Lake Washington Improvement Association History

Charter members who paid dues through 1981 to gain working capital: Emerson Wells, Tom McArthur, Tom Stordahl, Bob Martin, Rick Leiferman, Dan Scheurer, Al Luehmann.

November 1975 - DNR tells Lake Washington - constructing a dam to raise the water level cannot be accomplished easily, quickly, or inexpensively. Recommends taking the subject to the LeSeuer county board.

Feb 21, 1975 - DNR sent letter to Lake Washington Sportsmen's Club saying - the existing dam was blasted out - only the abutments remain - and rendered ineffective, as were the two other dams before it. It thus appears that a rather bitter controversy over water levels exists and that a dam to raise water levels should not be considered. The DNR did agree to assessment of the advisability of constructing a fish barrier at the dam site.

December 1975 - DNR says the lake level set in 1933 does not confer any rights on a public agency or person. Riparian rights are property owner rights which cannot be taken, except through due process and certainly cannot be abrogated by an order of the Director of Game and Fish (game and fish wrote the document of 1933)

Lake Washington Landowners Association Organizational Meeting held November 23, 1975 at Marysburg Parish Hall. Membership $10 Eighty Five people attended the meeting. A second organizational meeting was held on March 14, 1976 at Marysburg. By-Laws were established at this meeting. Interim officers who wrote the Bi-Laws were: Emerson Wells, Pres., Tom McArthur Sec. , Al Luehmann Treasurer, Skip Tillish, Leonard Kalakian, Vern Hanson, Bert Looney, Mike Leiferman, Lauris Krenik, Darly Hebig.

February 1976 - lawyer for property owners sends letter to DNR asking why the lake level established by the DNR in 1933 cannot be enforced. (DNR said lake high water level should be 917 , and the water level should be .75 above the present concrete dam.) DNR proclamation is dated 22 Dec 193

February 1976 - Lake Association takes a survey of concerns of property owners. Water level main concern.

7/31/76 Dues collected - 1 @ $20 9 @ $50 103 @ $10

April 1, 1976 - A homeowner writes to Regional Hydrologist - In the past three or four years there have been three developments known as Bakers Bay, Mud Bay, and Connors Point. Connors Point by Key City Realty, Bakers Bay by Dan Scheurer, and the Northeast corner of the Lake by Mr. Krenick, a farmer in the area. Lots have been sold to persons who did not realize that there was never in the past 40 years been a desirable water level in the area of these new developments. This group is now attempting to establish an artificial water level. The homeowner goes on to define those people who live on the south shore of the lake, including himself, who are opposed to any artificially controlled level of the lake. He maintains that when the outlet is blocked, the algae gets so thick that you hesitate to run a motor through it. He states that there has been a feud going on for the past 30 years between the farmers on the north end of the lake building dams and other farmers who have consistently dynamited or removed the dam by other means. The homeowner goes on to recommend that the lake level should be left to nature.

Lake Levels recorded over the years by the regional hydrologist:
a. Spring 1932 980.1
b. 6/29/1950 980.6
c. 9/22/1950 980.1
d. 11/15/1950 979.8
e. 8/16/1961 980.6
f. 7/15/1976 980.0

High water levels per Bolton & Menk report Feb 25, 1977 - Ordinary High Water Level 981.50 -Outlet elevation 980.50
a. 1951 982.01
b. 1952 982.06
c. 1953 982.08
d. 1954 981.13
e. 1955 980.99
f. 1956 980.44
g. 1957 980.17
h. 1958 980.97
i. 1959 980.65
j. 1960 980.95
k. 1961 982.46
l. 1962 982.16
m. 1963 981.06
n. 1964 980.94
o. 1965 982.28
p. 1966 981.57
q. 1967 983.31
r. 1968 no record - Aug had rain of 7.5 inches in 24 hours
s. 1969 982.46
t. 1970 981.49
u. 1971 no record
v. 1972 981.82
w. 1973 980.74
x. 1974 981.83

004 update - Highest ever reading 983.86 6/25/9
Lowest ever reading 978.51 4/17/90
Average since 1950 through 2003 981.67

Bolton & Menk report Feb 25, 1977 - The existing control of water elevations is the capacity of Chanaska Creek. This stream, with it's outlet elevation of 985 acts in much the same way as a control structure. Assuming that Chanaska Creek has a maximum capacity of 100 cfs. Then it would take a minimum of 5 days to withdraw one foot of water from the lake. Since 1916 there have been three separate control structures destroyed by opponents of an outlet dam to control water level.

First Lake Directory was scheduled to be produced in July 1977

July 1977 - Sheri Scheurer was drafting a Lake History Document.

March 1951 - Dept. of Conservation, Division of waters memo to Lake Washington property owners. Records show as far back as 1916 a dam has been proposed to be built on the outlet of Lake Washington. Records also show that three dams have been blown out. Memo says flowage easements the entire shore line must be obtained before a new dam can be constructed. Etc. etc.

