Cook County News Herald

Encampment Forest Redux



Faithful readers of two of these columns have learned more about the Encampment Forest Association than most people ever will. A friendly email disclosed I had a distant, but interesting, relative living there. We had a good talk and lunch, sharing family and personal histories. We will likely do it again.

So, what did we learn? First, the EFA is really forested. Of a likely 300 or so owners, only about 50 are on Lake Superior. The rest are sheltered amongst thick trees reached by mostly unpaved roads. The houses range from small cabins to large estates with multiple buildings. Some have guest houses. You rarely can see more than one or two neighbors.

Second, it is as up and down a property as any in the foothills of the Sawtooth Mountains. At least one road at the bottom of steep hill near the shore remains closed for the winter. The rest are open year-round but bring drives to all four wheels of your vehicle.

Third, much effort has clearly been expended to maintain the style of a 1920’s resort. That includes many log buildings including the Lodge, but that style is not apparently required.

Fourth, the internet lists several properties for sale. Three are empty lots ranging from $26- 50,000. If you get approved for membership, the others will set you back about $500,000. I suspect there are some that are valued less, but not currently listed for sale. Note the process of Board approval for membership is echoed in most Senior and other Cooperative housing. Different standards may apply.

Fifth, A bit curiously, but with a likely history, the manager of the EFA is labelled “Foreman.”

Sixth, as we toured around, many of the passersby greeted our hosts pleasantly; and we were ignored during our tour of the lodge. If you get a tour, be sure to check out the two waterfalls, one higher and another about 20 feet.

Seventh, if you are approved as an Associate Member, you might rent one of about 15 homes in the EFA. Call (218) 834-4450 for details.



Below is a picture of the iconic bridge crossing the Encampment River and uniting the East and West Sections.

All in all, I suspect most folks would like to have a place in the Encampment Forest. As we noted in a prior column, the insistence on privacy seems to have abated some as has the whiteness. Before you buy or rent, you can learn all about its history at the State Historical Society, including a history to 1945 by Joseph Kingman and a member of the Pillsbury family.

Steve Aldrich is a retired Hennepin County lawyer, mediator, and Judge, serving from 1997-2010. He and his wife moved here in 2016. He likes to remember that he was a Minnesota Super Lawyer before being elected to the bench. Now he is among the most vulnerable to viruses. Steve really enjoys doing weddings, the one thing a retired judge can do without appointment the Chief Justice.. He writes this column to learn more about his new home area and to share his learnings with others— and to indulge his curiosities. Copyright Stephen C. Aldrich and News Herald, 2022

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