Member of the Year, Wayne Chamberlain

Around 60 members and friends of the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association attended the annual meeting and dinner held at the Marina II restaurant at the Breezy Point Resort Wednesday, November 10.

Exhibits were on display during the event, and baskets filled with items donated from members were raffled at the end of the evening. Most members were dressed in Paul Bunyan attire, which added to the evening enjoyment. Wayne Chamberlain was honored as “member of the year.” He accepted the plaque and said his reason for volunteering is that he “does it for the kids.”

Around 60 members and friends of the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association attended the annual meeting and dinner held at the Marina II restaurant at the Breezy Point Resort Wednesday, November 10.

Exhibits were on display during the event, and baskets filled with items donated from members were raffled at the end of the evening. Most members were dressed in Paul Bunyan attire, which added to the evening enjoyment. Wayne Chamberlain was honored as “member of the year.” He accepted the plaque and said his reason for volunteering is that he “does it for the kids.”

Ray Nelson, of the US Army Corps of Engineers Campground and Recreation Area in Crosslake, talked about the Paul Bunyan statue located at the corner of Hwy 371 and CR 11. The US Army Corps of Engineers in order to promote water safety, will be placing a life jacket on the statue before the 2011 fishing opener to encourage and remind boaters to wear their life jackets.

Locating firewood was always a problem at the Gull and Crosslake campgrounds., said Nelson. The Corps provides firewood for sale from certified vendors, and profits from firewood sales this season totaled around $3000, which was donated to the Byway Association.

Through grant funding, the University of Minnesota has been conducting an on-going study of the Byway, Ingrid Schneider presented this year’s findings. Several volunteers from the Byway committee gathered the information for the study.

Schneider said that awareness of the Byway and quality of life it brings to the community is very important to the Department of Transportation. She added that byways around the state are conducting similar surveys; the information gathered will be presented at the national byways conference next year.

The evening’s keynote speaker was Crow Wing County Highway Engineer Tim Bray. He talked about working for MnDOT and his position as the project engineer for Hwy 371.

Bray represented Crow Wing County in Washington, DC lobbing for Byways and presented Senators Klobuchar, Franken and Congressman Oberstar with a Byway deck of playing cards. Bray added that Oberstar was instrumental in securing funding from the federal government for our roads and bridges during his tenure as chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Bray brought back a bit of history in his talk, local residents may remember that Hwy 3 between Brainerd and Crosslake was once called the “Old Tote Road.” In 1882, Albert “Cod” Kimball, Kimball Lake was named, settled on Pelican Creek,  converted his place into a family residence and stopping place for northbound travelers. Kimball and Ami Gould were responsible for clearing and cutting most of the “Tote Road” mainly used by loggers.

Gould built another stopping place on the road on the Pine River; some of these original buildings remain standing today. Bray said this is one of many interesting stories on the development of the area’s county roads, which can be found at the Crow Wing County Historical Society.

Merritt Jewelers has developed a Paul Bunyan charm and was recognized as the first Byway business partner.

The evening ended with “Table Tales” where members of each table finish a Paul Bunyan fable with a twist of their own.

Click here to see a few more photos.

News Category: 
Published Date: 
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Published By: 
The Northland Press