The Fireplace of States was
constructed in 1934-35 under the U.S. Federal Works Program. In 1995, this fireplace was
moved to its present location in the new Tourist Information Center on the Lake Bemidji
The Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce,
VisitBemidji and Joint Economic Development Commission use this building for offices and a year
around information center.
The idea of the original log building (which has been torn down) and
the type of architecture, early American blockhouse, were proposed by Harry E.
Charles Budge, local architect drew the plans and Mark Morris, as mason, constructed the
Fireplace of States. The shingles were hand hewn called "shakes".
Harry E. Roese, local resorter, wrote hundreds of letters to all state
governors, provincial governors of Canada, the President of the United States and all
County Directors of Minnesota as well as all National Parks and Monuments soliciting
Their senders placed the inscriptions on many of the stones. Little or
no information was provided by the senders as to their vintage and history.