Backwards. Sideways. Forward. Summer 2023

We’ve spoken with hundreds of people. Sent out dozens of marketing folders. Received  considerable support in pledges in funds, but, still found ourselves short of our fundraising goal while, in the meantime, out there in the world construction costs only continued to spiral upward. It seemed that something had to change.

Late last fall an Expansion subcommittee was formed to explore reducing the size and cost of the 2019 plan. Our ambitious 7000 sq ft. plan has been adapted to compensate for significantly increased construction costs. In the silent phase of the campaign, we raised $600,000 in pledges and outright donations. This represents only 25% of our previous target of $2.5 million (2019 construction costs).  We went back to the drawing board with Keller Builds, our construction management firm, to create a revised 3600 sq ft. expansion floor plan which retains important elements of the initial plan. Renderings of the revised site and floor plan can be found here.

The revised floor plan will enable the Forest Lodge Library to offer services it currently cannot. The log cabin library, as wonderful and iconic as it may be, is simply not of sufficient size to meet modern-day expectations for service. We are eager to move forward with the revised expansion in order to meet the 21st Century needs of our communities, our patrons and our visitors.

The Forest Lodge Library has long been a valued community resource and place where the future resides in the past. The completed library expansion would make it a place where the future resides with the past. We are committed to extending our essential services into the 21st Century and hope can support us in achieving our goal.

December 18, 2020 – Our community lost one of its beloved elders in recent days. Winnie Gall, 91, passed on December 10th. Her family has requested that memorial donations be directed to The Katie Flowers Endowment (or Forest Lodge Library KFE) in support of the Fred and Winnie Gall Memorial Community Study Room, to be located in the Library’s Expansion Facility. We are deeply honored that the family has taken on this memorial effort and deeply moved that Fred and Winnie will always be remembered at the library. This effort is being coordinated by Zach Larson, a member of the Capital Campaign Executive Committee. You may feel welcome to direct questions you have about this memorial to him at 715-638-0232.

December 2020

Oh, 2020, you destroyer of timelines, you betrayer of plans! Let us hasten to say that we are mindful that having been put on “pause” is about the least worst thing that might of happened. We stand in sympathy with all of those who lost so much this pandemic year. This year of floods, fires and tornadoes. This year of racial and political unrest. We believe that better days are coming.

Late in the summer of 2019 the Board of the Forest Lodge Library and the Katie Flowers Endowment began to look for a fundraising professional to assist us in the development of a Capital Campaign. Through the autumn and early winter months we met with a couple of fundraisers and ended up choosing to- work with Jim Radford and Baker Street Consulting of Stevens Point. Baker Street had considerable experience working with rural non-profits and libraries in particular, so, they seemed a good fit for us. Baker Street felt it would be advisable to conduct a small-sample feasibility study on behalf of our project-which was to commence in March, or, in short, just as the COVID-19 pandemic was stepping up its march across our nation. Thus, all interviews were conducted via telephone and we offer our thanks to those who participated. Mr. Radford returned to us with the message that, while exactly that moment might not be the right time (Summer 2020) his survey gave him cause to think that we would be able to raise the funds to complete the proposed facility expansion project and, people were glad to hear that we were continuing to plan as that represented good news in an otherwise dark year.

We have, in recent months, established an Executive Campaign Committee. That Committee is working to implement our campaign plan and are currently determining who in our communities would be able to assist us in securing the major gifts that will move this project forward. If you are such a person and we haven’t already connected with you, please contact library director Kristine Lendved at 715-798-3189 or or any member of the Board of the Forest Lodge Library or the Katie Flowers Endowment or of the Executive Campaign Committee.

With the passage of time since our initial designs were developed and costed, and with the material cost increases associated with 2020, we have increased our fundraising goal to $2.5 million.

In the fall of 2020 a civil engineering study was done on the proposed building site and the existing Forest Lodge Library/Cable Natural History Museum property. (owned by the Cable Natural History Museum) A topographical survey was conducted and soil boring samples were taken. The survey was ordered by Keller Builds and they are working with the Civil Engineering firm, Ruekert-Mielke, to provide us with some information on existing water issues on the properties and those that might result with the addition of a new building. It is anticipated that they will recommend effective mitigation strategies, as well.

