Just down the shore from Bluefin Bay, we have not only a popular location for campfires, barbeques, and weddings, but a park that is rich in history.
The Tofte Park was donated to the town of Tofte by Elizabeth Tofte. She was the oldest child of John and Cecelia Tofte. John was one of the original settlers of Tofte.
As we learned from the park website and the plaque that is displayed in the park in her honor, in the early 1900’s the US Government gave the settlers 160 acres of land — provided they lived on the land and made improvements over a five year period. John Tofte divided his land among family members. John’s wife Cecelia was the original donor of the church property, and Elizabeth, yet a minor, made a gift of this park to the town of Tofte in 1922. Her father John had to sign the papers as her agent.
At the same time, John commissioned several men to build cobblestone bridges, a waterway, and a drinking fountain. Loius Godin, Olaf Gust Nelson, and Mr. Lemm were competitive contractors. It is unknown which of the contractors built the upper or the lakeside cobblestone bridge. The drinking fountain, which is now a wishing well, had spring water running into if after Godin and Lemm hand dug a ditch and tiled it to the park from a spring behind the present Roger Michaelson house. This was quite a feat.
All the cobblestones used in the construction were brought from a cobblestone beach, in a fishing skiff, to the Schroeder dock and then brought to Tofte wish a team and wagon. The stones were carefully selected to be red, white, and blue and carefully tiered, as you can observe.
After 72 years of weathering and vandalism, Bob Boomgard volunteered, with the help of his wife Delora to restore the bridges to their original condition in 1996.
So as your stroll along the path at Tofte Park and listen to the waves crashing, perhaps you’ll think of the 95 years of settlers and visitors that Tofte Park has accommodated and how it’s helped to provide a wonderful North Shore experience for so many of our Bluefin guests.
Take a virtual stroll with us through Tofte Park by clicking here to view our Tofte Park Facebook photo gallery. (P.S. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to “like” our Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts Facebook page.)