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Museums & Exhibits
Cheewin Log Lodge
Chisago County
Historical Society
P.O. Box 146
Lindstrom, MN 55045

Telephone: 651-257-5310
Email address:

The Cheewin Log Lodge
Chisago County Fairgrounds
905 West 4th Street
Rush City, MN

The lodge from the 1st YMCA Camp in Minnesota

This log lodge was originally constructed in 1902 on the southeast shore of Green Lake, a few miles south of Chisago City. The walls are made from tamarack logs that were growing on the swampy shores of Green Lake. The building measures 20 feet by 50 feet.

Two years later, the site formally became known as Camp Icaghown and was the first YMCA camp in Minnesota. "Icaghown" comes from the Ojibwe language and translates to "growing in every way." The name was certainly appropriate, for there was a sense of adventure in each young visitor's stay.

The Lodge served as the camp store where one could buy toothpaste, shoe laces and candy bars. It was also a gathering place for many craft activities and meetings. It was the only shelter in times of severe storms. It was the first and only permanent structure at the camp for many years.

Those who came to visit Camp Icaghown were mostly young boys, ages 10 to 15, from economically disadvantaged homes in the Minneapolis area. For many it was their first overnight out-of-doors experience. They stayed in group tents that were erected at the beginning of the summer and taken down at the end. They swam in the lake and fished every day. The camp fee of $10.00 for the two week stay was usually paid by the downtown Minneapolis businesses and organizations as a goodwill community gesture.

To get to camp, the young boys would board a train at the old Milwaukee depot in downtown Minneapolis and ride north to the Wyoming station where they got off. They then boarded another train heading east toward Taylors Falls. Upon arrival at the Chisago City station they were met by a camp leader who walked with them for several miles out to camp.

In 1953, the YMCA sold the camp to the St. Paul Council of Camp Fire and the area was renamed Camp Cheewin. The camp was taken over by young Camp Fire and Blue Bird girls, who were dropped off and picked up by their parents. This building continued to serve as the Main Lodge for their camp activities.

In 1995, Camp Cheewin was sold for housing development and the buildings auctioned off. This log lodge was purchased by Marlene Smith of Lindstrom and donated to the Chisago County Historical Society. The lodge was taken apart, moved to the Chisago County fairgrounds, and reassembled. The original wood shingle roof had deteriorated so badly it could not be salvaged. The doors and windows are of new material as the old ones were not repairable. The wood fireplace was replaced by a gas model to meet current building code requirements for public sites.

The Chisago County Historical Society now uses the building for exhibit space and it is open to the public during the Chisago County Fair in July each year.
The Cheewin Lodge continues to be a gathering place for people. This group is working together on their fiber arts crafts.
Museums and Exhibits
Chisago County, MN

Moody Round Barn
Chisago City, MN

Clover Blossom School
Almelund, MN

Gustaf Anderson House
History Museum
Lindstrom, MN

Cheewin Log Lodge
Rush City, MN

Delmore - Fransen House
Rush City, MN

Sunrise Community Museum
Sunrise, MN
The CCHS Museums and Exhibits:
The Chisago County Historical Society manages a variety of museums at different locations within Chisago County. Each site is a visual reminder of the historical and heritage preservation work we do.

Learn more about each location, view photos, and view/print a locator map when you click one of the [
Info] or [Map] buttons that are provided below.

Schedule a tour:
Our research library and museums are open on a variety of occassions during the summer tourist season. This year the Gustaf Anderson House / History Museum will be closed in preparation for needed rennovation.

We plan to have this historic landmark in Lindstrom available once again in the summer of 2017. Please plan ahead for group tours or rental for your special event. Call us to discuss your specific needs!

Our office and research library are open during the days and hours posted on our Contact Us webpage.

651-257-5310 or email us if you are interested in visiting one of our other sites.