Color bscout cabin

Tomah’s Boy Scout Cabin, completed in 1935, is in need of repair, about $15,000, said Wayne Kling, a member of the Tomah Historical Society. Pictured is the cabin as it appears today.

The Tomah Boy Scout Cabin has joined two other city buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.

Jim Weinzatl, Tomah Area Historical Society Museum executive director, is thrilled with the building's placement.

"It's terrific," he said. "It's really good news any time you can add another National Register of Historic Places building to your city ... It's good for tourism and good for the community as we're remembering the past and the people that put the cabin together. It's a tribute to them back in 1934 and the good people in Tomah that are continuing to support it and are now in the midst of trying to fix it up and raise money for that purpose."

Tomah City Council member Wayne Kling is also pleased to see the building's designation as he first began working in 2015 to get the building included on the Wisconsin Historical Society's list of historic places.

"It feels really great, fantastic," he said. "I’m very happy and pleased, and I’m sure the citizens are as pleased as well because … in the past a lot of historical buildings have been torn down."

Tomah mayor Nellie Pater is also pleased with the designation. It should have been done years ago, she said.

"I think it’s wonderful," she said. "I think it’s long overdue, and I’m glad to see it recognized as a historical landmark for Tomah."

The log cabin was constructed in 1934 as a community project that provided a clubhouse and meeting space for the Tomah Boy Scouts.

The cabins reflect the social history of the larger Boy Scout movement, which began in the United States in 1910. The Boy Scouts advocated the cabin building as a project to foster teamwork and fundraising.

While the cabin has now been listed as a historic place, work still needs to be done, Kling said. He said the building needs $18,000 worth of repairs.

"We need a new roof, and we need on the right hand side of the cabin to replace about half of the logs ... they're waterlogged and they're deteriorating," he said.

Foliage and moisture are the cause of the damage, Kling said. He said bushes and trees that drooped over the cabin for many years created a damp area where moisture seeped into the right side of the building.

"It deteriorated some logs to the point where they started to rot," Kling said.

Until enough funds are raised to complete the project, the foliage will be cut to prevent further damage.

Another step is signage, Kling said.

"We have three buildings on the National Register in Tomah," he said. "Those three buildings are the old post office, which does not have a plaque ... from the department of the interior denoting the building as being on the National Register, the library, which does have a plaque, and the Boy Scout cabin."

He plans to introduce a resolution to the city council early next year to have the city purchase a plaque denoting that the log cabin has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.


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