Published April 13, 2009, 12:16 PM

Historic Stump Lake, N.D. pavillion in dangerof being lost to flooding

A 90-year-old pavilion at Stump Lake could become one of the next victims of the ongoing Devils Lake flood.

By: Kevin Bonham, Grand Forks Herald

STUMP LAKE, N.D. — A 90-year-old pavilion at Stump Lake could become one of the next victims of the ongoing Devils Lake flood.

A projected 90 percent chance that the lake will rise to a record 1,451.25 feet this year means that the pavilion and cafe at Stump Lake Park would be in harm’s way.

The Nelson County Park Board learned Tuesday that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will not pursue a proposal to build a 5-foot high dike to protect the pavilion and cafe — a project with a preliminary price tag of about $85,000. The dike would be about 1,250 feet long.

The bathrooms at the cafe are at an elevation of 1,450 feet.

It would cost about $500,000 to move both buildings to higher ground, according to Nelson County Commission Chairman Odell Flaagen.

“I just don’t know where we’d get that kind of money,” he said.

Stump Lake Park is the county’s main economic development attraction, attracting 15,000 to 20,000 visitors a year. It’s a popular spot for walleye and northern pike fishing.

With the pavilion, a 100-unit campground, boat docks, a new fish-cleaning station and softball fields, plus a cafe and bar, it’s busy throughout the summer season, from softball tournaments to weddings, reunions, an annual polka festival and other events. It also is home to a historic village.

Devils Lake and Stump Lake have been the same elevation — essentially one lake — since the fall of 2007.

Locals estimate that erosion has devoured an estimated 10 to 15 feet of Stump Lake shoreline annually for the past couple of years.

“It’s not like losing a house to us. It’s a business,” Flaagen said. “We have to do everything we can to save it.”

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