Buy a Log – Help Us Rebuild

Help us rebuild the walls and walkway at the stockade by buying logs.

Buy a log for $25 each and Center Bank will match up to $3,000. Our goal is to finish rebuilding the wall and walkway in time for the 150th anniversary of the stockade in 2012. If you choose to donate, your name will recorded to a list of all donors to be kept at the stockade. Please click one of the links to print out a form that you can mail along with your check for $25 per log.

If you have any questions or need any further information, please contact:
Bob Hermann
Forest City Stockade
66608 MN Highway 24
Litchfield, MN 55355
Phone: 320-693-6782.

Read all about it!

The following article courtesy of the Litchfield Independent Review (August 19, 2010).

Rebuilding history one log at a time. By Brent Schacherer, Editor

Staff photo by Brent Schacherer.
Bob Hermann stands by steps that lead to the walkway at the Forest City Stockade. The walkway, a popular attraction has been closed to visitors the past four years because of its deteriorating condition. Stockade Committee members hope to replace the walkway and the stockade's outer wall during the next two years, in time for the stockade's 150th anniversary. A fundraising effort will kickoff this weekend during the annual Stockade Rendezvous.

Under threat of attack from marauding Native Americans in 1862, Meeker County settlers sought refuge in Forest City, where townsfolk rallied to construct a stockade of simple wooden logs.

Almost 150 years later, members of the Forest City Stockade Committee hope Meeker County residents and others who value Minnesota history will rally around the stockade once again.

The stockade was re-created in 1976 as a special project for the county's bicentennial. In the 34 years since, a thriving village has sprung up on the prairie about six miles north of Litchfield, off of Minnesota Highway 24.

The first building, a cabin inside the stockade walls, has been joined by a barn on the stockade's eastern edge. Outside the stockade's walls are about 12 buildings, including a general store, church, school, woodwright shop, gunsmith shop, blacksmith shop, pottery and candlemaking shop, doctor's office and residence, and even a newspaper office.

But while the stockade complex has grown, its protective walls have slowly decayed. The 10-foot high posts show significant damage from the elements. The once-popular walkway attached about 7 feet up the walls, which allowed visitors to survey activities from above, was deemed unsafe and closed four years ago.

Staff photo by Brent Schacherer.
A closeup view of the walkway around the Forest City Stockade reveals nails have pulled away from the wood, making the walkway unstable.

Staff photo by Brent Schacherer.
The walkway around the Forest City Stockade sags and leans in various areas, making it unsafe for visitors to walk along.

So, when visitors take in the annual Forest City Stockade Rendezvous this weekend, they will be asked to consider making a donation to help reconstruct the walls and walkway.

"This is the story of the stockade, is the walls here," said Bob Hermann, a committee member for 31 years. "If this isn't in nice shape, you know, we can have the town, we have this cabin, but this needs to be really sharp-looking and strong."

Hermann said he is reminded of the importance of the wall and walkway every spring by schoolchildren who visit the stockade on field trips.

"We get about 700 kids visiting in the spring, from Willmar, Dassel-Cokato, New London-Spicer and other schools," Hermann said. "And that's their No. 1 question when they get here is, 'Can we go up on the walkway?' It's the same for me, you see, I really miss that. I really like going up there, and you can stand up there and look out over the crowd and see who all is here."

"It's as hard on me as it is on anybody else to not be able to go up there and look around," Hermann said. "That's why we really want to get it fixed."

The stockade committee plans to encourage supporters to build the stockade's walls one log at a time – one $25 donation will pay for one log.

Total cost of replacing the stockade's 120-foot-long walls and walkway has been estimated at about $35,000, Hermann said. The stockade committee is working with a lumber company in northern Minnesota on purchasing the logs.

Hermann said he hopes that donations will come in quickly enough to allow wall construction to begin this fall. That would give visitor's to the stockade's Pioneer Christmas event in early December a good first look at what the new wall could look like – and encourage additional donations to the project.

The goal is to complete the wall and walkway construction by 2012, in time for the 150th anniversary of the construction of the original stockade.

"People, I think, will really support this once they know what we're doing," Hermann said. "We just think giving people a chance to donate $25 to buy one log for the wall gives them some ownership in this whole project. That's how they built in the first time, in '76, and I think we can do it that way again."


Buy a Log Form:

You can choose to download a PDF of the donation form or open an online form from the links below. Print it out, fill in your information and mail your donation.

The PDF version does require you to have Adobe Acrobat Reader on your system. You can install it by clicking here.

Buy a Log – PDF form

Buy a Log – online form

Thank you for your support of the Forest City Stockade!