Supervisor's Office Headquarters,Ash Avenue Northwest and Second Street Northwest, Pike Bay Township, Minnesota

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Supervisor's Office Headquarters

Pike Bay Township, Minnesota
Cass County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1936
Primary Style: Rustic
Historic Function: Government office
Current Function: Government office
Architect or source of design: CCC - WPA
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Log

Pike Bay Township Cass County

National Register of Historic Places Information
Reference Number: 76001049
Reference URL: [Reference]
Level of significance: Local
Primary Style: NPS Rustic Architecture

Large example of chinkless log construction, built of native red pine by Finnish craftsmen and CCC and WPA workers in 1936

An example of CCC workmanship is the Chippewa National Forest Headquarters building. It was built in 1935 from local Red pine and is a three story, 8,500 square foot structure. The stairway railing was constructed by hand fitting selected maple trees and limbs that had been damaged by frost. The pride in workmanship by the CCC is most evident in this unique structure.

Whether the visitor comes to observe a Bald Eagle soar high above one of the many lakes, watch the activities of the varied wildlife, fish for Walleye, hike the numerous trails, or study the unique examples of CCC workmanship, the Chippewa National Forest is ready to satisfy.

Hidden in the notched logs and hammered iron of this historic building, beyond the whirr of computers, lies the spirit of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Sharp-eyed visitors to the Chippewa National Forest Supervisor's Office will spy the handprint of men like Ike Boekenoogen, Nels Bergley and the boys of Company 705, Pike Bay Camp.

Using a Finnish-style log construction, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and Work Project Administration (WPA) laborers created a log structure that would be difficult to duplicate today.

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, an art of log construction uncommon today. Craftsman such as Ike earned $100 a month.

Made from 100-year old native red pine logged from Star Island and Lake Thirteen near Cass Lake, the 8,500 square feet building equals the size of four average-size homes. 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, while a large wooden fire tower rose behind the building.

Hand-hammered ironwork on the doors and hinges still greets 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 this area. Measuring 14 by 14 feet at its base and tapering to 10 by 10 feet at its top, the massive fireplace used 265 tons of rock. Nels Bergley of Walker, Minnesota, was the designer and builder. Look closely to find his carefully selected rock shaped as a Forest Service shield.

When the log headquarters building was completed in 1935, the cost totaled $225,000. Today, one could not mark its value. Originally designed for use as administrative offices with a museum, and reception area, the Chippewa National Forest Supervisor's Office still serves its original purpose.

On January 31, 1976, the Chippewa National Forest Supervisors Office was entered on the National Register of Historic Sites. Visitors are welcome to tour the building Monday through Friday during regular business hours. Displays detail the unique character of the Chippewa National Forest Supervisor's Office and its place in Forest history.


Memories and stories

Photo Gallery

[1] Sunrise at Cass Lake

[2] Supervisor's Office

[3] Chippewa Forest Woods

[4] CCC Camp

Related Links


Areas of interest

Historic Places

Chippewa National Forest Supervisor's Office - A three-story log building constructed in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Rabideau CCC Camp - Seventeen buildings remain at the former Civilian Conservation Corps camp site, one of the few camps in the U.S. with standing buildings.

Cut Foot Sioux Ranger Station - The oldest remaining ranger station building in the Forest Service's Eastern Region. Tours arranged through Cut Foot Sioux Visitor Information Center, Deer River District.

Virgin Forest

Elmwood Island - Located within Island Lake, this island is completely undeveloped and contains a stand of upland cedar.

Lost Forty -Virgin red and white pine that was untouched by the early loggers due to a map error that incorrectly showed this area to be under water.

Ten Section Area - Old growth, large diameter, red and white pine tracts grace this area which was withheld from cutting during the logging era of the early 1900's. Interest in this area from conservationists at the turn of the century initiated the formation of the Chippewa National Forest.

East Lake Pines - Mature red pine left behind in the early logging days on East Lake.

Unique Flora

Gilfillan Area - An undeveloped area with an abundance of orchids and large white spruce seed production area.

Webster Lake Bog - A wetland which contains unusual abundance of linear-leafed sundew plants.

Pennington Bog - Containing an abundance of orchids, this bog extends onto adjacent state land and is designated as a Scientific Natural Area. Visitor permits are required and are available at Minnesota Department of Natural Resources offices.

Disappearing Lake

Miller Lake - A "disappearing lake," originally impounded by beaver, where the last beaver dam washed out in the early 1980's.


As you visit the Chippewa you will observe a working forest. Recreation developments, wildlife habitat projects and timber harvest are evident throughout the Forest. Timber is harvested from about one percent of the Chippewa each year. These timber sales provide raw materials for the paper and wood industry and improve wildlife habitat for white-tailed deer, ruffed grouse, and nongame species such as hawks, swallows and sparrows.

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