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Stump Lake Pavilion and Regional Park

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1922, William Comeau or Lewis “Alex” Wahlquist, builders. Pavilion Rd., Stump Lake Park, 12 miles south of Lakota
  • (Courtesy of the State Historical Society of North Dakota, L. B. Meidinger, photographer)

Dance pavilions as social gathering places have long been an important part of cultural life in rural areas of the upper Midwest and Great Plains. The Stump Lake Pavilion was built for social, cultural, and recreational activities, and is important for its historical association with political rallies and public gatherings. Stump Lake was the site of ferry boats and commercial pleasure craft as well as the impressive Wamduska Hotel (demolished 1954), which accommodated large hunting and fishing parties. In the 1920s access to Stump Lake Pavilion was possible via the cruise boat Minnetonka, and other pleasure boats that served Stump Lake from the town of Tolna to the south. Similar in design to Red Willow Lake Pavilion (23 miles south, off ND 1), Stump Lake Pavilion is ambitious with its column-free interior of longspan girder construction. Eighty clerestory fixed-pane windows around the pavilion admit natural light onto the dance floor. This clerestory is remarkable in the way it enables the raised longspan roof to essentially “float” above the space. The surrounding veranda, which was popular for roller skating in the 1950s and 1960s, has twenty-eight large windows with tilt-up window covers.

Writing Credits

Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay


What's Nearby


Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay, "Stump Lake Pavilion and Regional Park", [Lakota, North Dakota], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of North Dakota

Buildings of North Dakota, Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015, 88-89.

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