by Lynne Rice
Birchwood is located on Dells Lake which is considered part of the Clam Lake community. It was built in the early 1900’s by the Dells Paper and Pulp Company of Eau Claire, WI. They occupied the property as they harvested the lumber and then turned it over to their executives as a hunting and fishing lodge. In the early 1920’s an attorney for the Dells Lumber Co. purchased it. Then in 1934 it was sold to Carl Haas of Eau Claire who was the head of the Eau Claire Book and Stationary Co. When he died in 1952 his widow, Lilian, continued to stay at Birchwood until she couldn’t maintain it anymore. Her niece and husband, Pete and Lorraine Bezanson, then took ownership. It remains in the Bezanson family today. It had a dormitory on the second floor for the workers with six bedrooms on the main floor. There was a log cabin wash house, a stables for the animals, a machine shop, an ice house and a caretaker’s cabin. Birchwood is now a vacation rental so people can experience life in a logging company retreat.