Wolf Island Minnesota – Preservation

Daniel L. McPeak, AIA has been consulting for the McPeak Family on preservation issues related to the structure built by John Jaeger in the mid to late 20s.  Through normal repairs, renovations of natural decay, and historical replacements of building methods this structure has held its original aesthetic since its conception.  Through the decades some minor and major storm and pest damage has required roof/structure repair, log replacement and masonry tuckpointing.  Careful research into the original building method/intent as well as interviewing contractors to verify required skill set to complete the work, I believe that the efforts have maintained value to this Legacy.

A 60-acre gem located in Lake Vermilion’s Wolf Bay, Wolf Island is a place of legend and lore, with historical ties to both Native Americans and Voyageurs. Located in Lake Vermilion’s Wolf Bay, the island’s rich history is well-documented by John Jaeger, a prominent Minneapolis architect who homesteaded the island after first visiting in 1906 and created maps showing sites of Native American burial mounds and points of historical interest.

Wolf Island’s beauty and proximity to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area also made the property attractive to development. From 1962-2007 the McPeak Family has owned and maintained Wolf Island keeping it from being sold to or subdivided by Developers interested in its property.

In 2007, The Trust for Public Land responded to requests from the Forest Service and the McPeaks to acquire this critical property before the opportunity for public ownership was lost. In the summer of 2017, the McPeaks will transfer Wolf Island to the US Forest Service as an addition to the Superior National Forest.