Celebrate Gull Lake Dam
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is hosting a centennial celebration for its Gull Lake Dam at the Gull Lake Recreation Area Aug. 4 at 1 p.m.
Gull Lake Dam, located on the Gull River about one-half mile below the outlet of Gull Lake, was the last of six Headwaters dams built by the St. Paul District as part of the nation's first reservoir system. The reservoir system was originally authorized by Congress to regulate water levels for navigation purposes. However, its impact on navigation was short lived. Mississippi River channel modification undertaken after 1907 and the series of locks and dams built in the main river channel in the 1930s more efficiently regulated water levels.
During this time, recreational use of the Headwaters lakes and rivers by fishermen, hunters, campers and boaters greatly increased. Resort and lakeshore property owners became as concerned about water levels as Minneapolis flour millers had been 40 years earlier. Farmers, wild rice growers and northern Minnesota paper mills and sawmill owners also added their voices to the management of Headwaters lake water levels.
The celebration will recognize the past 100 years at the Gull Lake Dam and Recreation Area and highlight the many changes that have occurred. It will include the signing of a partnership agreement between the Corps and the Confidence Learning Center of Brainerd, Minn. The Gull Chain of Lakes Association will also present the Minnesota Governor's proclamation, naming July 30, 2012, as "Gull Lake Dam and Chain of Lakes Centennial Day" to Corps staff.
Following the commemoration, the Corps will host a medallion hunt for kids. The winner will receive a St. Paul District commemorative coin and all participants will receive a Gull Lake Dam souvenir. Confidence Learning Center will provide an opportunity to view numerous reptiles up close. The event is free to the public.