The fact is, being in a lake community, even a small one like Lake Winona, increases your property value and so does having a group around like the LWCA. Why? Well, when you look around at the Lake Shawnee and Lake Forest areas, they sure look nice to gather and let the kids play (etc). Kids of all ages will remember good times at the lake and carry pleasant memories with them throughout their days. It may be hard to believe, but there was a time when Lake Winona was as charming and full of life as our neighboring lake communities, and there’s no reason we can’t bring it back. Other clubs are real assets to their communities and the folks around them can see the difference in their appraisals.
A bit of history… The Arthur D Crane Company built Lake Winona first. Back in ’49 when Lakeland Investment Co sold the first lots, they didn’t even think about having a beach or clubhouse or any kind of community center. They tried to provide a small amount of money in the deeds to maintain the lake ($15 a year), but that was it. By the time they were moving on to build out Shawnee (and eventually Lake Forest), the residents of Winona were forming their own little beach and Crane realized they should have done things a little differently. Good for Shawnee and Lake Forest, but too late for Winona.
Back in the mid 1950’s, there was no beach or clubhouse at Lake Winona. It was just a little picnic area and there were only a handful of year-round residents within the Reservation. They didn’t have house numbers, but in the summer the place came alive and the first families took it upon themselves to make it a better place for all. In the summer of ’56 they held a small meeting at Johnny’s Tavern “to discuss the formation of some kind of an organization to better our own interests, and facilitate the potential strength that was within our grasp by joining together”. They ended up forming a committee and electing officers. That winter they sent a newsletter to all the residents called The Squawker, and in the spring they asked the Crane Co. for sand and were officially recognized as The Lake Winona Club.
In the following years they accomplished a lot. Roads were paved and the water supply was fixed. They were the first community in Jefferson to finish their house numbering, and petitioned the Post Office to begin mail delivery. Then came a “Snack Bar” property, which turned into a clubhouse. January of 1962, they fought the state to re-design the “new” Route 15, which was planned to come directly right through the reservation, destroying 23 homes and stranding many on “the other side” of the new highway, away from the lake.
Where we are going… There is a lot of history and elbow grease applied along the way. Many dances were held and parties, games, competitions, bazaars and even beauty contests. You may say there was a clique running the club, but like they said back in June of 1957… “That’s only true if you call a clique a group of willing hard workers. The group is not big enough, so come and join us. There is room for everyone.”