West Red Lake Mining Museum, created by Enid Carlson

Behind the Cabin

The log building is actually an original cabin from the 1926 Gold Rush to Red Lake which was the third-largest in the world. The cabin was formerly located at Bow Narrows Camp and was moved to the current site when the concept of the museum was first broached about seven years ago. Only one story of the original two-story structure was re-erected at the museum site.

The entire project was done by volunteers under the guidance of Brian Kreviazuk seen here repairing the museum's dock last fall.

 

The museum location was originally the home site of Bill Brown, Red Lake's first postmaster. He is buried on an island in front of the museum. If you look carefully you can see his headstone from your boat.

 

Back in the 1920s and '30s the west end of Red Lake was a hive of activity with many small gold mines in the area. Eventually everyone moved to the east end of the lake where the town of Red Lake is now situated. Almost none of the mines at the west end produced any gold while the ones at the east end were winners. Today the town of Red Lake boasts the world's richest gold mine, owned by GoldCorp.

 

It seems incredulous that the wilderness at the west end was once inhabited by hundreds of gold rush pioneers. It is nothing but trees and bays and islands today. About all that remains are the rock piles from the mines and a few corners of the old log cabins.

 

There is also a large glacial erratic or boulder behind the museum that is a real stunner. The size of a house, it is one of the largest boulders ever discovered from the glaciers that covered this area 10,000 years ago.

 

The museum contains old photographs and stories of life in the area back in the gold rush. Photos are changed from time to time and other exhibits are planned next year as well.

 

There is no charge to visit the museum.

 

article written by Dan Baughman

Brian Kreviazuk seen here repairing the museum's dock.

Those who Built This
Bob Adams
Lars Anderson
Brian Beaushene
Doug Beaushene
Andrew Fjelsted
John Hager
Stephan Hager
Allister McRae
Chris "Tuffer" Fjelsted
Derek James
Joe Marion
Mike Shephard
Lindsay Anaka
Brenda Baughman
Dan Baughman
Don Bicknell
Melodie Duggan
Barry Duggan
Bill Ivaniski
Allen Kimelman
Dale Lamie
Bob Moninger
J.P. Moninger
Tom Moninger
Ryan Pickard
J.J. Richthammer
Carol Sokoloff
Will Williams
Jason Vinet
Jeremy Gillis
Eric Weslowsky
Cliff King
Brian Kreviazuk
At Bow Narrows Camp
The Move
At West Narrows

This cabin was built during the West Red Lake Gold Rush around 1928 by Johnny Drawson.  He was known as a carpenter and bootlegger.  Johnny moved to Red Lake.  The cabin was used by Dan Baughman for staff and guests at Bow Narrows Camp.

As Dan modernized his camp this cabin didn't fit in anymore but it seemed  a shame to burn this piece of history.  Brian Krevizuk and Dan hatched a plan that would take many volunteers with muscles and passion to accomplish.

The Ministry of Natural Resources gave permission for the volunteers to move the cabin to Bill Brown's old homestead south of West Narrows.  The huge erratic boulder there is landmark that all people in the area already know.