The Northwoods Forest History Experience

                                                More Than A Museum!

A Joint Project of the North Lakeland Discovery Center and Manitowish Waters Historical Society


Why do we call it the Northwoods Forest History Experience?

Because it is much more than a museum. Each exhibit, in addition to illuminating forest history periods, traditions, and practices, will direct visitors to actual nearby historic sites for further enrichment and with the purpose so central to our mission: Get out and explore! In addition, immediately outside the building will be opportunities for visitors to use actual historic forestry tools like crosscut saws and fire suppression equipment.


Status Update April 1, 2024

After 3+ years of planning, the project is moving forward! Here’s what we’ve accomplished so far:

  • A steering committee – with representatives from the Discovery Center, the Manitowish Waters Historical Society, former Statehouse Lake YCC Campers, WI-DNR, George W. Brown, Jr. Ojibwa Museum and Cultural Center, and the former tribal archeologist for the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians – has been meeting regularly to bring the project from concept to reality.
  • Site and building plans have been developed to relocate the building to a more prominent site on the Discovery Center grounds and guide its transformation into an interactive museum experience.
  • The building has been reroofed to ensure its continued integrity.
  • The six exhibits have been planned with physical artifacts, photos, and plentiful digital materials. A prototype YCC exhibit has been created and will be on display at the Discovery Center.
  • A budget and schedule have been created to guide the project to completion. Total budget is $400,000; construction is anticipated to begin in Spring 2025.
  • Fundraising has begun, with $175,000 pledged thus far.


We invite you to join in this effort that will create a treasured asset in our community and will  contribute invaluably to the understanding of our precious forests’ significance.

Our Objective

Our objective is to restore, renovate, and transform a 90-year-old Civilian Conservation Corps Barracks into an immersive, interactive forest history museum experience.

Make a donation

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