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Destination Guide Charming Communities Over 1,000 Lakes Woods, Parks & Trails Vibrant Arts Scene

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Find Your Inner Otter In Otter Tail Lakes Country What’s an Inner Otter? It’s the way we like to have fun! It’s also what we like to eat, and where we like to spend time. Actually, there are as many kinds of Inner Otters as there are Otters in the world, but we’d like to help you find YOUR Inner Otter. In this magazine we have identified and described the six main types of Inner Otter to aide you in your search. Each kind of Inner Otter generally likes somewhat similar food sources, habitat, activities, and entertainment. Once you discover your Inner Otter, you’ll know where and how to experience all the typical things that your kind of Inner Otter can enjoy in Otter Tail Lakes Country! We think that you will find Otter Tail County to be a very nice place indeed. The landscape is a mixture of wooded hills and farmland, and is dotted by over a thousand crystal

clear lakes, the most of any county in the United States. Twenty-two charming communities are sprinkled across the region. While each maintains a hometown atmosphere, altogether they provide many of the amenities, attractions and opportunities of big-city life. Whether it be for a day, a weekend a week, a season, or a lifetime, you will find Otter Tail Lakes Country a great place to visit, relax, play, dine, stay, work and live. So kick back and take some time to read the “Otter Tales” feature stories in this publication – stories that will tell you about its interesting past, its boundless resources, its friendly people, and its promising future. Once you do, we know you’re going to want to let your Inner Otter out to discover all the unique possibilities… in Otter Tail Lakes Country, of course!

Cover Photo: Maplewood State Park, © Explore Minnesota Tourism


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Con tents Inside Find Your Inner Otter


New York Mills Feature


Map & Community Index


Great America Think-Off


Hairy Man of Vergas

Eclectic Otter Profile


Wadena Feature

Battle Lake Feature


Prospect House & Civil War Museum


Glendalough State Park Trails


Phelps Mill Festival


Dent Feature


Nootzi’s On Main Cafe Otter Tail Lodging Fergus Falls Feature

17 19-25 26-40

North Country Trail Fergus Falls Lodging

27 28-29

Springboard for the Arts


New Disc Golf Course


Union Pizza and Brewery


Fergus Falls Race Series


Library Expansion


Easy-Going Otter Profile


Henning Feature


Military Park Active Otter Profile

43 45

Ottertail Feature


The History of Ottertail City


Outdoorsy Otter Profile


Parkers Prairie Feature


The Founding of Parkers Prairie


New Community Pool


Inspiration Peak State Park


Pelican Rapids Feature


Riverview Bank Building


Vergas Feature

79 82-84

Chief Wadena, Man of Character


Otter About Town Profile


Flip Cover Turn the back cover 180 degrees to page through our special Relocation Guide and learn why a move to Otter Tail Lakes Country might be just what your Inner Otter is looking for.

Maplewood State Park Sugar Shack 65


Minnesota Woman Archaeological Site 67

You Otter Live Here!

Perham Feature






Relocation Guide Charming Communities

High Quality of Life Great Schools Lots of Jobs



| OtterTailLake


1-23 4-5

International Turtle Races


Rural Rebound - Families

Decoy Show


American Dream - Immigrants


Millennial - Young Talent


Blue Collar - Hard Workers


2nd Act - Emerging Retirees


Otter with an Appetite Profile Underwood Feature

75 76-77

Foss Log Cabin



You Otter Love This! Easy-Going Otter page 41

Outdoorsy Otter page 55

Active Otter page 45

Otter with an Appetite page 75

Eclectic Otter page 49

Otter About Town page 85

Want to know more about your inner otter? Take the quiz at

“Otter Tales” Community Features There are 12 distinct communities featured on the pages of this publication. Each one has its own unique character. Each one has it own unique stories to tell. There are stories about turtle races, art events and outdoor recreation opportunities. There are stories that raise up the art of thinking and celebrate our historical and ethnic heritages. There are stories about unique people and community accomplishments. There’s even a story about Big Foot sightings in Vergas! We hope by reading these “Otter Tales,” you will get an idea of the richness of Otter Tail Lakes Country and make plans to experience it for yourself.

Photos by Fair Hills Resort, Meister Guide Service, Scott Backstrom, Explore Minnesota Tourism, Visit Fergus Falls and Ski Gaard.




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Lakes Country Detroit Lakes






St. Cloud Pelican Lake



Lizzie Lake

St. Paul


Prairie Lake

Pelican Rapids

Big Pine Lake

North Lida Lake

Perham 108



Loon Lake

Star Lake

Maplewood State Park



Marion Lake

Dead Lake




New York Mills

Rush Lake

Long Lake


Otter Tail Lake






Glendalough State Park


West Battle Lake


Fergus Falls

Battle Lake 78

Dalton Ten Mile Lake


Deer Creek


Fish Lake


Middle Leaf Lake


Henning Vining

Inspiration Peak Wayside State Park


Nelson Lake

Parkers Prairie


Did you know... How Was Otter Tail Named? To the Ojibwe Indians the narrow strip of land formed at the junction of the county’s largest lake and largest river suggested the shape of an otter’s tail. The county, the lake and the river all received their names from this one topographical feature. Otter Tail Historical Society



Otter Tail Country By the Numbers

1,048 lakes 1,274 miles of rivers 12 feature communities 3 State Parks Map not intended for navigational purposes.


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Com mun ities Feature Communities Battle Lake

New York Mills





PO Box 386 Battle Lake, MN 56515 218-864-0424 • Battle Lake, known as the “Little City with a Big Heart,” offers many unique shops, parks and resorts, eateries and endless summer events.

28 Centennial 84 Dr. W. New York Mills, MN 56567 • 218-385-2213 NYM is a small town with a wide variety of GREAT community events, parks, and a premier arts center. Our volunteer organizations help keep our community vibrant and strong.

185 E. Main St., Perham, MN 56573 218-346-7710 • Come discover Perham! The Perham Area is a great place to live, work and play. Perham is surrounded by rolling hills and scenic woods. Come shop in our 20 plus specialty and unique gift shops.







PO Box 16, Dent, MN 56528 218-758-2233 • See community page at In the heart of the lake country providing great fishing in summer and winter. Local merchants and resorts have a wide variety of products and services to meet all your vacation needs.

239 Hwy 78 N. Ottertail, MN 56571 218-367-2250 • Whether you want to golf, fish, boat, water-ski or just relax and enjoy one of the many lakes in the area, friendly Ottertail City is where you want to be!

PO Box 106 Underwood, MN 56586 218-826-6686 • Come to Underwood and check out all the interesting and historic landmarks including Foss Log Cabin, Centennial Park, Fort Juelson and Phelps Mill.

Fergus Falls

Parkers Prairie





112 W Washington Ave. Fergus Falls, MN 56537 800-726-8959 • 218-332-5425 “Find Us, Lose Yourself!” Relax, unwind and enjoy a refreshing environment that will leave you ready to return to everyday life invigorated and ready to go.

102 North Otter Ave. Parkers Prairie, MN 56361, 218-338-4115 • Come and enjoy the friendly and scenic atmosphere. Enjoy a stroll on the tree-lined streets and enjoy a home where everyone greets you with a warm “hello.” All the offerings of a big town, in small town fashion.

PO Box 32, Vergas, MN 56587 218-342-2091 • “Experience the Village” your way, where we are big enough to serve you, but small enough to know you. Home to the world’s largest loon which sits in a beautiful public park that includes a public swimming area. Vergas welcomes you!


Pelican Rapids



612 Front St. Henning, MN 56551 218-583-2402 • We are a Community Growing With Pride! We offer local resorts, park and recreation areas, nearby golf courses, seven churches, and much, much more!


PO Box 350, Pelican Rapids, MN 56572 218-863-1221 • The gateway to beautiful Maplewood State Park, Pelican Rapids is a bustling city that is a favorite summer and winter vacation spot in scenic Otter Tail County. Pelican Rapids is also home to the “World’s Largest Pelican.”


5 Aldrich Ave. SE, Wadena, MN 56482 218-769-4278 •

There’s much to do and see in Wadena. Come and check out 1,000 years of Minnesota history as you walk through the Alley Arts “Murals of Minnesota.” Then check out the unique shops, parks and trails in Wadena.





203 Main St., Ashby, MN 56309 218-747-2876 • “You’ll Like Ashby!” Ashby is a small, friendly community located in a setting of beautiful lakes, farms and woodlands.

107 E. Main St., Dalton, MN 56324 218-589-7481 • See community page at Dalton is known for the annual Threshing Reunion held the first weekend after Labor Day.

PO Box 12, Erhard, MN 56534 218-842-5352 • See community page at Erhard is the home of the largest 4th of July celebration in Otter Tail County.

PO Box 117, Rothsay, MN 56579 218-867-2254 • Home of the largest prairie chicken on the planet, Rothsay’s mild weather is ideal for hiking, biking and other outdoor activities.


Deer Creek



PO Box 66, Bluffton, MN 56518 218-385-2130 • See community page at The small community of Bluffton was incorporated in 1903 and is 4 mi NW of Wadena.

PO Box 272, Deer Creek, MN 56527 218-462-2001 • Deer Creek is a small community located near New York Mills. Visitors can enjoy viewing exhibits at the museum and the surrounding scenery.

611 3rd St. SW, Richville, MN 56576 218-371-9110 • See community page at Richville has nearby resorts and lakes in the summer plus snowmobiling trails and ice fishing in the winter.

713 May Ave., Vining, MN 56588 218-769-4278 • See community page at Home of the Biggest Small Town Celebration in Otter Tail County. Sculptures are scattered throughout the city.



102 N Oak St., Clitherall, MN 56524 218-864-5161 • See community page at Clitherall has a population of 118 and is surrounded by many lakes and dozens of traditional family resorts.

PO Box 380, Fergus Falls, MN 56538 218-779-9236 • See community page at Just outside Fergus Falls, this quaint community offers you a beautiful view any direction you look!


For maps and more information about area communities and lakes visit


Battle Lake Home of • Chief Wenonga Statue • Wenonga Days (July 16-24) • E xceptional Array of Restaurants • Prospect House & Civil War Museum • Art of the Lakes 50th Anniversary in 2017 • Vibrant Art Center

Battle Lake - Heart of 1001 Lakes Battle Lake is a thriving community wrapped around the western edge of West Battle Lake in Central Minnesota’s “lakes country.” The city’s population of 875 swells in the summer as visitors and tourists come to the lake and “snowbirds” return home. The City of Battle Lake is located just north of the intersection of State Highways 78 and 210. Development along both highways outside city limits adds commercial businesses to the area. The city itself has many unique shops, eateries, parks and resorts as well as events. From summer cabins to lake homes, fall festivals to fish fries, parades to parks, arts & craft shows to floral, gift, ice cream, coffee & tea shops, walleye tournaments to turtle races, Battle Lake has something to offer every one of every age in every season.


108 East Main Street Battle Lake, MN 56515 218-864-0424 Battle Lake, Minnesota



Prospect House: Family and the Story of a Nation by Steve Heriot


e pulled up to the big house overlooking Battle Lake and got out and stretched. My son and I decided to take the Tour of the Prospect House, an 1882 Georgian-style “mansion” and once-busy resort hotel that was billed as a Civil War Museum, and recently named to the National Register of Historic Places. To be honest, I was slightly intrigued but had moderate expectations. We were introduced to the owner, Jay Johnson, who told us that his great grandfather, Cap Colehour, built the 18-room home after serving in the Civil War, and that the home had been continuously occupied by his family for four generations. I noticed immediately that it wasn’t just a restored home from the 1800s. It was a completely original home, furnished with the family’s original possessions, carefully restored and curated for the last 150 years. The collection reminded me of a mini-Smithsonian Museum, as it is a snapshot of how people in the past lived, worked and played. Another treasure though, was Jay Johnson himself. The breadth and depth of his knowledge and his narrative surrounding his family history, and the events that they lived through was actually quite astonishing. I found myself asking question after question and was never left without an interesting and thoughtful answer. One level of the home is dedicated to the Civil War collection, which his great grandfather Cap had brought home from the war. The museum contains relics such as 200 war-time letters from Cap, diaries, portions of Cap’s original uniform, his rifle, sword, fife, powder flask and belts. Numerous paper artifacts include a Lincoln-Johnson campaign poster, vintage postcards and souvenirs.

Prospect House not only contains one of the largest private collection of Civil War artifacts, but also tells the story of Cap Colehour’s personal role in the war and resettlement in Battle Lake after the war. Cap seemed to have a sense of history, even as he was living it. As Jay said, “The letters and accounts he sent home, the clothing, diaries and other belongings with which he returned, and the artifacts he collected after the Civil War tell his story – a uniquely personal story.” That story, and Prospect House itself, with its many fascinating visual aides, as curated and illuminated by Jay Johnson, is nothing less than history brought to life. The museum tells the story of a community, a state, and a nation, as told through the lens of one family.

More to explore Prospect House & Civil War Museum Located on the north side of Battle Lake, this 18-room Georgian-style mansion is full of Civil War artifacts, relics and antiques from as far back as 1882. The museum grounds retain their turn-of-the-century charm, creating an excellent backdrop for reunions, weddings, camp-outs and gatherings of any kind.

To arrange a tour call 218-864-4008 or visit:

A. Jay Johnson (left), a direct descendant of Civil War veteran Cap Colehour who built Prospect House, gives a guided tour of Civil War exhibits. B. A portion of a Civil War uniform riddled with bullet holes, personal letters, weapons and tintype photos are some of the original artifacts in Prospect House’s Civil War room.

Photos in this section by City of Battle Lake, Prospect House and Civil War Museum, Stella’s, Explore Minnesota Tourism, Glendalough Citizen’s Advisory Board, Glendalough Park Partners, Phelps Mill Festival, Scott Backstrom and Steve Heriot.

COMMUNITY Feature – Battle Lake


205 Lake Ave S - Battle Lake, MN 56515 P: 218.864.5983 - F: 218.864.0112 - Quality Forest Products - Drafting & Design Services Paint & Stain - Hardware - Electrical - Plumbing - Tools

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2 Days of Art & Food Always 2nd Weekend in July Entertainment & Kidsʼ Activities Free Parking and Shuttle


Large Selection of Beer, Wine and Liquor Making Lake Home Dreams Come True.

One Loan at a Time!

Summer Hours: Mon-.Sat. 9am-10pm Winter Hours: 9am-9pm 414 Lake Ave. South Battle Lake, MN 56515

2 blocks N of 210 on Hwy 78

(218) 864-5581 f

102 West Summit St. Battle Lake

12 (218) 864-5275 800-423-4571 |



Experiencing Glendalough’s Many Trails by Sandra Thimgan


lendalough State Park now has more than nine miles of trails, with several more in the planning and development process. There’s no better way to see the natural beauty of Glendalough than by hiking or biking these impressive trails throughout the Minnesota seasons. For the hiking enthusiast with an eye toward flowers, prairie grasses, wildlife and bird watching, look no further than the Prairie Hill or Sunset Lake Trails. These short trails offer panoramic prairie views, which are stunning in the dawn and dusk lighting. Sunset Lake is known for mirrored reflections and evening photography opportunities. Within the park’s interior, you will find longer hikes, like the Beaver Pond, Annie Battle, and Lake Emma Trails. They are certain to produce wildlife sightings for patient hikers. The Lake Emma Trail is a favorite for many hikers, especially on a fall morning. Be sure to bring your binoculars as Lake Emma will be teeming with many bird species and bountiful waterfowl. All of these grass trails make great hikes and runs, and some are groomed for cross country skiing. Recreational biking along the paved trails is another approach to touring Glendalough. Bicycles may be rented at the trailhead from the new concessionaire. The Glendalough Trail is family friendly with its gentle topography and many amenities. The trail can be ridden as a simple 5.5 mile paved

loop, by starting at the trailhead within the park near the Annie Battle Lake boat landing. This loop offers incredible views of Annie Battle and Molly Stark Lakes, with ample interludes of prairie grasslands and various species of wildlife. Many family bikers prefer the 12-mile paved loop option, by starting at the trailhead within the City of Battle Lake. This route offers five modern restroom stops, three swimming beaches, four picnic areas, two public shower facilities, and all of the amenities found in a vibrant small town. A park pass is not required when bikers enter Glendalough from the Battle Lake trails. For the outdoor fitness enthusiast, Glendalough never disappoints. The 12-mile loop is a safe venue for a serious cyclist to log many miles, with a panorama that only nature can provide. Try strapping on a small backpack and wearing crosstraining shoes while doing a combination circuit. This usually involves biking the 5.5 mile paved loop and running a few miles on Glendalough’s hiking trails. One favorite route is to bike the loop and the Lake Emma grass trail and the northernmost extension, and run the Beaver Pond and Sunset Lake loops. The workout and scenery are priceless. For more information on biking options in Battle Lake and Glendalough, see

More to explore Glendalough State Park  innesota’s newest state park is home to a large M population of waterfowl and deer. Located just north and east of Battle Lake, the park features one of the largest areas of undeveloped lakeshore and land in Central Minnesota. With six lakes and a fishery within it’s boundary, the park is an angler’s paradise.


A. Bicyclists take a break to examine the informational signage along the new paved bike trail at Glendalough State Park. B. The iconic sign welcomes visitors to the park.

