As we travel around the lake, construction seems to be a constant around its shores, new homes cropping up everywhere. When I was growing up the only year-round home on our end of the lake belonged to Cush Tolman. Connected to Tolman's Resort, the home sat back from the lake allowing the rental cabins to line the shore. Today along the tarred road to the cabin sit six homes and plans for a seventh. Of course, cabins still exist, but in fewer numbers.
As we look for changes that have occurred around the lake, some things seem to stand still, like the sparkling shores of Lake Koronis and its islands. In the August 15, 1895, issue of the New Paynesville Press, a St. Cloud Journal Press Correspondent recalled a day spent at Lake Koronis. He had been invited by Dr. Chalmers to accompany him to the lake. "The drive is a pretty one, leading through a beautiful wooded road, and the lake is only about two miles from the village." After partaking in a meal at the family "camp" he was treated to a ride around the lake. "...the Doctor went to his boathouse, where a handsome little steam launch was moored. The match was applied to the firebox and in less than a half hour, a merry company of ladies and gentlemen were rapidly gliding over the smooth waters of one of Minnesota's most beautiful lakes. The scenery about the lake is beautiful in the extreme; fishing is said to be good, and the people who spend the larger portion of their summer months on its shores are congenial and entertaining. There is no lake that I have ever visited which seems to have so many natural advantages as Koronis offers to campers."
Just as the 1895 correspondent expressed that Koronis had much to offer, so it continues to do so today. No doubt if anyone were able to come to Koronis from the distant past, they would not recognize most of its shoreline. In some ways it resembles a linear city along the shore. But if you stand on the shore and peer upon its waters, Koronis must appear similar to the past. The islands still dominate it's core and the waters continue to sparkle in the sun.
George Stephens, who began the New Paynesville Press in 1887, wrote many times of his impression of Lake Koronis. In a letter to the readers of the Iowa Record, he wrote, "...that jewel of lakes, lovely Koronis. It lies like a flashing gem in a setting of green with rocky, pebbly or sandy shores, the water as clear as crystal, and fish as plenty as blackberries. Where you can rest and refresh and build up and become a new man or woman fit to go back to life's flight....where the waves whispered the million year old story, and mirrored back the flash of star and the ardent kiss of the sun."
In some ways I wish Lake Koronis and the surrounding area could be immune from change. I want my children's children to be able to stand at the shore as I do and soak up nature at its best. But change happens every year and will continue to take place, no matter my desires. The comfort I find is in reading scripts from long ago that seem to still reflect how I see and think of Koronis. As I embrace the changes that occur I glance out toward the islands and think there can be no better view from the lake.
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