A well-known camp on Koronis was located on the south shore and was called Camp Brogg (photo at right). In 1896, 15 young men from Litchfield drove their horses and wagons to Lake Koronis to find an appropriate campsite. They pitched their tents on the site they found and returned year after year. Many people from Litchfield had their first exposure to Lake Koronis because of the generosity of the Broggies who encouraged others to share their campground. In 1994, Victor Lundemo, and John and Lois Lundemo donated a small tract of land to the Paynesville Historical Society in memory of the Broggies. On the tract of land are two memorials that tell the story of the Litchfield men who established the camp.
Many references to the camp are made over the years in the issues of the New Paynesville/Paynesville Press. From the July 29, 1897, issue: "A number of Litchfield boys are camping this week at Camp Brogg. We acknowledge a pleasant call from them." Aug. 2, 1900: "A party of prominent and well-known businessmen consisting of Judge E. T. Wilder, Congressman O. M. Hall, J. C. Pierce, A. W. Pratt, J. McIntire, Jas. Marshall, E. H. Blodgett, H. A. Wilder of Red Wing; S. B. Foot of St. Paul, and Wm. Lawther of Dubuque are enjoying life at Camp Brogg on Lake Koronis." July 25, 1901: "The party of young Litchfield people who have been in camp at Camp Brogg returned to their various homes Saturday." April 16, 1903: "A number of the Broggies went to Lake Koronis last Sunday morning for the purpose of placing their camp grounds in shape for the summer season. They succeeded in grubbing and cleaning up about half of the ground. From the grounds the best view may be had of the entire lake."
Camping was popular on other parts of Lake Koronis shores. Numerous references in old issues of the paper are made to camping along the old and new landing sites, the closest locations to the town of Paynesville.
Family camping on Koronis and cooking on a cast iron wood stove.
A New Paynesville Press article in the Aug. 8, 1895, issue reported, "Camping at Koronis seems to be the order of the day, and many of our citizens are enjoying a season of rest and quiet at this beautiful resort. The lake and scenery is certainly all that one could desire. The shores are heavily wooded which furnishes ample shade and added to this is the cooling breeze from the lake which is almost continuous. Among those of our citizens who are camping at the lake and making that place their headquarters, we find Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Haines and family, Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Huntington and family, Mr. and Mrs. Geo. R. Stephens and family, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Werner, Mr. and Mrs. C. F. Malm and family, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Darby, Prof. and Mrs. J. W. Ferree, Mr. and Mrs. J. S. Sager, Dr. and Mrs. G. P. Ferree, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Phillips, Mr. and Mrs. A. F. Kluge, Mr. and Mrs. R. J. Tuttle, Mr. and Mrs. C. Gerolamy, Mr. and Mrs. S. E. Ferree, Prof. Chas. Ferree, Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Schmidt and family, and Mr. and Mrs. Caswell. This is a jolly company, made up of our best people, and all seem to be enjoying this season's outing better than ever before, and when the king of the northland shall have breathed his frosty breath upon the lake and clasped it with his icy fetters, then will these campers as they sit by a warm fire, while outside the thermometer registers 40 below zero, dream and dream of the happy days they are now spending on the shores of beautiful Lake Koronis."
"A ratio of about 16 daughters to one mother is noticeable among the campers at Koronis and everybody camps but father," read a line in the July 25, 1900, issue.
In the Aug. 18, 1904, issue "Jay Lockerby and Herold Heimerdinger have pitched their wigwam in the wilderness at Lake Koronis and intend to enjoy life in a tent for a while before going to college this fall. The camp has been named Bonspiel'"
Last weekend I noticed a number of campers at the Koronis Regional Park and the Lake Koronis Assembly Grounds Campground. Although technology has changed some of the items involved in camping, such as gas grills instead of wood fires and air-conditioned RVs instead of cloth tents, one thing has not changed: enjoying a view from the lake.
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