To learn more visit:

COMMUNITY Feature – Battle Lake


Professional Real Estate Services in Battle Lake, Minnesota since 1982


“Under all is the land”

PROSPECT HOUSE and Civil War Museum On National Register of Historical Places with largest private Civil War collection in the state

OPEN YEAR ROUND CALL 218-864-4008 FOR A TOUR APPOINTMENT Find us on f 403 Lake Ave. N. Battle Lake 14

800-423-4571 |



Phelps Mill Festival – High Quality Art Experiences by Val Martin, Assistant Festival Manager –Phelps Mill Festival


ince 1984, the Phelps Mill Festival has been one of the premier outdoor activities in the Otter Tail County area. Held the 2nd full weekend in July every year at the Phelps Mill County Park, attendees will enjoy two full days of high quality arts, entertainment, kids’ activities and food prepared by area non-profits. Phelps Mill Festival is one of the largest events held, not only in the county, but in West Central Minnesota.

guidelines for high quality artists and crafters. We have one of the best events in the area and we want to keep that reputation. We are also unique to other festivals by only allowing area nonprofits the opportunity to serve food at the event. For most of these organizations, the festival is their biggest fundraiser of the year. Another effect of this plan is the money the nonprofits raise is spent in the area, helping our local businesses and communities.”

The festival is run by a nonprofit organization called Phelps Mill Country. Their mission is to encourage and promote interest in the arts in the Otter Tail Lakes area. Profits from the Festival have been donated to various art projects and art education programs in the area and to the Phelps Mill County park improvements. The festival has received grant assistance from Lake Region Arts Council, which has helped enhance the quality of the festival.

Part of the entertainment schedule, for both days, is usually directed to a younger audience. Ken relays, “I have my biggest critic helping choose this portion of the entertainment, my 10-year-old daughter, Summer. We have a great time viewing videos of prospective entertainment and she’s a great help!” There are art activities, turtle races and other events, for all ages of kids, with a goal to continually expand opportunities for the younger audience.

The Festival is managed by Ken Martin, under the direction of the Phelps Mill Country Board of Directors, and Ken’s mom, Val Martin, serves as his assistant for the event. As Ken states, “Our goal is to continue providing the best art experience to people of all ages by continuing our strict

Ken has enlisted the help of many of his family and friends to serve as volunteers for the event as well as a large number of other great volunteers who have helped for many years. With their ongoing help, the staff and board look forward to many more great festivals in the future.

More to explore Phelps Mill Festival Held each year in a pastoral setting by the Otter Tail River with a century old flour mill open to the public, the Phelps Mill Festival is a weekend arts and entertainment event with activities for the whole family. This year’s event will take place July 8th and 9th.


For more information and artist applications visit:

COMMUNITY Feature – Battle Lake

A. The Phelps Mill along the Otter Tail River provides a picturesque setting for photography or ideal backdrop for a relaxing family picnic or gathering. B. Artists and crafters display their wares at the annual Phelps Mill Festival.


Dent Home of • “Dent” Variety of Corn • Nootzi’s Famous Cinnamon Rolls • Dent Daze in July • Testicle Festival (really!) • Dent Wildcats Baseball • Small-Town Hospitality

Dent is the Place to Be If you’re looking for variety in your lakes-country vacation, Dent is the place to be. With picturesque views of rolling farm fields, colorful maple wood forests and (of course) outstanding waterfronts, there is something for everyone near Dent. Located on Highway 108 in the true heart of lakes country, visitors will be hard-pressed to find another small community offering such fantastic variety in family-owned eateries, shopping and resorts. Each season provides opportunity for family fun including: a Mexican fiesta in January, 5K road race and celebration in July at Dent Daze and come December, a holiday celebration with treats and a visit from Santa. Stop in – you’re sure to find something to love!


PO Box 161 Dent, MN 56528 @dentcommunityclub



Nootzi’s On Main (Street America) by Steve Heriot


t the beginning of the 20th century, America was mostly rural and small towns sprouted up to support the farmers who were settling the area. It was a time when friendliness was common, where people helped and relied on one another, and where folks often gathered and visited with each other. By 1893, enough pioneers had settled in the area 15 miles southwest of Perham, Minnesota that a boarding house was established. It was the first building erected in what was to become the town of Dent, which was named after a variety of corn. The boarding house was open for business until the 1960s, when the building was purchased and turned into a restaurant called Farmers Table. Over the next five decades, several owners operated the cafe. Kim Byer, who had been working there as a waitress for 20 years, purchased the business in 2005. Kim renamed the cafe Nootzi’s on Main, and then hired several of her sisters and daughters to help out on summer weekends when she was really busy. In fact, members of her family are often there, either helping or eating, and everyone is usually laughing and smiling too. When asked about the relatives who work in the cafe with her, Kim states, with a chuckle, that “they are my family, but they are the community’s family, too.” Kim just loves to chat with all of her customers and get to know them. For instance, regulars will order “the usual” and Kim will know exactly what that is. And whether you are rich or poor, young or old, a regular or a visitor stopping in for the first time, you’ll be treated special. Kim says that it is very important that her customers feel welcome, at home, and entirely comfortable at the cafe, which has helped make

it a fun place for people to gather, eat, have coffee, and share stories. The wonderful dynamic that Kim and her family have developed with their customers is the reason Nootzi’s has become a source of strength and community spirit for the residents of Dent, and also why, for summer visitors to the area, Nootzi’s has become a staple of their trip. It is an example of how valuable a person, a family, and a small businesses can be to a small town, and of how important it is to people when they are shown a little kindness (and unbelievably good caramel rolls!). As the world becomes more fast-paced and urbanized, fewer are the places where the hospitality of our pioneer past still exist. This special place on a Main Street in America is one where the people of a community gather and feel enough at home to joke around a bit. Nootzi’s truly is a hometown cafe “Where the Coffee and Food are Served with a Smile.”

More to explore Best Cinnamon Rolls in Otter Tail County? Community locals and visitors alike agree that the best cinnamon rolls in the area are to be found at Nootzi’s on Main, a friendly hometown diner in Dent, Minnesota. Stop by, try one and decide for yourself. Nootzi’s also offers daily breakfast and lunch specials.

A. Kim Byer (center) and some of the Nootzi crew hanging out at the diner. B. Nootzi’s on Main, a friendly hometown diner is a staple of the Dent community.

Come in for a visit when you are in town or give Nootzi’s a call: 218-758-9492 Photos in this section by Dent Community Club and Erik Osberg.

COMMUNITY Feature – Dent


Always complimentary coffee & cookies!

EmptyAntiques Nest Open Year Round - Spring/Fall Specials

“Where the coffee and food are served with a smile” • Daily Breakfast & Lunch Specials • Fantastic Caramel & Frosted Rolls

Antiques, vintage, collectibles and other cool things!

106 Main St. Dent, MN Mon-Fri: 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sat-Sun: 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

(218) 758-9492

Clean, Fun Family Resort Great Fishing 10 Modern A/C Cabins, 2,3, & 4 bedroom 8 R/V Campsites-4 Lakeside Pontoons, Boats & Motors Rental Available Sandy Swimming Beach Playground/Game Room Protected Bay on 7900 acre Dead Lake Bait, Gas, Store Ice Fishing, Snowmobiling, Quilting and Crafts

Hours: May 1st thru September; Tues-Sat 9-5, Sunday 12-4 Oct. thru weekend before Christmas; Saturday 10-4, Sunday 12-4

Vince & Cheryl Prososki 218-758-2343 Dead Lake, Richville, MN

202 Main Street, Dent

For Reservations

(218) 770-2698



Brand New Seasonal Sites (11)


A lifetime of lake fun and fishing memories await you. • A family resort located on majestic Dead Lake in Richville • 8 Recently Updated Cabins/New Guest Laundry • 4 Campsites with Water/Electric • Large Sandy Beach/New Playground/Game Room/Store • Pontoon, Boat & Motor Rentals Available For Reservations call 800-786-7229, email:, or visit us at


800-423-4571 |



Barrett Lake Resort


Hotel Rooms

RV Camping

Seasonal RV Sites

Tent Handicapped Open Camping Accessible Winter

Pet Friendly

Country Inn & Suites - Fergus Falls

Barrett Lake 427 County Rd. 2, Barrett, MN 56311 320-528-2598 • 888-227-8059 340’ of sandy shore, the perfect vacation, whether it be fishing, a family retreat or to simply relax. All cabins and campsites open May September. House and unit #4 available all year round.

Battle Lake Inn & Suites

Battle Lake 102 Glenhaven Dr, Battle Lake MN 56515 218-862-2500 • We are a brand new hotel and RV Park located in the heart of Battle Lake’s hospitality zone on the newly paved 13-mile bike trail just blocks away from beaches, shops and pubs. Our brand new RV Park has a RV Lodge complete with bathroom and shower, large gathering area and a fish cleaning facility!

925 Western Ave. Fergus Falls, MN 56537 218-739-2211 Fee hot breakfast, served daily, and an atrium area that features a heated pool and a hot tub. Fitness center with free weights, a treadmill and much more. Z103 Bar and Grill, Free High-Speed Internet Access and our Business Center.

Cozy Cove Resort

Marion Lake 38811 Cozy Cove Rd., Dent, MN 56528 218-758-2431 • 800-964-6216 • Quiet family resort, private docks, modern cabins, decks, grills, A/C, great fishing. Rental pontoons, bass boat, canoe.

Crossings Inn & Suites - Parkers Prairie Battle View Resort

West Battle Lake 22540 County Hwy. 5, Henning, MN 56551 866-583-3555 • Friendly family resort. Modern cabins, seasonal RV camping. Great for a getaway or vacation. Clean sandy swimming area, fantastic fishing, abundant wildlife, secluded canoeing creek. Restaurant on-site.

Lake Adley 211 W. Main St. Parkers Prairie, MN 56361 218-338-3380 • 866-936-7829 Large, indoor pool and just 17 miles north of Alexandria, this stylish, comfortable yet affordable, hotel offers a variety of rooms and specialty suites along with free breakfast, WiFi and large vehicle parking.

Big McDonald Resort

Big McDonald Lake 34654 McDonald Ln., Dent, MN 56528 218-758-2369 • 888-497-0995 • Friendly family resort. Modern cabins, seasonal RV camping. Great for a getaway or vacation. Clean sandy swimming area, fantastic fishing, abundant wildlife, secluded canoeing creek.

Bonnie Beach Resort

Clitherall Lake 20341 Bonnie Beach Rd. Battle Lake, MN 56515 218-864-5534 • 800-767-LAKE Great family resort on clear Clitherall Lake. WiFi, stand up paddle boards, canoe, and pedal boats included in stay. Pontoon, boat, and motor rentals available. Lodge open daily with game room, laundry, bait, gas, ice, and more.

East Silent Lake Resort

East Silent Lake 30424 410th St., Dent, MN 56528 800-242-6904 • 218-758-2716 Family resort on sparkling lake! Comfortable cabins, luxury lake homes, guest rooms & suites. Children’s activities, social events, event and meeting spaces, level beach, water toys, fishing...and much more.

Elm Haven Resort

Rush Lake 35852 Rush Lake Loop, Ottertail, MN 56571 218-367-2797 • Great family resort. Modern cabins with decks, grills, A/C, microwave. Boat motor/pontoons rentals. Kayaks/paddles boat free. Game room, laundry, bait, ice. Spring/Fall packages.





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Fair Hills Resort

Pelican Lake 24270 Co. Hwy. 20 Detroit Lakes, MN 56501 R E S O R T 800-323-2849 Everything you remember. Come and be a kid again, enjoy a family vacation with an easy round of golf or a day at the beach and let the kids be kids. Daily supervised actives, housekeeping included and all-inclusive meal plans available.

Five Lakes Resort

Lake Five 34677 Camp Cherith Rd. Frazee, MN 56544 800-323-2849 Residing on a private lake in northern Minnesota are 10 beautiful cabins for rent. Hiking trails, electric motors and campfires at night make this the ultimate getaway.

Four Seasons Resort

Rush Lake 35232 Rush Lake Loop, Ottertail, MN 56571 218-367-2792 • 888-263-4210 • Mom and Pop family fun resort. Park-like grounds, beach, game room. Spacious cottages fully furnished, microwave, A/C, appliances, BBQs, fire rings, lakeside deck/patio. Spring/Fall specials.

GrandStay Hotel & Suites - Perham

Near Big & Little Pine Lake 231 Market Dr. Perham, MN 56573 218-346-2033 Resort-Like Stay. Outdoor Patio w/Gas grill & firepit. Playground. Complimentary Breakfast, Free Wi-Fi, Large Vehicle Parking, Near grocery/gas store and lakes. Indoor pool and hot tub, refrigerator and microwave in all rooms

Holly’s Resort, Inc.

Otter Tail Lake 36294 Augustana Dr, Battle Lake, MN 56515 800-237-5331 • Located on beautiful Otter Tail Lake, we are close to golf, shopping, and restaurants. Offering updated cabins, fishing & ski boat rentals, a sandy swimming beach and much more!



Hotel Rooms

RV Camping

Seasonal RV Sites

Tent Handicapped Open Camping Accessible Winter

Pet Friendly


East Silent Lake 30995 St. Hwy. 108, Dent, MN 56528 800-818-2835 • 218-758-2835 • Quiet, clean, level sand beach with fantastic sunsets. Modern lake front cabins include satellite TV, air, patio, grill, fire pit, some with fireplace. Amazing new log family retreat. Wireless internet.

Hook Line & Sucher Resort

Rush Lake 36052 Rush Lake Loop, Ottertail, MN 56571 218-346-6007 • 218-280-9624 • Lakeside cabins for fishing families, 1-4 bedroom units, wheelchair accessible unit. Boats, motors, pontoons, bait, gas, fishing licenses, playground, dock fishing, birding.

Madsen’s Resort

Blanche Lake 27102 St. Hwy. 78 Battle Lake, MN 56515 218-864-5301 • 800-832-9413 Quality family resort. 15 modern housekeeping cabins in a relaxed wooded setting. 400’ of the safest sand swimming beach. Good fishing, color cable TV, bait, gas, motor rental, pontoon.

Northern Lights Resort

Dead Lake 35387 Northern Lights Trail Richville, MN 56576 218-758-2343 • 800-758-3121 A fantastic family fishing resort in northern Minnesota with scenic lakeside cabins and campsites, swimming, boating and fun for the entire family! Pets allowed. We now have seasonal campsites. Spring/Fall specials. Open year round.

Otter Tail Beach Resort

Otter Tail Lake 28255 N. Midway Park Dr., Battle Lake, MN 56515 218-864-5860 • 800-451-0710 • Come play on our gorgeous sand beach and stay in our spacious, clean, air conditioned cabins. Deluxe fishing and pontoon boats, laundry, cable, spring/fall rates.

Pocahontas Resort

Dead Lake 38034 County Hwy. 35, Dent, MN 56528 218-758-2598 • 701-293-5718 • 10 lakeside A/C cabins. Tub/shower, kitchenette, picnic table, boat dock and launch. 4 person occupancy. Boats/motor rental, bait, store, ice, gas, canoe, pedal boat. No pets.

800-423-4571 |

Where you are treated more like family than guests! Beautiful new motel & RV park on West Battle Lake!

Located on beautiful Ottertail Lake! FISH • SWIM • GOLF -Serene, quiet, natural setting -#2 Walleye lake in Minnesota! -Nearby golf, shopping, restaurants -Sandy swimming beach, -14 Updated/Remodeled Cabins -Fishing & Ski boat rentals, bikes -Pontoon, paddleboards, kayaks -Wifi, board game room -Playground, store, laundry

102 Glenhaven Drive Battle Lake (218) 862-2500

36294 Augustana Dr. Battle Lake, MN 56515



WATERS R E S O R T A second generation family resort of lakefront cottages with individual patios and docks! There is also a swimming beach, free dock space, mini-golf, and a playground for the kids!

27921 340th Ave. Underwood Minnesota, 56586 (763) 732-9833 Toll Free: (800) 554-9947





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Shady Grove Resort

Rush Lake 35686 Rush Lake Loop Ottertail, MN 56571 218-346-6040 Family vacation on beautiful Rush Lake. Cabins, condos & RV sites. Boat and pontoon rentals. Lodge and ice cream shoppe. Fall and Spring discounts.


Hotel Rooms

RV Camping

Seasonal RV Sites

Tent Handicapped Open Camping Accessible Winter

Pet Friendly

The Otter Supper Club & Lodge

Otter Tail Lake 306 N. Hwy. 78, Ottertail, MN 56571 218-367-2525 • 15 Cozy hotel rooms with high speed internet, A/C, cable, TV. Lunch/Dinner available. Liquor store. Live weekend entertainment May-Sept. Pull tabs. Near golf course/snowmobile trail.

Thumper Pond Resort Sunset Bay Resort

Dead Lake 38274 County Hwy. 44 Richville, MN 56576 218-758-2080 • 800-SUNSBAY Sunset Bay Resort offers a total of 15 secluded and wooded acres to enjoy. All cabins face the lake, and sit just feet from our 550 feet of soft sugar sand beach.

Weslake Resort

Ten Mile Lake Resort

Ten Mile Lake 12303 County Hwy. 35 Dalton, MN 56324 218-589-8845 Ten Mile is a family fishing resort with 12 cabins, a steakhouse and seasonal camping. We have a beautiful beach, boat rentals, fish cleaning house, game room & a playground.

The Homestead at Ottertail RV Park & Resort 41701 295th St., Battle Lake, MN 56515 507-461-1479 • A new RV park in the heart of Otter Tail Lake country featuring large sites, ample walking trails, swimming pool and many activities for all members of the family.

