RQR - Accord

This timeline is for a fictional game called The Accord, run under the auspices of the Mind's Eye Society.

Fort Dodge

The original fort

June 1850 - April 1853

In May of 1850 Brevet Major Samuel Wood and the men of Company E of the Sixth United States Infantry disembarked the steamboat Highland Mary at Muscatine, Iowa. They had been dispatched from Fort Snelling, Minnesota to assist with the removal of the Meaquakie tribe to reservation lands and then travel overland to the Des Moines River and begin construction of a new military post.

Arriving near the mouth of Lizard Creek in mid-summer, the troops pitched their tents on a table of ground overlooking the river valley. The site had many advantages to offer including good water, plentiful timber, the appearance of coal, and stone for building. From the beginning the officers foresaw the growth of a city and laid out the principal fort buildings in a line which could someday form a city street.

Under the direction of Brevet Major Lewis A. Armistead, who would later die a hero's death leading the last wave of Pickett's Charge at the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg, civilian laborers were brought in to facilitate the construction of the new fort. By November 12 buildings had been completed and the troops were able to strike their tents and move inside for the winter. Originally christened Fort Clarke, the spring of 1851 found 21 major buildings completed and a name change to Fort Dodge.

Life at the frontier post was anything but exciting. Aside from a few minor incidents with the native population, the troops spent most of their time on guard duty, tending the post gardens, and chasing down deserters and whites encroaching on Native American lands. The height of the California Gold Rush may have accounted for an amazing 33 desertions by soldiers in only 30 months of the post's existence. All this out of an average post strength of 90 men.

Spring of 1853 brought orders for Fort Dodge to be abandoned and the troops sent north to establish Fort Ridgely, Minnesota and deal with mounting problems with the Sioux. William Williams, the post Sutler or civilian storekeeper, purchased the military reservation and buildings and in March of 1854, platted the town of Fort Dodge. A bronze plaque in downtown Fort Dodge marks the site of the original fort.

Source: http://www.fortmuseum.com/history.html

Gypsum - The Early Years

1852 - 1902

In 1852, geologist David Dale Owen first reported the occurrence of gypsum in the area that is now Fort Dodge. In the first geological survey of the region, he reported a "supply {of gypsum that} may be considered as almost inexhaustible," exposed along the Des Moines River. In 1893, Iowa Geological Survey geologist C.R. Keyes described the gypsum deposit at Fort Dodge as "by far the most important bed of plaster-stone known west of the Appalachian chain if not in the United States." The success of the first gypsum mill in the region, the Fort Dodge Plaster Mill built in 1872, led to the construction of others. By 1902, seven mills were operating and producing a variety of products including building blocks, mortar, plaster, roofing and floor materials.

Source: http://www.igsb.uiowa.edu/browse/ftdodge/ftdodge.htm

Town Founding

1869

On August 22, 1869, by order of the circuit court of Webster county, Major [William] Williams and four others were appointed commissioners to call an election and to do all things necessary for the incorporation of the city of Fort Dodge. The result of this first city election, held October 1, 1869, was to give the mayoralty honors to Major Williams and this office he held until 1871. His age and feeble health compelled Major Williams to refuse to continue in the office, which the people would gladly have given him.

Source: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~iabiog/webster/hw1913/hw1913-w.htm

L.R. Train & the Fort Dodge Times

1880 - 1895

The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 26, 1904

Newspaper Men From Fort Dodge

S.R. Train, whose Pen Always Responded to the Dictates of His Conscience

Equally with Benjamin F. Gue, L.R. Train, who became editor and owner of the Fort Dodge Times about 1870, has done much in the veteran class of the “newspaper men from Fort Dodge” (to) build up and develop the town and the country around the town. Mr. Train established the first daily paper in Fort Dodge and carried it on for several years before the other weeklies became dailies.

...

In 1870, L.R. Train was working as a printer in the office of the Fort Dodge Times, J.C. Ervin, a school teacher at Webster City, had bought the Times which had been started two years before. B.F. Gue was editor of the Northwest, the only other paper in Fort Dodge at that time. The Northwest was not run to suit the fancy of a faction of the republican party headed by W.H. Meservey, A.M. Dawley and Chas. Pomeroy, all three now deceased. These men desired the establishment of another republican paper, and believing the time was ripe for a new venture, Mr. Ervin put Mr. Train in as editor of the Times, that he might be free to start a new paper, which he did, calling it the Fort Dodge Republican. Mr. Ervin found himself somewhat embarassed (sic) by the management of his democratic and his republican paper, particularly as there was but a narrow hall between the two rooms that served as offices for the concerns, and began negotiations for the sale of the Time to Mr. Train.

There was a mortgage upon the Times for material, amounting to $1,300 (that amount in 1870 would be about $22,136 today) which was to be assumed by the purchaser, and a transfer of eighty acres of land. In addition to this, Mr. Ervin wanted five hundred dollars ($8,514), to be paid in material from the Times’ outfit.

It was in the fall of the year when farmers were bringing in their produce on subscription. One day a farmer was introduced to Mr. Train as he was on his way to his office. The farmer expressed great surprise when told that this man was the editor of the Times. “Why,” said he, “I just delivered a load of squash for the Times. I told the man particularly that I wanted the squash to go to the editor of the Times” That afternoon, as the type clicked in the stick as he worked upon the composition for the Times, the word “squash” festooned itself around on the pages of the copy and resounded with the drop of the type into the stick. The squash had not gone into the right cellar. It was a small thing, but a principle was involved, and a principle was a great thing. When Mr. Ervin came to urge the closing up of the bargain he was told that if he would make it two hundred ($3,406) instead of five hundred it was a bargain. So the legal transfer was made, leaving the editor of the Republican to the enjoyment of editing his one newspaper and eating his three hundred dollar ($5,108) squash.

This basing of action upon principle was one of the strong characteristics of the editor of the Times. It is needless to add that the observance of the principle did not always result financially to his benefit. The financial result was of small consequence, the triumph of a principle being the consideration.

Under Mr. Train’s management the Times became very popular and his editorials were widely copied. He mixed with all classes of people, studied their methods of thought and characteristics, and prepared his political articles with the view of reaching the most stolid and thoughtless. Organizing a line of thought in consecutive order, he wrote a column to elucidate a single thought standing at the head of the list. Then he would call in one of the slow thinkers to ascertain if his plan was successful, making the slow thinker the multiple of every political problem. The success of this plan was to him a pleasant revelation. Wealthy farmers and other laboring men came in and with marked enthusiasm expressed their pleasure, stating that it was difficult for them to understand the ordinary editorial discussion of political questions which he had made simple and plain.

