Work continues on historic pavilion for the enjoyment of present and future.

Historic photo of the South Kawishiwi Pavillion shortly after construction.Thanks to the dedication of volunteers, Forest staff, Passport in Time, and the Northern Bedrock Historic Preservation Corps, the Superior National Forest’s historic South Kawishiwi Pavilion is close to getting a new deck!  

Built in 1933 by the Birch Lake Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp, the Pavilion was designed as a community resource for swimmers at the nearby beach. It has served as a place for family reunions, naturalist programs, weddings and receptions for almost a century. In 1997, it was determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Over the decades, considerable work has been done to the pavilion to continue ongoing service to the public.   

In 2019, Forest staff deemed that the back deck, which overlooks the scenic Kawishiwi River, needed a complete rehabilitation.  

Superior staff and volunteers worked in close partnership with Passport in Time and Northern Bedrock Historic Preservation Corps for multiple work stints in 2019 and 2020.  Greg Hiede, East Zone Archaeologist for the Superior, reported that staff and volunteers have contributed 50 days of work towards demolition and ongoing replacement of deck components.  The intent is to rehabilitate the deck back to its original design and use locally cut and peeled logs from the Superior National Forest for railings and braces beneath the deck.  Greg said, “One of the highlights of this project is working with our partners and volunteers, learning as we go, and ensuring the pavilion will be more usable for the future too.” 

During the Great Depression the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was established on April 5, 1933, putting hundreds of thousands of young men to work on environmental conservation projects. These crews forever changed the scenery of the National Forests and Parks:  constructing trails and shelters in more than 800 forests and parks nationwide, planting over 3 billion trees, fighting wildfires, and thousands of other projects.   

The Superior National Forest hosted Birch Lake CCC Camp, run by the U.S. Army, with Forest Service employees providing work leaders and field projects for the crews.  Local enlisted individuals from surrounding communities served as construction crew supervisors and skilled craftsmen.  Multiple other projects on the Superior owe their roots to the CCC.  

Although completing work on the historic South Kawishiwi Pavilion has been challenging in 2020, the team remains committed to completing the enhancement of this building for public use and enjoyment in 2021. 

Individuals and volunteer groups worked on the rehabilitating of the South Kawishiwi Pavillion.