The Inn at Dunvilla

Lake Lizzie 48153 US Hwy 59 Pelican Rapids, MN 56572 218-863-8000 Open Year Round, 24 hours a Day An Ascend Collection boutique hotel, located in the heart of scenic Minnesota Lakes Country. Our state-of-the-art country inn offers 23 standard rooms and 7 deluxe suites. Complementary Breakfast, Exercise Facilities, Indoor Saltwater Pool, Whirlpool Spa, Lounge & Bar, Fireplace lounge, and we are pet friendly.


Otter Tail Lake 300 Thumper Lodge Ottertail, MN 56571 877-294-7981 • 218-367-2000 Carved out of 90,000 red pines, Thumper Pond features an all-suite hotel, 18-hole golf course including Foot Golf and Fling Golf, Willy T’s Tavern & Grill, conference and reception rooms, and an indoor waterpark.

West Lost Lake 28507 County Hwy. 35 Underwood, MN 56586 218-826-6523 • 800-258-9056 Deluxe family resort. Spacious clean cabins and grounds. Kids activities, complimentary paddleboats, canoes, sailboat & bikes. Excellent for scrapbooking retreats, reunions or small conferences.

Whispering Pines Resort

Big Pine Lake 46362 County Hwy. 8, Perham, MN 56573 218-346-3188 • 800-452-4338 • 350’ of sandy beach, 8 cabins, 5 RV, 4 tent & 14 seasonal sites. Excellent fishing with boat/motor pontoon rentals, boat launch/ marina. Quality family resort with excellent customer service.

Whispering Waters Resort

East Lost Lake 27921 340th Ave., Underwood, MN 56586 218-495-2552 • 800-554-9947 • Listing/135/Whispering-Waters-Resort Small family resort with lakeside cabins, microwaves, ceiling fans, patio, charcoal grill, individual docks. Sandy beach, mini-golf, paddleboat, canoes. Access to Otter Tail River and Deer Lake.

800-423-4571 |

Welcome home. GrandStay® Perham features: • Deluxe guest rooms and suites with kitchens • Beer and wine lounge • Complimentary Grand Start® Breakfast • Free Wi-Fi access • Indoor pool and whirlpool • Visit our website for our special “Deals”

Book your grand stay today! Reservations: 218.346.2033

231 Market Drive • Perham, MN 56573 •

Restaurant Hours:

Weekends: 11am-9pm Weeknights: 5pm-9pm

Open April 24th - Closed September 15th





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Hotel Rooms

RV Camping

Seasonal RV Sites

Tent Handicapped Open Camping Accessible Winter

Pet Friendly

Wil-O-Wood Resort

Rush Lake 36282 Rush Lake Loop, Ottertail, MN 56571 800-848-4866 • Whether you are traveling from near or far, Wil-O-Wood has a clean, comfortable place to stay with weekly cabins, seasonal cabins or seasonal RV Sites. Lodge, laundry, WiFi. Boat motor and pontoon rental.

Woodlawn Resort

Lake Blanche 40080 Blanche Creek Battle Lake, MN 56515 218-864-5389 • 800-823-5389 Convenient lakeside cottages, excellent fishing, tranquil 13-acre woodland setting, varied water and land activates. Sunfish & Laser sailboats, hydrobikes, canoes, kayaks, paddleboat. Swimming beach, tennis court, volleyball, resort-wide Wi-Fi.

Xanadu Island B&B and Resort

Elbow (Bass) Lake 35484 235th St., Battle Lake, MN 56515 218-864-8096 • 800-396-9043 • Peaceful. Secluded. Comfortable, clean, well-supplied cottages. Complimentary fishing boat/motor, canoes, single-person kayaks, paddleboat and stand-up paddle board. Floating dock. Extraordinary!!!

Open Year Round, 24 hours a Day Let the destination reach you at the Inn at Dunvilla, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member. Our Pelican Rapids hotel offers cozy guest rooms that connect you to the essence of the community. Get ready for an exciting, memorable stay.

Phone: 218.863.8000

Email: 48153 US Hwy 59, Pelican Rapids


hady rove esort

FAMILY VACATION! • Cabins • Condos • Heated pool • Wireless internet • Open year around • Full hook-up camping • Boat & pontoon rentals • Weeks & mini weeks available



800-423-4571 |

Fergus Falls Home of • Otto the Big Otter • Live Theater • 27-hole Disc Golf Course • Bicycle Friendly Community and Trails, Trails, Trails • Fergus Falls Race Series ( • Great Eats and Brews

Find Us, Lose Yourself in Fergus Falls. Don’t expect this county seat to be a hustle and bustle of activity. Instead “Find Us, Lose Yourself” means we want you to relax, unwind and leave feeling refreshed and invigorated. Located in west central Minnesota, Fergus Falls is a beautiful and also vibrant community. Healthy in the arts, history and offering an abundance of recreational activities, our location on I-94 makes Fergus Falls easily accessible. And if you’re coming by bicycle, the Central Lakes Bike Trail is an excellent cross-country route. The Otter Tail River meanders through downtown and is a beautiful backdrop for the nearby shops and restaurants. Residents and employers select Fergus Falls for the excellent education, healthcare, infrastructure and sense of community. The people are our best asset – we know our neighbors, welcome visitors and work together to make Fergus Falls our home. We’re glad you’re here.


112 W Washington Avenue Fergus Falls, MN 56537 800-726-8959 • 218-332-5425 @FergusFallsMN



The Nation’s Longest Hiking Trail Has Reached Fergus Falls by Matthew Davis, ND & MN Regional Trail Coordinator – North Country Trail Association


early everyone has heard of the world famous Appalachian Trail (A.T.) but fewer are aware of its local cousin - the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT for short). The NCT, which can now be hiked on in this area, is a 4,600-mile footpath extending from ND to NY that has been around since its 1980 designation by Congress. Along with the A.T., the NCT is one of the eleven National Scenic Trails in all of the U.S. and is by far the longest – stretching 1,500+ miles farther than the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. Approximately 3,000 miles of the NCT are finished (e.g. located off-road) while the entire trail is hikeable with road walks connecting the completed segments. Recently, a 9.8-mile segment of the NCT was completed within the City of Fergus Falls that includes the main trail and an urban connector route through downtown that together form a loop. Novices looking for a short nature walk, families looking to have some fun together outside, and highly seasoned hikers looking for a challenge will all find some great hiking adventures on the NCT. Built by volunteers of the local North Country Trail Association’s Minnesota Waters & Prairie (MWP) Chapter with support from local agency partners and private landowners, the loop combines parks and wildlife areas ripe with nature with downtown paths chock full of civic amenities and local history. This new segment will be officially opened to the public on National Trails Day on June 3rd. It joins a 3.5-mile stretch in Maplewood State Park as the first segments completed in the area. Volunteers will be continually expanding the NCT well into the future. For more about the North Country Trail in Fergus Falls and elsewhere across the state visit: or


NEW TRAIL Highlights • Walking along the Otter Tail River below Mt. Faith Cemetery • Overlooking the City below from a high point while snowshoeing in Red Sox Park • Traversing the loop trails through beautiful open prairie of One Mile Prairie • Taking in the history of Fergus Falls on the downtown Riverwallk • Spying migratory waterfowl resting in Pebble Lake within DeLagoon Park during the epic spring and fall migrations


• Feeling patriotic while walking along the Walk of Flags in Veteran’s Park in summer • Investigating the fall colors of the prairie pothole landscape at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center To see the North Country Trail Association Minnesota Water’s & Prairie (MWP) Chapter’s activity schedule visit

More to explore North Country National Scenic Trail Designated a national trail by Congress in 1980, the NCT is a 4,600 mile footpath extending from New York state to North Dakota.

A. A trailside kiosk for the newly completed Fergus Falls section of the North Country Trail. B. The Walk of Flags, a display of 1,875 flags honoring veterans.

For more area walking and biking trails see: Photos in this section by Visit Fergus Falls, Fergus Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, Fergus Falls Public Library, Lake Region Healthcare, Matthew Davis, North Country Trail Association, Wayne Hurley, Explore Minnesota Tourism, Jeremy Petrick, Springboard for the Arts, Fergus Falls Area Race Series, The Daily Journal Media, Rick Wennerlof, Mark Johnson and Steve Heriot

COMMUNITY Feature – Fergus Falls



Free Continental Breakfast Free Full Hot Breakfast Indoor Pool




• • • • • •

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425 Western Ave.




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Jewel Motel

1602 Pebble Lake Rd.



Motel 7

616 Frontier Dr.



• • •

Super 8

2454 College Way



• • •

Lodging Name/Website


Local Phone

Rodeway Inn

610 Western Ave.


AmericInn Lodge & Suites

526 Western Ave.


Country Inn & Suites

925 Western Ave.

Comfort Inn

From “ma and pa” motels to impressive conference hotel properties, it gets down to comfort and great service – and they all deliver. The hotel grid above details the properties and their amenities.

800# Central Reservations


Whirlpool Sauna Exercise Equipment Restaurant On Site Free High-Speed Internet Handicapped Accessible Pets Allowed

Number of Rooms


• • • •

And with 1,048 lakes in Otter Tail County, resorts are popular too. The Otter Tail Lakes Country Tourism Association web site at lets you search resort properties based on many amenities.

YOUR STAY. YOUR WAY. Time with family and friends is precious. Do it your way. And we’ll make it comfortable in our newly refreshed hotel, with updated furnishings, flat screen TV’s and cozy Serta® Perfect Sleeper beds. • Free hot breakfast • Hotel-wide, high-speed Internet • Indoor pool and whirlpool • Easy Rewards loyalty program

Rested. Set. Go.®

Comfort Inn 425 Western Ave., Fergus Falls, MN 56537 | 800.634.3444

AMERICINN LODGE & SUITES FERGUS FALLS CONFERENCE CENTER 526 Western Ave N Fergus Falls, MN 56537 218.739.3900 28

(218) 736-5787 Phone (218) 736-2640 Fax

COMMUNITY Feature – Fergus Falls

Close to Shopping, Restaurants & the Bigwood Event Center!

610 Western Ave. I-94 & Highway 210 West (Exit 54) Fergus Falls, MN 56637


• Nightly, Weekly & Monthly Rates

Country Inn & Suites Fergus Falls

-Largest Pool in Town!

925 Western Ave, Fergus Falls

-Free Hotel-Wide High Speed Wi-Fi -Pool Tables, Darts, & Video Games -Live Entertainment


-Sunday Brunch

2454 College Way Fergus Falls, Mn


• Park at Your Own Door • Weekly Rates • On Central Lakes Bike Trail • Close to Golf Course & Pebble Lake Beach, Eagles, VFW, Legion • Free WiFi • Truck Parking

• A/C • Car Plug-in • Cable TV with HBO

• Picnic Area • Pet Friendly 1602 Pebble Lake Rd Fergus Falls, MN I-94 Exit 61 & 57

-Free Full Hot Breakfast Buffet -Z103 Bar & Grill on Property

(218) 739-2211


• Great Low Rates • Clean, Comfortable Rooms • FREE Breakfast • Wifi • Guest Laundry • Truck Parking with Plug-ins

• Renovated Rooms 2016 • Free Breakfast & 24 Hour Coffee • Pet Friendly • Free Wi-Fi • In-Room Micro/Fridge Units & Coffee Maker • Walking distance to many restaurants & shopping • Truck Parking • Extended Stay Discounts

(218) 739-3261

f COMMUNITY Feature – Fergus Falls

321 Lincoln Ave. Fergus Falls, MN

•Ask about our Deli! •Custom Meat Cutting! •Fresh Baked Goods Daily!


218-998-9000 29






For More Information Visit: 30



Fergus Falls: A Place to Create and Grow by Michele Anderson, Rural Program Director – Springboard for the Arts


inge Arts is a program led by Springboard for the Arts, which invites artists of all career levels and disciplines to Fergus Falls for residencies of 2 to 12 weeks to focus on their artistic practice, work on career development projects, and develop creative place making projects in partnership with the community.

Artists live on the grounds of the former Fergus Falls State Hospital, known locally as “the Kirkbride Building,” in newly renovated apartments that were previously male nurses’ dormitories for the hospital. Springboard started the program in 2015 as a way to help the community reimagine this historic building’s future. Since its launch, 33 artists from 13 different states, including Oregon, New York, Utah and Tennessee, have participated in the residency program.

The results are pop-up events that complement the core offerings of the Fergus Falls arts scene through organizations like A Center for the Arts and the Kaddatz Gallery. Hinge Arts fills a niche for the experimental and the interactive, and you never know when you might stumble into an artist’s project on the street, at the Kirkbride grounds, or in a local business. Join us September 15-17 for the Kirkbride Arts and History Weekend.

Artists who have participated have been happily impressed with the thriving arts community in Fergus Falls, its vibrant downtown, its recreation opportunities, gathering places like Union Pizza and Café 116, and the Otter Tail County Museum – all the perfect conditions for inspiration and new thinking about their own artistic practices. The community, in turn, gets the chance to meet and learn from new creative people with diverse and fresh perspectives, see the town from their eyes, and participate in a wide variety of art projects, such as site specific installations, performances, oral history projects, theater, and more.


More to explore A Center for the Arts


A non-profit regional performing arts center located in the heart of beautiful, historic downtown Fergus Falls, A Center for the Arts features Grammy, Emmy, and other nationally and internationally recognized entertainers as well as talented community performers. This gem in our community provides year-round music, dance, theatre, film, visual arts, children’s programming, classes and rentals. Originally built as a Vaudeville theater in 1921, it transformed into a movie house in the 1950s, and for the past 35 years has been home to A Center for the Arts. The iconic marquee continues to welcome patrons to this downtown theater. For the most current listing of upcoming events, visit, 218-736-5453.

A. A writer participates in an engaging pop-up creative event at the historic River Inn. Using only a manual typewriter or a quill with ink, participants were encouraged to write a letter in the means of the period of the hotel – the 1930s. photo by Jeremy Petrick B. The iconic marquee of A Center for the Arts, located at 124 W. Lincoln Avenue in downtown Fergus Falls.

For more area cultural attractions see:

COMMUNITY Feature – Fergus Falls


The Fun Place to Shop!

nting Pri

★ Station


★ Bo oks ★ Gifts ★

“For Over a Century” HOURS: M-F 8-5:30, Th 8-7, Sat 9-3

Accessories – Stationery Bath & Body – Books – Office

218-736-5433 Historic Downtown Fergus Falls


Every Friday Night Beginning May, 2016

Gates Open at 5PM Races Start at 7PM Tailgating Available

Meadow Farm Foods

• Spices

• Vitamins • Natural Foods • Minnesota Gifts 1 mile NE of Fergus Falls on Cty Rd 1 Hours: Mon-Sat 9-6 Thurs 9-8

Fergus Falls, MN 32

(218) 739-4585

f COMMUNITY Feature – Fergus Falls




Fergus Falls Installs 27-hole Disc Golf Course by Tim Engstrom, Publisher – The Daily Journal Media


ergus Falls residents are engaged in the development of the community and what it offers. One of the trends in outdoor recreation is disc golf – something Fergus Falls didn’t have…yet. But in the course of a couple of years the dream was hatched and now there is a beautiful, 27-hole disc golf course in DeLagoon Park – the hub of recreation in Fergus Falls. The 192-acre park is accessed via Pebble Lake Road on the south side of Fergus Falls. The first and final holes are near the shore of Pebble Lake. This is a high quality course that will challenge seasoned players and delight families and kids who are trying the sport for the first time.

DeLagoon Disc Golf Course

Holes 1-27

Waterfowl Disc Golf Course

Holes 1-18

Lakeview Disc Golf Course

Holes 10-27

The hope is to give disc golfers the same quality experience they find at many of the courses in the Twin Cities or Fargo-Moorhead area. When tees and signing are done, the course will be playable as three courses. While there are elite players who will seek the course as a new challenge, novices and users of all ages will catch on quickly and enjoy the sport. Give it a try next time you visit.

More to explore What is Disc Golf Anyway? Disc golf (also called frisbee golf) is a flying disc game, as well as a precision and accuracy sport, in which individual players throw a flying disc at a target. Like its namesake, the goal is to traverse a multi-hole course using the least number of throws.

A. A local disc golfer putts at the 13th hole of the new DeLagoon Disc Golf Course. B. Young disc golf enthusiast poses by the basket with his putter after getting his first birdie.

For more area sports and athletic facilities see: B.

COMMUNITY Feature – Fergus Falls



Every Wednesday 7:30 pm - Trivia


7:30 pm - Open Mic (First Thursday of every month)

The Spot Panini & Wine

7:00 pm - Celtic Music Jam (Third Thursday of every month)

Open Tuesday to Saturday 11am to 11pm




PANINI & WINE 220 W. Lincoln Ave. Fergus Falls

VFW POST 612 420 East Washington Ave Fergus Falls, MN

218) 739-2697 Lic#00162

• VFW Gambling Pulltabs • VFW Bingo Wed. Night 7pm • Bar Bingo & Meat Raffle: Thurs 7pm, Fri 5:30pm, & Sat 2pm • Live Music and Dances • Daily Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-1:30pm • 1st Friday of Month Walleye Dinner • Friday Night Suppers: 5-7pm

Fergus Liquors

Drink Specials

Mondays $1 Tap Beers-6-9pm Tuesdays Happy Hour Tickets Wednesdays 1/2 Price Drinks-7-9pm

Many other Drink Specials!

2 Fergus Falls Stores!

-227 W Washington -2010 W Lincoln Ave W.


