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Council Lodge

Updated: Jun 27, 2022

As one of the nation's oldest Boy Scout facilities, Camp Miakonda boasts quite a few legendary buildings. But, probably the most famous of all, and certainly the most unique, is the Council Lodge. Designed by Paul Robinette, a depression-era architect from Blufton, Indiana, who also conceived several other Miakonda Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects, including Lake Sawyer, the Sea Scout ship, the treehouses, and the nature museum, the Council Lodge was completed in 1934. During the height of the civic works era, the federal government poured in more than $500,000 for projects at the 160-acre Boy Scout camp. Since the government could not sponsor projects on private property, Camp Miakonda was temporarily "sold" to Lucas County during the duration of the Great Depression.

At over four stories high, with eight sides and wood beam construction, this octagonal structure stands out as a one-of-a-kind Boy Scout lodge. Designed and built to have indoor open-air campfires, it once had a sizeable raised island in the Lodge center, with a metal hood and ductwork overhead to take the smoke and heat up to the peak. The building is sixty feet wide in diameter—each of the eight side walls is 25 feet wide, and the Lodge is exactly 52 feet tall from the floor to the tip of the weather vane that rests on the vented cupola at the top of the building.

At the top of each exterior wall, workers installed concrete tablets cast with scouting and sea scout awards and merit badges from the era. Each wall has two tablets mounted for a total of sixteen of them. Two of the eight are related to Sea Scouts, and the remainder to Boy Scouts.

The Council Lodge was restored to its original look in 1996 and is still used today for Boy Scout functions and other events. Its designer, Robinette, was also responsible for the five WPA Toledo Zoo buildings. He eventually moved to Toledo, becoming the city’s first traffic engineer.

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