The Old Grade Road


During the late 1800's, the Old Grade was a railroad track used to move logs. It was the Cross Lake Logging Company's railroad. In 1903 Swen P. Hanson, real estate dealer responsible for bringing settlers to the area, built a large building on the south side of the Old Grade Road - big enough for a store, post office and hotel. It became a popular stopping place midway between Emily and Pine River. By 1919 logging operations had ceased, so the building was used as a private residence until it fell into decay and was gradually "carried away by residents in need of a little building material", as quoted by Mrs. Swen P. Hanson. The last load of logs was hauled into camp in 1906. The camp and railroad were dismantled between that time and about 1912.

Now the railbed serves as a minimum maintenance road that loggers still use for hauling logs out of the many acres of woods north of CSAH 1. Look for the interpretive panel kiosk located on the south side of CSAH 1, and read how Ole the Blacksmith and Babe helped to cover 25 miles of railroad with just 1,000 feet of track.