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Open House celebrates new Red Cedar Lodge
by Nancy Grindle Correspondent · March 9th, 2017

The public was invited to attend two open houses at the new Red Cedar Lodge at Squaw Creek County Park south of Marion. One was on Thursday, March 2, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and one was held Sunday, March 5, from 1 to 4 p.m.

The original Red Cedar Lodge had been built in 1975 and originally used as a ski lodge. Skiing on the hill nearby was discontinued in the 1980's but the lodge continued to be used. Its large wood fireplace was the background for many meetings and activities.

However, the first lodge lacked in a number of ways, so Linn County Conservation worked with Shive-Hattery to determine a cost for upgrading. It was found that building a new lodge was more cost-effective than restoring and updating the old structure, so the work was undertaken and has just been completed.

The new lodge features new changing rooms for both men and women, a full kitchen, a gas fireplace instead of the old wood one, and the additional indoor features:

Air conditioning

A main room of almost 2,000 square feet

Interior restrooms

Interior stone highlights

Banquet seating for 120 to 140 people

Business seating for 60 to 70 people in a theater-style arrangement

The electricity set-up now offers nine 20-amp outlets in the main lodge as well as seven electrical outlets in the two-level serving area.

The interior of the lodge features horizontal rock walls and large window spaces which give a Frank Lloyd Wright "feel."

Outside, a patio area features many picnic tables and easy access, as well as a view of the pond and its wildlife, and the trees, meadows and campground.

Randy Burke, the landscape architect who planned and designed the facility, was present. Ryan Schlader, Linn County Conservation Community Outreach Director was also on hand, as was Dan Biechler, Director of the Linn County Conservation Board.

Dostal Catering served helpings of meat and party potatoes, and cookies and beverages also were available as visitors toured the interior and exterior areas of the lodge.

Jayne Peremsky of Buresh Events was on hand to schedule events for anyone who was interested. She had forms and her computer available for bookings as well as a banquet table decorated in one festive style.

One other event company had decorated a table, although its personnel were not present Sunday.

If you might be interested in reserving the Red Cedar Lodge, you can contact Beichler at 319-893-6450. The county park website is if you want further information.
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