SAGONTO's Beginnings


SAGONTO Established by Art Madsen in 1931: Construction of Cabins
from Trees off the Land

Art Madsen married Virginia (Dinna) in 1946, and together they completed building Sagonto, constructing and crafting the cabins from trees off the land with only the use of hand tools. Art, who had been remarkably fit and active into his 95th year, never retired. He died July 26, 2000, eight days before his 96th birthday. (See Boundary Waters Journal tribute) His wife, Dinna and family continue to operate Sagonto.

Art hauled his logs eight miles farther
up the lake to a neighbor's sawmill.


Old Cabin - the first cabin Art constructed in 1931



Dinna varnishing the Dining Room using a 3.3hp
outboard motor as a compressor.

Winter Cabin near completion (before addition)


Dinna on her honeymoon with a two man, cross-cut saw, or as Art dubbed it,
"a one man and his wife, cross-cut saw"


Dinna and children beside the progressing Pioneer Point


Pioneer Point further along

Building dock - Dave and Art constructing dock cribbing


Early lodging in the Houseboat (circa 1946)

Houseboat (circa 1946)

Houseboat (circa 1946)

Towing the Houseboat (circa 1946)



Where, When, How?
Wilderness Lodging

Quetico Day-Trips

Trophy fishing
The SAGONTO Theatre
The SAGONTO Experience
SAGONTO's Beginnings
Adventure Articles