...

Mr. Train conceived the idea of starting a daily paper in Fort Dodge, and made a tour of cities to study conditions. Upon his return he decided to make the venture. Everybody said a daily paper could not live in Fort Dodge, but everybody, as the word goes, subscribed for it, and the Fort Dodge Daily Times was a financial success from the beginning. The daily was issued for four years, and then the two other weekly papers published in Fort Dodge each started daily editions and the day after the following election the daily edition of the Times was suspended. With a clear field there was incentive to publish a daily, but the editor saw nothing worth fighting for.

In every public work, in private enterprise of public utility, his pen and work were promptly and freely enlisted, and he published large extra editions of his paper for the development and upbuilding of the interior towns and villages of Webster county. The cramped up position of the old court house as compared with that of other cities was of universal knowledge and the desirability of more room was of universal consent. A full block with the court house in the center, even though half a mile away, appealed to the aesthetic sense, and there was considerable discussion on that line at different times. Mr. Train opposed the removal of the court house location from the standpoint of the value of property and the non-transferable character of the lot deed, and his last newspaper work was in the closing discussion which resulted in the erection of the splendid structure upon the old site.

For twenty-five years Mr. Train stood at the helm of the Fort Dodge Times. During that time twelve other papers struggled for existence in Fort Dodge: some were absorbed into other publications, some died, and at the time he sold the Times in 1895, because of loss of sight, but three out of the twelve were in existence. The number of papers could safely be multiplied by three to obtain an estimate of the number of men connected with the twelve papers during the newspaper activity of Mr. Train. If may be of interest to read over the names of the twelve papers: (1) The Iowa Northwest; (2) The Republican; (3) The Messenger; (4) Mineral City Enterprise; (5) Webster County Gazette; (6) Webster County Union; (7) The Topic; (8) Mr. Hutton’s paper; (9) One started in the Doud building; (10) A Populist paper, the name forgotten; (11) The Chronicle; (12) The Post.

...

Source: http://inoldfortdodge.com/2012/03/newspaper-men-from-fort-dodge/

Strike brings in African-Americans

1881

In 1881, the first major migration of African Americans [to Fort Dodge] occurred when coal miners went on strike and strikebreakers were brought from Tennessee. According to Jane Burleson, long-time Fort Dodge resident, “Sometimes this sort of thing led to fights but in this case the miners offered to pay the black men to work, so they spent the winter here collecting union pay without lifting a pick or a shovel.” Many of the strikebreakers returned to Tennessee, but several families remained. Most of the 120 African Americans at the turn of the century were descended from these families.

Source: http://www.blackiowa.org/education/black-history-moments/ft-dodge/

Second Baptist Church

1888

In 1887, the [African-American] community established its first Sunday school and in 1888 the first church. That church became the Second Baptist Church.

Source: http://www.blackiowa.org/education/black-history-moments/ft-dodge/

Wolves Bother the Farmers

1906

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Jan. 31, 1906

Wolves Bother the Farmers

Two Large Wolves Come Into Yard on the Dean Farm

Attack Big House Dog and Are Driven Away Only When Farmer Appears With a Club

Although people have for some time believed that the wolf race had been exterminated as far as Webster county was concerned, the farmers north of the city have been complaining of the depredations of two large wolves which have become very bold.

The animals are larger than a big dog and are usually ferocious. They have appeared several times at one farm. Monday night the two wolves entered the yard at the Dean farm and when attacked by the large house dog they drove this animal back onto the front porch.

Mr. Dean heard the noise and when he appeared upon the scene the two wolves were up on the porch attempting to drag the big dog, now thoroughly subdued, off the steps. Mr. Dean picked up a club and finally drove the two animals away. Last night he armed himself with a rifle but the wolves failed to put in an appearance.

Fort Dodge sportsmen are considering the matter of getting up a wolf hunt as soon as snow falls.

Source: http://inoldfortdodge.com/2012/01/wolves-bother-the-farmers/

Small Pox Appears in the City

1907

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Jan. 7, 1907

Small Pox Appears in the City

Two Cases are Under Quarantine – Mayor Issues Warning to People.

Two cases of small pox have appeared in the city. One is at the residence of Grover Harris at 316 South 5th street where Mr. Harris is ill with the malady. The other is on North 7th street where Frank Devore a black smith employed at the Dan Noonan shop is confined.

Both cases were promptly placed under quarantine by city physician Mulroney, who pronounces them both of light form and not likely to become dangerous.

Neither of the afflicted parties have an idea as to where they contracted the disease. Sioux City has one hundred and twenty-five cases and it is thought probably that it came here from that city in some manner.

Mayor Bennett, desiring to warn the people says: “All should take very precaution to prevent the spread of contagious disease. Physicians inform me that soft weather like this makes it much more likely to spread. On the first appearance of sickness that gives indication of turning into scarlet fever, small pox or any other infectious sickness do not hesitate to call the city physician. If quarantine is promptly enforced the danger is small, whereas if the disease is let run three or four days it is likely to be transmitted to others.”

(Editor’s note: There was a related brief on another page of the same edition of the paper, in the “What They Say” section, which follows. It appears he is referring to the home of Frank Devore.)

“The other day I noticed a milk wagon drive up in front of a home on north 7th street where a family is quarantined for small pox. The milkman poured out a quantity of milk into the pitcher brought out to him, looked at it, then evidently thinking he had given too much, poured part of it back from the pitcher into the big can from which he supplies all his customers. He drove on then to peddle milk from that same big can all over town. It looks as if that were a pretty good way to spread disease in case there were any germs on the pitcher, for milk is said to be the worst medium for carrying germs known.”
-Robert M. Wilson

Source: http://inoldfortdodge.com/2012/01/small-pox-appears-in-the-city/

Cocaine Problems

1907

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Jan. 14, 1907

Cocaine Sellers Look Out

Mayor Bennett Says He Will Prosecute if Parties are Discovered.

“Some druggist or other is selling cocaine to a bunch of drug fiends about town,” said Mayor Bennett this morning. “I don’t know who it is but if we find out they will be prosecuted to the limit. They will do almost anything to get the drug but that is no excuse for a merchant and if the thing keeps up somebody will have to sweat for it good and plenty.”