9:00am-10:00pm Mon-Sat

(218) 998-7790


THERE’S SO MUCH TO DO HERE. STAY HEALTHY FOR IT. 218.736.8000 OPEN Catering Wedding events Farmers market Personal chef service Custom and wholesale baking Business and corporate events Vacation food prep and shopping Cooking classes and demonstrations


COMMUNITY Feature – Fergus Falls

small batch artisan foods. thoughtfully created. locally crafted.

425-244-1446 call anytime



Union Pizza and Brewery: Town Hall Meets Restaurant by Michele Anderson, Rural Program Director – Springboard for the Arts


everal years ago, a few Fergus Falls area beer enthusiasts started dreaming about something new for Fergus Falls – a brick-oven pizza parlor and brewery. They developed their ideas and recipes, renovated a downtown space, and soon, Union Pizza and Brewing joined a growing list of Fergus Falls locations that provide food with a quirky, artisan ambiance. Now almost two years old, the business is more than a restaurant and brewery. Owned by Fergus Falls’ newly elected Mayor Ben Schierer and his wife Tessa, the two-yearold Union is a lively community space where regulars and first timers feel equally as welcome. Schierer and his staff are always attentive to their guests and open to their participation and input in the discussion of business and community happenings. The warm, cozy, salvaged wood interior, hand-made fabric bunting, and collection of civil war memorabilia, make Union Pizza feel like a cabinet of curiosities with a wonderfully political and crafty twist. And then of course there is the food. Union often offers seasonal pizza toppings: asparagus in the spring, sweet corn, tomatoes, zucchini in the summer, and squash and goat cheese in the fall. There are also year-round offerings, like the Thai chicken and margherita, a revolving list of tasty and fun appetizers, and salads and desserts that satisfy the urge for a quick treat. And what is a freshly made pizza without a tasty local brew? Under the leadership of brewmaster Matt Ecker, Union currently offers a variety of delicious beers, such as those named after the horses of Ulysses S. Grant, the Jeff Davis Porter, and Cincinnati Pale Ale. Union also carries an impressive choice of other Minnesota and North Dakota-brewed beers, such as Surly, Fargo Brewing Company and Third Street Brewhouse.

In addition, you’ll get a taste of local culture at Union Pizza through their busy schedule of events. The tables fill up for holiday sing-alongs, politics, popular movies, Tuesday Night Trivia, and more. In the fall, the alley next to the restaurant is closed off for a harvest festival with specialty food, live music and games. And whether it’s summer or winter, there is music whenever possible – CD release parties by local bands, beer and hymn night, and more. If you’re lucky, you’ll be lingering after dinner when the kitchen slows down and Ben, Tessa and their kids grab their instruments- violin, bass, guitar, and mandolin- and treat their customers to some tunes. Anyone who has spent time there will agree Union Pizza and Brewing has helped take downtown Fergus Falls to the next level. After all, a community whose mayor also makes sure good pizza and good beer are available at all times is one worth visiting!

More to explore Buy Fresh, Eat Local. Locally-sourced foods, farmers markets and homegrown food have certainly arrived. People want to eat food that’s good for them, know where it was grown and support local agriculture. Fergus Falls restaurants are leaders in this food-sourcing trend.

A. Ben Schierer, mayor of Fergus Falls and family entertaining guests at Union Pizza and Brewery. B. A local band performs in front of young music lovers on a warm summer evening.

For more area dining and entertainment see:

COMMUNITY Feature – Fergus Falls


Fergus Falls is On the Run! by Karoline Gustafson, Director –Fergus Falls Area Race Series


hat do you get when you put six local race directors in one room? The Fergus Falls Area Race Series, of course. When the directors of six Fergus Falls area events came together to discuss ways to help each others’ events succeed, the Fergus Falls Area Race Series (FFARS) was born. The six events include the Lake Region Run, Running Wild Trail Run, The Viking Challenge & Crusade, Hoot Lake Triathlon, Central Lakes Cycle Duathlon, and the Turkey Trot. By creating the FFARS, the race directors have created camaraderie among the events and in the racing community. It provides a chance to bounce ideas around and to discuss successes and challenges of hosting a race. At the same time, the series is also designed to challenge registrants to bring their fitness to a higher level by registering and training for multiple local races. Each race has its own unique features and each race benefits a worthy cause in the community. For more information about the Fergus Falls Area Race Series, please visit Registration, volunteer options, and race contact information can all be found on the website.

A. A. Hoot Lake Triathlon contestants swim for 1/4 mile, bike another 15.7 miles and finish with a 3.3 mile run in Fergus Falls. B. The Turkey Trot is a fun event for the whole family with costumes, awards and more.


Your Your M State

SSuccess Story Begins BeginsHere Here! MM State State is accessible, is accessible, a a�ordable, local. Take advantage of all our student student lifelife ac ac�vi�es, including athle�cs and ne arts. And d with four campuses, campuses, online online opop�ons, individual a�en�on and many transfer ransfer degrees, degrees, what what areare youyou waiwai�ng for?

Arrange a visit today at it. WeWe look look forward forward to to showing showing youyou all we all we have have to oto o�er!

8 877.450.3322

M State graduates rank in the top 10 nationally among two-year college graduates for mid-career mid career earnings, according to a 2015 Brookings Institute study.


Minnesota State Community and Technical College is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universi�es System. Minnesota State Colleges and Universi�es is an Equal Opportunity/A�rma�ve Ac�on/Veterans/Disability employer/


OTTER Tales Fergus Falls Area Race Series Lake Region Run – June 3

Hoot Lake Triathlon – July 29

With more hills than the traditional runs and the beauty of historic Fergus Falls, this half-marathon is a must for runners seeking a more challenging course. A half-marathon relay, 5k, 1-mile, and combo race (5k & 1-mile) round out the race line-up ensuring everyone can participate. All proceeds benefit Lake Region Healthcare’s Cancer Care & Research Center in Fergus Falls.

Swim, bike, and run your way through this course in and around Fergus Falls. Start the race by swimming in Hoot Lake, bike on the outskirts of town, and finish by traversing some rolling hills. All proceeds benefit the Fergus Falls Area YMCA.

Running Wild Trail Run – June 10 This run is held at Maplewood State Park near Pelican Rapids, MN. Maplewood State Park offers more than 9,000 acres of tree-covered hills, including clear lakes nestled in deep valleys, hardwood forests, wild flowers, a variety of wild life and 25 miles of hiking trails. All proceeds benefit Health Resources Center in Fergus Falls.

The Viking Challenge & Crusade – June 17 This extreme wilderness mud run is located in the beautiful hills of Otter Tail County, MN. The Challenge and Crusade is an annual event created on over 400 acres of wooded areas with rolling meadows, meandering trails, lakes, and lots of MUD! It’s extreme, it’s beautiful, it will challenge body, mind and ability. All proceeds benefit Lake Region Healthcare’s Cancer Care & Research Center and Dough 4 Joe.

/Disability employer/educator commi�ed to the principles of diversity.

Central Lakes Cycle Duathlon – Sept. 23 The 24/7 is a bike, run, bike Duathlon. The course is on paved roads and the scenic paved Central Lakes Trail. Start by biking 20 miles, run a four mile loop, and finish with a seven mile bike sprint. All proceeds benefit the House of Hope in Guatemala.

Turkey Trot – Nov. 11 Enjoy a beautiful walk or run in the crisp air through the lovely neighborhoods of Fergus Falls! The race includes a 10k, 5k, and 1-mile. Dress up in your best costume and win an award! All proceeds benefit a special fund of Kindred Family Focus that helps foster and adoptive youth and families in the Fergus Falls community.

For dates and details about the races in the Fergus Falls Race Series see:

Yearly tuition a and fees total $5,361 at M State (compare (compared to $8,094 at a stat state university or $35,4 $35,464 at a for-pro t colle college). Our Spartan Centers get students the support they need to succeed, nd employment or transfer to a four-year ins�tu�on.

Our dedicated staff and faculty members are here to serve students. Ninety-one percent of last year’s graduates who were seeking employment found jobs in their elds of study.

Detroit Lakes Detroit eCampus Lakes eCampus Fergus FallsFergus Moorhead Falls Moorhead Wadena9 Wadena


• Fresh Flowers

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f 205 West Lincoln Avenue, Fergus Falls




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• Jump Starts • Tire Changes • Unlocks • Gas Delivery

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Main: 218-736-6991 Mike: 218-205-7503 Justin: 218-205-6137 2501 Pebble Lake Rd, Fergus Falls

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Buying? Selling? Call, text, or email!

(218) 998-4006

MARY PETTIT 218-205-7086 825 North Tower Road Fergus Falls, MN 56537 38


COMMUNITY Feature – Fergus Falls



Fergus Falls Library – More Than Just Books by Erin Smith, Director – Fergus Falls Public Library


he Fergus Falls Public Library serves many audiences, including visitors to our beautiful city. We’re excited to share that the library will be undergoing an extensive remodel and expansion beginning in 2017. So, if you’re visiting us after June 2017, we will be moved into our temporary location. The temporary location hasn’t been determined as of the publishing of this magazine, so check our website for our temporary address. Visiting Fergus Falls with your young children? Come to the library to play. In addition to books, movies, music and other resources for children, the library includes a play space. The current play space includes a train table, puzzles, and play kitchen for children to enjoy. The newly expanded library will boast a significantly larger, enclosed play space with more play equipment and interactive learning areas.

Did you know that if you’re a Minnesota resident with a library card at your home library, you can get a card with us at no charge? Looking for a place to catch up on local goings-on? We subscribe to local newspapers and house a visitors kiosk with information on local events and attractions. Plus, there’s a lot going on at the library too. Visit our website to check our monthly events calendar and plan to attend programs like preschool storytime, movie nights, 3D printing classes, and much more. We look forward to seeing you at the library while you’re exploring Fergus Falls.

Need computer, wireless or photocopier access during your stay? Use one of our public computers or connect to our free wi-fi with your own device. The library also offers public printing and photocopying services. We know there’s nothing more relaxing than reading by the lake or fireplace while you’re here. If you’d like to check-out a book or download one onto your tablet or computer during your stay, stop in and we’ll set you up with a library card. A. Computer rendering of the new Fergus Falls Library expansion.

•Enjoy locally sourced food, craft beer, live music, the arts... and the great outdoors. •Work in the many career opportunities in advanced manufacturing, healthcare, and in corporate headquarters that are located here. •Take advantage of the excellent education systems, high quality healthcare, and safe neighborhoods.

Learn more about joining us in Fergus Falls:

Live Here. Fergus Falls.

For New Residents

For New Businesses



COMMUNITY Feature – Fergus Falls


Integrity. Excellence. Results. Experience the difference a devoted team of Real Estate Specialists can make for you!

Our Team sells property TWICE as fast & for THREE percent more than the market average. More Buyers & Sellers TRUST US for their real estate needs than any other company in Otter Tail County. Contact us and put our team to work for you!

(218) 205-7351

Kitchenware • Tableware • Home Accents Bath & Body • Specialty Groceries

120 S. Union, Fergus Falls, Minnesota

If you plan to move here or spend the season at a cabin in our service area, we make it easy to turn on your electricity when you need it and turn it off when you don’t. And if a storm causes a power outage, count on us to restore your power quickly.

HOURS: Monday through Friday 8am-7pm Saturday & Sunday 9am-5pm (218) 998-3663

Just call 800-257-4044 or 218-739-8877.

Follow us on Facebook!


COMMUNITY Feature – Fergus Falls



Easy-going Otter Kick back or go with the flow... Easy-Going Otters are laid back, like to slow down the pace, and enjoy all the quiet moments that life has to offer. They believe that it’s always better to kick back and go with the flow. No need to rise too early because after all, it’s vacation time, and relaxing is what vacation should be all about. In the late morning they get up and drink herbal tea on a deck overlooking the lake. The sun is warm and relaxing. The water is cool and smooth as glass, just like an Easy-Going Otter. Easy-Going Otters could read that book they brought with, or… they might take a nap in the hammock! The gentle swaying rocks them into a well-deserved nap. They’ve got the entire day, and there’s nothing that has to be done. Later, it’s time for a pontoon ride. Packing up a few snacks and their favorite beverages, they will grab the family and head out onto the lake. The late afternoon sun is still warm. As they putter slowly around the lake they see loons diving for their supper, fish skimming the top of the water, and gulls lazily circling in the sky. When evening comes it’s time to play some cards or maybe join a few friends out for a couple of brews. And if not, there’s always more to discover later… in Otter Tail Lakes Country.

YOU OTTER Love THIS: Here are a few activities and area businesses nicely suited to your inner Easy-going Otter:

Balmoral Golf Course Battle Lake

Northern Aire Lanes Fergus Falls

The Rusty Nail Battle Lake 218-864-2600

Willy T’s Tavern & Grill Ottertail

Want to know more about your inner otter? Take the quiz at



Henning Home of • Doughboy Sculpture by Artist Ken Nyberg

• Landmark Center • Military Park • Astronaut Karen Nyberg 1988 Henning Graduate

• Henning Festival Days (July 14-16) • World Famous Turkey BBQ

Gateway to the Lakes Henning offers a wide variety of activities for the entire family. Visit our community’s Veteran’s Memorial Park, Landmark Cultural Center or participate in our many events throughout the year. Some of the highlights include a demolition derby, airport fly-in, haunted house, polar fest, fishing derby, and turkey barbecue. No matter what the season, we’re sure you’ll have a good time and want to return again and again. The community has the advantages of small town, rural life with the benefits of beautiful scenery, complete services, excellent retail stores, great schools and churches and wonderful neighbors!


612 Front Street, PO Box 55 Henning, MN 56551 218-583-2402 City of Henning



Veterans Memorial at Military Park by Missy Hermes, Education Coordinator – Otter Tail County Historical Society


n the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, the entire town of Henning dons red, white, and blue. Runners and walkers, family and friends dress in their best all-American costumes or all-white attire. It’s time for the annual Patriotic Color Splash 5K, Fun Run/Walk. At several stages along the route of the 5K folks throw handfuls of colored cornstarch on the participants in a joyful burst of patriotic fervor. This community event, now in its fourth year, begins and finishes at the new Henning Military Park. Money raised from the 5K has helped fund improvements to the park like the lighted flag display honoring all branches of the military. They have also donated thousands of dollars to the Wounded Warrior Project. Event organizers all have family members currently serving in the military. Open year-round, the Military Park in Henning has picnic tables and benches, providing an excellent stop-off for visitors who are biking, motorcycling or taking an Otter Trail Scenic Byway side trip. A walk along the Military Park pathway is also a look into Henning’s military history. Paving stones along the trail celebrate generations of residents who served in the military.

The care and planning that went into the Military Park is evidence of the history and patriotism of the community. When the first homesteaders and pioneers arrived to plat the town and plow the fields, the area around Henning had a decidedly tranquil name – Peace Prairie, named for the first resident. Mr. Peace recognized the “abundance of water, wood, prairie and rich soil” and promoted the area for settlement. By 1881, the Northern Pacific Railroad had reached this town that sits on the Continental Divide. A section foreman for the railroad promised that if town leaders named the little village after him, he would donate a bell for the first church. Thus the name of Henning was chosen. After the Civil War, veterans and immigrants settled in Henning Township, taking advantage of the Homestead Act. Their descendants continue to proudly serve their country, representing all branches of the military. A visit to Henning should include a visit to the Military Park. Across the street from the Henning Military Park, visitors can also see Trinity Lutheran Church, which recently received a Minnesota Historical Society Grant to place it on the National Register of Historic Places.

More to explore Henning Landmark Center The original Landmark House was built in 1914, expanded in 1948, and served as residence and medical clinic for doctors. In 2006 the building was acquired by the City of Henning and restored. In 2009 it opened as the Henning Landmark Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to the Arts and other community activities.


A. Visitors to Henning Military Park remember their fallen loved ones and pay their respects to those who have served in all branches of the military. B. The Landmark Center features local artwork such as the Doughboy sculpture by renowned artist Ken Nyberg.

For more information and schedule of events visit: Photos in this section by City of Henning, Otter Tail County Historical Society, Five Lakes Resort,

COMMUNITY Feature – Henning


Integrity. Excellence. Results. Experience the difference a devoted team of Real Estate Specialists can make for you!

Our Team sells property TWICE as fast & for THREE percent more than the market average. More Buyers & Sellers TRUST US for their real estate needs than any other company in Otter Tail County. Contact us and put our team to work for you!

(218) 205-7351


Landmark Center

Promoting Artistic Creativity & Industry... 415 Douglas Ave. Henning, MN -Activities & Educational Programs -Arts & Literature Workshops -Gallery Exhibits -Local History Center -Retreats & Meetings -Private Celebrations -Limited Overnight Guests

HOURS: Tues & Thurs 1-4 & Sat 10-2 (218) 548-5760

Making Lake Home Dreams Come True.

One Loan at a Time! (218) 583-2933 44

800-423-4571 |



Active Otter


Always on the go! How many things can the typical Active Otter do in one day? How about canoeing or boating at the lake. Visiting relatives. Hitting the links. Hiking a autumn trail. Picnicing at a park. Exercising at a fitness center. Ice fishing. Shopping. Visiting a craft brewery. Taking in a movie. Snowmobiling. Or fishing at sunset on a beautiful lake. For the Active Otter, the list of things to do never ends, it only grows. The morning begins early with a local garage sale run. There’s only time for a quick breakfast as there is so much to do! On to the craft store to buy something fun for the kids. Then to the grocery store to get supplies for that gourmet meal planned for tonight. Now it’s time to meet everyone at the lake for a pontoon ride. Next it’s a stop for ice cream and then a trip to the local museum. After cooking supper back at the cabin, it’s time to go for a ride in the country, with a stop at an antiques store. Finally, at the end of the day, the pleasantly worn-out Active Otter finds restive sleep with the call of the loons as background music. For the Active Otter, sitting still is simply not an option, especially with the many things there are to do in the Otter Tail Lakes area!

