View from the Lake - H.I. Peterson family purchased Stony Point in 1901

This article submitted by Linda Lorentzen on 7/19/00.

Jessie and H.I. Peterson In 1995, Frances Boyden donated a copy of her book, Stony Point, to the Paynesville Historical Society. I read the book and tried unsuccessfully to contact her. I wanted to tell her how much I appreciated her putting her knowledge and memories into print. Her family and all of us interested in the history of Lake Koronis now have a great resource regarding a landmark on the lake.

H. I. and Jessie Peterson chose Stony Point as the site for their family camp. This rock with a plaque sits at the end of their point.

H.I. Peterson, Boyden's grandfather, was the editor of the Litchfield Independent in the late 1800s. A friend told him of a camp started by some local men who had cleared the land and opened it to the public. Their camp, called Camp Brogg, was located on the south shore of the lake. Peterson and his family camped at Brogg and explored some areas around Koronis such as the Indian Mound and First Island.

Two years later in 1900, the Peterson family rented a cottage at Koronis Park, the only developed section of Lake Koronis shoreline. They used a rowboat to explore the beaches and hills and they drove their horses and wagon wherever there were trails.

When the family returned to Litchfield, H.I. and his wife Jessie decided to purchase land on Koronis. Litchfield's Lake Ripley was already built up with fancy houses. They wanted their cottage to be in the woods, away from close neighbors or busy roads.

The Petersons purchased over 50 acres of land on the eastern shore of Lake Koronis in 1901. Their land was located in both Meeker and Stearns counties between the inlet of the Crow River into Koronis and the outlet. The land was already known as Stony Point from the solid embankment of granite boulders along the shore.

Their cottage, Idlewild, was referred to many times in the New Paynesville/ Paynesville Press. In the May 13, 1915, issue of the Paynesville Press an article called, "A Little Jaunt" appears. The writer talks about visiting various sites on the lake. "Three quarters of a mile further on we came to Stony Point. This is owned by H.I. Peterson of Litchfield. Mr. Peterson bought 20 acres here a number of years ago at a ridiculously low price. He has improved the property by the erection of four cottages, has a good orchard and other small fruits. Mrs. Peterson presides over the destinies of Stony Point and does it to perfection. The editor of this paper knows that when he happens or by forethought seeks Idlewild, he is always sure to receive a welcome and a square meal."

Stony Point At the Lake Koronis Association meeting, I noticed a woman I thought I recognized. After thinking for a moment I realized that the woman was the one I had seen pictured on the front of the Stony Point book, Frances Boyden (standing by the same rock as her grandparents above). When the meeting ended I was able to talk to her and to tell her how much I appreciated her book and her efforts in recording a portion of history that would be lost if not written. If others around the lake could take some time to look for old photos, record a story or two of their families lake history, and bring the items to the Paynesville Historical Society*, we could be sure the lake's history is well documented for a future view from the lake.

*Photos can be from any era, including current ones. If you have photos that need to be duplicated, we can do this for you. Identify anyone in the pictures and date, as known. Also, record your name, address, and phone number on the outside of the envelope. With your help, we can document as much of the history of the lake as possible.

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