To provide you with a somewhat more concise version of where we are now, here is a “one-pager” recently developed by members of the Executive Campaign Committee:

The Forest Lodge Library
Expansion Project Overview

The Forest Lodge Library has been in the same 1,004 square foot log cabin since 1925, which—while charming— places severe constraints on the size of the collection and patron use of the space.

The Katie Flowers Endowment, in support of the Forest Lodge Library, has established a fundraising goal of $2.5 million to finance the cost of a library expansion facility, which will be located on the lot adjacent to the existing log cabin library and will be attached to that facility by a connecting corridor.

This expansion facility will enable the Forest Lodge Library to offer enhanced library services to patrons and visitors. It will fulfill a community need for public meeting space for small and medium groups, including workspace and aligned tech for business people and students working remotely. The proposed design allows us to continue to utilize the beloved log cabin as an essential part of the library while the new building will offer additional resources and services.

The expansion facility:

  • Allows the library to retain purchased materials and reintegrate collections that have been stored off-site.
  • Is sized to accommodate anticipated space needs through 2040.
  • Includes increased and enhanced technology services which will serve community needs now and into the future.
  • Allows the library to offer increased handicapped accessibility and be in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Enables the library to offer expanded services for children and age appropriate space for young adults.
  • Permits the library to offer daytime programming as well as space for individual instruction with a Community Room and Study Rooms. At present, all programming must be scheduled after operating hours or offsite and there are no private spaces for one-on-one sessions.
  • Offers a dedicated parking area, improving safety for visiting patrons.
  • Incorporates the log cabin as an integral and active part of the library. It will be principally an adult area for quiet reading and computer engagement.

= Will draw more visitors to downtown Cable.

Support is sought at many levels. Naming Opportunities are still available. To learn more about the project please visit To discuss a Naming Opportunity, a donation pledge, a stock transfer or a major gift please contact Library Director Kristine Lendved at 715-798-3189 or or any member of the Forest Lodge Library or Katie Flowers Endowment Board of Trustees or any member of the Capital Campaign Committee. We welcome your support!

The Katie Flowers Endowment, trade name Forest Lodge Library KFE is a legally enjoined 501 (c)3 that functions as the fundraising arm of the Forest Lodge Library and whose sole purpose is to support the library.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What will happen to the current log cabin?
    The proposed design allows us to continue to utilize the beloved log cabin as an essential part of the library.  It will serve as an adult reading room and house periodicals, non-fiction and historical resources. Don’t let the architectural rendering mislead you. There will be no changes made to the iconic log cabin, save that an existing but currently unused side door will be opened to allow the passageway to the new facility.
  • Why is it so big? Are you sure it is big enough?
  • The Cable Natural History Museum owns log cabin and its lot. The museum administers the Griggs Burke Endowment to maintain the building and grounds. The library expansion is designed to accommodate all materials and services currently housed in the log cabin in the event it is no longer available.
  • The Forest Lodge Library size (1008 square feet) has not changed since it was built in 1925. We are now playing catch-up to serve an expanded population – which doubles in the summer months. 

The expansion will provide:

  • Improved safety and accessibility with a main entrance and parking on the north side of the new structure.
  • Meeting spaces and study rooms, identified as a community need in the 2017 Cable Visioning Tomorrow study. The new meeting spaces will be available to the community, both during and after library hours.
  • Increased technology services.
  • More shelving and displays for print and non-print collections.
  • Additional patron seating and reading areas.
  • More space for quiet study, computer training and
    library programming.
  • What happened to the Endowment funds the library got from the Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation?

The library did not receive any funding from the Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation. The Cable Natural History Museum, who owns the log cabin in which the Forest Lodge Library is housed, received Endowment funds for the ongoing care and maintenance of the building. No Foundation money was directed to the library itself.