Here are a few activities and area businesses nicely suited to your inner Active Otter:

Henning Landmark Center Henning

North Country Trail Fergus Falls, Pelican Rapids

Shallow Bay Bowfishing Otter Tail County

Wildflower Golf Course Detroit Lakes

Want to know more about your inner otter? Take the quiz at



New York Mills Home of • Big Tractor Sculpture by Artist Ken Nyberg

• New York Mills Regional Cultural Center • Lund & Crestliner Boats • Great American Think-Off (Saturday, June 10th) • Finn Creek Museum

A Small Town With Great Expectations Situated along US Highway 10 in Northeastern Otter Tail County, New York Mills is a vibrant community located steps away from excellent outdoor activities. A great place to visit or live, the town boasts six parks, a community pool, a public library, an art center, and a tremendous school system. Employment opportunities abound at Brunswick, the town’s largest employer. The innovative manufacturer is responsible for building Lund and Crestliner Boats, a common sight on lakes throughout Minnesota and beyond.

Fun Entertainment & Events Year-Round! March 25 April 15 June 10 June 10 June 23-25 July 7 July 7


Trade Show Easter Egg Hunt Great American Think-Off Ronald McDonald House Ride Highway 10 Baseball Classic Lund Mania Fishing Tournament Summer Celebration & Fish House Festival

Aug. 18 Aug. 26-27 Nov. 24 Nov. 24 to Dec. 2 Dec. 2 Dec. 21

Corn Feed & Puppet Pageant Finn Creek Festival Christmas Kick Off Christmas Tree Festival Community Christmas Party Longest Night Music Festival

New Yo k Mills PO Box 176 New York Mills, MN 56567 218-385-3339 @exploreNYMills



The Great American Think-Off by Derek Henderson, Marketing & PR Coordinator – New York Mills Cultural Center


he charming and quaint hamlet of New York Mills, a rural Minnesota farming and manufacturing community, is the setting for the infamous philosophical debate known as the Great American Think-Off now in its 25th year. Sponsored by the New York Mills Cultural Center, the Think-Off is an annual exhibition of civil, intelligent, thought-provoking, and civil disagreement over powerful, contrasting ideas that connect to one’s life at the gut level. During its history, the philosophy contest has answered questions such as, “Is honesty always the best policy?” (1998), “Does technology free us or trap us?” (2015), and the consistently contentious, “Which is more dangerous – science or religion?” (1999). The audience, composed of local residents, regional visitors, and national guests, votes for, and chooses, the best argument proffered by the best raconteur— and not necessarily for the assertions with which they agree. Over the years, the Think-Off has drawn essayists from every state in the union, and beyond. For instance, in 2016, the four finalists came from Minneapolis, Moorhead, San Francisco, and Chicago. The topical question is announced each year on January 1st, the essay deadline is April 1st, and four essay winners and honorees are announced on May 1st. Armchair philosophers should choose a side to the question, and submit their thoughts in no more than 750 words. In reading essays, the selection committee looks for personal experience, specific situations, and superior reasoning.

In 2016, for the first time ever, the committee selected ten Honorable Mention essays in addition to choosing the final four debaters. The committee intends to continue this tradition going forward and is considering new and different ways to encourage participation and engagement during this anniversary year. The top two essay winners on each side of the topic are invited to New York Mills on the second Saturday in June to defend their essays by debating that year’s issue for a chance to win the vote and be named 2017 America’s Greatest Thinker. Each finalist is awarded a $500 cash prize, travel, lodging and meals. This year’s great debate will be held on Saturday, June 10th, 2017 in New York Mills, where this year’s question is sure to awaken the philosopher in all of us.

More to explore Are You “America’s Greatest Thinker?” Now in its 25th year, The Great American Think-Off is an exhibition of civil disagreement between ideas being explored by everyday people. People of all ages are invited to submit an essay of no more than 750 words for a chance to win one of four $500 cash prizes and participate in the live debate.


For this year’s topic and entry details see: or

A. Finalists square off in the live debate portion of the Great American Think-Off. B. Sam Dennison of San Francisco won the 2016 contest and was named America’s Greatest Thinker. C. New York Mills community leaders make visitors feel welcome with a fun sign.

Photos in this section by Laura Knudson Photography, New York Mills Cultural Center, New York Mills Civic & Commerce, City of New York Mills, Explore Minnesota Tourism and Jean Bowman, Fergus Falls CVB.

COMMUNITY Feature – New York Mills


• Ottertail: 320 MN #78 367-2196 • Frazee: 101 E. Main St. 334-3070

“Your Hometwown Drug Store” Free Local Delivery

• Battle Lake: 113 Lake Ave N. 864-5261 • Menagha: 24 Aspen Ave S. 564-4655 • Bertha: 124 2nd Ave N.W. 924-2124 • Henning: 519 Douglas Ave. 583-2773 • New York Mills: 99 Miller St. 385-3360 • Wadena: 415 Jefferson St N. 632-5440

Prescription Refills & Shipping • Variety of Gifts • Greeting Cards Cosmetics • Photo Kiosk • Diabetic Footwear • Medical Equipment

Mills Liquors 26 Centennial 84 Dr W. New York Mills, MN


Great Selection of Off Sale Liquor (218) 385-2004 Bar serves Pizzas, Burgers, and More Wine Rewards Club Live Music Saturdays (June - Aug. 15th)

“The New York Mills Municipal Liquor Store is the place to go for warm conversation, cold beer and a friendly atmosphere! Stop in and check out our newly remodeled on-sale, complete with a new digital jukebox and interactive video games. Also, our off-sale is stocked with an expanded selection of liquor, wine and beer. Stop in today!”


800-423-4571 |



Eclectic Otter Variety is the spice of life Nobody’s ever going to accuse Eclectic Otters of being predictable. Who knew such a rare breed of otter like this existed? On any day you might find them anywhere on or off the beaten path, inhabiting such diverse places such as art galleries, community theaters, cultural centers, museums, flea markets, music venues, country markets, shooting centers, casinos, gift shops, or book stores. Their day might start with a round of golf, followed by a visit to a historical site. Lunch might be enjoyed at a local coffee shop, followed by shopping at a quaint boutique. The late afternoon might find Eclectic Otters renting bikes, and then quenching their thirst at a local pub. They might then top off their day with a theatrical performance, a trip to a pizza parlor, and a relaxing sit on the porch of the Bed and Breakfast they are staying at. There’s no telling where the Eclectic Otter will pop up, given all the entertainment, shopping, and dining options that are nestled in and around the Otter Tail Lakes Country!

YOU OTTER Love THIS: Here are a few activities and area businesses nicely suited to your inner Eclectic Otter:

Art of the Lakes Battle Lakes

Kaddatz Galleries Fergus Falls

NYM Cultural Center New York Mills

Otter Tail Historical Society Fergus Falls

Want to know more about your inner otter? Take the quiz at



Ottertail Home of • The Big Otter by Artist Ken Nyberg

• Otter Tail Lake • O tter Fest (August 12th) • Otterdazzle (December 2nd)

It’s Just the Beginning! A small city of around 600, Ottertail offers shopping opportunities, health care, a convention bureau, Thumper Pond Resort and golf course, as well as friendly and affordable small town and country living in beautiful lakes country. The community features five lakes including Otter Tail Lake, the largest and most popular lake in Otter Tail County. You can ask any one of our residents, year-round or seasonal…here, it’s the people…the friendly faces…the feeling of community that beckons and keeps visitors returning year after year. Those who live here wouldn’t live anywhere else. It’s the community pride that shows on these faces. Plenty of work goes into making sure that everyone enjoys their stay in Ottertail, from Otter Fest to Otter Dazzle…there’s always something to do.


PO Box 245 Ottertail, MN 56571 218-367-2250 Ottertail, Minnesota



Ottertail City – Yesterday and Today by Missy Hermes, Education Coordinator – Otter Tail County Historical Society


ight along Highway 78, with Otter Tail Lake off in the background, sits a massive stone marker put up by the Minnesota Highway Department in the 1930s. The monument is perfectly located at a crossroads that points travelers in one of three towns – Battle Lake, Perham or Ottertail City. Its brass plaque describes this as the location of the first jail and courthouse of the first Otter Tail County seat back in 1872. Apparently the jail was very necessary in the Ottertail City of the 1860s and 70s. This location was once part of the network of trails and portages used by the French, Scottish and Métis fur traders and voyageurs followed by the hardy people who traveled on the oxcart trails. This system of trails between St. Paul, Minnesota and Winnipeg, Canada blazed a path for our current highway system. Trading posts, saloons and several other disreputable establishments frequented by “sporting women” lined the roads of the village of early Ottertail. Eventually the spot became a stagecoach stop between Fergus Falls, which took over as county seat, and Perham. Travelers between the two towns spent the night at the St. Paul Hotel that once sat near where the stone monument now stands. The St. Paul Hotel has now been relocated to Ottertail City next to the refurbished creamery building. The two structures are finding new life as the saloons and trading posts of the past are replaced by family-friendly establishments, specialty shops and fun taverns. The care and preservation of local

buildings by businesses like The Creamery and Weibe’s Garage help Ottertail continue to retain its historic charm. Now the trading posts that once supplied basic goods for Ottertail’s Native American residents and early pioneers have been replaced by stores and specialty shops. With everything from antiques and souvenirs to hardware and women’s clothing, these businesses now offer locals and visitors a unique shopping experience. Although the town can no longer claim the title of county seat, Ottertail City will always be the first community in Otter Tail country.

More to explore Otter Tail Lake The largest and most recognized lake in Otter Tail County, Otter Tail Lake covers 21 square miles and is well-known for its walleye and northern pike fishing. The lake is also a popular destination for boaters, jet skis and sailing. The Otter Tail River flows into Otter Tail Lake creating a long narrow strip of land which to the early Ojibwe suggested the shape of an otter’s tail.

A. The St. Paul House at Old Ottertail City in 1940. Photo [#10508] from the collections of the Otter Tail County Historical Society. B. With a boutique, coffee shop and event space, The Creamery is an example of how the refurbishing of historic buildings helps Ottertail maintain its unique charm.

To learn more visit: Photos in this section by Thumper Pond Resort, The Otter, Explore Minnesota Tourism, Otter Tail County Historical Society and Steve Heriot.

COMMUNITY Feature – Ottertail


full service restaurant, lounge, liquor store, and hotel LIVE MUSIC!

June-August including our annual Parking Lot Party featuring national headliners


Thursday-Saturday after 2pm from our restaurant and liquor store. Other days and times based on availability. Call for details.


on-site and off-site catering available for all of your special occasions


Pajama Party in January Jamaican Me Crazy Party every March Inaugural Ottertail Dog Jog in June Parking Lot Party each summer

Visit us online for more details.

306 N Highway 78 | Ottertail MN 218.367.2525

Golf. Gather. Get Away. Thumper Pond is a new kind of Golf Resort, one that

event spaces of all sizes, and our on-site restaurant,

everyone can enjoy, even if you don’t play golf. The

Willy T’s Tavern & Grille. With 78 spacious suites,

resort is located in the heart of Central Minnesota lakes

our resort has ample room for your family reunion,

country and nestled among 250 acres of pine forest.

golf outing, wedding, or meeting. Nearby Otter Tail

Our guests enjoy a championship 18-hole golf course

Lake offers swimming, boating, fishing, and more.

– which features traditional, fling, and foot golf, a new

The premiere vacation destination in Otter Tail lakes

12,000 square-foot indoor waterpark, meeting and

country, Thumper Pond provides fun for the whole family.

218-367-2000 | 1-877-294-7981

300 Thumper Lodge Road | Ottertail, Minnesota 56571

Thumper Pond


“A Classic Since 1961” 28294 State Highway # 78 Battle Lake, Minnesota 56515 Located in the heart of Ottertail County 7 miles north of Battle Lake on the Southeast Corner of Ottertail Lake.

Schedule your tee time:

218-864-5414 or 218-367-2055 Tee times taken online at:

“Voted the Areas Favorite”

113 Main Ave E. Deer Creek MN

(218) 462-2850

•Excellent Food and Drink! •Breakfast Friday-Sunday •Home-Cooked Lunch Specials Making Lake Home Dreams Come True.

•Great Evening Specials

- Monday: Burger Basket Deal - Tuesday: Tacos - Wednesday: Wings - Thursday: Ribeye Steak - Fri-Sat: Two-meat Buffet

One Loan at a Time!


Mon-Thurs: Friday-Sat: Sunday:


101 Main St, Ottertail, MN 56571

54 (218) 367-2735

11am - 10pm 6:30am - 1am 6:30am - 9pm


800-423-4571 |



Outdoorsy Otter Life is just better... outside It’s early autumn in Minnesota, and Outdoorsy Otters would like nothing more than to pack the day with some outdoor activities. They are always the first ones on the lake in the morning. For them, it’s not really the weekend and it’s not really vacation until they are finally riding their bikes, fishing in their boats or walking down a trail. Outdoorsy Otters live for the lakes, woods, and fields, and they feel very much at home interacting with all of the scaly, furry, and feathery critters that live there. It’s breathing fresh air, feeling the sun on their faces, and getting away from the crowds that invigorates the Outdoorsy variety of the Otter family. No time to spare in town, they have to be in their canoes, waiting for ducks at sunrise. On the way back to the dock, they can’t help but fish for walleyes. After a hearty breakfast at the camp, RV or cabin, it’s time to go for a hike or walk some field rows for pheasant. Later that afternoon, it’s off to pick wild mushrooms, or sneak into the deer stand with a compound bow. And after all that exercise and fun, Outdoorsy Otters will then sit around campfires, tell funny stories of past camping, fishing and hunting trips, while avidly planning for the next adventure.

YOU OTTER Love THIS: Here are a few activities and area businesses nicely suited to your inner Outdoorsy Otter:

Glendalough State Park Battle Lake www.DNR.State.MN.US/State_Parks/ Glendalough/Index.html

Maplewood State Park Pelican Rapids www.DNR.State.MN.US/State_Parks/ Maplewood/Index.html

Meister Guide Service Otter Tail County

Phelps Mill Festival Underwood

Want to know more about your inner otter? Take the quiz at



Parkers Prairie Home of • End of the Trail Monument • New Community Swimming Pool • Inspiration Peak Wayside State Park • Fall Festival in City Park (August 4-6)

Gateway to Otter Tail County Parkers Prairie is located about 20 miles north of I-94 at the Alexandria exit in West Central Minnesota. Parkers Prairie was founded as early as 1868 with a General Store on the shores of Lake Adley and incorporated in 1903. We are a friendly community where neighbors say “Hi!” to one another while strolling down tree-lined streets on a summer evening or attending the Fall Festival in City Park. Newly renovated City Park now boasts two large accessible play structures and other activities. New accessible restrooms and sidewalks enhance the picnic shelters and outdoor swimming pool. Lake Adley Park provides a public access boat ramp for summer fishing and a popular ice fishing spot.


PO Box 70, Parkers Prairie, MN 56361 218-338-5006 Parkers Prairie, Minnesota



The Founding of Parkers Prairie by Steve Heriot


acob looked out over the landscape with a critical but appreciative eye. It was June 2, 1868, and Jacob Saunders had come a long way, looking for the right land. He, like most settlers, wanted to avoid the immense labor and expense of clearing heavy forest, but he still needed some standing trees to use for fuel and to build with. What he saw before him had it all, a mixture of grasslands for his stock, scattered forest, and plenty of water. Now to find his homestead! He left Stillwater to find land for his family to settle on, and after riding to Osakis, he met a man who had recently been on a crew that had surveyed an area of beautiful mixed prairie about 30 miles north, toward Ottertail City. Jacob heard that the area was being opened up to homesteading. He joined a party of men who were cutting the first trail north to the area and then helped them blaze out the last few miles. After arriving, he immediately left the party, located and staked his own homestead, and returned to Washington County for his family. After arriving back in Stillwater, he loaded his covered wagon and, with his family, traveled the 140 miles back to his stacked home site. Their oldest son, Frank, who was 12 years old at the time, walked behind the wagon, driving two cows and a few sheep. It took the family three weeks to travel from Stillwater to what would someday be known as Parkers Prairie. The family arrived July 17, 1868 and began to build a home. There would eventually be four other children in the family, and the youngest, Charles, would become the first white child born in the area. The farm was a success, and Jacob’s descendants live on the land to this day.

Another settler, Henry Asseln, became the first merchant and one of the wealthiest men of the county. He started a trading post there, and it became the hub of all roads. The first mail to the area was distributed from the little store, first arriving on July 4, 1869. Mail was carried in once a week on foot, horseback or by dog sled, depending on the weather and season. In 1870, a second store, made of native oak logs, was built overlooking Lake Adley, just south of the settlement. The same year the area was organized as Jasper township. Three years later the township and village was named after one of its first supervisors, a pioneer named Parker.

More to explore End of the Trail Monument In 1930, Parkers Prairie community leaders erected a stone monument that commemorated the early settlers to the area. On the monument is a plaque that reads: “This tablet marks the terminus of the first trail into Otter Tail County and the Parkers Prairie settlement, and the arrival of the first squatters on June 2, 1868.”


