Oasis in Elbow Lake
By Brenan Chase
The road leading up to Tipsinah Mounds Campground seems like it came from a shot at the cinema. Trees full on each side leading up a long stretch to an oasis of a lakeside campground.
Caretaker Jeremiah Ulrich works diligently maintaining Tipsinah Mounds, but he also credits the community of Elbow Lake for the valuable area. "The Lions helped create the fishing pier, and also did some great landscaping work at the campsite." Jeremiah credits this sense of community and hard work to small town living.
Jeremiah, his wife Valerie, and their five children live/work at Tipsinah Mounds Campground. Sitting a few miles outside of Elbow Lake, the campgrounds season lasts from May 1st to October 1st.
"Some families have been coming to the park for over 40 years," says Jeremiah. He has noticed a good mix of travelers. Some from the Dakotas, some from the Twin Cities, and many from west central Minnesota. The family doesn't have to rely on advertising, as word of mouth around the region helps promote Tipsinah Mounds.
Once the season is over, Jeremiah's duties still go strong. He spends the winter months working on projects for the campground, as well as filling time with some of his hobby projects.
Tipsinah Mounds Campground isn't the only business the Ulrichs take care of in Elbow Lake. Valerie owns Hair Fusion, her own salon in Elbow Lake. The salon has been in business since 2007.
The Ulrichs also stay busy with constant involvement in the Elbow Lake community. Jeremiah is on the fire department, ambulance, school board (West Central Area), and the Army Reserves. Being from a small town, Jeremiah says you want to "be a part of everything." Valerie and Jeremiah also stay involved by helping with school activities.
Valerie and Jeremiah's five children stay constantly involved with activities/sports at West Central Area schools. Jeremiah says he has "chased a lot of basketballs around," practicing along with his five kids.
To Jeremiah, "Live Wide Open" suggests what's great about living here and what's not so great about living in Twin Cities. "You can turn around and move freely here without bumping into someone, the metro area is way too congested for that."