May 6, 1977 permit application submitted to DNR to reconstruct dam on lake outlet. June 30, 1977 - DNR responds with a letter saying they need data showing all riparian owners are in favor of a new dam.

July 1979 - Worked with lawyer to set up non-profit corporation

March 30, 1981 - A mini meeting was held "in an attempt to once again activate the Lake Washington Property Owners Association." Apparently they may have not been active as an association for a while. The first reference is made to meeting in the County Park Shelter Building on Lake Washington for the April meeting. April 4, 1981 Lake Association board again tries to get work started on a dam at the outlet.

June 7, 1981 - Board meeting minutes make first reference to cutting weeds. It was reported that the bay by the outlet has a permit from the DNR to cut weeds by mechanical methods in that bay. The question was asked if anyone in other areas of the lake would be interested in cutting weeds in their bay.

Annual Meeting set June 21, 1981 One of the key discussion topics was if the Lake Washington Property Owners Associationn should continue to exist. Interest in the organization has been low in recent times.

April 5, 1982 - First mention of an "Eating Establishment" on the lake by the public landing.

July 1983 -Lake Washington Association sponsored swimming lessons at Squirrels Nest

1983 - Lake Washington Sportsman's Club installed a fish trap on the outlet of Lake Washington.

Bolton and Menk did the same study again in June 1984 (construction of a dam on the lake outlet to control lake level) at the request of the Lake Washington Homeowners Association with the same results as 1977

1985 - Poor participation at the annual meeting, and board held no meetings all summer.

March 1986 - Sheriff Pat Smith authorized erecting a slalom ski course on Lake Washington for season use.

June 22, 1986 - Annual meeting of Lake Washington Property Owners - Hog Roast held at County Park building.

June 1986 - The position of Vice President was established. - John Poslusny

January 26, 1986 - Motion is made to begin monthly meetings of the board, year-around, on the first Monday of every month.

February 21, 1986 - It was reported that Bill Brenner recently sold Westwood to Gary Nelson.

October 1986 - first discussion of the 911 telephone system to be installed by December 1, 1986

August 8, 1988 - Proposed an Association dues increase from $10 to $15

November 3, 1988 - Survey of property owners developed to determine the opinions and ideas of lake residents regarding roadways, water levels, weed control, water clarity, etc, etc.

The original incorporation papers for the Lake Washington Property Owners Association were dated February 10, 1978 An amendment changing the name to Lake Washington Improvement Association is dated 22 January 1991 By this amendment it became a non profit corporation

September 24, 1989 - Now have 180 paid members of the association vs. last year membership of 86 paid members. Four meetings of the board were held, Roads around the lake were blacktopped. This was the fifth year of measuring water clarity. The readings were 15 ft in the spring to 2 ft in September. The first Lake Washington Winds Newsletter was published. The board was working with cable TV suppliers to try to get cable available on the lake. The rate will be $12 per month.

October 23, 1989 - Board decided to hold meetings when needed rather on a scheduled basis. The board agreed that the newsletter would be published twice yearly. (May and October). Joanne Madsen assumed responsibility for publishing the Lake Directory. The board is going to try to get local businesses to purchase ads to be included in the directory to help cover the cost of producing the directories.

April 1990 - NSP gas installation around the lake is in progress.

November 1990 - Began work to become part of the Clean Water Partnership.

September 9, 1990 - Board meeting. Paid membership rose from 186 to 200 Lake Clarity - May 20 feet, September 5 feet. Published a new Lake Directory and three issues of Lake Washington Winds, newsletter. Lake monitoring committee says they have been measuring lake clarity since 1987 The name of the lake association was changed from Lake Washington Property Owners Association to Lake Washington Improvement Association - partially to help obtain funding from the Clean Water Partnership of the State of MN, and to show that clean water is a major objective of the association.

November 27, 1990 - Hugh Valiant DNR Fisheries made a presentation on control of Curley Pond Weed.

January 8, 1991 board meeting. A presentation was made by John Lever regarding charitable gambling. Les Dittrich said he has a contract with another group that expires in June and would be willing to reassign in order to donate approximately $30,0000 in charitable gambling revenues to the Lake Washington Improvement Association. If the association qualifies to receive it.

February 26, 1991 - Board decided to accept Mr. Dittrich offer to become recipients of the charitable gambling dollars he will be donating. Ed Senska reported that dumpsters will be placed at both public landings for spring clean up. Dumpsters will contain signs giving credit for the dumpsters to LWIA.

July 10, 1991 - Greg Engels offers to help with the Lake Level Committee. Greg has offered to help identify every inlet on the lake and mark it on a map.

June 25, 1991 Board Meeting. - Janet Hinton reported that she and Kathy Frauenholtz have made a book of history for the lake quality using materials from MSU and local residents.

July 1, 1991 - Club Builders Inc offers to manage the charitable gambling operation for LWIA for a fee.