Source: http://inoldfortdodge.com/2012/01/cocaine-sellers-look-out/

Changing Current in Fort Dodge

1914

The Fort Dodge Messenger: April 7, 1914

Task Begun of Changing Current in Fort Dodge

Electric Power in City Being Changed to 25 Cycle

Big Job is Nearly Done

The big task of changing the electric current of the city from sixty cycle to twenty five cycle alternation will begin this week. Many of the meters already have been changed or replaced with meters that will correctly record the use of the current soon to be installed. While a meter built to record the amount of twenty five cycle current is in use with a sixty cycle current, a computation of figures must be used to arrive at the correct amount of current used.

The Central Iowa Light and Power Company from which the Fort Dodge Gas and Electric Company will buy its current still have a half mile of wire to string to Fraser where the power plant is located. This will be finished this week.

Workmen in Fort Dodge have been busy putting in new transformers to take care of the new current. The work of replacing sixty cycle motors with those adapted to twenty five cycle current will begin this week. Most of the motors in use here must be changed. The Fort Dodge Gas and Electric Company will allow a fair allowance on the exchange of motors, depending on the time in which the motors now installed have been in use.

Source: http://inoldfortdodge.com/2012/04/task-begun-of-changing-current-in-fort-dodge/

Undercover "Brewery" in City

1920

The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 3, 1920

Undercover “Brewery” in City; Confiscate 1,000 Pints of Beer

Raid Farmers’ Exchange; Two Owners Held

Drink Was Brewed in an Old Ice Box

Raisins ‘Neverything

Dr. Jones Examines to Determine Percentage Alcohol

More than 1,000 pints of beer, brewed in an old ice box in the Farmers’ Exchange, 509 First avenue south, were confiscated last night and Albert Kruse and J.L. Dunivan, proprietors, arrested to face charges of alleged illegal manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors, brought by both state and federal authorities.

Kruse and Dunivan today were each released on $500 cash bonds by county authorities and Police Judge H.W. Stowe; rearrested by C.C. Metz, one of three federal prohibition enforcement commissioners in Fort Dodge, and released on an additional $500 bond apiece by United States Commissioner James Martin. It is expected that both the state, through County Attorney V.E. Gabrielson, and United States authorities will prosecute the case.

Sheriff George S. Bassett and Deputy W.H. McDaniel secured several sample bottles of the brew shortly before 6 p.m. yesterday on a search warrant. A test by Dr. S.D. Jones revealed an alcohol content of about three per cent. Two hours later Kruse and Dunivan were arrested and the building closed. Fort Dodge police guarded the place during the night.

Bound to Grand Jury.

Both were bound over to the grand jury next week for trial during the March term of Webster county district court if indicted. The state law provides a maximum penalty of $1,000 for conviction on the charge of illegal manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquor. There is no jail sentence.

“We will prosecute the men in addition to whatever federal prohibition authorities may do,” County Attorney Gabrielson said. “We have and continue to stand ready to cooperate with federal authorities in every case of this kind.

Government Stringent.

On the part of the government authorities the case is equally clear, Mr. Martin said. Both waived preliminary examination on advice of their attorney, J.R. Files, and were released on bonds to appear before the federal grand jury in United States district court, which convenes in Fort Dodge June 8.

In removing the liquor and brewing apparatus from the building federal authorities encountered a snag in the prohibition enforcement law, which fails to provide funds for such removal and storage until after the trial of the men when the liquor can be destroyed. Assistant United States Attorney Seth Thomas wired authorities in Washington for a ruling.

Sheriff Bassett was ready with a search warrant and declared he was ready to remove the liquor if federal authorities were not able to do so.

Largest Raid in History.

The raid is the “largest” ever made in Fort Dodge, authorities said. suspicion that beer containing more than 1 1/2 per cent alcohol was being sold, centered about the place since last summer. It is believed that the scope of the business was gradually increased until it reached the dimensions of a small brewery, passing under the name of a soft drink parlor. A dozen witnesses have been obtained to testify that the brew had a “kick.” No definite information was received until the beer was tested late yesterday.

Bottled in Many Bonds.

The brewing apparatus resembled in all respects a small brewery authorities said. More than 200 pint bottles of beer were kept on ice under the bar. In a room to the rear 600 more bottles were stored in shelves covered in the front with cheese cloth. Bottles of every size and description were used, several being labeled Washington Brewing company, Washington, D.C. Some of the metal caps were marked “Lemon Sour, artificially colored,” and were clamped on with a small patented capping machine. Others were old root beer, ginger ale, soft drink caps; some were plain.

An old ice box in the rear of the store contained the brewery. A burning oil heater kept the room at a temperature of about 80 degrees. Five barrels of beer were in process of fermentation, giving off an odor identical with that perceived near large brewing vats. An inventory taken by Deputy W.H. McDaniel shows the contents of the brewery as follows:

About 300 pounds of sugar in “Rolled white oats” sacks.

Five barrels of brew in the making.

Fifteen cases (350 15 ounce packages) raisins.

One barrel and four packages of hops.

Four dozen large packages of a Cedar Rapids brand of yeast.

One bushel shelled corn.

Two barrels of syrup.

Two hundred bottles of beer aging on the shelves, the supply of pint bottles evidently having run out.

A small still, used to start the fermentation process in the mash before pouring it into the barrels and adding water.

Business Prospered.

Authorities found numerous evidences that a prosperous business was built up. Along side of the cash register back of the bar were five water glasses filled with pennies, the proceeds from a day’s war taxes. Mr. Dunivan when asked to deposit bail, displayed a $2,000 certificate of deposit made at intervals during the last month with a Fort Dodge bank.

Customers began arriving early today while federal, county and city authorities were examining the place by daylight, snapping pictures and taking inventory.

A man breezed in as if the place was his familiar hangout, but detected something wrong and loitered near the door. A minute later a former service man, wearing an army overcoat and hat, stepped up to the bar.

“I’m afraid we can’t accommodate you today,” a federal agent said to him.

“Oh — I didn’t want anything. I was just waiting for somebody.”
He picked up the other man and as they passed out of the door two more seekers of the home brew were encountered. They turned away when the service man whispered, “Stay out of there today.”

No Rolls Today.

Five minutes later a baker rushed through the door with the customary morning supply of hot buns piled high on a big tray.
“Sorry, old man, we can’t use those today. There’ll be no hot lunch served here today, it’ll all be over in the jail,” the federal agent said.

