Lake Bemidji State Park contains two CCC/NYA/Rustic Style buildings which are located on the north shore of Lake Bemidji. Although the Central Design Office of the National Park Service conducted initial studies for the site, the architects for the buildings were from the Design Office of the Minnesota Division of State Parks.
The park’s historic district includes these resources:
The two CCC/NYA/Rustic Style buildings in Lake Bemidji State Park are historically significant as the only recreational facilities in the state park system that were constructed by the National Youth Administration. The Shelter Building and the Sanitation Building are architecturally significant as outstanding examples of Rustic Style log construction typically found in northern Minnesota.
Lake Bemidji State Park was established in 1923. At that time, the legislature appropriated $45,000 to purchase the site in order to preserve a remnant of a virgin pine forest and to provide public access to Lake Bemidji. One of the prime movers behind the creation of the park was Bemidji businessman Earl Barker. The park land was acquired from lumberman T.B. Walker over a period of time from 1923-36. Walker had originally purchased the land from the U.S. Government in 1883. The initial legislation required the county to maintain the park, but this responsibility was transferred eventually to the state.
The C.C.C. camp at Itasca State Park provided limited assistance when development of recreational facilities at the park began. However, building construction was actually undertaken by the National Youth Administration.
For current information about Bemidji State Park, go to the DNR website.