Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

The summer resort business in our county began to develop rapidly in the years immediately following 1890. It was not long until local residents began to realized that if they were going to keep the resort trade, they would have to provide conditions which would encourage the summer visitors to come back year after year. For one thing the lakes would have to be supplied with fish so that sportsmen would be attracted to the area. Also it was necessary to keep the lake levels fairly constant so that the properties along the lake fronts would not deteriorate in value. It was during this period of time that many local associations were formed for the purpose of taking care of these problems. Usually these local organizations were centered around a lake or a group of lakes. They were often supported by people who had definite business interests in the area.

As Wawasee was one of the first lakes to be developed for summer resort purposes, several of the early associations were formed there. In the early 1890's a club was organized known as the Wawasee Protective Association. This group built a broodery in a small bay near Pickwick Park on the north shore of the lake and for several seasons propagated bass and restocked the lake of the region. Some time later another association, called the Northern Indiana improvement Company, erected several dams at the inlet at the south end of the lake. This later project created a new lake to the south of Wawasee, which the Improvement Company called Lake Papakeechie, after the tribe of Indians who used to live in that area.

Before long, local conservation organizations were springing up all over the county. At about the same time the State government began to play a more important part in conservation policies. If any of our readers can give us information on these organizations we would like to hear from you, because these groups have played an important part in our county's history.

Warsaw Times-Union Tues. July 14, 1953