Welcome to the Big Stone Lake Area Chamber of Commerce website! The Big Stone Lake area is a haven for sportsmen, hunters, birders, outdoor enthusiasts and tourists. Our area parks and other local attractions offer plenty of things to do: from swimming, golfing, boating, biking and birding to fishing, cross-country skiing and wildlife exploration!
Twenty-six-mile long Big Stone Lake provides an array of family activities and year-round entertainment. Big Stone Lake is the headwaters of the Minnesota River, which runs south to the Mississippi River. The northern end of Big Stone Lake is at the Continental Divide, bordering Lake Traverse. Water from Lake Traverse flows north to the Red River. The headwaters provide a rich history of this beautiful area formed by glaciers 20,000 years ago. Come and share the enthusiasm for our little corner of heaven!
Take a stroll along the paved bike and walking path, or a drive through the Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge. Tour the Big Stone County Historical Museum, along with many beautiful parks, many historical monuments.
There are two hotels in Ortonville, a Bed and Breakfast in Graceville, as well as many cabin-style lodging options located along the lake (and some great fish house lodging options)! There is a variety of restaurants to choose from in the area; great gas/convenience stores, unique shops – everything you’ll need to enjoy your weekend (or longer) fishing trip to the Big Stone Lake area!
The area has the highest quality health care available and great school systems. Our communities are rich in culture, history, and the arts play an important role. We have activities and festivals throughout the seasons, for young and old alike.
Ortonville is described as located on the east hillside of the southern end of Big Stone Lake, above the mouth of the Minnesota River. Now, when asked, we tell them, on the western border of Minnesota along the shores of Big Stone Lake, located at the “Bottom of the Bump”.
Big Stone City, SD is our “Sister City” just across the border, on the western side of Big Stone Lake, just a mile from Ortonville, offering citizens a prosperous industrial and manufacturing center. The area also has a reputable healthcare system, a quality school, and plenty of outdoor recreational activities.
North of Ortonville, highway 75 runs through the town of Clinton, making it accessible and un-isolated. Also, near Clinton is beautiful Eli Lake. On which every year is held the world’s longest lasting ice golf tournament; The Arctic Open! It has been held annually and draws crowds in the hundreds. The Big Stone County Fair is held each summer (usually July) at the Fairgrounds located on the west edge of the City limits.
The town of Graceville, a small community sits at the edge of Toqua Lake, a recreational lake surrounded by two campgrounds, a golf course, softball fields and full-service health care facilities. Around the 4th of July, residents of Graceville celebrate Toquatennial Days, with lots of activities for the whole family.
Once a vast treeless prairie, where ducks, geese, coyotes and prairie chickens fill the land, is where you will find two carefully restored fire trucks as you drive into the town of Johnson. Today, there is no businesses left, but a corning building with a square turret, the former grocery store inscribed with the name J. Luchsinger 1912, faces the railroad track. A concrete slab between the tracks and the town suggests the location of the former elevator, the former school, now used for storage, and the Old German Lutheran Church, now a private residence, known as the Running House.
The only place to get a cup of coffee in Barry, other than your neighbors house, would be the Beardsley Farmers Co-op Elevator, formerly the Barry Farmers Elevator, which is the last stronghold in one of Minnesota’s smallest towns. Local farmers also stop in and talk about crops.
Odessa has had many churches over the years, but only Trinity Lutheran Church, a German-speaking congregation remains active after serving the community for more than one hundred years. Following, the Saturday morning service, the congregation heads to the local Odessa Cafe for “the Lutheran Hour” brunch. The old jailhouse, one of the oldest buildings on the National Registry, still stands in the city limits of the small town.
Once a boom town on the western plains of Minnesota, Correll now maintains a miniature fleet store, which sells and delivers bagged animal feed for cows, horses, and dogs. The local farmers pack the store on Saturday mornings to shop, drink coffee, and swap stories. There are two active churches in Correll.
The Big stone Lake Area Chamber office/Visitors Center is located at the intersections of US Hwy 12 and US Hwy 75. In the same building as the Big Stone County Museum. We are an area-wide Chamber that represents both Minnesota and South Dakota businesses.