current Stoney River Cafe in Isabella was moved from Sawbill Landing. A community similar to Forest Center.
ellahallely
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11/13/2018 05:38PM
The Great Outdoors: "Tomahawk Timber Co. had their office in Ely, and was located upstairs of Frank's Variety next to the State Theater.

You may want to contact the Trygg Land Office, as they had maps that show logging camps and several Indian Villages in the entire area. I also think they have a book with the info.

There are still some old loggers that worked in those camps, and I know one that was born in a camp next to Insula Lake.

All the Camps had numbers for names, and the history is very interesting."


The Trygg maps are great. The ones I have are before logging or even before roads or towns. Maybe they date to around 1850-1880S. They do show Indian Villages and Indian sugar camps. They also show cabins that settlers built. Many of the lakes had different names.

J. William Trygg (Bill Sr.) was born September 17, 1905, at Cook Minnesota. He became a professional forester and worked for the United States Forest Service (USFS) from 1926 until 1954. He was in charge of Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps in the Ely, Minnesota, area and, at the time of his retirement from the USFS, was a district forest ranger. In addition to his expertise in forestry he had experience with Indian claims throughout the Great Lakes region.
After leaving the Forest Service Trygg worked as a land use consultant and as an appraiser of natural resources. Through an intense interest in the history of the area he developed a system he used to make historical appraisals on behalf of various Indian tribes in the Midwest, appraisals for Indian lands already ceded to the United States. With his son he owned the Trygg Land Office, a real estate agency located at Ely. Trygg was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1966 from District 62 (St. Louis County) and served one term.
Trygg died in Washington, D.C. on April 11, 1971, where he was testifying on Indian land claims. He is buried in the Ely Cemetery.

You can buy the maps online for $8 or read more on the history of the Trygg family at
at this link.

If you like old maps of the area these are a must have.
Pinetree
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11/13/2018 06:18PM
Lot of great info-keep it coming. I heard there was a saloon back at the Forest center also,I bet they did one awesome business with the loggers back there. I wonder what kind of sewer system and water setup they had?
JackpineJim
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11/13/2018 09:40PM
Pinetree: "Lot of great info-keep it coming. I heard there was a saloon back at the Forest center also,I bet they did one awesome business with the loggers back there. I wonder what kind of sewer system and water setup they had?"

Pinetree, I don't recall there being a tavern in Forest Center. No centralized sewer and water system either. I do recall the 'new' school had running water and, I presume, a septic system, since it had modern bathrooms. I don't know how many of the other houses our buildings were so equipped, the ones my relatives lived in did not. Camp 6 had a six-seater outhouse and many of the families had their own outhouses. Chamber pots were the rule.
JackpineJim
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11/13/2018 09:58PM
ellahallely: "The Great Outdoors: "Tomahawk Timber Co. had their office in Ely, and was located upstairs of Frank's Variety next to the State Theater.


You may want to contact the Trygg Land Office, as they had maps that show logging camps and several Indian Villages in the entire area. I also think they have a book with the info.


There are still some old loggers that worked in those camps, and I know one that was born in a camp next to Insula Lake.


All the Camps had numbers for names, and the history is very interesting."



The Trygg maps are great. The ones I have are before logging or even before roads or towns. Maybe they date to around 1850-1880S. They do show Indian Villages and Indian sugar camps. They also show cabins that settlers built. Many of the lakes had different names.


J. William Trygg (Bill Sr.) was born September 17, 1905, at Cook Minnesota. He became a professional forester and worked for the United States Forest Service (USFS) from 1926 until 1954. He was in charge of Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps in the Ely, Minnesota, area and, at the time of his retirement from the USFS, was a district forest ranger. In addition to his expertise in forestry he had experience with Indian claims throughout the Great Lakes region.
After leaving the Forest Service Trygg worked as a land use consultant and as an appraiser of natural resources. Through an intense interest in the history of the area he developed a system he used to make historical appraisals on behalf of various Indian tribes in the Midwest, appraisals for Indian lands already ceded to the United States. With his son he owned the Trygg Land Office, a real estate agency located at Ely. Trygg was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1966 from District 62 (St. Louis County) and served one term.
Trygg died in Washington, D.C. on April 11, 1971, where he was testifying on Indian land claims. He is buried in the Ely Cemetery.


