Beltrami Camp was built in 1942 by the Works Progress Administration. It was a popular gathering place for family reunions and civic groups. The only remaining building from the Beltrami Camp is the Dining Hall. Today it is still used by the Girl Scouts, continuing the more than 50 year tradition.
"Beltrami Camp" to be Opened this Week with Girl Scouts—Board Chosen and Rules Outlined
"Enthusiastic over the possibilities of the recreational camp on Lake Bemidji situated just beyond the Bemidji Country Club in an attractive location, a board of directors was selected at a meeting held Monday evening and tentative rules were outlined for its conduct.
The name decided on was 'Beltrami Camp'."
-An excerpt from an article in the Bemidji Sentinel, July 1942
A Gathering Place
Many families have gathered at Beltrami Camp for annual family reunions. The Albert Forness family has held 17 of their family reunions here, beginning with the first in 1962.
Albert Forness was born in Hagra, Norway, and immigrated to the United States when he was 18. Albert settled in Fargo, North Dakota where he married and raised his family. His family grew, and wanted to share some photo memories from this special place.
Caption: The Beltrami Camp dorms were finished with palisade siding, popular in many rustic Adirondack Style structures of the time. All the buildings except the dining hall were removed between 1978 and 1980. Beltrami Camp was turned over to the State of Minnesota in 1957. The Girl Scouts and other groups continue to use the dining hall.
Caption: The Works Progress Administration's (W.P.A.) Certificate of Completion tranferred Beltrami Camp to Beltrami County in 1942. By the end of 1943, W.P.A. projects were phased out due to the economic boon caused by World War II.
Caption: Three generations appear in the Forness annual group picture taken about 1962. Relatives from California, Washington, Wisconsin, North Dakota and Minnesota are all here.
Caption: Albert Forness (standing) enjoying his conversation with his two brother-in-laws. The dining hall is in the background.
Caption: Forness sisters from Churches Ferry, North Dakota. They were part of Ingvar's family (brother of Albert Forness).
Caption: Left: Roasting the turkeys. Above: "Just before we leave the annual reunion, all of us enjoy a piece of watermelon, and say our good-byes."