Northern Bedrock Historic Preservation Corps will host an open house on Saturday, Feb. 15 for the community to see the progress of restoration at the Halfway Ranger Station Historic District and to brainstorm ideas for the site's future.
The open house will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Halfway Ranger Station Historic District, 12223 on County Highway 1 in Fall Lake Township, 13 miles southeast of Ely, according to a news release.
The stations includes 10 buildings and one structure on 12 acres along the Kawishiwi River. The site includes buildings built by the Works Progress Administration and the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps.
Located in the Superior National Forest, the site was first established as a ranger station in the early 20th Century and later used as a site for U.S. Forest Service research. The Northern Research Station (formerly Lake State Forest Experimental Station) took over management of the site in 1968, and the buildings were used by federal biologists who conducted long-term large mammal research. After the researchers moved, the 97-year-old site entered a nearly 20-year period with little or no use, the news release said.
In the fall of 2015, The NRS executed an agreement with Northern Bedrock for management and adaptive reuse of the site. Rehabilitation efforts began, and Northern Bedrock is planning new uses for the station. The project was financed in part with funds from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund of the Minnesota Historical Society, the news release said.
Northern Bedrock Historic Preservation Corps is a facet of AmeriCorps established in 2011, the news release said. The program is dedicated to maintaining and repairing Minnesota's aging historic structures and landscapes while also creating a pathway for young adults into the preservation trades workforce. Corps members are young adults between 18-25 years old who serve for six months getting hands-on experience and training.
A few locals with connections to the station will share their history with the site throughout the open house on Feb. 15, the news release said. Guests are welcome to bring snowshoes to explore the site. Refreshments will be served.