  • Why is the Children’s area so large? Will it be too noisy?
    • Juvenile and young adult users double from June through August. The free span ceiling structure of the expansion will allow adjustments to be made based on changing patron demographics and needs.
    • Noisy programs or activities will be held in one of the meeting rooms to keep disruption to a minimum.
    • The adult reading area in existing log cabin will be designated a
      quiet space. 
  • What about sustainable energy solutions?
    • Solar panels located on the roof of the Cable Natural History Museum currently power air conditioning in the log cabin.
    • The proposed building site would need to be evaluated to determine if the inclusion of solar would or could be a viable and affordable option.
    • Due to the size of the lot, geothermal is not a viable option.
    • While sustainable energy solutions are philosophically attractive and certainly align with our values, they would also need to be cost effective. Purchase support for alternative energy solutions is not presently widely available. 
  • How is library funded now?

The Forest Lodge Library is a joint library of the Towns of Cable and Namakagon. Each of these municipalities makes an annual payment to the library based on an equalized property values calculation. Their annual contribution must meet or exceed this defined amount to exempt them from paying County Library Tax.


Additional funds are received from Bayfield County and from adjacent counties which represent reimbursement for services rendered to residents of communities without libraries.


  • What is the plan to staff, maintain and operate the larger facility?
    • A low maintenance exterior and careful interior planning will help minimize maintenance expenses.
    • Forest Lodge Library is fortunate to have a great team of willing volunteers who may provide some staffing assistance.
    • The library has developed an estimated budget for operating expenses for the current and expanded facility and this document is available upon request.
    • To date, fundraising has not been required for Forest Lodge Library operating expenses. It may be an option to consider in the future.
    • What about the grounds?
    • There will be bike racks.
    • Future plans include an outdoor classroom, edible landscaping
      and more.
  • How can I help?
    • Pledge today! You can fulfill your pledge over time however works best for you.
    • Pledges and/or donations should be made to The Katie Flowers Endowment, the fund-raising arm of the Forest Lodge Library and a 501 ( c ) (3) organization.
    • Be sure to check with your employer to see if a corporate match
      is available.
    • Give online at You can use your credit card through Paypal. Funds gifted in this manner will be transferred to the Katie Flowers Endowment.
    • Contact Forest Lodge Library (715-798-3189) to discuss a Naming Opportunity, Sustaining Gift, or how to include the library in your estate plans.
    • The Forest Lodge Library/Katie Flowers Endowment would be open to in-kind donations of materials, services or art.
  • Is my contribution tax deductible?
    • Contributions are tax deductible according to Internal Revenue Service standards. You will receive a thank you and acknowledgement from the Katie Flowers Endowment that can be used for tax purposes.
  • What is the timeline for the fundraising campaign?
    • Two to three years. We hope to have the necessary funds raised by early 2022 so construction can start that spring.

Progress Report – June 2019

On Thursday, June the 6th, the library offered two Public Input Sessions, one in the Town of Cable, one in the Town of Namakagon. As a joint library of the two communities, it felt that it was important that each community was given an opportunity to review our preliminary plans. Devin Flanigan, our Keller Builds liaison, was present to answer questions and explain their involvement in the process. At each session, Library Director Kristine Lendved offered some history and background on the project, Library Board member and Katie Flowers Endowment President Anne Paul offered additional information as to the reasons behind our wish to expand the size of the library; to augment our collection, improve our service profile and be able to offer library programming during regular hours of operation! Devin Flanigan offered a slide presentation showcasing the plans at present including views from several angles and a look at the proposed floor plan.

Questions from those attending were fielded. Some people wondered why it was so big. Others wondered if it were big enough! Some questions could not yet be answered. We are not far enough along in the process to have specified exact furnishings or exterior treatments or even to have decided precisely what sort of heating/cooling will be used. The present plan addresses present and future space needs, identifies a floorplan and offers an exterior that will at once showcase the existing log cabin library and look to be part of a “campus” that includes the adjacent Cable Natural History Museum.

Marketing materials, a Case Statement and an accompanying brochure, were developed and received JUST in time for the Public Input Sessions. Same are available for pick-up at the library, or, give us a call at 715-798-3189 or email us at and we’d be very happy to put one in the mail to you! We have large format drawings at the library and Library Director Kristine Lendved would be very happy to show them to you and take your input on them.

