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Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places

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Forest Lodge Library, front entrance (J. Eiseley photo)

Forest Lodge Library, side elevation (J. Eiseley photo)

Forest Lodge Library, detail of bookshelves (J. Eiseley photo)

Forest Lodge Library
13450 County Highway M, Cable, Bayfield County
Architect/Builder: Allen H. Stem and Elmer McKay
Date of Construction: 1925-26

The village of Cable became a popular tourism and vacation site in the late 19th and early 20th century. Wealthy vacationers, mainly from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, were attracted to the recreational value of nearby lakes and woods. Cable was created by the railway, starting out as a train depot and expanding into a small village. In 1925, Mary Livingston Griggs, a prominent member of society in Minneapolis/St. Paul, donated and designed the Forest Lodge Library. She dedicated it to her mother in memory of their family lodge and estate at nearby Lake Namekagon.

Her original idea was to build a warming place for winter visitors, a meeting place for the community and a library to improve the social and educational life of the village. Although the library is located near the center of the village, its log construction blends into the wooded setting. Mary Livingston Griggs was inspired by the Rustic Style of her family lodge, based upon the wealthy summer camps that flourished in the Adirondacks in the early 20th century. Mrs. Griggs donated the library out of concern with the social development of the village. It served as a meeting place for various community groups such as book clubs and the Lutheran church. The library also provided opportunities for women and girls. Mrs. Griggs started a Girl Scout Troop and a 4-H Club for girls. The Women's Club, which had existed before the library was built, took over library operations.

The library is now attached to and owned by the Cable Natural History Museum built in 1971. Mrs. Griggs daughter, Mary Griggs Burke, continues to support the activities of the library and the museum. The building is open during regular business hours.


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