I don’t claim to know everything about the Gunflint Trail but I thought I knew about all of the buildings along the road. As many times as I drive the Trail you would think I would have noticed a building across the road from the Iron Lake boat landing, but I never did.
I guess I can’t say never because on May 12, 2007 I saw something new to me. There, right in the open, right next to the road was a building. Mike and I drove by and noticed it about the same time. I told him to turn the car around so we could check it out. We didn’t know what we were seeing and thought maybe someone moved a building in while we weren’t looking.
Little did we know this building was a well-kept secret on the Gunflint Trail. When we asked firefighters what the building was they told us it used to be an old school house. I had never heard of such a thing and as a Trustee on the board of the Gunflint Trail Historical Society I was surprised to find out about it. When I asked some other locals about it they coyly replied, "Yes, I knew it was there." Well then why didn’t they tell me about it?
Anyway, the firefighters were busy foaming this "new to me" building. They were preparing the structure for a backburn they were going to do. They had already removed numerous trees and brush in front of the building to prevent it from catching fire and that is why we could now see the building from the road.
I have heard mixed stories regarding the building. Some people say it was a school house, others say it is owned by the DNR. All I know is that most recently it was used as a cabin and it is in bad shape whatever it is or was. I also know the secret of this building is out and it is shocking all of us who thought we knew the Gunflint Trail.