The lunch counter testified to the abrupt departure of the proprietors. A pot of wienies, cold and unappetizing was standing on the shaky gas burner behind the bar. A dozen rolls, some cut open ready to be made into “hot dogs,” and a dried out half jar of mustard decorated the lunch board.

On the shelf in front of the bar mirror were a dozen bottles of home made wine, partially empty, with an odor resembling vinegar. A gallon bottle of “wine” had turned to pure vinegar.

Take Alcohol Tester.

An “alcohol tester,” which Kruse alleged was used to test the per cent alcohol in the brew to see that it contained mo more than one-half of one percent, was found in a neat box under the bar. Authorities said it was nothing more than a specific gravity tube, worthless for making an alcohol content test.

Source: http://inoldfortdodge.com/2011/03/raid-farmers-exchange-two-owners-held/

Tobin Packing Company plant

1934 - 1982

Fort Dodge has had several slaughterhouses in the 19th and 20th centuries, but the first modern one was the Tobin Packing Company plant, a hog processor that opened in Fort Dodge in 1934, bringing jobs and welcome relief to the local economy suffering from the depths of the Depression. In 1936, it processed 3,00 heads of hog and shipped 50 carloads of meat each day.

In 1954, the plant was acquired by George A. Hormel and Company, which continued to operate the plant until the 1980s. It was the largest and highest-paying employer.

Source: Fort Dodge: 1850 - 1970 by Roger B. Natte (pg. 58)

There were partial strikes in the plant in 1971 and 1972, the latter brought a lawsuit by the company. The plant in Fort Dodge remained much the same, in terms of what products were produced, until 1981 when the company announced that in June 1982 it would reduce the work force in Fort Dodge, leaving only the Canning Department.

Source: http://www.iowahistory.org/libraries/collections/iowa-city-center/iowa_labor_collection/Inventories/041.htm

Clear Lake

Land Survey

1832

Clear Lake was a favorite summer camping ground of both the Sioux and Winnebago native tribes. The first-known recorded mention of the body of water known as Clear Lake was in a land survey of northern Iowa, done in 1832. This map, with the survey, is signed by land surveyor, Nathan Boone, son of the famous explorer, Daniel Boone. Streams and rivers of the area are shown as well as the lake.

Source: http://www.clearlakehistoricalsociety.com//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9&Itemid=36

Town Beginning

1846 - 1870

Glowing reports about a beautiful lake, where fish and fowl abounded, brought the first white settlers to this area. The stories reached the ears of two men, Joseph Hewitt and James Dickirson, living in Clayton County, Iowa. Hewitt, known to trade with Indians, spoke the Winnebago tongue fluently. James Dickirson was a farmer. What they heard sounded so good that together with their wives, one child each, and two young men whom they recruited to go along to help, headed west over the wide prairie in May of 1851 to find that beautiful lake. Their train of three prairie schooners, were pulled by oxen.

The two families chose a camping site on the east side of the lake. In later years, Dickirson told stories about that first camp, built under a large tree nearly covered with a wild grapevine. Dickirson killed his first buffalo the day they arrived and he planted the first crop of corn in Cerro Gordo County. By the summer of 1853, other white settlers began arriving.

Though the Winnebago Indians were helpful and friendly, it was Joseph Hewitt's friendship with them that set the stage for the only real Indian scare the settlers suffered. Sioux Indians that roamed the area were jealous of that friendship, and several times caused disturbances. The most memorable incident happened in 1855. Dickinson rode up to his cabin one day to discover Sioux braves dressed in war regalia, chasing after his chickens. This came to be referred to as the "Grindstone War". The Indians, who used grindstones to sharpen their tomahawks, broke one apart to take. To convince the Indians to leave Dickirson gave them money, blankets, etc.

News of the incident, spread to neighboring Mason City and the next morning, about twenty-five men from the two settlements gathered together, organized, and rode north until they found the Sioux camp. The white men, though greatly outnumbered, marched to meet the Sioux. Almost within gunshot, the chief raised a white flag and produced a peace pipe, saying they wanted no trouble with white men. Hewitt reminded them that the settlers always fed passing Indians, had treated them kindly and wanted no trouble, either. The "Grindstone Incident" marked the end of serious Indian, confrontations in Clear Lake.

During these years the first Clear Lake school was built and the first steam saw mill. The mill commenced sawing lumber of excellent native black walnut, butternut, and oak timber, so settlers were able to build sturdy homes.

1855

The first hotel was built by James Crow.

1860

All were invited to attend the Fourth of July Ball at the Dickerson House Hotel in Clear Lake. Tickets were $1.50.

1868

John Phillips traveled from Wisconsin to Clear Lake with his parents. He recalled the trip in 1921 saying they came by prairie schooner, or a covered wagon drawn by horses. They arrived May 28 after their month long journey.

Source: http://www.clearlakehistoricalsociety.com//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=20&Itemid=37

Early settlement

1851 - 1856

During the fall and winter of 1850, reports circulated in the sparsely settled river counties of Iowa by Indians and adventurous hunters that a beautiful lake existed way back in the center of the state. These reports reached the ears of Joseph Hewitt and James Dickirson, then living at Strawberry Point in Clayton County. On May 20, 1851, they started out with their teams and families to the beautiful lake described them.
After a difficult journey, they finally reached the shore of Clear Lake July 14, 1851. They selected a point on the south side of the lake to take shelter. The two men, with their families, braved the hardships, dared the wilderness and openly defied the war-painted Sioux to turn Clear Lake into an oasis for the Midwest.

In the spring of 1852 Dickirson, a farmer, claimed the land where Clear Lake now stands and a tract of land east of the community. In 1854 he had received a patent from the United States for 134 acres of land in what is now downtown Clear Lake.

Hewitt was a prominent trader with the Indians and spoke the Winnebago tongue fluently.

By the mid-1850s, a good number of settlers had come, most by foot. Settlement had commenced in earnest. The present town of Clear Lake was laid out in 1856 by Dickirson and Marcus Tuttle, who owned the land. Twenty-three others took an interest with them in the town site.

Source: http://www.clearlakeiowa.com/history.shtml

Grindstone War

1855

Though the Winnebago Indians were helpful and friendly, it was Joseph Hewitt's friendship with them that set the stage for the only real Indian scare the settlers suffered. Sioux Indians that roamed the area were jealous of that friendship, and several times caused disturbances. The most memorable incident happened in 1855. Dickinson rode up to his cabin one day to discover Sioux braves dressed in war regalia, chasing after his chickens. This came to be referred to as the "Grindstone War". The Indians, who used grindstones to sharpen their tomahawks, broke one apart to take. To convince the Indians to leave Dickirson gave them money, blankets, etc.

