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Plaque in front of Lac qui Parle Model Shelter Lac qui Parle
State Park

National Register Listing:
August 1991

Lac qui Parle State Park WPA/Rustic Style historic resources include three buildings located in a six-acre historic district in the public use area of the park. Architects for these projects were from the National Park Service, the Design Office within the Department of Conservation, and the Division of Drainage and Waters.

The park’s historic district includes these resources:

Model Shelter
Kitchen Shelter
Sanitation Building

Historical Significance

Lac qui Parle State Park is significant as the primary recreational facility in one of the most extensive work relief projects in the state. The state park was built as part of the Lac qui Parle Flood Control Project. The project centered on the construction of a dam at the south end of Lac qui Parle Lake, which is actually a thirteen-mile-long widening in the Minnesota River. The project combined the diversion of the Chippewa and the Lac qui Parle Rivers with water conservation and flood control in the Marsh Lake and Lac qui Parle Reservoirs.

The WPA executed a series of projects which extended the entire length of the lake. These included the Watson Wayside, Lac qui Parle Control Dam, Lac qui Parle State Park, various improvements at Marsh Lake, the Lac qui Parle Parkway, and the reconstruction of the Chippewa Lac qui Parle Mission. WPA transient camps at Appleton and Watson provided the manpower for these projects which combined the cooperative efforts of the Division of State Parks, the Division of Drainage and Waters, and the Division of Game and Fish.

Lac qui Parle State Park WPA/Rustic Style historic resources are architecturally significant as outstanding examples of rustic style split stone construction. The Model Shelter, which houses a relief map of the Minnesota River Valley, is one of the most unusual buildings in the state park system.

Park History

Lac qui Parle State Park was officially established in 1941, although park construction had begun as early as 1938.

For current information about Lac qui Parle State Park, go to the DNR website.