Crosslake Historic Log Village is a growing museum
The Crosslake Area Historical Society has preserved the history of Crosslake through publications, events and other means, but the largest testament to local history is the Historic Log Village on County Road 66 across from the Corps of Engineers Campground.
This wooded village condenses over 10 historical structures with artifacts of the area's early history. Among the buildings are:
1. The new Visitor Center was moved to the village within recent months from Kent Atwater's resort on Island Lake. The building originates from the 1920s.
2. The General Store was built in 1998 as a replica of the 1904 Crosslake Store. Many contents on its shelves came from Lumbertown at Madden's Resort. The original store was located very close to where Andy's Bar and Grill is in downtown Crosslake.
3. The original Ideal Township School was built in 1897 and was donated to the historical society by the daughters of Theron Dempsie and moved to the village in 1994. Children love to sit in the desks and pretend they're attending school as students did 100 years ago. It is reported to be the first organized school on the Whitefish Chain and was located east of Norway Ridge Supper Club.
5. The Ostlund Homestead was built in the 1890s by Swedish immigrants August and Margaret Ostlund and their son, Charles. The historical society obtained the house in 1986, when it was discovered and saved from a practice burn by the Crosslake Fire Department. It was the second building moved to the Historic Log Village from its original location, which was near what is now called East Shore Road.
6. The Livery was built in 2007 to house many large artifacts, including the Whitefish Chain mail boat that was discovered and restored by Joey Ruttger and Ronnie Schultz. It is a 1949 Chris Craft. The Livery also contains many photo displays and Native American artifacts.
7. The Logger's Camp was originally the Heath Homestead on County Road 15. The historical society bought it and moved it to the village in 1994. Rufus Heath built it in the late 1880s. It is used to display logging artifacts and exhibits pertaining to the logging era.
8. The building that is Duffy's Tavern was also from Lumbertown and was obtained and moved to the village in 1998. It is equipped with furnishings to represent an early saloon.
9. The Jack Pine Cottage was obtained in 1998 from the Madden family when Lumbertown was closed. It is furnished to represent an early tourist cabin.
10. The Blacksmith Shop was built by the historical society in 2011. Many blacksmith artifacts were moved to the building from other locations in the village. Blacksmiths use the forge during the annual Artisans Fair. It is assumed that Crosslake had a blacksmith shop in the early days although there is no evidence of where it may have been.
11. Built in 1923, the first Watertown Township Town Hall was the center of local government until 1950. Natalie Swann donated the building to the historical society and it was moved to the village in 1979 from its original location near the intersection of County Roads 3 and 37. It was the first building in the village collection.
Historic Log Village
The Historic Log Village is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The historical society will host its annual Cider and Candlelight Tour from 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, as part of Crosslake Days.