A. Main Street, Parkers Prairie Minnesota, 1910. Postcard Collection B. The End of the Trail Monument overlooking Lake Adley on the south end of Parkers Prairie.

To learn more about the history of Parkers Prairie visit: Photos in this section by Parkers Prairie Independent, Postcard Collection and Steve Heriot. Art by Heriot Creative.

COMMUNITY Feature – Parkers Prairie


“Making Your Event Memorable!”


he Prairie Event Center’s layout offers unlimited uses featuring a 7,200 square-foot room, a full service kitchen, a built in stage, a full service bar, and two portable bars, allowing you to have a beautiful event in one perfect location. Affordable receptions, meetings, or special events, the Prairie Event Center can turn your dream into reality.

201 W Main Street PO Box 70, Parkers Prairie, MN 56361

(218) 3EVENTS (218) 338-3687

Lo no ca rth ted of 15 Al m ex in an ute dr s ia

Make a grand splash • Attached to Prairie Event Center • King, Queen, Whirlpool Rooms • Extended Stay Suites with Full Kitchenettes • Complimentary Grand Start® Breakfast • FREE Wireless Internet Access • Indoor Pool and Whirlpool

Book your stay today!


211 West Main Street • Parkers Prairie, MN 56361 •


800-423-4571 |



A Community ‘Pools’ Its Resources by Steve Heriot


he Parkers Prairie public swimming pool was in over its head. Built in 1979, the facility lasted longer than many similar pre-fabricated pools of the same period but was in desperate need of repair. The City Council voted in 2010 to keep the swimming pool operating, but it was clear that a fund would be needed to raise donations from individuals and organizations concerned about the future of the swimming pool. Some time later, members of the Parkers Prairie Public Swimming Pool Committee were invited to a meeting at West Central Initiative in Fergus Falls to meet with a donor who wanted to help make the new aquatic center a reality. They were pleasantly surprised when former Parkers Prairie resident Lloyd Paulson walked into the meeting. Lloyd offered a grant of $1 million dollars, but in order to inspire local giving, the grant would be given only if the community could raise a matching amount. He further stipulated that there would need to be least 200 donors who would make pledges of $1,000 or more in order to show sufficient community support for the project.

Prior to the swimming pool project, Paulson has lent his philanthropic aid to other organizations in Parkers Prairie and elsewhere. His “paying back” has helped the Lions complete the Event Center in Parkers Prairie and was instrumental in helping First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Parkers Prairie update their kitchen and build a narthex that included an elevator. He is also the benefactor who gave $1 million gifts to Custer State Park

and Youth & Family Services in Rapid City for projects to help those entities grow and prosper. Those donations were preceded by many more gifts and scholarships over the years to organizations far and wide. Paulson has had an interesting career. In 1952, he signed on as a salesman at a hardware store in Fargo, N.D. in order to supplement his farming income. In 1955, he moved to manage another of the company’s stores in Wheaton, MN. By that time, the company was beginning to experiment with sporting goods. In 1962, he moved to Moorhead, MN, where he became a partner and manager for the company in a bigger store. That company is Scheels All Sports. It completed its transition from hardware to sporting goods in the 1980s and now has 25 retail stores in 10 states. Paulson retired in 1980 and uses the proceeds from his stock in the company to fund his philanthropy. “He’s just a very solid, genuine human being who cares about others and is gratified by how life treated him,” says an admirer. “And now he thinks it’s important to make a difference by sharing with others.” Paulson, 91, thinks that the community pool project is important for providing a healthy activity for youth and adults in the area. Studies have also shown that developing and maintaining public parks has a positive economic impact on a community and that local amenities are an important factor in most families’ decisions on where to locate. Those families then become valued contributors to the tax base and customers at local businesses. While construction funding goals have been reached, and construction has begun on the Aquatic Center, additional donations are still needed for amenities and the maintenance endowment in order to ensure future repairs. If everything goes as planned, the Parkers Prairie Aquatic Center will open the summer of 2017.

Want to Help? If you would like to support this project please send your donation to: PP Swimming Pool Fund, PO Box 98, Parkers Prairie, MN 56361. Make checks payable to: WCI PP Swimming Pool Fund.

To learn more visit:

COMMUNITY Feature – Parkers Prairie

A. Kids enjoy a dip in the Community public swimming pool. The brand new Parkers Prairie Aquatic Center is scheduled to open Summer of 2017.


On & Off Sale

Thank you for shopping your locally owned liquor store!

• Happy Hours • Pool Tables


top in and see our wide variety of liquor and our wine selection, but don’t forget we have the same great beer selection as well. With a great atmosphere and a great place to meet your friends for a crisp, cool refreshment, you’ll be sure to enjoy every last drop. Make sure you check out our patio area on those perfect nights to enjoy your favorite beverage too!

• Juke Box • Darts • Pull Tabs • ATM • Pizza • Fryer Food • Pool Tournament Tuesdays 7 pm • Bar Bingo Wednesdays 7 pm • Meat Raffle Saturdays (various) Check us out on facebook! Join our group today and receive up to date events and specials! parkersprairieliquorstore

405 N Otter Avenue Parkers Prairie, MN 56361 Manager: Michelle Diedrich

(218) 338-9944

211 S. Otter Ave. Parkers Prairie • Retail & Wholesale Petroleum Products • Propane Delivery Service • LP Cylinder Fills • Convenience Store & Deli • Picaddily Circus Pizza & Subs • Tire & Auto Service Center

• CUSTOMIZED APPAREL • SPORTS APPAREL • HOME DECOR 106 East Soo Street Parkers Prairie, Mn

• Towing Service

Phone: (218) 338-4391 Toll Free: 866-939-4392


Store: 218-338-4114 Office: 218-338-2741

f 60

800-423-4571 |



Inspiration Peak State Wayside Park by Steve Heriot


he man looked to the north with spear in hand. He and his hunting party were standing on a steep hill overlooking a broken vista of half-downed forests, ice chunks, scattered boulders, grasslands and rushing rivers. His eyes followed the swift currents of the river below as it cascaded over boulders and rocks and flowed into the steppes beneath where he stood. The grasslands were scattered with packs of large, grazing animals: horses, giant beavers, camels, 6,000-pound sloths and huge woolly mammoths. These large mammals supplied not only meat, but also implements and clothing for his people. A few scraggly fir trees lined the watercourse, leaning against each other at awkward angles. He raised a hand to his eyes and looked further into the distance, where the stream turned into a larger river, and further yet, where he could see the shimmering spray from a large waterfall that cascaded down from the ice wall. His eyes looked slowly up the waterfall to the ragged face of the glacier reaching higher and higher, jutting up to and then through the clouds thousands of feet into the darkening sky. This place where the conifer forest met the grasslands was a hunter’s and forager’s paradise of animals, fruits, nuts, berries,

seeds, vegetables, and greens that he and his people relied on for survival. But the grazing animals also drew the large predators: the fierce sabre-tooth cats, the 60-mph Cheetah, the 800-pound American Lion, the 12-foot-tall Short-faced Bear, and the huge Dire Wolf. He noticed that the sun was nearing the horizon to his left, and he looked furtively to the south, where he was reassured by the dark silhouettes of his tribe’s shelters, crudely made from hides, stretched over Mastodon bones. He suddenly felt a chill and decided it was time to go back to the safety of the fire.

THE LEAF Hills In the southern part of Otter Tail County is a collection of geological features, created by the Laurentide glacier, known as the Leaf Hills. It is a little-known area of glacially-scoured moraines, eskers, valleys, and glacial till. The highest hill among them is Inspiration Peak, just west of Urbank. It rises 1,750 feet, about 400 feet above the surrounding countryside, making it the highest point in the county and one of the highest points in the state of Minnesota. Inspiration Peak is a quiet and remote State Wayside Park, located on the shore of Lake Carlos. The steep hike to the overlook offers several benches along the way if you wish to rest. The view from the top is particularly impressive in autumn when the hardwoods are changing color. If you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a deer, beaver, or bear, distant relatives of the animals that once roamed the area 12,000 years ago in the time of the glaciers.

More to explore Inspiring Words from Inspiration Peak From the prairie-covered crest of the hill, Minnesota’s Nobel Prize winning novelist Sinclair Lewis once wrote, “there’s to be seen a glorious 20-mile circle of some 50 lakes scattered among fields and pastures, like sequins fallen on an old paisley shawl.”

A. Artist’s depiction of the view from Inspiration Peak in the time of the Laurentide glacier. B. Trail marker and plaque with glowing words of praise from author Sinclair Lewis, a native of nearby Sauk Centre, Minnesota.

To learn more visit: B.

COMMUNITY Feature – Parkers Prairie


Pelican Rapids Home of • World’s Largest Pelican • Riverview Bank Building • Maplewood State Park • Pelican Fest (July 14-15) • Minnesota Woman • Downtown Historic City Hall / Chamber of Commerce • Minnow Races

All Roads Lead to Pelican Rapids Located in western Otter Tail County, home to over a thousand lakes, the lake is never far away when you’re in Pelican Rapids. Whether you want to swim, fish, boat or simply relax on the shore, the lakes are a way of life here. With friendly people and unique shops, even rainy days hold the promise of a good time! The community of Pelican Rapids boasts enormous natural beauty in its sweeping fields, rolling hills, and plentiful pristine lakes. Yet its most enduring beauty is intangible and can be found in the innovative spirit of its citizenry as they improve their lives and invigorate the local economy. The “world’s largest pelican” is no doubt the most photographed object in Pelican Rapids and continues to draw attention at the base of the Mill Pond Dam along the Pelican River in downtown Pelican Rapids.


315 North Broadway Pelican Rapids, MN 56572 218-863-6571 City of Pelican Rapids



The Riverview Bank Building by Steve Heriot


here’s a phrase that goes, “it’s probably easier just to tear the building down and start all over again,” but in truth, that’s not always the best decision. Vintage buildings can help preserve the history, aesthetics, and heritage of a neighborhood and can provide continuity, cultural identity, and a sense of place. The styles and methods of workmanship used on older buildings can give charm and uniqueness to a community, a plus for tourism.

In addition, the preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, and reconstruction of aged buildings are the ultimate forms of recycling and can also attract additional investment and economic value, which can change the nature of a stagnant neighborhood. They also lend themselves to any business that wants to add a little character to their store environment. Finally, in this writer’s opinion, older buildings are just more interesting. Take the Riverside Bank building for example: The building, completed in 1900, was constructed at 21 North Broadway, in Pelican Rapids, which at that time was a 1500-person town in northwestern Otter Tail County. It was built along the north bank of the Pelican River, about 150 feet away from the first hydroelectric dam in the area, which first started generating power in 1900. The building was designed by prominent Minneapolis architect Charles S. Sedgwick, who probably rode on the Northern Pacific railroad, and then in a carriage, on his trip up

to Pelican Rapids. In the same year Sedgwick built the bank, he also built the village hall, which has recently undergone an award-winning rehabilitation. Sedgwick designed the bank in the Romanesque Revival style of architecture, which was inspired by the “Norman Style” of the 11th Century, which in itself was derived from Ancient Imperial Rome’s invention of the arch. The one-story structure was skillfully constructed with quality materials such as limestone, granite, ceramics, acanthus and Greek key molding, egg-and-dart capitals, Kettle River sandstone trimmings, pressed and ornamental brick, en-caustic tiling, a tin ceiling, a mahogany interior, and cast iron hardware. The building, equipped with a fireproof vault and steam heat, had a total cost of $5,000. The bank was built on land owned by Randolph L. (R.L.) Frazee, the bank’s founder and an influential early businessman who bought and sold real estate, served as mayor, and operated the saw mill, flour mill, and grain elevator. The bank operated under three different names over the years: Riverside Bank, First National Bank, and Otter Tail County State Bank. The Riverview Bank building includes Riverview Place a gift shop featuring unique Minnesota home/cabin accents, collectibles, specialty foods, children/baby gifts and Minnesota grown flowers. Also included are the Pelican Paddle Company which offers summer kayak tours of the Pelican River, and Pete’s Treats which has gourmet hot dogs and an ice cream shop.

More to explore Pelican Pete – The World’s Largest Pelican Pelican Rapids is home to one of the iconic attractions in Otter Tail County. “Pelican Pete” is a 15 foot tall concrete pelican statue originally designed to promote tourism in the area. Today the beloved pelican has been embraced as an enduring symbol of Pelican Rapids, inspiring promotions, celebrations and lots of photos.


A. The Riverview Bank building with it’s Romanesque Revival architecture is currently home to Riverview Place, The Pelican Paddle Company and Pete’s Treats. B. A large Pelican Statue perches on the edge of flowing rapids in downtown Pelican Rapids.

To learn more visit: Photos in this section by Chris Mavis – Eagle Eye Aerial Photography, Jeff Jordahl, Pelican Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Pelican Paddle Company, Friends of Maplewood, Greg Lockinar, Marcella Rose, Stu Peterson and Nancy Valentine.

COMMUNITY Feature – Pelican Rapids


Lake Region Electric Cooperative

Pelican Rapids, Minnesota

safe, reliable, affordable electricity Leading with innovative energy services and empowering members to use energy wisely to secure a better future for our families, our communities, and our world.

Brown-Eyed Susans Floral • Garden • Gift (218) 863-5200 •

All Roads Lead to PELICAN RAPIDS

Open Year Round Monday thru Saturday in Downtown Pelican Rapids


P.O. Box 206 25 North Broadway Pelican Rapids, MN 56572

(218) 863-1221 Gateway to •




Maplewood State Park

Great Variety of Wine, Liquors, and Craft Beers! (218) 863-6670 f

800-423-4571 |




Maplewood State Park’s New Sugar Shack by Stu Peterson - Friends of Maplewood State Park


he Friends of Maplewood State Park priority project is nearly complete! Ground breaking for the new “Sugar Shack” took place in August 2016 with targeted completion in time for the 2017 maple sap season.

Earth-work, concrete, plumbing and carpentry kept local contractors and Friends’ volunteers busy throughout the fall into winter. The building construction has been 100% funded with private donations and grants to the Friends of Maplewood State Park. The MN DNR provided building design, selected the building site and will provide all needed landscaping and parking/access upgrades. When the project is completed, the Friends of Maplewood will “gift” the building to the Minnesota DNR as a further enhancement to the growing maple syrup interpretive programming conducted at the Park. Under formal contract with the DNR, the Friends Group volunteers are permitted to tap a limited number of the Park’s sugar maple trees to conduct the maple syruping interpretive program, primarily for the benefit of area schools during the week and the general public on weekends. Park Rangers and volunteers provided interpretive programming to over 400 members of the general public in the 2016 season. Mild weather throughout much of November allowed the volunteers to make substantial progress on the new facility. The interior of the building will include washable steel walls, a small commercial sap evaporator and related processing equipment. It is expected that the new facility will be complete, including modern maple sap processing equipment, ready for the 2017 season in March and April.

The sugar shack project is a cooperative effort between the Friends of Maplewood volunteer group and the Minnesota DNR Parks and Trails Division. The Friends of Maplewood has raised the necessary funds for building construction, acquired state-of-the-art processing equipment and provided volunteer labor and expertise. The MN DNR provided building design services and responsibility for upgrading the driveway access, parking lot and improved handicap accessibility. Many thanks to the local contractors and to the members of the Friends Group who assisted in planning, fundraising and actual construction. The Friends of Maplewood mission includes assisting the MN DNR in preserving and utilizing Maplewood and proper planning and management of its facilities. The organization consists of members who enjoy and appreciate Maplewood as a great natural resource. Its goal is to work with park management on projects and events so that families can enjoy the park throughout the year.

More to explore Maplewood State Park Eight major lakes and many ponds offer places to swim, fish, boat, and simply relax. Lake Lida has a sandy beach and large picnic areas for visitors. Drive along the scenic route to observe wildlife: the park is host to 150 bird species and 50 species of mammals. The trail system attracts hikers, horseback riders, and cross-country skiers.

A. Visitors to Maplewood State Park learn the process of making maple syrup hands-on. B. The newly built “Sugar Shack” further enhance the growing maple syrup interpretive program at Maplewood State Park.

To learn more visit:

COMMUNITY Feature – Pelican Rapids


Minnesota Lakes Country’s Fourteen Hole Executive Golf Course Choose from 5*, 9, 10*, 14* or 18 hole round options to match your time, budget or skill. (* These options available starting July 1, 2017) Driving Range | Practice Green | Cabins | Party & Meeting Facilities | Pro Shop 218-863-1531 | | Club & Cart rental | Beer, Pop and Pizza Four Miles east of Pelican Rapids on Hwy 108 – Book Tee Time Reservations by phone or on our Website

• Gifts

Pelican Drug


• Cards

Refill line: 218-863-1919

• Women’s Fashions • Jewelry

“Car ing for you and abou t you”

• UPS Drop Off

M-F: 8am-6pm Sat: 9am-3pm Sun: Closed

• Photo Kiosk Machines 11 N. Broadway, Pelican Rapids

We turn visitors into locals!

Preferred Partners Pelican Rapids

After all, we love this place too! If you’re looking for a home here, we’re the ones to see! Give us a call or stop in at one of our 2 locations: Perham and Pelican Rapids!

