The Rise of Devils Lake
Devils Lake is summertime fun land to tens of thousands of visitors every summer, but just before the turn of the century, it was also a prominent geographic obstacle to railroad lines in east-central North Dakota, which resulted in a concentration of now vanishing places in the lands surrounding the lake — places like Hamar, Grand Harbor, and the ski jump at Sully’s hill. In the last few decades however, Devils Lake has risen steadily and has driven more people from their homes and farms, and inundated numerous roads and highways.
We’ve visited the topic of Devils Lake’s rising waters on several occasions. Once when we used Google Earth to create an animation that shows the expanding shoreline of the lake.
Our first experience with the Rise of Devils Lake however came in 2005 when we posted this photo of the Harmon residence, just before it succumbed to the rising lake. We ended up using that photo in our first book, accompanied by the comments of Gail Biby who grew up there. These photos represent the rest of the batch that we shot from the shoulder of that then-busy highway which has since been raised and relocated.
This was once the road to the casino, but it washed out.
Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC