View from the Lake-
Gatherings at the lake have always been
a summertime activity

This article submitted by Linda Lorentzen on 08/23/00.

Picnic at lake Gathering at the lake for an afternoon, including a picnic, boating, and fun in the sun, is a common summertime activity. Our Sunde reunion is held every two years and this year was at the Lake Koronis Regional Park. After a nice potluck picnic meal, there is something for everyone to do at the park: visiting, swimming, hiking, or playing games.

People in the late 1800s often went to the alke for boating and picnics, but they dressed very differently than people do today when they go to the lake.

Picnics of the past were often the social events of the summer as found in the old issues of the New Paynesville/Paynesville Press.

In the July 12, 1894, issue, the following was written: "Don't 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."

A society called the A.O.U.W. existed in New Paynesville in 1895. The members had a picnic at the lake on Aug. 22 of that year. The Press reported, "We understand that aside from an excellent bill of fare, there will be all kinds of amusements, such as boat races, sack races, ball games, etc. There is one feature which is being looked forward to with a great deal of interest, and that is a hotly contested tub race which will take place in the afternoon between Messrs. Fred Harper and W. A. Huntington. Members of the order should remember the date and govern themselves accordingly."

Lake Koronis was the site of a birthday celebration picnic as recorded in the July 10, 1919, issue. "Mrs. Philipena Schmidt, who resides a few miles north of Paynesville, and who has many friends and is well-known in this vicinity, celebrated her eighty-second birthday with seven of her children and their families. The event was celebrated at the cottage occupied by Mrs. J. G. Wagner and Mrs. Harry Badstvebner at Lake Koronis and was held on the 4th of July." The article goes on to acknowledge the five states from which the children came to celebrate: Arkansas, Washington, Texas, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. "The affair was especially pleasant as some of the children had not seen each other for twenty years. A picnic lunch was enjoyed by all, including many relatives and friends."

Churches often held picnic gatherings at Lake Koronis for members of their congregations. "The Congregational Sunday School students enjoyed their annual picnic at Koronis Park yesterday," June 16, 1904. The Methodist Sunday School held a picnic for their Sunday school in July 1904 at Koronis Park. In July 1918, the St. Stephen's Sunday School and Parish picnic was held on the grounds of Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Johnson on the lake. The M. E. Sunday School held an annual picnic in July 1919 on Cedar Point at the lake. It was reported that, "the time was spent in running races, playing games, and swimming. The picnic was well-attended and all enjoyed the picnic lunch which was served at noon."

Of course, just as some of our picnics today are postponed or cancelled due to bad weather, so was the case in May 1898. "The picnic at the lake which was to have been given by Miss Avery's department of our schools was postponed on account of the inclemency of the weather." And in the June 25, 1909, issue: "By the courtesy of Mr. Briggs the Sunday school picnic of St. Stephen's Parish was held yesterday at Lake Koronis. A good half day was allowed by the weather clerk but a rising storm broke up the gathering before they were ready to come home." With all picnics at Lake Koronis, past or present, we are never ready to leave a view from the lake.

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