(218) 863-8723

26 North Broadway P.O. Box 623 Pelican Rapids

Hours: Mon-Fri 9:30-5:00 Sat 9:30-3:00

Full Service Flower & Gift Shop • Fresh Flower Arrangements including: Funerals, Weddings & Everyday Bouquets • Green and Blooming plants • Plush & many gift items • Candy Bouquets • Minnesota Made Jams, Jellies & Syrups • Candles • Balloons • We Deliver!

ce cream is available during summer months in a fantastic location overlooking Pelican Pete ayak rentals on the Pelican iver or delivery to many area lakes 21 N Broadway Pelican Rapids

(218) 863-5700

(218) 863-4040

121 S. Broadway Pelican Rapids, MN 56572 f 66

ffering unique home cabin decor, fresh cut ower arrangements more


For that Fresh, Clean Look, shop LarrysSuperMarket Full line of fresh meat, produce & bakery/deli items as well as grocery, dairy and frozen. Decorated cakes for all occasions Hours: Monday-Saturday: 7:30am-9:30pm Sunday: 8am-6pm (218) 863-5750 Hwy 59 South, Pelican Rapids


800-423-4571 |



Minnesota Woman: Ancient History in Pelican Rapids by Elisa Korenne


t was on a mild June day in 1931 that a road maintenance crew put Pelican Rapids on the archaeological map. Twofeet down, a road grader blade exposed something white and shimmering in the yellowish-gray silt. A worker had noticed a clam shell that had been crushed by the grader blade. When he brushed the clamshell away, he found the face of a human skull, empty eye sockets staring up at him. The unsuspecting workmen had happened upon something remarkable: the almost-complete skeleton of an ancient woman. She lay on her left side. Her legs were bent slightly at the knees and her right arm was bent at the elbow. Near her skull was a smooth-sheared surface of a dagger made from elk antler. A shell pendant was found near her abdomen. The workmen dug up the ancient bones so that road repairs could continue, and placed them in anatomical order on the side of the road. The reconfigured skeleton spent the remainder of the day and the following night there until the district supervisor could collect the bones and take them to archaeologist A. E. Jenks at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Jenks identified the bones as that of a fifteen- or sixteenyear-old female who had not born children. He believed that the proto-Indian woman’s ancestors came across the Bering Land Bridge during the Pleistocene Ice age. Since Minnesota Woman’s discovery, estimates of her age have spanned from 8,000 to 18,000 years. In 1997 a Hamline researcher dated the remains using accelerated mass spectrometry at 7,840 years old. Others believe that Minnesota Woman is significantly older due to the age of the silt in which she was found and irregularities in how the bones were handled. That section of road cuts across an extinct glacial lake known as Glacial Lake Pelican which formed about 20,000 years ago.

Because there was no evidence of ritual burial, her death was probably accidental, likely a drowning after breaking through ice or falling off a boat. Upon her death, she fell to the bottom of the lake and was blanketed in yellow clay. In 1999, Minnesota Woman was buried by Sioux tribes in a secret location near Sisseton, South Dakota. More recently, the Minnesota Woman was renamed Nimuué, or “Lady of the Lake,” by a Pelican Rapids-based group to help the world rediscover the Glacial Minnesota Woman. Her renaming seeks to honor Nimuué’s legacy and improve local understanding of the importance of geology, archaeology, and glaciology. The site of Nimuué’s millennia-long rest three-miles north of Pelican Rapids reminds visitors that we follow in the footsteps of many who came before. And though its small-town humility suggests otherwise, Pelican Rapids, Minnesota can lay claim to one of the oldest artifacts, and most significant archaeological discoveries, in North America.

More to explore ‘Spirit Rising™’ – Nimuué, Lady of the Lake. ‘Spirit Rising’ is a bronze replica of Nimuué, Lady of the Lake the prehistoric woman found by workers in 1931. The sculpture is on display in the window of Rose Gallery, in Pelican Rapids. The artist Marcella Rose describes the piece as: “Spirit Rising’ represents the undeniable essence of every living being. She rises in our hearts and minds as a symbol of our feminine consciousness - our innate intuition.”

To learn more visit:

A. Roadside plaque marking the discovery of Minnesota Woman. B. Second redigging of the Minnesota Woman site by the University of Minnesota, looking toward the west bank of the highway cut, unearthed in 1931. Dr. Albert Ernest Jenks - Public domain C. ‘Spirit Rising™’ bronze sculpture. © 2016 Marcella Rose, All Rights Reserved. Photography by Greg Locnikar


COMMUNITY Feature – Pelican Rapids


Perham Home of • Perham City Hall Building • International Turtle Races • 27 Hole Championship Golf Course • World’s Largest Fish Decoy Show (April 22-23) • Turtle Fest (June 14-18) • More Than 30 Unique Specialty Shops

Come Live Your Vacation! Located in East Otter Tail County, the Perham area provides almost immediate access to an abundance of recreational opportunities including 1,048 lakes and over 140 miles of snowmobile trails. Perham offers many of the attractions of big-city life while providing the hometown feel of a smaller community. We make it easy to live your vacation with swimming, boating, fishing, and community events and activities year-round. Perham is also known for the International Turtle Races, which take place every Wednesday throughout the summer. We have an active downtown, with many shops, restaurants, and attractions for people of all ages. We invite you to Come Live Your Vacation in Perham!


185 East Main Street Perham, Minnesota 56573 218-346-7710 @DiscoverPerham



37th Year of the Perham International Turtle Races by Steve Heriot The jockeys are ready to race! The tension is palpable as the racers, young and old, carry the athletes into the center circle and get in starting position. Tiny, clawed feet churn in mid air as the nervous crowd awaits the beginning of the competition. Finally, the official starter shouts, “First turtle to the outer ring wins! Ready?” The whistle blows!

This scene has played out in Turtle Race Park on Main Street in Perham every Wednesday at 10:30am in June, July and August ever year for the last 37 years. Registration begins at 10:00am with a $1 donation request for turtle care. Races last an hour or two, depending on the number of racers. The weekly event attracts thousands of racers from all over the world each summer. (That’s why its called the International Turtle Races).

“And they’re off. Snappy takes the early lead, Flash in second, Family-Friendly is in third, and the pack is close behind! Fun is coming up on the outside, but Exciting is making his move! Now in the stretch, Exciting and FamilyFriendly pull neck and neck! But Fun is coming up fast and takes the lead at the wire! And it’s Fun, Exciting and Family-Friendly! On to the Finals.”

Volunteers are there to help with the turtles. You can use one of the turtles that are available for use, or bring along your own turtle to race. Just bring the fleet-footed critter in a bucket so it doesn’t get away and outrun you! A. Athlete and jockey get prepared for their event at the International Turtle Races held every Wednesday throughout the summer in Perham.

Turtle Facts & Fun • Turtle racing first became a fun pastime in the Islands of the Bahamas (there’s lots of sand and turtles)

• Turtles can range in size from the tiny, 4 inch Bog Turtle to the 1,500 pound Leathery Turtle (and every size in between)

• The earliest known turtle race in the United States took place in Chicago in 1902, and soon spread to become a popular social event throughout the entire central U.S.

• The fastest racing turtles have been clocked at up to 1/4mph (for short bursts, of course)

JUST FOR Kids How do turtles talk to each other? They use their shellphones. (They also take a lot of shellfies)

• The oldest turtle on record was named Tu’i Malila, of Tonga Island, who lived to be 188 years old (a long time to lug a shell around)

• Turtles hide in their shells when dogs come near! (please leave your pets at home). Don’t miss Turtle Fest (June 14-18) where we celebrate all things Turtle!

To learn more visit: Photos in this section by Perham Area Chamber of Commerce, Thumper Pond Resort, Explore Minnesota Tourism, Smackin Cakes and Erik Osberg.

COMMUNITY Feature – Perham


Specialty Shops

P.S. I Love You Boutique & Fly Shop

Vintage Furniture - Primitive Home Decor - Affordable Art - Jewelry, Handbags, Hair Pieces, Baby Boutique, Fly Fishing Shop and more. Hunter Douglas Showroom, Tanya McCrary & Myrna Wenaas Dealers 138 West Main St 218.346.4899 Like us on Facebook, for exclusive FB fan promotions!


Richter’s Mens Wear

Second Hand Rose

Venture into our gift shop to find a curious and classic mix of quality gifts, jewelry, & home furnishings. We will help find the perfect gift & wrap it beautifully! Our favorite items include: Pandora jewelry, Tilley & Stormy Kromer Hats, White Wing bags, and CompanyC bedding & rugs. Open 7 days a week on the south side of Perham near Shopko. 218-346-4946 •


Mens • Big and Tall • Shoes Tuxedo Rentals Suits to Casual Wear Mon - Sat 9am - 5:30pm

A Consignment Store and More Adult, Kids, & Infant Clothing Antiques & Collectibles Furniture, Home Decor & Much More

Memorial Day - Labor Day Sunday 10am - 2pm

120 2nd Street SE 218-346-3700

137 West Main 218.346.5575

Open Mon-Sat - 10 am - 6 pm

Design. Paint. Decorate. Featuring the hottest trends in home décor, our professional designers will bring your vision to life with a focus on livability & comfort. Refreshing Designs 103 E Main Street • 218.346.2475

Place in the Country/ The Gathering Grounds

Photo Magic & Helene’s Boutique

Perham Office Supply Copy Center & Gift Shop

A unique stop for breakfast, lunch, dessert or a specialty drink! Two levels of dining and shopping in this 100 year old downtown building! Hours: Mon.-Fri. 7:30am-4:00pm Sat. 9:00am-4:00pm Memorial Day to Labor Day open until 5:00pm

30 Minute Photo & Portrait Studio Huge Scrapbooking Selection Videos to DVD - Canvas Wraps Clothing & Purses

Great selection of all-occasion printable and card making papers, envelopes and card stock. Faith based cards, gifts, bibles and books Office, Computer and Art Supplies Copy, Fax , Scan and Email Services 223 West Main 218.346.6370

134 1st Ave South 218.346.7969

102 West Main Street 218.346.2141 Order Photos online:

Nadine’s Fashion & Accessories

Miss Me, Tribal, Billabong, Columbia, Brighton, Lucky, Ruby Road, Silver Jeans, Multiples, Jag, NYDJ. Shop online at Nadine’ Check out Nadine’s Fashion Minute on TV3 at 8:07, 12:07 and 4:07. Open Memorial Day - Labor Day Mon. - Fri. 8:30am-6pm, Sat. 8:30am-5:30pm Sun. 10am-4pm Open the Rest of the Year Mon.-Sat. 9am-5:30pm Sun. 10am-4pm 218.346.2615 • 145 West Main Street

LeVeL iii

Trendy Clothing for Any Age

218.346.6812 • 300 West Main St Full Espresso/Coffee Bar We proudly brew Starbucks. USB Charging Stations/Cables avail. Ice Cream Parlor with Seating 32 Flavors of Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Vintage Candy, Chocolates Pork Chop-On-A-Stick June thru August! Award-Winning Full-Service Floral Shop Candy Bouquets, Balloons & Gifts Delivery: Local & World-Wide

Apparel • Shoes • Jewelry Look for us across from Dot & Minnie’s... we’re related! Monday - Saturday 10-5 159 1st Ave South • 218.346.4181 Shop On-line

Unique Garden Decor Mexican Metal Art, Concrete Statuary, Annuals, Perennials, Trees and Shrubs Landscape Block, Concrete Edgers, Rock and Mulch. Complete Landscape & Sprinkler Installation M - F 9 - 5:30 Sat. 9 - 3 (seasonal) 906 2nd Ave NE (7 Blocks North of Main on 1st Ave. N) 218-346-2197

Furniture | Appliances | Electronics | Mattresses

Explore 4 floors of quality home furnishings and distinctive décor in a relaxed atmosphere. 151 W Main Street 218.346.2040

Jean’s The Right Plant Place

Bev’s Book Nook Classic & Unique Clothing & Accessories

Let us help you find a new look! 20,000+ perennials, annuals, shrubs, garden accessories & gifts. Open 7 Days a Week May 1 - Oct. 1 420 3rd Ave SE (Hwy 78 & 4th St) 218.346.4051

The area's home to Mon-Sat: 10:00am - 5:30pm 148 1st Ave South 218.346.4180 Shop On-line

Where the Real Books Are!

New and used books. We Buy - Sell - Trade We do used book searches. Sports cards SpeeDee shipping services. A truly eclectic bookstore - worth the trip! Open Holiday Weekends.

126 West Main 218.346.2556 bev’

COMMUNITY Feature – Perham

“Your creative sewing center!” Mon.-Fri. 9-5, Sat. 9-4 116 2nd Ave SW 218.346.7272 Toll Free 1.888.346.7275

Shop Perham!

¼ Specialty

Bay Window Quilt Shop


Perham, MN

Bongards, MN Chanhassen, MN Humboldt, TN

The success of Bongards Premium Cheese comes down to high-quality cheese crafted using time honored recipes and the freshest milk. Bongards’ products are consistently sought after in a variety of segments from deli/retail to foodservice to K12 to food manufacturers to convenience stores.


43761 426th Street, Perham, MN

(218) 346-5004

Best Brands, Best Prices, Guaranteed. urniture Appliances Electronics attresses ome ecor

151 W Main Street, Perham, MN

•Lawn Maintenance •Landscaping •Weed Control •Concrete Edging •Spring & Fall Clean-Up •Retaining Walls •Fertilization •Paving •ATV/UTV & Sled Repair Shop and Retail Store

(218) 346-2040


800-423-4571 |



Fish Decoys: Lures Without a Hook by Steve Heriot


eople have probably fished for as long as there have been people, and spearfishing is probably the oldest of fishing techniques. A special kind of recreational spear fishing exists in the upper midwest today, called darkhouse spearing. Contrary to popular belief, this tough-to-master sport has been shown, by countless DNR studies, to have no major impact on northern pike populations. The fisherman investigates a location on the lake suitable for pike, cuts an approximately 3 foot by 2 foot hole through the sometimes three feet of ice, and moves a light-tight, heated darkhouse over the hole. The shanty’s 3 foot by 2 foot hole in the floor is positioned over the hole in the lake. The fisherman then waits for a fish to be attracted into throwing range by lowering a decoy, attached to a string, into in the clear water below. The weighted, wooden fish decoy sinks into the water through the open hole and is twirled and twitched to attract a fish. The fisherman then uses a pronged spear, with a rope attached to it, to harvest the fish. The warm, dark, quiet, and tense wait for the fish always creates a stark contrast to the split-second action, and the crisp, bright, and exhilarating thrill when the speared fish is wrestled outside onto the ice. The design of a fish decoy, or “deke” is what produces its particular motion, and there are always differing opinions amongst carvers, as well as fishermen, about what types of designs, motions, and colors work better than others.

And that is also where the fun of collecting comes in because there are just about as many varieties, models, and prototypes of fish decoys as there are fish in a typical Minnesota lake. Hobbyists have collected a host of eclectic facts and stories about the history of fish decoys and the people who have carved them, which only adds to the fun. These examples of early American folk-art became popular after the big surge in spearing during the Great Depression, when many folks were forced to forage in order to survive. It’s no surprise that quite a few of the more highly-prized collectible fish decoys are dated from the 1920s and 1930s, and some examples have fetched as much as $5,000 at auction.

More to explore The World’s Largest Fish Decoy Show Perham just happens to be a super-nova in the constellation of important gatherings for fish decoy aficionados. In fact, the big show that is held at the Perham Area Community Center, on April 22-23, 2017, is called The Gathering 2017, and is the 20th Anniversary of “The Worlds Largest Fish Decoy Show.” Hundreds of carvers from all over the United States will compete for prize money and a chance to win the National Championship. The show also features antique sporting collectibles, art, decor, vendors, a raffle, and concessions. Come early because it might take you all day to get through the 200 tables!


A. The decoy is designed as a small walleye, a natural food source for large, hungry northern pike. B. A decoy artist painstakingly adds delicate details to one of his creations. Each wooden fish decoy has a design, or “deke” that produces a particular motion in the water.

To learn more visit:

COMMUNITY Feature – Perham


One block off Highway 10 Easy Off-Easy On with Plenty of Trailer Parking 913 Market St., Perham (218) 346-2150

Grumpy is good. 735 2nd St NE, Perham, MN

218-346-HOPS(4677) TWITTER: disgruntledBrew (@disgruntledBrew) FACEBOOK: TheDisgruntledBrewing • INSTAGRAM: disgruntledBrew

We turn visitors into locals!

Preferred Partners Perham

After all, we love this place too! If you’re looking for a home here, we’re the ones to see! Give us a call or stop in at one of our 2 locations: Perham and Pelican Rapids!

138 W. Main St., Suite D P.O. Box 286, Perham

(218) 346-7672

Shallow Bay Bowfishing West-Central Minnesota Guided Bow Fishing Trips 4 hour night trips starting at sunset. Spring, Summer and Fall. Groups up to four. All equipment provided. No Experience Necessary.

Dean’s Country Market 74

Serving Otter Tail Lake Country for 45 years NEW YORK MILLS, MN


113 Miller Street

211 Market Drive

M-F: 8am-8pm 7am to 11pm Every Day Sat: 8am-6pm Sun: 9am-6pm 218-346-6750


800-423-4571 |

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Jason Piekarski 320-828-1287



Otter with an Appetite Great food, great drink and great friends Otters with Appetites hunger for all the finer things in life. They love to eat, drink and be merry, so they value great food, great drink, and great friends. Their creed is that you’ve got to eat to live, so why not live to eat as well? And after all, who doesn’t agree that you should live life to its fullest? For Otters with Appetites, the kitchen is the most important room in the house, and life is always best lived alongside great meals. These otters always have a list of great restaurants that they want to try. They love to go out, and have no problem trying new dishes and different types of cuisine. The day might start with a hearty, home-cooked breakfast at a friendly, hometown cafe. After shopping in a quaint downtown area, they might take in a lunch at a sunny sidewalk restaurant. After taking the family to an afternoon matinee, they’ll get served on the deck at a local lakeside restaurant, as they watch the sun go down into the lake. On the way back to the resort cottage they might stop for ice cream, and then enjoy a glass of wine on the patio of their resort cabin. Then it’s off to bed to dream about other culinary adventures in Otter Tail Lakes Country.

