Between the years of 1949 and 1964, the town of Forest Center was used as a logging camp of the Tomahawk Timber Company. There were as many as 250 people and 53 homes. The camp also had a school, recreation-restaurant hall, store, lumber mill and more. The loggers worked the area with as many as 112 horses, cutting 100,000 to 150,000 cords per year. Upon the the closing of the camp, buildings were moved or dismantled, with many of its residents relocating in Isabella and other area communities.
What You Will Discover there Now
The Forest Center Townsite now serves as a parking lot for the Isabella Lake entry point for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and as the trailhead for the Pow Wow Trail. Railroad beds and road grades are visible in the area's woods. This area was burned in the Pagami Creek Fire in 2011, obliterating many of the remaining relics. Visiting Forest Center now will give visitors a good view of forest regeneration after a very hot wildfire.
Special Cautions and Considerations When Visiting
This site is located at the end of a remote gravel road with no nearby residences or businesses. Make sure your vehicle has ample fuel before checking out Forest Center.