Devils Lake is a city in Ramsey County, North Dakota, in the United States. It is the county seat of Ramsey County.The population was 7,141 at the 2010 census. It is named after the nearby body of water, Devils Lake. The first house in Devils Lake was built in 1882. It was surveyed in 1883 and named Creelsburg and later Creel City, after the surveyor, Heber M. Creel. In 1884 it was renamed Devils Lake.The local paper is the Devils Lake Journal. Devils Lake Municipal Airport serves the city. Devils Lake is home to Lake Region State College and the North Dakota School for the Deaf.
The present site of Devils Lake was historically territory of the Sioux or Dakota. The Sioux were relocated to the Spirit Lake Reservation. The name "Devils Lake" is a calque of the Sioux phrase mni wak’áŋ (literally: spiritual water), which is also reflected in the names of the Spirit Lake Tribe and the nearby town of Minnewaukan.
The Sioux called the lake mni wak’áŋ chante, which separately translate as mni (water), wak’áŋ (spirit), and chante (bad). Early European-American settlers thought this meant "Bad Spirit Lake", or "Devils Lake." The "bad" referred to the high salinity of the lake, making it unfit to drink, and "spirit" meant the mirages often seen across the water. The Christian concept of the devil was not present in the Sioux religion.
The city of Devils Lake is served by Devils Lake Public Schools. This system operates Sweetwater Elementary School, Prairie View Elementary School, Minnie H Elementary School, Central Middle School, and Devils Lake High School. A private school, St. Joseph's Catholic School, is also located in Devils Lake.
Amtrak, the U.S. national passenger rail system, serves Devils Lake, operating its Empire Builder daily in both directions between Chicago and Seattle and Portland, Oregon. Great Lakes Air Lines also operates two flights daily to the Devils Lake Municipal Airport from Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport.
In Popular Culture:
Devils Lake was a featured location in a fourth season episode of the popular Syfy series Warehouse 13 titled "Personal Effects," though its establishing shot had little in common with town's actual topography and more closely resembled the North Dakota badlands.
Sites of Interest:
- Devils Lake Storm of North Dakota American League Baseball
- Devils Lake Firebirds
- Devils Lake Town and Country Club
- Devils Lake Basin Joint Water Resource Board