By George Thorsen, LHPOA Board Member
A History in Progress
When I moved to Lake Heritage, I was interested in its history. A man made lake? What man made it? How did he make it? Why did he make it? When did he make it? Well, I had to go to newspaper archives (and other informational scraps) to find even the most basic information.
What I found out was that the lake was created by the American Realty Company of Springfield, Massachusetts which produced forty other man-made lake communities in twenty-eight states. Reading the biographical sketches of early Lake Heritage pioneers, once they sold off a good chunk of their property, the American Realty Company packed their bags and moved out of town. Nobody missed them very much.
Our 50th Anniversary
The lake was “born” in 1965 and 2015 will be its Semicentennial. Of course, man-made lakes are not born but rather created so there is a little wiggle room about the lake’s birthday. The Lake Heritage Community was incorporated on June 23, 1965 but the lake did not fill to 100% of its capacity until March 15, 1967 just three months shy of two years later. Prices were a tad lower in 1965 with a one third acre lot fetching the whopping sum of $2595. The lots did not move like proverbial hot cakes and by July 9, 1965, you got a lot for $1995. Each dollar bought a lot more back then and a brand new Ford Mustang Convertible only set you back $2489.
The Lake Heritage Archive
If you are interested in finding out more about the Lake’s history, I’ve put together an archive of information I’ve collected from other board members and residents. These are scanned documents from Lake Heritage’s past, they include item such as the complete program of the LHPOA 13th Annual Regatta. It was held on September 2 and 3, 1989.
A Living History
There is also a living history. Some of our forward thinking community leaders took the initiative to interview the earliest residents of Lake Heritage, its pioneers. View the interviews with Grace and Dick Emerson, Elaine Swanson, Joyce and Don Steinour and Bud and Millie Steckman.
Adding to the Archive
If you have printed items specifically related to Lake Heritage, please contact the webmaster for inclusion in this archive. Also, if you know information of the “who did what, where, why, when, how” variety, please share your informational treasures.