Our expansion facility will include a community meeting room which will enable us to offer daytime programming and will also be available for reservation for groups wishing to use it at any time. The facility is designed so that the meeting room and restrooms can be blocked off from the rest of the building so that the meeting room can be used before or after hours when staff is not present. There will, additionally, be several smaller study rooms which would be appropriate for small group meetings or to allow an area visitor who needs to work, to do so in a private space. These rooms, also, will be available to reserve. There will be a larger and improved children’s area and a central circulation desk which will include improved work space for library staff. There is a planned “media center” where patrons can use a scanner to transfer slides or photographs to digital files and accomplish other tech chores. Yes, there will be computer stations and room for our collection.

And the log cabin library? YES it will still very much be part of the library. As currently planned, it will be considered the “adult reading area.” A significant portion of the collection will continue to be housed there. The children’s area will be fully relocated to the expansion facility, as well as the main circulation desk,, which should insure that the area will, indeed, be a peaceful, quiet place to read and study. Several computer stations will remain there, and, of course, the wireless will extend to both areas of the facility.

Let us also say THIS: there are NO PLANS to make any changes to the exterior of the log cabin building. Because the log cabin does not look exactly like itself in the  architectural rendering there are those who think those are planned changes. They are not! For one thing: the log cabin is owned by the Cable Natural History Museum. They have effected some improvements in and on the log cabin in the last several years, notably a new cedar shake roof and a newly refurbished exterior. It is also the case that the log cabin library is on both State and Federal Registers of Historic Places. So, will the log cabin library change? Indeed not…not on our watch!

Next steps: We will have an additional meeting with Keller to discuss the input we received at our Public Input Sessions. This should result in an updated preliminary plan. Then…well we need to raise the funds to accomplish this project. Our marketing materials identify our goal of raising two million dollars as well as identifying funding levels. Please know that we’d be very grateful to receive whatever contribution anyone wishes to make to our endeavor. We feel that this will be a great addition to our community. We hope, soon, to kick off an actual capital campaign.

In the meantime, Library Director Kristine Lendved or any member of our Board of Directors would be happy to talk to you about the project and how you might be involved.


Progress Report – January 2019

We are now two years into our “project” and, while it may look like not much has changed, progress has, in fact, been made.

In our last installment we explained that we had interviewed a number of architects and that we had determined that it would be useful to visit properties that they had been involved with. This determination resulted in a group of current and former Board Trustees, as well as Library Director Kristine Lendved, taking a series of daytrips in the early months of 2018. (happily, good weather was with us on travel days!) We visited the Walter E. Olson Memorial Library in Eagle River, WI, the Ely Public Library in Ely, MN and the Evelyn Goldberg Briggs Memorial Library in Iron River, WI. Each of these libraries was designed by one of the firms we were considering, and we certainly saw a wide variety of styles and economic resources. We also felt that we learned a great deal with each visit and refined our own ideas of what we hoped to offer in a new library building for our own community.

We were also introduced to a concept we had not previously considered: Design/Build. We were first approached by a construction management firm that has done other work in the area and were impressed by the services they would offer. We were subsequently contacted by another construction management firm, Keller Builds, which is located in Wisconsin’s Fox Valley. After several meetings with both construction management firms we opted to go with Keller Builds for several reasons, the most significant being that they had an on-staff architect, which seemed like the best fit for us. We have had, at the time of this writing, three meetings with Keller personnel. In the first we spent…hours…discussing our existing services and the ones we hope to offer. From this, the Keller architect assembled a “needs assessment” document, identifying space sizes for what we had identified as our space needs. We carefully reviewed this document and made notes and suggested changes and went over it all again with Keller personnel. They supplied us with an updated space needs calculation.

The committee engaged with this process is composed of current and former Library Board Trustees, library staff and representatives from the Cable Natural History Museum and the Towns of Cable and Namakagon.

While there are still issues to iron out, having, largely, to do with State and County regulations pertaining to building across property boundaries, we do hope, very much, to have an initial drawing and potential library lay-out in the next month to six weeks at which time we hope to engage with our community on the plan and the project. We very much want for this to be a place that everyone will be pleased with and proud of.

