Near Dunn Center in Dunn County, North Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Chelsey and Polly Dinkins Memorial Dam
Refuge Manager and Wife
Chelsey and Polly Dinkins played a major role in the construction and operation of this dam and National Wildlife Refuge known as Lake Ilo.
Chelsey Dinkins was the foreman of the Works Progress Administrations (WPA) crew that built the dam in 1936 as a water conservation project. The two year project during the Great Depression employed hundreds of North Dakotans in the severe drought years. In 1939, the Bureau of Biological Survey appointed Chelsey as caretaker of the dam and the newly created Refuge. Shortly thereafter Chelsey and his wife moved into a two room cabin on the refuge.
This was the beginning of a 47 year commitment to protect the dam and develop the land, water and wildlife resources. For Chelsey and Polly, this was more than a job, it was a life style and family adventure. Through thick and thin, the Dinkins and their family of nine children put their heart and soul int the task. Today, Chelsey and Polly could truly be proud of the fruits of their labor and the legacy left behind for wildlife and people to enjoy.
Topics and series. This historical Environment • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1936.
Location. 47° 20.813′ N, 102° 38.736′ W. Marker is near Dunn Center, North Dakota, in Dunn County. Marker is on 5th Street SW, 0.3 miles south of 4th Street SW, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Dunn Center ND 58626, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 1 other marker is within walking distance of this marker. A Mystery Exposed (approx. half a mile away).
Also see . . . Lake Ilo National Wildlife Refuge. North Dakota State Parks website entry (Submitted on December 30, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
Credits. This page was last revised on December 30, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 16, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 71 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on July 16, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. 2. submitted on July 28, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.
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