Temporary ExhibitThe temporary exhibit for 2017 at Chik-Wauk Museum is “Remembering the Ham Lake Fire 2007."
The exhibit commemorates the 10th anniversary of the Ham Lake Fire which burned 75,851 acres in Minnesota (36,443) and Ontario, Canada (39,408), the second largest fire in Minnesota since 1918 (Pagami Fire in 2011 at 93,000 acres) . One hundred, thirty-three (133) total structures were lost in the first few days of the Ham Lake Fire on the Minnesota side. Sixty-one (61) were residences, 17 commercial, and 55 were outbuilding and other structures. The estimated value of lost buildings from Cook County Assessor’s office was $3.7 million.
The exhibit tells the stories of the Ham Lake Fire. An interpretive panel designed by Split Rock Studios displays a wildfire progression map, photographs and “fire facts”. Using a tablet device, visitors to the museum are able to listen to WTIP Community Radio audio interviews and view Good Measure Media’s Ham Lake Fire video. An electronic photo frame shows photographs collected from the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department, Cook County, local residents and others. Journals documenting Ham Lake Fire experiences are available in printed format, as well as collections of daily Incident Command wildfire updates and media clippings. Wildfire fighters’ gear and clothing and melted artifacts provide visitors a real-life connection to the Ham Lake Fire.
We are very happy to work with the following organizations on this project; Gunflint Trail Scenic Byway Committee, Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department, U.S. Forest Service, WTIP radio, and Good Measure Media. We will have additional financial assistance from the Gunflint Trail Association/Visit Cook County, and the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation. Of course we could not put any of this together without the entire community helping us.
Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center is open daily from Memorial Day Weekend through the third weekend of October.