|FORMATION OF THE LAKE ASSOCIATION:
Excerpt from the Amery Free Press - August 24, 1911 issue
"Early last week a call was sent out to property owners around Wapagassett (or Sucker) Lake to meet on Saturday last at
3 p.m. at Unity settlement on Guanella's Bluff for the purpose, if deemed best, of organizing a Lake Improvement
Association. In answer to this call eighteen to twenty residents about the lake came together. Much interest and
enthusiasm was manifest. It was heartily and unanimously resolved to organize such an Association.
A constitution and by-laws were adopted and officers, including an executive committee, were chosen. The object of the
Association was defined to be to foster local interest and pride in the lake, local and popular interest in its attractions
and to enhance its beauty and usefulness as far as possible.
A mid-summer meeting is to be held annually, to which the women are to be invited, lunch served and the interests of
the lake fully discussed.
The officers elected were:
Vice President - A.S. Jerdee
Secretary and Treasurer - Perry S. Jerdee
|from "The Lake Scene" Reminiscing column ... 07-15-1984
WE'VE COME A LONG WAY BABY ...
On August 19, 1911, eighteen shoreowners met at Ernest Guanella's Hickory Point Bluff and organized the Lake Wapogasset Improvement Association with Dr. James Wallace as president.
At that time the lake was called Sucker Lake (probably named such because the Indians called walleyes "suckers"). The Association didn't think the name too desirable, so Dr. Wallace wrote to
the U.S. Geographic Board in Washington. At a meeting held May 1, 1912, the association considered the Indian name for the lake - Wakpuggaser. The name had seven different spellings, so
the group decided on the current one Wapogasset and advertised the location at Deronda.
A dam had been built in 1878 with logs and planks. Many problems accured with this primitive method, so by 1910 it was worthless for all practical purposes. At a summer meeting in 1912, the
executive committee recommended money be raised for a concrete dam. The shore owners voted 100% for the new dam. They also pledged not to cut down trees on the shore. The group
employed a man to remove rubbish from the lake front.
A control dam approximately 10 ft. wide was built with removable planks at a cost of $1,000 dollars. Later, under the leadership of President A.M. Gottschald, the association constructed a
contrete spillway sixty feet long and an elevation of seventy-two feet. The Public Cervice Commission ruled the lake level must be maintained one inch above the spillway.
In the 1940's Tim Yates and Leonard Moeller initiated state legislation that created the Lake Wapogasset Sanitary District. Only 30% of the residents joined, so spraying the lake and attempts at
weed control were marginally helpful.
In order to make the lake accessible to the public, accesses and a park were established. The land for the park was deeded to Garfield. Ed Hogan built a pavilion and dance hall on the site, but
residents did not accept it. It burned to the ground shortly after completion. In June, 1942, a tornado destroyed the rest of the buildings, boats and trees. Attempts to restore the park have been
Twenty years ago (early 60's) Len Moeller initiated the plan to expand the association to Bear Trap Lake. The executive board changed the name to Lake Wapogasset Bear Trap Association. The
goals and objectives were expanded to include social functions.
State lake conservationists concur that the Lake Wapogasset Association has been an aggressive and strong influence for seventy-three years.
|LAKE WAPOGASSET BEAR TRAP ASSOCIATION ... working for you