|15397 CR 81|
Otter Tail County
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Eagle Lake Cemetery, in the northwest part of Section 2, Eagle Lake Township, is across County Road 81 and a little to the east of its associated Eagle Lake Lutheran Church, which is located in the southwest part of Section 35, Clitherall Township, on the eastern edge of the former village of Axel.
In 1872, John Gammalson sold a three-acre tract for $9 to the church for use as a cemetery. In May 1938, the cemetery was improved and landscaped, as the previous practice of each family caring for their own family graves had proved inadequate. Members and friends of the congregation provided the labor and necessary equipment. They finished the project by putting a fence around the whole burial ground, with an ornamental gate at the entrance, including the name of the cemetery, for a cost of $800, which people gladly contributed.
The congregation of Eagle Lake Lutheran Church organized October 17, 1871, as the "Swedish Evangelical Lutheran congregation at Eagle Lake, Otter Tail County, Minnesota." On land donated by Sven Petterson Bergstrom, it built its first church in 1876 (sometimes considered the first church in Eagle Lake Township, although actually across the road from Eagle Lake Township). It was built by Martin Evander, a carpenter who settled in Eagle Lake Township in 1869, upon arriving from Sweden. The lumber for the church was hauled by ox teams from New York Mills, and the interior furnishings all made by hand.
The Eagle Lake church built in 1876 was struck by lightning Sunday afternoon, May 10, 1953, and burned to the ground. Nearly all of the contents were saved by the hundred or so members and friends who arrived to carry them out. The new church, built in the same spot, was completed in 1954, and greatly expanded in 2006.
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