Mountain Lake History

Please visit our History Gallery

Mountain Lake property owners are encouraged to submit old photographs, historical documents and amusing stories of community interest for exhibit on our History and History Gallery pages. Contributors to date include Tom Evans and Jeanne Anthon. To view the History Gallery, click Here.

The Beginning of the MLPOA

Reprinted from the Minden Times 1983

Published in the Spring 2005 Mnt. Lake newsletter.

A cottagers' association began on Mountain Lake one windy cold day in the early summer of 1978. Two lonely boats were skirting the shores, battling troublesome waves and still-frigid waters. The wet occupants were a group of cottage residents attempting to contact as many cottagers as possible to gather signatures to present in petition to Minden Council. A subdivision was being proposed for Mountain Lake and cottagers were tortured with visions of backlot development complete with streetlights scarring the shores.

Where does one turn to when a problem develops on a lake, be it zoning, pollution or safety? Patrick Daniel ... a long-time cottager on Mountain Lake directed over 100 persons to his shores in August 1978 and the Mountain Lake Property Owners' Association (MLPOA) was born.

Those who have served the causes of the Association were:

Presidents: Patrick Daniel 78-80, George Dale 80-82, Jeanne Anthon 82-84.

Vice-Presidents: George Dale & Sandy Lenko 78-80, Jeanne Anthon 80-82, Derwent Lewis 82-84.

Secretaries: June Forsbrey 78-81, Colleen Divell & Vii Petersons 81-84.

Treasurers: Jeanne Anthon 78-82, AI Reeves 82-84.

Chair of Environment Committee: Jim Russell 78-84. Chairs of Municipal Affairs: Irv Mandel 78-80, Mike Mahoney 80-84. Social Committee Chair: Derwent Lewis 79-84.

Membership Chairs: Ruth Gorrie 78-82, Elizabeth Hurrle 82-84.

Regatta Chair: Grant Hurrle 83.

These dedicated people have provided one of the most active and effective property owners' association in the County. MLPOA has set the precedence for many local government officials. Environment activists like Mike Collins and Dr. S. Holliday-Rhodes worked with MLPOA regarding acid rain and lake liming programs. Other subjects covered were boat safety and cottage security with OPP reps; fish stocking, logging, water quality and environment programs from MNR reps.

The Ontario Federation of Cottagers has been supportive to MLPOA over the years with their executive directors Bert Shingler and Jerry Strickland addressing 66 ft right-of-ways, OMB hearings, seasonal vs permanent residence status and how to co-operate with town councils.

The Environment Committee has been forceful with dynamic representation to all levels of government regarding acid rain, water pollution surveys, loon survey, water levels, gypsy moth survey and most recently a cottage pollution program to inspect all septic tanks on Mountain Lake - to further our most important goal - 'the cleanest lake around".

From an initial membership of 82, the Assoc. has grown to 125 members who were most effective recently with financial support of the new Minden Library building fund.

Social activities have broken the isolation and instilled a new community spirit. Mountain Lake hats and t-shirts with loon logos appear everywhere now. Regattas are bigger and better with over 100 participants in the latest- despite the pouring rain. Chairman Bob Hurrle is already planning a bigger and better one for next year at the Mountain Park Cottages on the south shore.

Provincially, the MLPOA has made itself felt by sending reps to all the FOCA seminars. Our current President Jeanne Anthon, is a director on the FOCA Board and a Governor of the Canadian Coalition on Acid Rain.

At present, the executive is finalizing an area map and directory, maintaining constant communication with neighbouring lakes and local council. The MLPO Assoc. has an excellent record of service for the protection of the environment while sharing the joys of cottage life. It is hoped that this legacy of commitment will be assumed by the happy young cottagers growing up with this love for life in the Haliburton Highlands.

MLPOA Overview

An overview of the culture and history of the Haliburton Highlands and of Mountain Lake is presented in Section 7 of the Mountain Lake Stewardship Plan, 1st Edition. Settlers' farms and homesteads in the Mountain Lake area were established mostly after 1800; cottaging and recreation on this lake largely started in the 1930s. Today Mountain Lake welcomes visitors and is home to both seasonal cottagers and permanent residents.

Mountain Lake property owners are hereby asked to search their personal records for historical and cultural information that would be of interest to our community members. Family histories and anecdotes, property records, old maps, tired photographs, and worn documents all form valuable information sets from which enlightening histories and amusing stories can be chronicled. If you can find such treasures, please communicate with our History Group coordinator, Ruth Benson,

If you would be willing to join the History Group to help research and write the stories that could appear on these web pages, please contact Ruth Benson.

Presidents of the Mountain Lake Property Owners' Association

Article about Minden in the 1950's

The Toronto Telegram, August 14, 1954, published an article about Minden's new tourism economy. Details from the article are summarized HERE.