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Restoring Camp Fire History

A beloved landmark gets new life to help welcome more young people into nature.

Read Time 2 minutes

January 2024

John Lind (1854-1930) was a Swedish immigrant who became the 14th governor of Minnesota and left an indelible mark on our beloved 103-acre property. In 1902, Governor Lind envisioned a “modern summer cottage” on the land that is Camp Fire Minnesota today, blending his passion for farming and horticulture. The Lind Mansion witnessed diverse roles over the years, serving as lodging, dining hall, admin center, staff housing, hospital, art and nature center, and even a wedding venue.

Today, referred to as ‘The Mansion,’ it is the sole survivor of Camp Fire Minnesota’s journey since its inception. Countless memories and enduring friendships were forged within its historic walls. However, the past two decades have seen The Mansion succumb to decay, rendering it unusable. As we celebrate our 100th anniversary, we see an opportunity to pay homage to our storied past and pave the way for an exciting future. Thanks to generous support, Phase 1 of the remodel is underway. This phase encompasses crucial steps such as cleaning, roofing, and completing a condition assessment.

Upon completing this transformative project, The Mansion will stand as a testament to our history and open its doors to new possibilities. We plan to introduce a winterized program space and a unique rental area, welcoming more young people into nature. A special note of gratitude goes to our partners at HGA, who have joined us in dreaming and envisioning The Mansion’s potential. Their in-kind support has been instrumental in shaping this vision into reality.

If you are as captivated by our mission to provide equitable access to nature as we are, we invite you to learn more and support this project. Reach out to Sara Lemke at saral@campfiremn.org to participate in this transformative journey. Together, let’s breathe new life into The Mansion and continue inspiring the next generation in the heart of nature.

Camp Fire Minnesota is located on the lands of the Dakota people. Read our full land acknowledgement here.

Digital ullustrations showing aerial view of mansion and surrounding property and an outdoor classroom