We wish to assure anyone who may be worried about it that our plans VERY MUCH include keeping our iconic and beloved log cabin as a working and essential part of the library! We are also working on re-orienting the entryway to the new building so that it will face north, which, we hope very much, will take some of the pressure off an extremely busy section of County M! We also wish to state that we fully intend to work together with the Cable Natural History Museum to retain and enhance the “campus” area that we will share.

In the meantime, we continue to utilize the property. The Katie Flowers Endowment kept The Book House (as it is called) open every Saturday from Memorial Day weekend until Fall Fest weekend, with a few extra days in between, including the Annual Fourth of July Book Sale.

The library used the property to offer a Summer Reading Carnival which was a fun day of interactive activities and performance. Kenton Whitman and his family taught kids how to weave cord into a bracelet…that could easily be unwound if you found yourself in sudden need of a rope! We set-up some old-fashioned games for kids to play…like hop-scotch and a life-sized tic tac toe board painted onto the lawn. The day wrapped up with a puppet theater performance by Pam Cocoran, a part-time resident of Clam Lake who makes delightful felted wool puppets.

Although we have not yet kicked off a capital campaign in support of our building project, we have received funds which we’ve been directed to add to that fund. If you do have an interest in offering your financial support to this project, you are encouraged to contact Library Director Kristine Lendved who would share the information with the Library Board and would be happy to meet with you to discuss your support and recognition.

As we stated last year, we are always happy to hear from any of our patrons regarding the types of services and features you’d like to see offered by the library! We are YOUR Forest Lodge Library and we are here for YOU.

Progress Report – January 2018

It’s been just a bit over a year since the library acquired the property adjacent to us, and, if there’s one thing we’ve learned…it’s that everything takes time. Granted, we jumped on the opportunity to purchase the property, not because we had a definite idea of what we wanted to do with it, but, because we saw it as our best opportunity to both remain in our existing (and much beloved) location AND to build a library addition that would allow us to better serve the needs of our communities.

We spent some time talking with people who’d been involved in previous attempts at expansion and with others who’d undergone or were in the process of renovation efforts at their own libraries. Our summer “social” event, A Novel Affair, in addition to showcasing library services and having fun, was an opportunity to engage with our patrons about services they’d like to see offered, and features that would be appreciated in a library addition. We received further input on patrons wishes and needs via Cable Tomorrow, the Town of Cable’s ongoing visioning process. Our Board, in a special meeting, reviewed all of this material and defined our own list of what we considered to be essential features of any library addition.

Activities at Forest Lodge Library

In the last several months we have established an interview committee and have interviewed three architectural firms, all who have some experience working with libraries. We are currently engaged in the process of visiting projects overseen by these various architects, which we hope will assist us in choosing the best fit for our project, community and budget. So far our travels have taken us east to Eagle River. We anticipate visits to Ely, Duluth/Superior and Iron River. While it can sometimes feel as though the process has stalled, these are weighty decisions, and we very much wish to exercise due diligence!

In the meantime, we and our patrons have enjoyed the use of the property! As you are likely aware, The Katie Flowers Endowment cleared out of the Depot out at the Cable Recreation Park and their book sale is now located in what we are calling the Bookhouse on that property. They had open hours nearly every Saturday through the end of September and were also open for Christmas in Cable. The library has used the property for a couple of MAKERSPACE events, one on how to fix your bicycle and another on starting a fire…without a match!

Stay tuned…we’ll keep you posted!

And, so you know, we are always open to hearing about what YOU’D like to see in a library addition!

Activities at Forest Lodge Library

Big News from a Little Library

Why are these people smiling? Well, the rumor you’ve heard is true. The library … well, technically the Towns of Cable & Namakagon… purchased the Aldrich property adjacent to the library. We’re very excited! We look forward to working with our neighbors, our Towns, our patrons and area businesses in visioning the sort of library addition that will provide wanted and needed services. Stay tuned!

If you would like to be part of our visioning effort we’d be happy and grateful for your input! Please contact Library Director Kristine Lendved, or one of our Board Trustees and let us know you’re interested in participating.

News from Forest Lodge Library