Village Information


Stump Lake Village History

The Nelson County Historical Society was organized in 1994 and leased the present site from Nelson County Park. The Society is dependent upon the sale of memberships, contributions, and fundraising events to finance improvements and maintenance. The organization is a tax-exempt non-profit corporation and donations are tax deductible for income tax purposes.

In that first year, the barn, log cabin, church, and school were moved into the Village. Stump Lake Village continues to expand and the buildings and grounds are more attractive each year. Since then we have added over 10 structures. In 2018 we added a new building to house one of the most unique engine collections. Now you can observe these in any weather! We also added a welcoming outside entrance to the Main Street Museum. 


What We Are

The Stump Lake Village is much more than a collection of “Stuff”. Combined with Stump Lake Park, there is something for all ages to do. Whitetail deer browse the grounds of both the Village and Park. 60 acres of woods provide a home for a wide range of wildlife from deer to birds. Teddy Roosevelt established the second wildlife refuge in the nation at Stump Lake Park because of its great variety of waterfowl.

The Village hosts a wide variety of activities in the summer, from band concerts to our annual Threshing Bee. Speakers portray early historical characters of North Dakota. Traveling exhibits provided by the North Dakota Historical Society offer snapshots of our past. Demonstrations of early pioneer skills range from spinning wool to sawmill wood cutting.

We have great “stuff” too; from steam engines to hand-pulled fire equipment to household items from years gone by. Each of our buildings is full of authentic and interesting items, and our inventory and displays are always changing! We have an exceptionally nice Veteran’s Room and display. There are tours every Sunday (June Through Labor Day) and at other times by arrangement. A paved walking trail, made possible by a grant, makes getting around the Village a pleasure. Most buildings are handicapped accessible.

About Our Activities

Stump Lake Village: Open Monday-Sunday for outdoor viewing, weather permitting. Sunday’s offer Village Inside Building Guided Tours 1-5 PM June thru August. Donations welcomed. 

Tours are available at other times by appointment.
Call Diane Swenson (701) 247-2546

Threshing Bee
: Yearly
Sunday & Monday of Labor Day Weekend

Our Annual Threshing Bee extravaganza includes
FUN, FOOD & FESTIVITIES for the whole family:

• Stump Lake Village Historical Tours
• Gift Shop 
• Horse Drawn Wagon Rides
• Indoor Craft Show
• Food – Thresher’s Breakfast & Food Vendors
• Live Pioneer Demos
• Kids Events & Attractions
• PiKadilly Face Painting – World-Renowned Artist
• Engine Museum
• Main Street Museum – one of the best in ND
• Parade
• Morning Star Petting Zoo
• Live Stage Music Entertainment
• Tractor Pull
• Beautiful Scenery

We are proud of our Village and welcome you to step into the past and enjoy a marvelous glimpse of North Dakota’s yesteryears!

Threshing Bee Admission
$10 for Adults
$5 Kids 6-12
Under 6 FREE 
ADMISSION Bracelet Good for BOTH Days
(if kept attached to the original individual)


Village Gift Shop

In addition to our Stump Lake Village clothing and souvenirs, we have recently been furnished with hundreds of beautifully handcrafted wood masterpieces by Roy A, Lindvall. Some items are made from wood as old as 500 years obtained right here in Stump Lake! Roy provided us with an assorted number of stylish Clocks, Tine Boxes, (pronounced Tee-nah – a Norwegian treasure box of various sizes one must own), postal box banks, and unique carved pieces.

We have a new gift source for our Gift Shop in 2020.  The Toy Maker, Paul Nielsen, a wood crafter/artisan has donated his handmade wooden toys. The imagination-powered wood toys include trucks, farm machinery, heavy equipment, and a variety of other transportation vehicles. Each piece is glued together so there are no hidden screws or nails. They are left in their natural pine finish and chemical free, so they don’t pose a danger to small children putting them into their mouths.

The shop is conveniently located in the Main Street Hall. We have just what you need to commemorate your visit!

Gift Shop: Open Sundays 1-5 PM June thru Labor Day 

Volunteers Always Welcome!

It takes nearly 20 Volunteers a week to maintain the Village and over 250 Volunteers to put on the Threshing Bee!

The Society remains dependent upon donations and there is always a need for volunteers. We encourage everyone who is interested in contributing to our efforts in any manner to do so. We can use just about any talent, skill or good old-fashioned hard work! Every Thursday is a work day during the nice weather. If you show up on-site, just stop one of us and say you want to volunteer. You’ll be glad you did!

If you would like to purchase a membership, make a donation, or volunteer, please contact:

Nelson County Historical Society
PO Box 141
Pekin, ND 58361

Village Office: 701-296-4599
Feel free to leave a message,
we’ll get back to you!

Checks may be made payable to:
Nelson County Historical Society

**If you have a North Dakota relic of interest you are willing to donate to the Nelson County Historical Society, we would love to talk to you about it.**


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