July 30, 1991 Board Meeting. The board decided to change from having areas of the lake represented by directors and alternates, to assign all members the title of director. All directors will be invited to all board meetings and all directors will have a vote on board business.

1992 - DNR Agrees to improve Westwood lake access site - blacktopping the boat launch parking area and installing a second paved boat launch ramp.

1992 - It appears that John O'Callaghan Jr. was responsible for producing the first ever Washington Waves Newsletter.

July 20, 1993 - Board voted to raise Association dues to $20

Newsletter Logo
a. April 1989, April 1990, November 1990, May 1991, May 1992, Logo was picture of George Washington on top left and picture of a "wind surfer" on the right. Newsletter title Lake Washington Winds.
b. February 1994 logo was the words Lake Washington superimposed upon a bunch of waves, with an Elf scribe writing with a feather quill. September 1993, June 1994, (called the John Anderson version). Logo was a picture of George Washington snoozing between two trees in his Army Uniform with a glass of lemon aide by his side.
Title of the news letter was changed to Lake Washington Waves.
c. At some date, the newsletter title was changed to Lake Washington Improvement Association WAVES. At that time the logo was changed to a square with four symbols inside the square. The symbols are sun, water, plant, and recycle.

Lake History - For some time period the lake association had a person responsible for Lake History. That person was Janet Hinton.

Fish House Village 1993 - 1994 - One of the Lake Association members went on the lake on February 6, 1994 and took pictures of the ice houses which were published in the February newsletter. The weekend the photo's were taken there were 469 ice fishing houses on the lake.

Lake Directory Format - The format of the Lake Directory has evolved over the years. In 1993 the directory was an 5 by 14 inch spread sheet. For several years the format was a two column format. The directory format beginning in April 2003 is an alpha one column format containing all of the information, including email address for the first time. The 2003 directory also contains an abbreviated content, two column format in lake location order. 2004 will be the first directory to eliminate the fire number and include only the 911 address now used by police and fire.

Board Meeting March 10, 1994 - Treasurer, Sheri Bennett places an order for a new software program called Access, which will allow information to be stored in a data base for mailing labels. March 10 folder contains several copies of maps showing inflow water quality sites for Lake Washington watershed.

August 16, 1994 - President Skillman announced all association members names had been entered into Access Data Base for future directories and newsletters.

Ninth Annual Snowfest-Snowball Tournament was held at Westwood February 4, 5, 1995.

Sheri Bennett produces the Lake Directory in 1995.

The new sewer system around Lake Washington was completed in 2005. November 1, 2005 a storm siren was installed at the tip of Connors Point

2006 we launched the Lake Washington web site.

January 2012 we started the process to build a dam on the outlet of the lake.

In 2013 we obtained a design for the dam and obtained a permit from the Corp of Engineers and a conditional permit from the DNR.

April 8, 2014 the county held a Public Meeting to get resident input on the plan to build a dam on the outlet. The majority of those attending the meeting were in favor of the project.

May 6th 2014 the county board is supposed to vote on their approval of the project so fund raising and contract award can begin.

Gross sales of Pull Tabs in fiscal year 2014 was $1,639,106 Gross proceeds were $268,306 Donations to LWIA from Pull Tabs was $36,000 Gambling manager is John Lamm. LWIA donated $65,824 to local charity from Pull Tab proceeds.

In 2012 an effort was begun to get permission and funds to build a dam on the outlet of the lake to control lake level. In September of 2014 a contractor was selected to build the dam but an installation date has not been set as of this entry. The projected cost of the dam is $125,000 Funds were raised from grants, the lake association and fund raisers. Bolton & Menk engineering company did the design.

April 2019 - A new web site for Lake Washington launched for use of the residents. The new web site replaces the old web site that designed sixteen years ago.

Additional history is available from LWIA meeting minutes but not included in this summary. Interested parties should contact the LWIA Board.

Lake Washington History

In 1899 Louis Linder a banker in Mankato purchased Belvedere and 19 adjoining lots on the lake for development. The Belvedere was purchased by the Woods family in 1921 and it became the Woods Beach hotel. The bay in front of his property was named Linder Bay, as it remains today. On July 4, 1900 Mr. Linder entertained 200 at his home on Lake Washington. Mr. Linder floated his steam launch and took his guests on trips around the lake. Mr. Linder died on September 22, 1901 of a stroke. Mrs. Linder sold the lake property a few years after the death of her husband and she moved to the state of Maine where her parents lived.

Squirrel's Nest Point started as Sheehan's Hotel in the 1890's. New owners called it Red Squirrel Nest, it then became Squirrel's Nest resort and was owned by the Lahann family.

Henry Slater built The Belvedere hotel in 1898 The Wood family purchased the Belvedere in 1921 and converted it to a summer home. The Woods children opened Wood's Beach to the public and then closed it in 1948

Bill Brenner built Westwood Marina in 1981 Brenner sold Westwood to Gary Nelson who sold it to Dave Lobb. Rich Draheim purchased Westwood in 2001 Jerry Lynch purchased Westwood in 2014