State Rep. John Ward, DFL – Brainerd, announced that the Garrison Concourse on Mille Lacs Lake was selected to receive a 2012 Minnesota Preservation Award from the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota. The Garrison Concourse was one of 10 award winners out of 50 nominations.
“This is a great honor for a great piece of history and beauty in our area,” said Rep. Ward. “A number of people played a major role in leading this project through the process and this award is validation of that effort. I was honored to be able to play a part in restoring this concourse.”
In 2010, the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota listed the Garrison Concourse as one of the 10 Most Endangered Historic Places. The concourse was originally constructed between 1936 and 1939 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, one of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programs to combat the Great Depression. The concourse is also considered to be one of the finest roadside rest areas ever built in Minnesota.
After decades of wear and weathering, stone was being lost to the lake and its structural integrity was being undermined. As the result of state and federal funding, a fall 2010 operation retrieved stone that had fallen into the lake over the years and a full rehabilitation began in May 2011. Masonry specialists managed to restore the wall to match what was used in the concourse’s original construction.