A View from the Lake

This article submitted by Linda Lorentzen on 6/30/98.

In viewing microfilm of the old copies of The Paynesville Press Iíve noticed that various peopleís activities around the lake were recorded. The accounts of peopleís comings and goings in the 1890s read like micro-stories of connections to Lake Koronis. While very few articles appeared in the early 1890s regarding the lake, short stories of interest about the lake increased as more and more people began to settle around the shores.

Travel to and from Paynesville to Lake Koronis was by horse or by walking. In 1892 an account read, ďLake Koronis is more popular this year than ever. Almost any day you can see picnic parties or outing parties on the water or shores, and Geo. Hainesí livery does a land office business from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. If he hadnít the very best of horse-flesh, he couldnít stand such a rush.Ē

An interesting tidbit was printed in 1893 about a personís invention for the water. ďVal. Kray has a pair of water shoes, with which he can walk around on the water like a mosquito. They are quite an institution, but like the duckís feet, would not be just the thing for dancing a clog.Ē

Picnicking was standard practice in 1894. ďDonít forget the picnic at Lake Koronis this evening. The ladies of the Episcopalian church will serve supper (near the new boat house), from 5 to 6 p.m. Only 10 cents. Ice cream and cake 5 cents.Ē

Camping and boating were two recorded activities in 1895. ďMr. and Mrs. R.P. Gilbert and Miss Hattie are having almost as much of a camping spree as the regular cottagers and tenters. They go to the lake nearly every pleasant morning, and remain all day. Yesterday they eclipsed all records, getting up at 4 a.m. and arriving in Koronis Park before the residents of that place were up. Mr. Gilbert is preparing a site on which to build a neat cottage. It will be located on a beautiful eminence at the south-east corner of the Park.Ē This short article on a boating incident was found. ďLast Monday Dr. Chalmers and wife, and Rev. T. C. Hudson and wife went out on the lake for a pleasure trip on the doctorís handsome new steamer, ĎLady of the Lake.í All went lovely until they reached a point near Camp Brog when from some unknown cause the engine refused to perform its duty and the boat stood as still as the Rocks of Ages. Fortunately kind friends came to their assistance and they were soon relieved from their unpleasant situation.Ē

By 1899 more and more people were discovering Lake Koronis. However, at that time a shortage of accommodations existed. ďO.F. Metzroth of St. Cloud, said to a Press reporter the other day, ĎYou have an ideal place here for a flourishing little city but you will never have it until you wake up to the fact that Lake Koronis is a treasure in itself and proceed to make something out of it. I intended bringing my family and some friends over for an outing but there is no inducement to do so on account of lack of accommodations. No hotel, no boats, no nothing. I could have gotten board at Mr. Gilbertís but it was conditional and depended on whether this one or that one who was Ďsoon expectedí would come and there was nothing certain. A hotel is the first thing you need and until you open the lake to the outside world New Paynesville will never grow...íĒ

These short glimpses into life at Koronis a hundred years ago reflect the common thread of feeling that there is no place like a view from the lake.

Information for this column was found in the following issues of The New Paynesville Press: July 14, 1892; August 24, 1893; July 12, 1894; August 8, 1895; July 28, 1899.

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