News of the incident, spread to neighboring Mason City and the next morning, about twenty-five men from the two settlements gathered together, organized, and rode north until they found the Sioux camp. The white men, though greatly outnumbered, marched to meet the Sioux. Almost within gunshot, the chief raised a white flag and produced a peace pipe, saying they wanted no trouble with white men. Hewitt reminded them that the settlers always fed passing Indians, had treated them kindly and wanted no trouble, either. The "Grindstone Incident" marked the end of serious Indian, confrontations in Clear Lake.

Source: http://www.clearlakehistoricalsociety.com//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=20&Itemid=37

Saratoga of the West

1871 - 1880

1871

Clear Lake, in Cerro Gordo County, is the new popular watering place for the state. They have built over one hundred houses there within the last four months, have graded streets, put down board sidewalks, etc. It really has the appearance of a city in its infancy. Townsman, J. M. Emerson, is entitled to the credit of future prosperity. At the cost of over $20, 000 he built a fine, large hotel, Island House, on the beautiful Island in the lake, with fishing and bathing conveniences, etc.

1873

A new steamer, the Island Queen, built entirely of iron, except the seats, arrived by train from Dubuque. On her first day she made seven trips to the Island during the afternoon and evening. The boat is 47 feet long, 9 feet wide and 5 feet deep. With the Phillips House and the addition of the Lake House, and with the large number of new and beautiful steam, sail and row boats to be put upon the lake, varied and first class accommodations could be had.

1875

Fanned by a strong wind on Nov. 23, 1875, a chimney fire burned the Island House to the ground. A two story wooden structure, it measured 40x80 feet with 24x30 wings on the east and west sides.

1876

Resident George Frost traveled to the New York City Exposition to display six feet of the rich, black local soil to promote the growth of north Iowa.

Methodist Campgrounds Meeting Assoc. was established to hold religious meetings each summer. This was also a part of the Chautauqua speaker circuit. Entertainers and lecturers traveled by railroad from one town to another all over America to townspeople hungry for their fare

July 12 - The boat race which was organized last Saturday between Mr. Phillips and Mr. Lon Green was "pretty evenly matched". The purse went to winner of the best two in three, resulting in one apiece so far. The afternoon contest decided the winner overall.

1877

First bandstand constructed in the center of City Park

1878

First telephone use in Clear Lake

Opening of Lake View Park on the south bank of the lake, something over two miles from town. Situated on a high bank with a fine view of the lake, was newly cleared land for the public's enjoyment of a croquet court, a restaurant there had warm meals served to those wishing them and also ice cream, lemonade and baked goods. Green Bros. placed their steamer Lady Franklin, together with their fleet of sail boats The boats went to and fro, carrying to or bringing happy throngs of people between the town and park, at no charge.

The cornet band lent their aid to make the day more interesting. On the scene of action young and old were enjoying themselves

Source: http://www.clearlakehistoricalsociety.com//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=22&Itemid=38

Chautauqua Years

1881 - 1899

In the years 1881 through 1913 thousands of visitors came from far and near to hear speakers and muscians who traveled on a circuit called the "Chautauqua". Celebrities of the times arrived to speak in the Pavillion at the Methodist Meeting Grounds. They included William Jennings Bryan, Booker T. Washington, evangelist Billy Sunday, Carrie Nation.

1889

First library built.

1890

Opera House opened.

1895

The Outing Club, above, as viewed from the lake. Said to be the first condominium built in the United States, families came for the summer, ate all meals in the dining room, and were allowed to make no changes to the exterior. Although families no longer are served all meals in the dining room, it remains today as it was then.

1896

Bus service was now available from the railroad depot.

1897

Interurban railroad service from Mason City took day visitors right to the lake.

1899

Peterson’s Bath House built.

Source: http://www.clearlakehistoricalsociety.com//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=23&Itemid=39

Turn of the Century

1900 - 1920

1900

First winter to harvest the lake's ice for summer use.

1903

Lake reached highest level in twenty five years.

Whitaker's Covered Dock, 112 feet wide by 132 feet long, added to the Lake Shore Hotel.

1909
Bayside Amusement Park opens.

Expansion of the winter's ice caused the track used by the interurban to heave.

1910

2nd Peterson Bathhouse opened.

1911

The Electric Theater is now comfortably located at the White Pier where it will continue to do business for the summer.

First year to dredge the bottom of the lake between the Island and Bayside.

White Pier Dance Hall was built in view of City Park. On Fourth of July, in order to accommodate a large number of dancers, the proprietor held dime dances. The floor was cleared after each dance and dancers were held back of the railing and admitted to the floor couple by couple by the presentation of a ten-cent dance ticket for each person.

In the winter the dance pavilion was winterized and a stove set up for rollerskating. It was popular for young people in the area. A steam calliope or records provided the music.
1912

Central School built.

1914

Chautauqua holds last meeting.

1915

Girl Scouting was first organized in Clear Lake.

1917

The large wooden rollercoster at Bayside Amusement Park opens.

Iowa’s first interurban highway is paved between Mason City and Clear Lake.

1920

State fish hatchery opens.

Source: http://www.clearlakehistoricalsociety.com//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=25&Itemid=40

Boom to Crash

1921 - 1940

1924

Clear Lake State Park developed.

The dance hall at Whitaker's Pier had a balcony where mothers could proudly keep an eye on their daughters and see how well they danced, or perhaps how one looked in her new organdy dress. It was not uncommon for the girls to “stag it” to the dance, going and returning home with their parents. The men stags were also plentiful.

On the Fourth of July in order to accommodate a large number of dancers they held dime dances. The floor was cleared after each dance and dancers were held back of the railing and admitted to the floor couple by couple by the presentation of a ten-cent dance ticket for each person.

1926

Lincoln School was built on corners of S. 8th Street and S. 4th Ave. It was closed in 2008.

1928

William Burkhardt established a bakery, loved and remembered by visitors and residents as the Clear Lake Bakery.

1930

Advertised in the Clear Lake Reporter: An 80 ft. lake shore corner lot, in fine location at Methodist Camp for $900.00. Easy terms. A North Shore 40 ft. lot with 140 ft. depth this side of Clear Lake golf grounds, with sewer, water and pavement paid for. $600.00.

