Lac qui Parle


Lac qui Parle MN 56256
United States
45° 1' 17.5512" N, 96° 8' 59.9316" W
Map Group: 

Lac qui Parle is in Lac qui Parle County This county was established March 6, 1871. Nine years earlier a county bearing this name but of entirely different area, situated north of the Minnesota River, had been authorized by a legislative act, February 20, 1862, but it was not ratified by the people. This French name, meaning "the Lake that Talks," is translated from the Dakota name, Mde Iyedan (mde, lake; iye, speaks; dan, a diminutive suffix), applied to the adjacent lake, which is an expansion of the Minnesota River. The lake, nearly 10 miles long with a maximum width of 1 mile and a maximum depth of 12 feet, owes its existence to the deposition of alluvium from the Lac qui Parle River, which enters the Minnesota valley near the foot of the lake. Its name most probably was suggested to the Dakota by echoes thrown back from its bordering bluffs. Prof. Andrew W. Williamson wrote: "It is very uncertain how it received the name; one tradition says from an echo on its shores, but it is doubtful if any such existed; another tradition is that when the Dakotas first came to the lake voices were heard, but they found no speakers; some think the word has changed its form." The Qu' Appelle River in Saskatchewan, also a French translation of its Indian name, having nearly the same significance, "the River that Calls," is similarly enclosed by somewhat high bluffs, likely to reply to a loud speaker by echoes.Rev. Moses N. Adams, who during our territorial period resided as a missionary at Lac qui Parle, told of a very remarkable creaking, groaning, and whistling of the ice on the lake in winter and spring, due to fluctuations of the water level allowing the ice to rise and fall, grating upon the abundant boulders of the shores. At the same time these strange sounds are echoed and reverberate from the enclosing bluffs. To these "voices" he ascribed the Dakota and French name.Keating mapped the Lac qui Parle River as Beaver Creek, adopting this name from the fur traders. His narrative adds that the Dakota called it Watapan intapa, "the river at the head," because they considered Lac qui Parle as the head of the Minnesota River, probably referring rather to the limit of favorable canoe travel during the usually low stage of water in the summer. Its name on Joseph N. Nicollet's map, published in 1843, is Intpah River, and this is repeated on maps of Minnesota in 1850 and 1860. From: Upham, Warren. Minnesota Place Names: A Geographical Encyclopedia. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society Press, First edition 1920. Third Edition 2001. Print.