Lodge Spirit: The History of Look About Lodge, and of nature appreciation in America

Look About Lodge

Front door and east porch.

look about lodge

Building’s East Side

It is about 100 feet by 40 feet.  It is totally dedicated to nature education.  It is called Look About Lodge.  (No record of why they came up with that name.)


Look About Lodge

The building is a significant part of Northeast Ohio’s history.  Built by the Cleveland Natural Science Club from 309 American chestnut logs, Look About Lodge was completed and dedicated on June 5, 1938.  2013 was its 75th anniversary year.  It is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.


It houses educational programs about nature, and entertainment programs.  It adds a unique rustic atmosphere to the programs it houses.  The building makes each program more meaningful – and memorable!


The Book

A 176 page book with 71 pictures has been written about this unique building’s history.   In coffee table format, it includes pictures from 1936 and 1937 of the Lodge being built.   The book is titled Lodge Spirit,  and contains chapters that provide A Brief History of Nature Appreciation in America.  It also contains the only currently available written history of Cleveland Metroparks.  The retail price is $24.95.

The book answers a number of intriguing  questions about Look About Lodge and about the history of nature appreciation in America.  For specific examples, go to the Lodge Spirit Contents section of this website.

As a coffee table book with numerous photographs, this book makes an excellent gift.  Think how someone who was impressed by Look About Lodge when they visited  for a program or entertainment would appreciate knowing more about this unique building.  Give a copy for a birthday, graduation, Valentines Day or Easter.  Buy a copy for yourself, plus one for a friend or relative – and save 20% on the second one!

 The Author

RMK-photo1The author is Ralph M. Kneale, Jr., whose career includes extensive writing experience.  During the 1940s, Ralph and his parents would spend a week or two during the summer and weekends during the spring and fall living at Look About Lodge.  As Science Club members, they functioned as a host family to keep the Lodge open to the public.  It was living in this rustic and educational atmosphere that helped Ralph develop his life-long love of nature.

The Opportunity

The story of this special part of Northeast Ohio’s natural history is now available to the general public in a unique coffee table book.  Each year, well over 17,000 people visit the Lodge for a variety of educational programs and entertainment.  If this has included you, you’ll want your own copy of this unique book.  If you have not been a Lodge visitor, you’ll still be fascinated with the interesting story behind this special part of Northeast Ohio’s history.

And of course, you’ll want to visit  the Lodge as soon as possible.  It is currently open to the public on Sundays in May through September from 12:00 noon to 4:00 PM.  Come in and look around.  Meditate in a natural setting.  Or, attend a scheduled program.  To determine what programs are available, go to the website, select Events Calendar, and go to Look About Lodge.

The Cleveland Natural Science Club, which built Look About Lodge, still meets at the Lodge on the first Saturday of the month from January through November.    An educational program on the natural sciences is presented at their meeting at 7:30 PM.  These programs are open to the public.  The subjects are listed on the Club’s website at