New convention center in Clear Lake: An association of Clear Lake businessmen called Community Building Association has purchased the old Idelo on the lake shore and remodeled it as a new convention center. School basketball games, soft ball tournaments, basketball games by independent teams, in addition to various conventions and farm meetings will be held in the building.

Four hundred people attended the dedication of the DAR memorial monument in City Park.

Governor John Hammill, Governor of the State of Iowa, vacationed in Clear Lake for two weeks staying at the “Pair a Doc” cottage on North Shore.

Fifty men arrived for work. Clear Lake is to be the center for a division of Great Lakes Pipeline Company, a pipeline carrier of refined gasoline

1931

Tornado strikes on Aug. 27, 1931: Hail, rain and windstorm destroys the White Pier, a popular dance hall at the foot of Main Street, sending part of the roof into the side of the Park Theater building. Various cottages were damaged and destroyed, the roller coaster at Bayside was demolished and the storm overturned the Princess excursion boat and killed Miss Bessie Rust of Algona.

The City Council votes a wage cut for city officials saving $90.00 per month.

An underground pedestrian passage is being built under the busy Highway 106, the road that divides the Clear Lake State Park.

Zion Lutheran Church celebrates its 60th birthday. The annual budget of the congregation is about $3,000.00.

The Wayside Inn on South Shore is open for diners and dancers on July 2nd.

The Depression is to be forgotten at New Years Party to be held at the Community Building. Sponsored by the Commercial Club and the Civic League, novelty numbers, melodrama, mysteries and their solution will be featured.

1932

Tom Gates of St. Paul, who has leased the Petersen Bathhouse for ten years, announced that he would remodel the building and open the dance hall as early as the season would justify. The new dance hall is named the Tom Tom.

With ice on the lake less than five inches thick, the annual ice harvest has been delayed longer this season than it has for many years. New Years Day, several men were employed to move a 30 acre patch of thin, slush ice out into the lake. The ice was first broken from the shore. Men with boats and pike poles then pushed the great mass of thin ice out into the lake. This was done by backing the boats against the ice and pushing the boats along with the poles. The work was slow as any quick or violent pressure would have broken the slushy ice.

The new Tom Tom ballroom and an adjoining cottage burned to the ground and was destroyed. It was the dance hall converted from the old Petersen Bathhouse, built just a few months ago.

The first North Iowa Band Festival was organized in Clear Lake by John Kopecky, the Clear Lake Music Mothers and the Clear Lake Commercial Club. An estimated 12,000 to 15,000 people attended. A nationally noted composer conducted a massed band concert of over 350 musicians.

Eighty to 90 carloads of potatoes and 34 cars of onions were being shipped this year by Sam Kennedy and his Red Globe Farms to markets in Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City and Des Moines.

1933

Witkes Kool Stein Cafe, later known as Witke’s Restaurant, opens on the Lake. The last restaurant in this location, Docks, was demolished in 2007 and replaced with condominiums.

Clear Lake was the third city in Iowa to enjoy the advantages of natural gas. Council Bluffs and Mason City being the other two. The gas was turned on Tuesday night.

The new Surf Ballroom on the lakeshore on North Second Street held its opening dance Monday night with about 700 couples present. Wally Erickson’s Marigold orchestra of Minneapolis furnished the music. The new Surf was constructed on the site of the Tom Tom ballroom which was destroyed by fire last year. Mayor W. H. Ward dedicated the new hall and C. J. Fox, manager, spoke briefly promising patrons the best of dance orchestras and entertainment.

The Roof Garden, a new feature for a Clear Lake dance hall, is 16’ x 100’ located on the side facing Wellmon Beach, overlooking the lake. The floor will be suitable for dancing, music coming through huge windows opening onto the ballroom.

Corn is King. February 24th has been designated as Corn Day for Clear Lake and Clear Lake leads the nation in pioneering a movement to restore farm prices.

The Clear Lake Commercial Club will be honored for starting the first Corn Exchange bank in the United States to pay the farmer nearly three times market price for his corn.

The Clear Lake Commercial Club, through the Corn Exchange Bank, paid 25 cents per bushel for ear corn in Corn Money redeemable at local retail establishments during the national banking holiday which started Saturday.

Local merchants offered extra price cuts over the weekend to boost the value of the corn money.

Approximately 12,200 bushels of corn was purchased and $3,000 of First Iowa Corn Money was issued to farmers. Downtown streets were filled with cribbed corn and Clear Lake received nationwide publicity for this effort to boost the local farm economy.

1934

Clear Lake Bank and Trust established.

John Dillinger and his gang robs the First National Bank in Mason City and hides out from authorities in the West end of Clear Lake.

1935

The Clear Lake Yacht Club was organized and is now racing several classes of sailing scows and operating a sailing school for kids from beautiful, new, yacht club building at the foot of Main Street.

1936
Interurban electric passenger railroad service discontinued. Freight service continues today.

A tower of ice stands in the City Park. Freezing temperatures and overflow from the Standpipe water storage facility, in the middle of City Park, formed a huge solid icicle, 80 feet in the air. 1936 was one of the coldest, snowiest winters Clear Lake has experienced with snow drifting over the cottages and homes and blocking the roads on the South Shore and the road to Ventura.

Cerro Gordo State Bank to pay a dividend. A total of 35% has been paid out so far to depositors of the bank, closed during the bank holiday of 1933.

A new concrete split boulder seawall is constructed as a Works Progress Administration, WPA, project at the foot of Main Street.

Construction of Clear Lake’s new High School on Benton Street, just South of Central School, has been completed by Andersen Construction Company and the students have moved into their classrooms.

1937

Clear Lake makes history with the appointment of the first planning board. Dr. A. B. Phillips, Mayor, appointed Dr. A. A. Joslyn, Mrs. F. P. Walker, Mrs. H. N. Halverson, Dr. Frank Knutson, I. C. Jensen, R. J. Aurdal and Mrs.George Newman to the board whose purpose is to study and recommend to the City Council a practical systematic program for the development and growth of business and residential properties and districts.

1938

The Governor’s Days tradition begins. The Clear Lake Conservation League, predecessor to the Association for the Preservation of Clear Lake, organized and chose officers. The new organization was formed solely for the purpose of betterment and improvement of the Lake on the broad lines of fishing and bathing as well as beautifying Clear Lake in every reasonable way. The organization also took a stand for the improvement of the State Park.

1940

Clear Lake population increases 22%. New census reveals advance from 3,066 in 1930 to 3,764 now.

