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Oma Tupa, Oma Lupa
One’s Own Cabin, One’s Own Freedom (Finnish Proverb)


As of March 31, 2020, after forty-some years, Snowshoe Country Lodge is closed – two years after Ron reluctantly closed the school Thanks to all the great people and dogs who stayed here and enjoyed the place over four decades. If you have questions, call Ron at 218.365.2126. Not officially open to the public, but would occasionally trade a night or two of lodging for easy jobs around the place, particularly during June & early July.

June 7, 2020 The resort ceased operation at the end of March due to the Corvid-19 virus. The website is being left up for now. The property is for sale at this time and is represented by Bear Island Land Co. in Ely. One can either purchase the whole place at listing price of $410, or in parts: 1350 Snowshoe Trail is the core portion with most of the buildings, with an asking price oif $250k, or 9182 Lake County Road 2, comprised of 56 acres east of the highway including the Sunrise Cabin, at $79k. Another tract is 9106 Lake County Road 2 –  76 acres on the southeast part of the resort, including the Maymaygwishi Trail and two driveways leading to some very nice building sites, asking $79k also. Call Ron at 218.365.2126 for specifics and realtor contact info. There are fifty photos of the place on Bear Island’s website.

A moving sale will be held Saturday, June 27, 2020 here at the former resort and school, including some camping gear, a fiddle, surveying equipment, safety gear, lots of books, miscellaneous old tools, and leftover paint. Please RSVP to Ron at 218.365.2126 or courses@schooloflogbuilding if you intend to come.

NOTE: In error, “lumber” was previously mentioned in the paragraph above. There is no lumber available for sale or free. It is all promised to a party who has offered to purchase the camp.



See notes below and understand that this website is being left up for informational purposes even though the building courses will no longer be offered. There are good data on safety procedures, lists of gear you will need to do your own building and other resources. For further questions, feel free to phone Ron Brodigan at 1.218.365.2126 anytime. See note #1 below.

Ron’s newly-launched consulting enterprise, Great Lakes Log Building Consulting, is a business member of the International Log Builders’ Association (ILBA) headquartered at Montebello, Quebec, and advice given is mainly in accordance with the Association’s Effective Practices & Methods for Handcrafted Log Building.
Ron was a member of Robert Chambers’ committee that revised this document for the ILBA in 2010.

Note #1:  Ron continues to consult with private individuals on log construction, assisting with site planning, preparation, procurement of logs and general recommendations as one gets ready to build for him or herself. In this connection, he may be available to travel a reasonable distance to your area on a per diem, mileage and motel lodging basis – or you can visit him at the former site of the school on Sand Lake. As part of this effort, he is currently updating a handy list of tools and other resources you will probably need when you set out to construct your own building from logs. See “What to Bring.”*

Lectures and slide presentations may also be available. In addition, Ron has owned, operated, and maintained a number of loader trucks, bulldozers, cranes, backhoes, sawmills and other apparatus over the decades. He may be a useful source of advice for anyone contemplating a purchase of such equipment. Inquiries can be directed to him at 1.218.365.2126 or courses@schooloflogbuilding.com.


*Portions of this list were originally required items for attending Ron’s 10-day courses over the years. A full set of safety gear meant nobody ever was cut with a chainsaw in four decades. It might also be useful to read the part of the old school website dealing with safety rules – “Worksite Safety.”


A nice load of Norway (red) pine being unloaded in the peeling yard – just in time for the beginning of a course. We use a variety of wood species for log building.

Left to right above are members of a recent workshop: Adam, Eagle River, WI; Eric, Mounds View, MN; Richard, Grapevine, TX; Mike, Lino Lakes, MN; Kevin, Tomahawk, WI; Nathan, Eagle River, WI.


On the July workshop (above and below), Jill and Danny from Indiana, Colleen from Netherlands, and Richard from Texas, calculate the kingpost cut, then later pose after completing the roof system.


Above: Future log builders: Mark, Minnesota, Todd, Ohio, and Chris, Alaska, finish a log truss for a project on a November workshop.


Above: Megan and Sheila work on flattening a cap plate during a July course – making use of a helper handle.


Outside Magazine, October 2010, listed our log building course as number 15 on their LifeList of experiences you should have during your lifetime: “Build a cabin in the mountains. Building one yourself requires at least six months,…tools, and serious skills. Hesitating? Increase your chances of success by taking a course at the Great Lakes School of Log Building (schooloflogbuilding.com).”

If you are thinking of sending a relative or friend on a log building course in  2017 – as a holiday, anniversary or birthday present, tuition gift certificates can be easily and quickly arranged. Call 218.365.2126 for information.

Brent and Megan of North Carolina and Sheila and Terry from the Toronto area comprised a July basic and roof workshop.


On the June course were Todd, Minnesota, and Chuck and Tammie, Mississippi.


The May, 2011 course included Mark, Wisconsin, Shaun, New York, Megan, California.


Finishing up a timber-truss on the July, 2009 course are (clockwise) Brett, Ohio; Chris & Debra , Wisconsin; Paul, Minnesota; Robert & his daughter, Alina, from eastern Ontario.


The participants in a three-day roof workshop are shown below after the ridgelog was fitted and placed. l to r: Mark, PA; Jon, MN; Scott & Bruce, MN.


Bruce trims a kingpost to accommodate the ridgelog.



Jeff of Indiana cuts a window on an April course. One of the most successful and enjoyable courses ever held (at least from the instructor’s perspective), the group also included Colin of Manitoba, Marlon of Tennessee and Pat from Ohio.


Former students Jim and Nancy Sauer of St. Louis, MO, holding their model in front of their almost completed home, done during 2007-07 of yellow pine with help from their son and a friend. See more pictures below.


During May 2007 Stonework Course, Jennifer, Illinois, sifts clean mortar sand while Tony, Wisconsin, mixes.


Jim and Nancy Sauer from Missouri brought to the June, 2006 class their model of the house they would build. After some modification, the house now well underway, the revised mockup of the house is shown below with their son, Mike, and Bruce Gibbar, who were participants on the June 2007 course.


Great Lakes School of Log Building 
1350 Snowshoe Trail,  Isabella, MN 55607

Copyright ©2016, Great Lakes School of Log Building