Minnesota Author Biographies.

Calvin Rutstrum

Calvin Rutstrum

From The Wilderness Cabin (1961) by Calvin Rutstrum

The cabin as a distinct American style, or as a means to a unique and rewarding way of life, is apparently here to stay. Its simple, elemental form in our complex modern civilization has retained its color and its meaning. It persists as one of the best of our living traditions.

While the modern cabin is often so elaborate as to be classified as a house, and the modern house, because of its owner's wish for simple living, can sometimes be mistaken for a cabin, the overlap has fostered, if anything, the basic architectural idea.

The influence of the pioneer's cabin is still very evident. We have retained much of the picturesque quality of the early cabins and some of their structural principles. Here the similarity seems to end.

Biographical Notes

Birth: October 26, 1895, Hobart, Indiana
Death: February 5, 1982, Osceola, Wisconsin

Author and conservationist Calvin Rutstrum arrived in St. Paul with his parents in 1898. Rutstrum worked as a cowboy in Montana in the early 1900s, a medical corpsman in the Marine Corps, real estate and automobile salesman in Minneapolis in the early 1920s, and as a detective investigating bank robberies for the American Banking Association from 1925-40. After World War II, he wrote articles for Minneapolis and St. Paul newspapers and was director of wilderness camping at Lake Hubert Camps. He was a columnist for the Osceola Sun (Wisconsin) from the late 1970s to 1981. With Sigurd F. Olson, he and other conservationists campaigned successfully to restrict airplane travel across the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota in the 1940s. Rutstrum authored fifteen books on wilderness camping, nature, and canoeing.

Selected Works
The titles below link to the catalog record in MnPALS, the Minnesota Historical Society’s library catalog. Please click on your browser's back button to return.

Chips from a Wilderness Log
Hiking Back to Health
The New Way of the Wilderness
North American Canoe Country
Once Upon a Wilderness
Paradise Below Zero
Wilderness Cabin
The Wilderness Route Finder

Additional Resources

Minnesota Historical Society Links

• Search MNHS Library and Archives Catalog for author - Searches for works by this author in the Minnesota Historical Society’s library
Minnesota Historical Society Collections Online
Wilderness Visionaries: Leopold, Muir, Olson, Murie, Service, Marshall, Rutstrum by Jim Dale Vickery

Web Links

MCA a39 - The Life and Times of Calvin Rutstrum - Brief memoir including commentary about Rutstrum

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