Building in Clear Lake totals $289,000. That is a $52,000 increase in home construction. 35 new homes were built.

Source: http://www.clearlakehistoricalsociety.com//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=18&Itemid=41

War to Prosperity

1941 - 1969

1941

December 7, 1941, a day that lives in infamy, the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor. Casualties total 3,000.
The United States enters World War II. Clear Lake sends men to World War II while people of Iowa support the war.

Grant Wood takes up summer residence in the “No Care No More” cottage on the North Shore and converted an old railroad station into a studio. “Spring in Town” and “Spring in the Country”, and the lithograph, “December Afternoon” were completed by Wood while in Clear Lake this Summer.

1942-1943

To aid the War effort, two area construction firms, Sears Co. and Duesenberg Co. help the U.S. Army build the Alaska Highway.
The Iowa State Supreme Court handed down a decision declaring that Lake Street or First Street (now North Lakeview Drive) from Jefferson Street (now 3rd Ave., North) to North Street (now 4th Ave., North) to be a public street and not a park. Thus ended one of Clear Lake’s bitterest civic battles. The City had been under an injunction for 3 years not to use the street as such but the Court decision held that the City had accepted and held title to the land since 1871.

McIntosh Farm dedicated as a state park between Clear Lake and Ventura.

1947

Old Surf Ballroom burned down. It was rebuilt a year later across the street at a cost of $350,000 by owner, Carl Fox. During the late 40’s and 50s many famous celebrities and bands played the ballroom. They included Guy Lombard, Lawrence Welk, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey along with many others. Pat Boone, the Crew Cuts, the Diamonds, Bill Haley and the Comets and many other name entertainers were also booked and played to full houses.

Camp Tanglefoot – A parcel of land, 9 ½ acres located on Clear Lake’s south shore was purchased by the Mason City Kiwanis Club to be used as a camp for Girl Scouts. The work was done mostly by volunteers. The camp lodge was built on a hill overlooking the area. The camp was originally known as Camp Gaywood until 1995 when the name was changed to Camp Tanglefoot to reflect its location on the south shore. In August 2007, the camp celebrated 60 years of Outdoor Excellence.

1951

Clear Lake Centennial Celebration – This was held on July 14 & 15. A centennial coin was designed by student Neil Slocum. There was a free pageant held at the Lions’ Field. There were also displays of old time farm machinery & equipment, antique displays, Indian villages, balloon ascension and other entertainment. A time capsule was buried in the southeast corner of City Park covered by a replica of the centennial coin. It contained copies of Mirror-Reporter, 1951 phone book, 1951 city directory, seed corn, beans, seed oats, and many pictures. Congratulations were received from Lt. Gov. W.H. Nicholas, IA Senator Hickenlooper, Cong HR Gross and Arthur Godfrey.

1954

Sunset School Elementary opened.

1955

Ludwig Wangberg Bandshell – Clear Lake’s earlier band shells were in the center of City Park until the new band shell was constructed and dedicated on June 19, 1955. It is located at the lake end of the park so patrons attending functions can also view the lake. Lud Wangberg came to Clear Lake High School after the retirement of Clear Lake’s only other band director, John Kopecky in 1951. The band shell was renamed the Ludwig Wangberg Bandshell in 2001 in recognition of his 50 years of service to the community. Though Lud retired in 2006, the Wangbergs still reside in Clear Lake.

1958

Bayside Roller Coaster – The infamous Bayside roller coaster located on the south shore of Clear Lake in the Bayside Amusement Park was sold to Roy Law for salvage. The roller coaster had been rebuilt by owners Howard O’Leary and Jack Shea after a tornado had damaged it in 1942 . This officially ended the Bayside Amusement Park which had at one time been a landmark for family entertainment in the area. The land was then sold to Mason City realtors for what is now a lakeside housing development.

1959

Rock and roll star, Buddy Holly killed in a plane crash after leaving the Mason City - Clear Lake airport. On a wintry night in early February, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson) who had just finished their performance at the Surf Ballroom were heading for a play date in South Dakota took off from the local airport. Their plane crashed just north of the airport killing all on board including the local pilot, Roger Peterson. A marker is displayed in the rural area where the plane crashed which is visited yearly during the February Winter Dance Party at the Surf Ballroom.

New High School opened.

Source: http://www.clearlakehistoricalsociety.com//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=19&Itemid=42

Opportunity Grows

1970 - 1999

1972

Woodford Island is donated to "the people of the state of Iowa" by Esther Woodford Ashland and L.E. Ashland after being in the same family since 1898.

1975

On April 4, 1975 the Clear Lake Junior High School, corner of 2nd Avenue N. and N. 8th Street, burned. At 12:45 pm Friday, Jane Beard, a physical Education instructor at Clear Lake Junior High School noticed a small fire in the school gymnasium. By 5:00 pm that evening the structure had passed from being a place of learning, to a smoldering ruin, leaving only memories and a gutted shell.
The building, 120 ft. long and 212 ft. wide, was built in 1935 at a cost of $150,000. In June the voters defeated a bond issue of $1,295,000 for the purpose of replacing the junior high building. In October, ground breaking was held to begin construction of a new junior high building next to the current high school using the insurance money from the destroyed building. Then on January, 1976, Clear Lake voters passed a bond issue of nearly $1 million to complete the replacement of the destroyed junior high building. The new Clear Lake Junior High School, 1601 3rd Ave N., was dedicated on January 22, 1978 .

On November 8, Clear Lake was connected to the Interstate 35 highway system south to Des Moines. Interstate 35 north to Minneapolis was still under construction. “Mr. Band Master”, John Kopecky, celebrated his 90th birthday, and his 50 years of directing the Clear Lake High School bands. A good friend of Mason City's Meredith Wilson, Kopecky, was also responsible for originating the North Iowa Band Festival which began in Clear Lake. He lived to be 100 years old.

1977

In 1977 the State of Iowa mandated that Clear Lake must find a source of water other than the Lake, which had always been the City’s water supply. In 1981 work began on a new well, to withdraw water from the Cedar Valley and/or the Jordan aquifers.

1979

The first annual event to commemorate Buddy Holly's final concert was held at the Surf Ballroom. The popular old Lighthouse Drive-In, located near the Surf Ballroom, was torn down in August. The City purchased a lot on the north side of the current City Library on N. 4th Street to accommodate the first of two expansions to the Library. The City purchased the land from the adjacent Masonic Lodge for $13,500.

