Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center
The Gunflint Trail Historical Society is holding their annual meeting today at noon at Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center. The festivities will begin with a fish fry at noon and will be followed by a meeting and sneak peak at the newest museum in the northland. Come join the Historical Society and enjoy delicious fish for a nominal donation.
I can’t wait! It’s a beautiful day for a picnic with sunshine and a nice breeze blowing. If you’re planning to attend then be sure to arrive early as parking is limited and guests will need to park at the County Road 81 public landing.
The Grand Opening of Chik-Wauk will be this Sunday on the 4th of July! This too will be an event you won’t want to miss out on. It seems like yesterday when I stood at Chik-Wauk with Ralph and Bea Griffis who still spent their summers there and Jo Barnier, the previous Gunflint District Ranger. I remember telling Ralph and Bea how awesome it would be to preserve the beautiful lodge and asking Jo how we could get it listed on the National Historic Register. From that meeting on it has been a dream to turn Chik-Wauk into something everyone could enjoy.
When I brought up the idea of making Chik-Wauk into something more at a Gunflint Trail Scenic Byway Meeting everyone thought it was a great idea but too much for the Scenic Byway Committee to tackle. From that meeting a special meeting was planned for July 6, 2005 but I wasn’t able to attend it. It was determined to hold an open meeting to see if there would be enough interest from other people to take on a project of such magnitude. Lo and behold there were plenty of folks who were willing to commit to such an endeavor.
The group planned regular meetings and formed The Gunflint Trail Historical Society and decided to make Chik-Wauk the first project. In 2005 the year 2010 was determined to be the year Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center would open. It sounded like that year would never come but through the work of many dedicated volunteers and the contributions of generous members the time has finally come.
The tireless efforts of all of those involved will be celebrated this week. The Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center is a masterpiece created by the hands of many. The only regret I have is that Ralph and Bea won’t be here for the opening. Even with a possible hurricane approaching their home in Harlingen, TX I still can’t convince them to let me come pick them up in an RV and bring them back to Minnesota for the opening on Sunday.
They will certainly be in our thoughts as we celebrate the opening of their beloved Chik-Wauk. We’ll miss you!
Sue and Darlene in front of the Chik-Wauk Sign