Add Lake of the Woods Historical Society to your Plans

I have to admit, I don’t run to the thought of a history lesson. With that being said, I had the greatest afternoon learning many very interesting stories and visiting with Marlys Hirst of the Lake of the Woods Historical Society. Marlys is the Curator and Executive Director of this treasure trove of historical exhibits and items located in east Baudette across from the Lake of the Woods County offices. (

The LOW Historical Society opens each year in Mid May and is open to the public. Inside you will find fascinating items from past generations. The experience for this non history connoisseur was delightful and I will be back.

For the outdoors minded person, everything from old fishing rods, tackle, motors, and big mounted fish. There is lots of history of the Lake of the Woods fishery. Pictures of monster sturgeon over 150 lbs. The mount of the walleye the Willie Walleye statue is modeled after. Pictures of fishermen in small boats pulling in massive nets from the days gone by. History of harvesting liver oil from eelpout that was many times more effective than normal oil. Very interesting.

The logging industry was and is a big part of the area. Old chainsaws that 3x of our current saws. Old time two person hand saws that used to rip through massive trees in the area.

Lake of the Woods County was known for it’s logging industry during the early 1900’s. In 1910, a big forest fire decimated much of the area and took over 30 lives. Similar to other forest fires, the disaster took place over dry, harvested land which was vulnerable to fires.

The historical society has a number of old time displays including an old bar from a tavern in the area and a nickelodeon that you can actually still deposit 5 cents into and be entertained.

The next time you come up to Lake of the Woods, plan on taking some time and checking out the Lake of the Woods Historical Society, you will not be disappointed.


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