This cache is owned and maintained by Lake Metigoshe State Park. Please know that the state park entrance fee is $7/vehicle/day or $35 for the annual pass and is required for those geocaching within the state park. Parking is located near the cache; a great park and grab opportunity! If the facility is being utilized, some stealth may be required.
This cache is located at the park's kitchen/dining hall facility, which is the last original building in what is now the state park. In the 1930s, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal programs provided relief, reform and recovery from the Great Depression in an attempt to restore prosperity to Americans. Many New Deal programs enabled people work in exchange for food, medical care, clothing, etc. LMSP traces its beginnings to a Federal Emergency Relief Act (FERA) funded project which included building a complex of camp buildings by transient laborers. In support of the camp, the State of ND agreed to let the camp be constructed in this location. Both FERA officials and local project sponsors envisioned the camp to eventually serve as a center for a federal or state park.
Preliminary work for the camp commenced in July 1934. Architects designed camp buildings to reflect rustic styles having log and/or rubble stone masonry construction. the buildings selected reflected the intent that the facility would become a group camp for a park. The focus was a large lodge building that housed administrative offices and dorms (which were built and have since been torn down and replaced with the dorms standing today). Near the lodge was a dining hall with a kitchen, director's cabin, shop with laundry faciltiies and a garage (all were built, but only the kitchen/dining hall stands today). Additional plans included a hospital and stables, which were never built.
The first 10 transients for the Lake Metigoshe camp reported for duty in August of 1934. They were quartered near the fairgrounds in the nearby town of Bottineau. By late October, around 50 men were employed at the camp. In August of 1935 the lodge, dining hall and ice house reportedly stood completed. There were 75 men living and working at the camp at the time, most of while were unskilled laborers, but included masons, carpenters and an electrician.
In 1935, the federal government dissolved the FERA program and the camp entered into a period of uncertainty. Camp was transferred to the National Park Service (NPS) and plans were made to develop a park at the site. Transients at the camp, along with the equipment and supplies were detailed elsewhere in the state. In the spring of 1936, camp custody was transferred to the State of ND, but no provisions were made. Custody was held on behalf of the state by the State Board of Administration and then the State Welfare Board.
The fate of LMSP was finally resolved in February of 1937 when Governor William Langer of ND approved legislation which formally established Lake Metigoshe State Park. The transfer was to the State historical Society, which was then the state parks authority as the ND Parks & Recreation hadn't been created at that time. This legislation creating LMSP provided no funds for further development.
Instead of funds the Works Progress Adminstration, another New Deal program, was used which provided additional improvements. In 1938, a small work force completed some road work in the park as well as landscaping around camp buildings. Repairs and improvements to the buildings were also completed.
Although much of the grounds were underdeveloped, LMSP quickly proved to be popular with the public. By 1939, several groups and organizations were utilizing the building for meetings and retreats. Visitation increased and the camp reportedly was able to offer complete accomodations for 250 individuals by 1942.
Several years after World War II, park projects started up again. The 1950's saw development of a beach and boating facility along the east shore of the lake. The commons area of the lodge had a museum. In 1956, a bath house was put up down by the beach. The 1960's brought an administrative office building. In 1968, the dining hall and kitchen were remodeled. In 1968, the first campground, Washegum, was completed. In 1973-1974 the second campground loop, Maid O' Moonshine, was completed. Prior to the development of campgrounds, camping had been allowed on the shoreline areas of the lake.
Today the park has 84 modern campsites and 39 primitive campsites. There are multiple rental facilities to include full service cabins, semi-primitive cabins, a yurt, a backcountry primitive cabin, a meeting lodge in addition to the kitchen/dining hall and dorms. The park has several miles of multi-use trails, a designated dog park, a beach, playgrounds, boat ramp and day use area. Folks are able to swim, bike, hike, fish, geocache, camp, picnic and more. The park rents recreational equipment to include kayaks, canoes, snowshoes and cross-country skis. The Lake Metigoshe area is truly a four seasons playground.
We hope you enjoyed a bit of our park's history and take advantage of your time here by visiting our other caches hidden within the park! Happy caching!