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Combination Building at Monson Lake State Park Monson Lake
State Park

National Register Listing:
October 1989

Monson Lake State Park CCC/WPA/Rustic Style historic resources are located in a 31-acre historic district that contains two buildings, a Combination Building and a Sanitation Building. Both were constructed by the CCC. The grounds have remained virtually unchanged since the park was established in 1937. The entrance road and parking lot, which were built as a WPA project, still retain their gravel surface and no new development has taken place in the public use area. Architects for the buildings were from the Central Design Office of the National Park Service.

The park’s historic district includes these resources:

Combination Building
Sanitation Building

Historical Significance

Monson Lake State Park represents a specific type of park development originally termed a Memorial State Park. Limited recreational facilities were generally provided since the primary purpose of these parks was to interpret a historic event or honor the memory of a well known individual. Monson Lake State Park was established to commemorate certain events in the U.S.-Dakota Conflict and is one of only three such parks in the state. The two buildings at Monson Lake State Park feature split field stone-and-timber construction. Monson Lake State Park is the only state park that remains virtually unchanged since it was established over 51 years ago.

Park History

Monson Lake State Park, originally called Monson Lake Memorial State Park, is the site of one of the first skirmishes of the U.S.-Dakota Conflict of 1862. It was set aside in 1923 as a memorial to the Broberg family, local pioneers killed in the conflict.

The Anders P. Broberg family immigrated from Sweden and settled on these grounds in the 1850s. They were victims of the attempt of the Dakota Indians to drive pioneers from the Minnesota Valley. Although not designated a state park until 1937, the area was a popular picnic area and meeting ground for many years. Memorial services for the victims of the conflict were held each year by people from the surrounding communities.

The park was actually developed by a Side Camp from the CCC camp at nearby Sibley State Park. Although the park buildings were constructed by the CCC, the road construction was undertaken as a WPA project.

For current information about Lake Monson State Park, go to the DNR website.