1980

Several of Clear Lake’s most prominent citizens died in the early 1980s. They included: Attorney E. B. Stillman; businessman L. E. Ashland; Clear Lake Bakery owner William “Bill” Burkhardt; Nan Clack, 93, a longtime area nurse; French cooking expert Jo Ann Fangman, killed in an auto accident along with her daughter, Kathy; Richard Van Slyke, 58, a longtime Clear Lake funeral director; former Clear Lake Mayor E. L. Secory, 83, founder of E. L. Secory and Sons plumbing and heating; T. G. Burns, 89, superintendent of schools in Clear Lake from 1938 to 1957; Frank Perc “Percy” Walker, 91, who guided the First National Bank of Clear Lake through the Depression in the 1930s.

1982

How about the winter of ’82! For three consecutive weekends in January, Clear Lake was at a standstill as temperatures of 30 below zero, wind chills as low as 100 below and deep, drifting snow forced closing of businesses, cancellations of events and abandonment of travel plans.

1984

The City Council approved a recommendation by the Parks and Recreation Department in April to move the passenger room portion of the 70 year old Milwaukee Road train depot to an area north of the Daughters of the American Revolution Park (DAR Park).

1985

Eight inches of snow greeted Clear Lake residents on April Fools day. There was not much joking about the shoveling! Dave Peck of Winthrop, Iowa, pulled a 29-pounds two-ounce muskie from Clear Lake while fishing at the Ventura grade. The fish, full of eggs, measured 45 ½ girth.

In September, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and many state officials attended the ribbon cutting ceremony of the dedication of the Clear Lake Fire Museum. The museum was the first of its kind in the state.

1987

Demolition of the deteriorating Park Hotel, Main Avenue and S. 3rd Street, began in April. The “Lady of the Lake”, a 24-foot wide paddle wheel vessel, made its first official cruise around the lake in June.

1988

An estimated 600 people gathered outside the Surf Ballroom in June to witness the dedication of a monument to rock and roll legends Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson and pilot Roger Peterson. Clear Lake city crews replaced street signs officially changing 2nd Place North to Buddy Holly Place in honor of the late singer.

1990

The Trolley Trail recreational trail between Clear Lake and Mason City was opened in the fall of 1990. The trail was dedicated to the memory of Michael Secory, a Clear Lake youth killed in a bicycling accident while riding along Highway 18 between the cities. The path now offers safe travel on an asphalt path on the south side of old Highway 106.

1991

A sudden ice storm and freezing temperatures caught most Clear Lakers off guard on October 31, Halloween night. The lake was officially declared frozen on Monday, November 4 which was the earliest freeze in Lake history.

1992

A pristine section of lake shore property located on the south side of Clear Lake was forever dedicated to the nature lover’s use on June 23. One hundred and one acres, to be known as the Woodford-Ashland Lone Tree Nature Area, will be protected from developement thanks to a conservation easement granted to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation by the descendants of the Woodford and Ashland families; Marcia and Jim Connell, their daughters along with their spouses, Jan and Tom Lovell, Sarah and Dennis Ohlrogge, and Susan Connell-Magee and Kevin Magee.The land remains privately owned although they allow low-impact public use.The farm has been in the family more than 100 years.

1993

The United Methodist Camp, on Clear Lake’s south shore, was sold to The Western Home of Cedar Falls. The plans to build a retirement development was unsuccessful. Later it was sold to private developers who constructed brick condominiums where camp buildings had been.

1994

In September, the Dean Snyder family purchased the Surf Ballroom in order to restore and preservethe landmark. Asked why he wanted to purchase the property, Dean said, “My wife likes to dance; if she liked to fish, I would have bought her a fishing pole.”

The CLEAR (Clear Lake Enhancement and Restoration) project was designed to not only protect the water quality in Clear Lake, but to improve it over the years. Federal, state and local monies were being used to monitor sources of contamination and injurious run-off into the Lake which will provide guidance for programs to improve water quality.

The first Christmas by the Lake event was held. Events include homes decorated for the holidays opened for tours, strolling muscians, with a night parade followed by fireworks over the lake.

1997

After a district court trial to save the building, Judge Gilbert Bovard ruled the All Veteran’s Social Center’s clubhouse was to be razed in 1997.

The Story...In 1945, following World War II, the grateful citizens of this community purchased the nine-hole Clear Lake Golf and Country Club and presented it to the veterans of Clear Lake. The club house was of unique style of cobblestone construction popular in the 1800s. It operated successfully from 1945 until about 1962 when the board of directors closed the clubhouse.

1998

Clear Creek Elementary School was dedicated in October.

Construction began on the Cerro Gordo County Wind Farm. The wind farm consists of 56 turbines occupying 2.4 acres on a 2,100 acre site south of Clear Lake and Ventura.

1999

After considerable study and controversy, the Clear Lake City Council gave final approval to a plan to extend the Sea Wall along the shore to 4th Avenue North. The four block project included placing large rip rap along the shoreline, a brick paver sidewalk close to the Lake, and a green space. The project cost was $400,000.

July 23, 1999 saw the destruction by a spectacular fire of the landmark Ritz Hotel on the south side of Clear Lake. The club, named for its original owner Charles Ritz, dated back to the early 1920s. According to historians, the central part of The Ritz was actually the 1882 Oakwood Hotel. It was moved on skids to its site at Bayside, on the lake’s south shore, from a location on a hill to the east, in the area known as Oakwood. The Ritz - unique for the customer selected own meat from the meat counter - was a favorite eating spot for several generations of locals and vacationers.

Source: http://www.clearlakehistoricalsociety.com//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12&Itemid=43

The New Millenium

2000 - 2012

2000

Clear Creek Elementary School opened.

The end of the decade and the closing of the Clear Lake Bakery, William Burkhardt established in 1929.

2002

The Seawall walk next to the lake and across from City Park construction was completed and ready for enjoying the lake .

Annual "Color the Wind" kite festival begins in Febuary .

2005

The dedication was held of Central Gardens on the site of the old Central School, 2nd Ave N and 8th Streets.

2007

Opening of the first ever municipal swimming pool on 2nd Ave. S.

Opening of the new Clear Lake Arts Center at 17 S. 4th Street.

This year marked the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Camp Tanglefoot, the Girl Scout camp on the south shore. Girl Scouting was first organized in Clear Lake in 1915.

Source: http://www.clearlakehistoricalsociety.com//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=21&Itemid=44