Loon Lake History

  • First building at Loon Lake located on south shore was Hotel Resort
  • In 1853 lake was approximate 700 acres
  • In 1875 the lake level was lowered from 700 acres to 400 acres through the use of drainage ditches to satisfy the theories that malaria and other diseases originated from swamps. It became law that the county commissioners spend $10,000 for the purpose of drainage.
  • Original Site of Old Settlers Day in 1904 at the Hotel Resort and Bath Houses with five cottages for rent.
  • There was a steam powered boat that towed barges around lake accommodating two sets of square dancers.
  • From 1924 until 1943 There was a shuffleboard court, bathing beach, Columbia City Men’s Club & Boathouse, and store cottage
  • In 1943 hotel resort moved the old store cottage down the hill which became a grocery, bar, and gas station. To permit this move the lake first had to be lowered. Local farmers had the creek at the north end dug out to gain more tillable soil. As told by Cleon Fleck local farmers supplied free alcoholic beverages to the men digging the ditch and convinced them to dig it deeper. The situation wound up in court resulting in a judgment that Loon Lake was to remain at 220 acres.
  • Drainage of the lake paved the way for more residential development. Roads were extended and new ones built. Some homes on Loon Lake today are on land that was once under water.