Cabin 3 Restored To Its Original Character With Modern Conveniences And Prime Location

Historic Cabin 3 at Rockwood Lodge, a unique blend of historical charm and modern comfort, is ready to host your lakefront holiday. Having been out of service for renovations the last few years, Cabin 3 is prepared to go this summer, and you can find available dates on our website. With its rich history, modern amenities, and prime location, Cabin 3 offers a truly unique vacation experience. 

Located on Poplar Lake’s rocky and wooded shore, Rockwood is a landmark resort on the Gunflint Trail at the edge of the Boundary Waters. Its classic pine log lodge is almost 100 years old.

Paul Stolz and Wally Anderson, founders of Rockwood,  built the lodge and several cabins using local pine trees harvested in the woods nearby. Cabin 3 was built in the late 1920s or early 1930s. Over the years, it was modernized with indoor plumbing and electricity, but the original log cabin interior remained intact, a testament to its historical significance. 

The restoration process, led by Mike Seim, one of the current owners, has restored Cabin 3’s original charm.

According to Seim, Cabin 3 showed signs of aging, so it was taken out of service after the 2020 season for upgrading.

“We’d been expecting to do a basic, quick renovation,” Seim said. “The more we did, the more we realized needed to be done.” Everything except the logs that make up the walls and the beams on the roof have been rebuilt.

If Stoltz and Anderson could see it today, they would easily recognize Cabin 3. Maybe not the modern refrigerator and stove, but the logs and roof are original.

In the early years, many cabins on the Gunflint Trail were built with logs cut down nearby. Stoltz and Anderson were experienced woodsmen. In addition to the lower cost of construction materials, buildings with logs brought a rustic aesthetic to cabins that vacationers have always appreciated. 

Despite our rocky terrain, Cabin 3 sat on a foundation that had settled in a peculiar way. The foundation was replaced with new blocks, cross-hatched cribbing, and a new beam. 

“The logs themselves were in pretty good shape,” Seim said. “We sandblasted and stained the exterior. And all the interior needed was a good cleaning.”

The original builders knew how to prepare and build with logs. The logs were debarked and cut to length. Saddle notches, scooped depressions that allow logs to stack snugly, were made with broadaxes or saws. The notches interlock the logs in a strong and stable way.  

Gaps are inevitable as the logs age and dry, and “chinking” is part of the regular maintenance of a log structure. Initially, the chinking could have been mud or clay found nearby.

Seim said the gable roof was intact and in good condition. The original roof, window, and door frame lumber was likely milled on-site or nearby. 

The log walls and beams and the inside of the roof boards have been cleaned and restored to their original, rustic beauty. Brand new, waterproof laminate wood-look flooring was installed throughout the cabin.

Mike Seim and co-owner Carl Madsen completed the rehabilitation project with help of others, starting in their less intense off-season and completing it during this very busy Spring season. Friends and family helped throughout the process, some even during their vacations; co-owner Stephanie Lightner framed the deck, a certified union contractor completed the electrical, the exterior was stained by local painter Steve Perusse, and the flooring was installed by local contractor Mike Nadeau. Even the fire pit was installed by customers Kari and Chip.

Like all Rockwood cabins, Cabin 3 has high-speed WiFi and includes a canoe, gas grill, fire pit, picnic table, full kitchen, bathroom with shower, and fresh linens and towels.

It is a cozy cabin, perfect for a romantic escape or a solo adventure. You can unwind on the deck, just steps from the dock, and soak in the tranquility of the waterfront. The cabin comfortably sleeps two, with room for one more on the comfy chair futon. The minimum stay is two nights, but feel free to stay for more, depending on availability.

Log cabins 3 and 5 are the oldest of the nine cabins at Rockwood. Check for availability on our website.

Seim and Madsen are experienced canoers, outfitters, and resort operators. They are deeply committed to celebrating and protecting the history of Rockwood, the Gunflint Trail, and the BWCAW, ensuring that every guest feels connected to the place’s rich heritage. 

Maintaining Rockwood while protecting its history is their mission. Explaining how they approach the cabin maintenance, Seim said, “We’re trying to make ‘em last another hundred years.”