BALDWIN — Shrine of the Pines, one of Lake County’s main historical attractions, has now closed for the winter season, but board members say it was a successful year.

“Thank you to all the visitors, donors, supporters, businesses, grantors and volunteers that helped make 2018 another successful year for Shrine of the Pines,” wrote board president Terry Bramer in the group’s first newsletter.

The Shrine of the Pines, a 75-year-old historical site, is a museum and grounds along banks of the Pere Marquette River, south of Baldwin. The site houses past artist Ray Overholzer’s cabin with elaborate furniture he made out of pine stumps.

The biggest advancement the Shrine of the Pines board made this year has been offering visitors a recorded audio tour option instead of a guided tour. Twenty-four devices with earphones are available for guests to listen to the tour. Those who enjoy going at their own pace or wanting to listen to specific portions of the tour over again, might choose the audio tour.

There also is a committee working on re-editing a second printing of a journal by Ray’s wife, Hortense Overholzer, which should be ready for sale by 2019. The journal tells about her husband’s journeys and searches for stumps and roots to create his furniture.

The Lake-Osceola State Bank kept the journal safe in their vault since her death in 1961. The second printing will be shown to the public, complete with photos, next season.

A group of young volunteers from St. Benedictine University helped launch the season with a spring cleanup and signage along the nature trail, as well as repairing and repainting benches, which were made by the Baldwin Lumber Company.

The Shrine of the Pines board established a new office located in the Chamber of Commerce building in downtown Baldwin, allowing for a centralized location and a place to keep records and archives. The Pathfinder Community Library gave the group a computer system.

In addition to the progress, managers will now be able to live onsite throughout the year.

“The fishermen’s cabin next to the Shrine has been completely winterized with new insulation, windows, doors and a new wall furnace. This two-year project now allows managers to live onsite year-round,” Bramer added.