You can buy the maps online for $8 or read more on the history of the Trygg family at
at this link.

If you like old maps of the area these are a must have.
"


It is interesting you mention the maps with the locations of Indian villages. My Dad told me of the logging camp called Indian Village Camp he lived in in 1943, located in the red circle in this map. He didn't know why it was called Indian Village.
Pinetree
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11/13/2018 10:22PM
JackpineJim: "Pinetree: "Lot of great info-keep it coming. I heard there was a saloon back at the Forest center also,I bet they did one awesome business with the loggers back there. I wonder what kind of sewer system and water setup they had?"


Pinetree, I don't recall there being a tavern in Forest Center. No centralized sewer and water system either. I do recall the 'new' school had running water and, I presume, a septic system, since it had modern bathrooms. I don't know how many of the other houses our buildings were so equipped, the ones my relatives lived in did not. Camp 6 had a six-seater outhouse and many of the families had their own outhouses. Chamber pots were the rule."


I was talking with my brother today,he mentioned he thought there was one tavern,maybe he is wrong? i will have to ask him again. It really wasn't that long ago and thee should be a fair number of survivors still? Maybe not?
Its also amazing how fast this town was built and how fast it disappeared. I never thought of this before but I believe where the town was is now federal land and wonder what ownership status was than.
A six seater-that is something else.
ellahallely
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11/14/2018 08:26AM
Jackpine Jim says at camp 6 they got their water from the "trout pond". Sorry Jackpine but in my world that is a swamp. I am surprised no one got beaver fever.


I have been by camp 6 on the old Tomahawk road more then 100 times and never knew it was a logging camp. Been by camp 2 more then 200 times and never even knew it was there Thanks for the info.


JIM P.
Pinetree
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11/14/2018 07:12PM
Asked my brother again and he thought he was tld there was a saloon at the Forest center,along with a church and school.
Pinetree
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11/14/2018 07:12PM
JackpineJim
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11/14/2018 08:52PM
Pinetree: "Asked my brother again and he thought he was tld there was a saloon at the Forest center,along with a church and school."

I just talked to my Mom about it and she said there was a small restaurant but no saloon. Folks went to Happy Wanderer or Chub Lake Resort on Highway 1.
JackpineJim
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11/14/2018 08:56PM
ellahallely: "Jackpine Jim says at camp 6 they got their water from the "trout pond". Sorry Jackpine but in my world that is a swamp. I am surprised no one got beaver fever.



I have been by camp 6 on the old Tomahawk road more then 100 times and never knew it was a logging camp. Been by camp 2 more then 200 times and never even knew it was there Thanks for the info.



JIM P."


Yes, The Pond was no more than a small swamp hole but the water was crystal clear. Still,
I would never drink the water untreated or unfiltered today. But, people did drink unpurified water for millennia, and I'd wager a good portion of the world's population do so today.

JackpineJim
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11/15/2018 11:51PM
Tomahawk: " I was attempting to get more info on Tomahawk Timber Co. and their Camp 4 & Camp 5 north of Isabella Lake. I got onto this sight and read some of Jackpine Jim's comments on the Maniwaki Lake camp. I had been there back in the late 1960s and also in the early 1970s and would like to find out more. Is Jackpine Jim still out there somewhere?"

I'm glad you started this thread Tomahawk. It prompted me to dig around for some maps and listen to some recordings of oral history my Dad left me. Here is a map showing many of the roads in the area. I know this map is incomplete because there was a logging camp on the portage trail between Baskatong and Square Lake with a road to it. 'I'm having trouble uploading the map got it



 
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