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North Dakota: Legendary. Follow the trail of legends
North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department

WPA Rock at Lake Metigoshe

Lake Metigoshe

Near the park entrance, there is a lot of evidence of the park's history. In the 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt started “New Deal” programs. Programs, such as the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and Civil Conservation Corps (CCC), put many to work during the Great Depression and post war times. The New Deal programs provided food, shelter, clothing and medical care in exchange for work. During that time, various New Deal programs constructed many hiking trails, roads, picnic areas, campgrounds, bridges and various other structures. Several ND state parks have infrastructure within them that were built as a result of the New Deal programs, including Lake Metigoshe State Park.

The first 10 workers to show up to build this camp complex started in August 1934. By October, there were 50 men working onsite. Those workers were quartered near the fairgrounds in Bottineau, ND. By late August 1935 a lodge, dining hall and ice house reportedly stood completed. There were 75 men that inhabited the camp at this time. Most workers were unskilled laborers, but included masons, carpenters and an electrician. The focus of this plan was to build a lodge with an administration office and dorms. A lodge was built as well as a kitchen/dining hall. There was also a director's cabin (which was moved and is now located near the entrance of the campground), a shop with laundry facilities and a garage. Additional plans included a hospital and stables, which were never constructed.

The Works Progress Administration left their mark in this area with the work they did. They also made a concrete memorial with “WPA 1938” within it. An application to the Civil Conservation Corps was sent in, but the CCC was dissolved before the application was approved. Therefore, the workers and equipment were distributed to other locations.

The kitchen/dining hall that you see in this area is the only building in the park that is original to the 1930s. Today, it is a popular place to hold weddings, family reunions, various camps and retreats.

Lake Metigoshe State Park is located 14 miles northeast of Bottineau, ND along the U.S./Canadian border.