Cabin life was uncharted, but North Woods project has been worth it

Nathan Law

My cabin life came about from a desire for a project to tackle as I looked forward to retirement after 40 years in the work world. This was mostly unknown territory to me, as I have always considered myself to be a city guy and have never had to mow […]

My cabin life came about from a desire for a project to tackle as I looked forward to retirement after 40 years in the work world. This was mostly unknown territory to me, as I have always considered myself to be a city guy and have never had to mow my own lawn or shovel out the driveway.

Through friends, a parcel of land on a small lake in St. Louis County became available.It had been part of a tree farm and contained stands of 80-foot red pines, as well as a grassy meadow area that I felt would make an ideal building site.

I designed a small single-room timber frame cabin and then found a local timber-framer through a contact at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais. The framer was willing and able to turn my simple plans into reality.

Construction began in spring 2019 with a team of local contractors experienced in the unique requirements of building in the North Woods. There were problems and setbacks, of course, but my expert and sometimes creative team brought my project to completion by winter of 2020, just as the pandemic hit.

I’ve documented my cabin-building experience, from design to completion, in a blog that, to my surprise, has drawn views from around the world (craigslostlakecabin.com).

If I’d known upfront what I know now would I have taken on this project?Probably not.Now that it’s done, am I glad I did it?Absolutely!I learned a lot and am now able to appreciate and enjoy the truly unique experience of Minnesota lake cabin life.

Craig Anderson, Minneapolis

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