YOU OTTER Love THIS: Here are a few activities and area businesses nicely suited to your inner Otter with an Appetite:

Noozi’s on Main Dent 218-758-9492

Stella’s Bistro & Wine Bar Battle Lake 218-862-5576

Spanky’s Stone Hearth Frazee

Union Pizza & Brewing Company Fergus Falls

Want to know more about your inner otter? Take the quiz at



Underwood Home of • Burlington Northern Train at Centennial Park • Foss Log Cabin • MGR-1 Honest John Rocket • Harvest Festival (Labor Day Weekend) • Phelps Mill • Fort Juelson

Smiling Faces. Friendly Places For a hamlet of only 341 residents, Underwood sure has a lot of interesting and historic landmarks. A visit starts with a stop at Centennial Park, where kids will enjoy exploring the new playground and restored train caboose, which commemorates the days when the railroad ran through town. Then check out the 30-foot-long, 7000-pound MGR-1 Honest John Rocket, located on the grounds of the high school. Next, drive to Oak Avenue, where the restored Foss Lake Cabin sits on its original site. The log structure was built by the first settlers and was used as a home for over 100 years. Fort Juelson, a 120x100-foot structure with 4-foot thick walls, was built in 1876 solely upon erroneous rumors of an imminent Indian attack. The remains of the earthen barricade are still visible on the site. Lastly, there’s Phelps Mill, which is a wonderfully kept flour mill that was constructed on the Otter Tail River in 1888 by Royal Powers, who framed and built the entire building without blueprints.


120 Main Street South Underwood, MN 56586 218-826-6686 @underwood



The Foss Log Cabin: A Labor of Love by Michele Anderson


hat do Sletta, Norway and Underwood, Minnesota have in common?

They’re both home to log cabins that were originally built in Otter Tail County in the 1860s by Norwegian settlers. One of the cabins remains at its original home on East Oak Ave in Underwood, while the other was taken apart and rebuilt at the Western Norway Immigration Center in Sletta, Norway. If it weren’t for a few hard working and resourceful local history enthusiasts, this part of Otter Tail County’s Norwegian history would have vanished completely. In 1977, Chester “Ted” Leitch, who owned the cabin at the time, sat in the dining room table in the home of local resident Delores Peterson, and asked members of the Underwood Women’s Study Club to take on the building’s preservation as one of their community service projects. With Underwood’s centennial approaching in 1981, the women decided they were up for the challenge and quickly began the diligent work of purchasing the home, transferring ownership to the City, meeting with advisors from the Minnesota Historical Society, and restoring the cabin back to its original state. The Foss Log Cabin is named after Ole and Anne Foss, one of three families who homesteaded in 1869 near Bass Lake in the area that is now known as Underwood. Along with two other families, the Medjaas and the Seems, these pioneers built their homes 12 years before the Northern Pacific Railroad was built. The cabin is a one room dwelling

with birch bark roofing. It rests stoically on the corner of a residential neighborhood as a reminder of the tenacious pioneer spirit. The cabin is now visited by hundreds of Norwegian Americans traveling to Høstfest in Minot, North Dakota, as well as local families during Underwood’s Harvest Festival (labor day weekend), and Scandinavian tourists eager to learn about the American immigrant experience.

More to explore Fort Juelson Fort Juelson was built in 1876 due to the most remarkable Indian scare ever occurring in western Minnesota. The 120 x 100 foot structure had 4.4 foot thick sod walls and could house food and ammunition in case an Indian attack occurred. The remains of the sod barricade are still visible on this site. It is a testament to the threats and trials the early settlers faced and their courage and resourcefulness in preparing for their own defense.

A. The Foss Log Cabin , built by Norwegian settlers in the 1860s has been lovingly restored to help visitors appreciate the American immigrant experience. B. Local resident Delores Peterson shares some of the items that she and the Underwood Study Club have compiled or restored. photos provided Michele Anderson

To learn more visit: Photos by Michele Anderson, Rick Schara, Erik Osberg and Steve Heriot.

COMMUNITY Feature – Underwood


Vergas Home of • World’s Largest Loon • Hairy Man of Vergas • Maple Syrup Fest (April 8th) • Vergas Loons Baseball • 52nd Looney Daze (August 10-13)

Visit as a Stranger, Leave as a Friend The community of Vergas takes great pride in our town, making sure that when you visit you feel like part of a family. Just take a stroll down Main Street and you will be greeted with a friendly hello and “How may I help you?” Whether you are looking for lodging, fishing, shopping or just playing, Vergas is the right place for you. Vergas is best known for its statue of the “World’s Largest Loon.” The big loon sits on the bank overlooking beautiful Long Lake. Just like the seasons are ever changing, there is always something new and fun happening in the town of Vergas. Enjoy annual events like the Vergas Maple Syrup Fest, Hairyman Run and annual Vergas Looney Daze Celebration.


111 Main Street Vergas, Minnesota 56587 218-342-2091 Vergas, Minnesota



The Hairy Man of Vergas Story by Elisa Korenne


twig snaps and a cold breeze touches your cheek. The sun has set, and the sky is graying. A foul musk rises like mist. You jerk your head in the direction of something that you saw out of the corner of your eye, but there’s nothing there. You have disturbed something you cannot name. The hairs on the back of your neck begin to tingle. Something is out there, you are sure. You are in Hairy Man Country. Numerous eyewitness accounts describe the Hairy Man of Vergas as a shaggy humanoid between seven and eight feet tall. The Sasquatch-like creature supposedly has superhuman strength, a furry body, and long hair framed by a simian face. Said to emit a foul odor, he is often barefoot, even in winter, when his long, clawed toes dig holes into the leaf litter or snow.

The first sightings of the Hairy Man can be traced back to the late 1960s. Since then, the accounts have amassed and its legend has grown. One story takes place on the Lost Highway near a desolate cabin in the dead of winter. Two girls riding snowmobiles are startled when a broad-shouldered, barefoot beast leaps out of a cabin with a stick. Another story describes a big, hairy creature chasing a moving car, and in a fury, it smashes its fists into the vehicle, leaving large dents in the hood. Yet another man witnesses the Hairy Man flipping a 1973 Chevy Malibu into a ditch. Others, who have camped by

the remains of an old cabin, swear they’ve seen the Hairy Man lurking around. Could the Hairy Man be explained away as a tall tale? Some people rationalize the legend of the Hairy Man as the story of a misunderstood hermit who lived in the wilderness near Vergas for most of his life. But those who have had an encounter with the Hairy Man are convinced that he was more than a hermit. Since the 1980s, accounts of the Hairy Man have decreased, yet the legend grows as evidence continues to mount. The Hairy Man legend has also resonated through the community of Big Foot hunters. In 2012, the SyFy Channel sent a team to Vergas for their Fact or Fiction television series. They encountered long hairs and a recently broken branch. There is also a strange skull that was discovered in the Klondike region where most of the Hairy Man sightings occurred. Owned by a Vergas resident who prefers to remain anonymous, the skull has some humanoid features like eye sockets and teeth alongside features that experts say are not consistent with anthropoids. Whether the bizarre skull is that of Hairy Man himself, one of his kin, or a fraud cannot be said for sure. In any case, when you choose to venture out onto the dark, narrow trails around Vergas, make sure not to go alone.

More to explore Want a Good Read? Elisa Korenne is a writer, performer, and songwriter. Her memoir Hundred Miles to Nowhere: An Unlikely Love Story about her move from New York City to rural Minnesota will be published by North Star Press in June 2017.

A. Artist depiction of the legendary Hairy Man, a shaggy Sasquatch-like creature said to lurk the woods and trails around Vergas, Minnnesota. photo submitted by Elisa Korenne

Learn more at: Photos by the Frazee-Vergas Forum, City of Vergas, Vergas Farmers Market, and Elisa Korenne. Art by Heriot Creative.

COMMUNITY Feature – Vergas


Join the War Against


Invasive Species!

Cone-shaped shell

5-6 whorls

Keel (ridge) on whorls may be absent

VERY SMALL (1/4”-1/2”) Cone-shaped shell Opening is on right side (with shell pointed up)

Operculum (not shown) can cover shell opening

Early detection is important to protect your property Minnesota s precious water resources

Check docks, lifts, boats, & water-related equipment!

Bright green branchlets arranged in whorls around stem


Star-shaped bulbil

Striped shell


Look on posts, wheels, & underwater support bars of docks and lifts, as well as any parts of boats, pontoons & rafts that may have been submerged in water for an extended period.

Can produce 1 million eggs / year Up to 2” long




Carefully inspect your equipment for aquatic invasive species (AIS) such as Zebra Mussels, Eurasian Watermilfoil, New Zealand Mudsnails, or Starry Stonewort.

small reddish flowers above water (in summer)

3-5 feathery leaves arranges in whorls (circles) off stems

stems branch near surface water


Vergas 66

STOP AQUATIC HITCHHIKERS! Prevent the transport of nuisance species. Clean all recreational equipment.

121 Linden St. Vergas f

(218) 342-3663 80

Opening leaf with 12-21leaf pairs

Creating Fabulous Food & Memories!

Lakes Area Cooperative

GAS & CONVENIENCE • 24 hour pay at the pump • Pure premium gasoline • Tesoro Fuels • Deli Subs & Pizzas (Hot Stuff) • Order online at • Fresh-made subs and salads • Hot and fresh appetizers • Groceries, Ice, Beer • Soft, sports, & energy drinks • ATM on site • Bait & tackle • Snack foods and candies • Propane tank filling • Automotive & general supplies

Long, strigy stems


Vergas Country Store • Charcoal-Grilled Steaks • Renowned BBQ Ribs • Fresh Seafood

(218) 334-3555 34785 County HWY 4 Vergas, Minnesota 56587

• Featuring Perham Locker Plant Burger, Brats & Bacon • Great North Pizza Co. pizza • Pure Premium gas • Propane • pe oo • ATM

The Lakes Area Dining Destination!

101 1st Ave N, Vergas

(218) 342-2441

800-423-4571 |


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Vergas, Minnesota

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK Memorial weekend through Labor Day weekend Open 10-6 and Closing at 7:00 PM (Spring and Fall hours may vary)

(218) 731-8711 50622 County Highway 17 (between Vergas and Highway 59)

Serving the Lakes Area since 1933 99 Railway Avenue, Vergas

(218) 342-2422

Modern hardware store with an old store feel... Stop in & look at our antiques throughout the store!

137 E. Main St. Vergas

• Fully Stocked Hardware Store, MN license sales • UPS/Spee-dee shipping, faxing service, keys • Knives & chainsaw sharpening, laminating • Window & screen repair (218) 342-2421 • Internet access

Competitive prices! We do it all!

(218) 342-2106

• oil changes, brakes • wheel alignments • tires, shocks, tune ups • engines, transmissions, • emissions, drive line work • diagnostics, free inspections!

250 1st Ave. N, Vergas •

COMMUNITY Feature – Vergas


Wadena Home of • Art Deco City Sign • Chief Wadena • Forrest Mars Sr., Created M&Ms & Mars Bar

• Historic Highway 71 • The Tree House One of MN Most Unusual Homes

Where the Prairie Meets the Woodlands Wadena is the place to be… from our Art Deco downtown with great shopping and many historic storefronts to our many acres of public parks and campground… from our Memorial Auditorium to our community wide celebrations, you will always find something happening. Take some time to catch a movie at the Cozy Theatre, voted best movie theatre in Minnesota on WCCO television’s facebook page. Situated where the northern forests meet the prairie, Wadena is uniquely situated as a gateway to north country outdoor recreation. Whether you like to fish, swim, ice skate, golf, bike, atv, ride horse trails or snowmobile, you are sure to find what you are looking for in and around the community. Boredom is not allowed!


5 Aldrich Ave. SE Wadena, MN 56482 218-632-7704 @wadenachamber



Chief Wadena - Man of Character by Steve Heriot


hief Wadena, namesake of the town of Wadena, is an honored member of the Gull Lake Band of Ojibwe, located near Brainerd. He was about 80 years old when he died in approximately 1925, which makes the year of his birth sometime near 1845. Coincidentally, that was also the year that the term ‘Manifest Destiny’ was coined. Manifest Destiny was an expansionist mindset that touted the special virtue of the American people and its institutions, suggesting that it was a national mission, destiny, and duty to remake the west in the image of agrarian America. As it turned out, the remaking of the west was not helpful to the survival of the traditions, values, and lifestyle of native peoples. Chief Wadena’s life story illuminates several of the types of unjust treatment that tribal members suffered from the government, which were possibly rationalized by the tenets of Manifest Destiny. The government offered each reservation member 160 acres as part of a treaty that opened up all the Ojibwe reservation to settlement by whites. However, their religion was all but banned and the teaching of their language and culture was often forbidden. In addition, their right to govern themselves was virtually taken away, and their traditional means of making a living was made nearly impossible. When the government reneged on the treaty, and later offered only 80 acres to the tribal members, square-dealing Wadena was the only member who refused to accept anything less than the 160 acres he had been originally promised.

His display of special character was not limited to demanding that simple promises be kept. During his life, he refused to dress like a white man and continued to retain his Indian dress such as leggings, breeches, shirt, moccasins and blanket.

In 1862, when the Sioux tribe became hostile to whites, some of the Ojibwe joined in the pillaging. Chief Wadena, with his brother and father, refused to join in the hostile activities. In 1902, when many Band members had their land illegally sold out from under them, a small group, led by the Chief, refused to leave their land. And in 1911, the Mille Lacs Lake village of Chief Wadena was burned by a sheriff’s posse and its residents were forcibly removed so that the land they lived on could be claimed by a developer. Eventually, the government relented and Chief Wadena received his originally promised allotment of 160 acres. His patient suffering, his adherence to non-violence, and his belated victory served as a lesson and a reminder to everyone around him of the importance of strong character, perseverance, and the dedication to one’s own higher moral principles. That message rings just as true today as it did more than 100 years ago.

More to explore While it is generally accepted that the town of Wadena was named after Chief Wadena, according to a 1981 article in the Wadena Pioneer Journal, the word itself has much older roots.

A. A Photograph of Chief Wadena that was printed with a 1981 article in the Wadena Pioneer Journal.

“Wadena” is an archaic Ojibwe word, meaning ‘little round hill.’ It probably referred to the rounded outlines of the Crow Wing bluffs at the Wadena Ferry.

Wadena Pioneer Journal

Read the entire article at: Photos in this section by the Wadena Pioneer Journal, Wadena Chamber of Commerce, Visit Fergus Falls, Kristen Danielson and Shooting Star Casino, .

COMMUNITY Feature – Wadena


Integrity. Excellence. Results. Experience the difference a devoted team of Real Estate Specialists can make for you!

Our Team sells property TWICE as fast & for THREE percent more than the market average. More Buyers & Sellers TRUST US for their real estate needs than any other company in Otter Tail County. Contact us and put our team to work for you!

(218) 205-7351

Wadena Municipal Liquor Store 22 Ash Ave N.E. Wadena, Mn

Municipal liquor store located in the heart of Wadena, serving all of your wine, liquor and craft beer needs.

• 57,000 Square Foot Health and Wellness Facility • Recreation Pool with Waterslide • Lap Pool/Spa / Therapy Pool • Party Rooms (just off pool area) • Steam Room / Sauna • Large Fitness area / Free Weights • Walking Track / Racquetball Courts • Meeting Rooms / Spaces for Rent. • Fitness Classes / Fitness on Demand • Programming, Activities & more!

218 Ash Ave. NW Highway 10 West, Wadena

(218) 631-CARS (2277)

(218) 631-7703



17 5th Street South West Wadena

(218) 632-7777 f 800-423-4571 |

$5 OFF ANY Oil Change Service when presenting this ad



Otter About Town Good times and fun people You’ll never catch Otters About Town sitting alone in a boat on the lake. They just love going out on the town, and can often be seen taking in a concert, enjoying cocktails, trying new dishes, or hitting all the boutique shops. If there is one element omnipresent in the life of an Otter About Town, it’s other people because the Otters About Town just love to socialize and have a good time. They have many friends and acquaintances, and if none of their friends are close, they’ll just make some new ones! Otters About Town like to talk but they like to listen too. It’s people and activities that make their world go ‘round, and no matter what the season, you’ll find them in good spirit. They might start the day meeting friends for breakfast at a local cafe. Then, it’s out to the flea market, where they might try to barter for a great price on an antique. Next, it’s taking the kids shopping at the mall, with lunch at the food court. After a quick stop at a gift shop, they are back at the hotel getting ready to go out for the night. After an exciting evening of dining, cocktails, music, and dancing, Otters About Town are still not finished. There’s just enough time to go to the casino or take in a late movie before finally making it a day in the Otter Tail Lakes Country.

YOU OTTER Love THIS: Here are a few activities and area businesses nicely suited to your inner Otter About Town:

The Market Fergus Falls

Periwinkle Ottertail 218-367-3900

Riverview Place Pelican Rapids

Wildgoose Gifts Perham

Want to know more about your inner otter? Take the quiz at



OTLC Destination 2017  
OTLC Destination 2017