Saturday, June 19, 2010

Lakeview Golf and Country Club

From the History of Lucas County 1978 book

When the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad needed water for their steam engines in 1905, they purchased a track of land one mile west of Chariton for the purpose of building a reservoir.  The Chariton Gun Club leased a portion of this land in 1906 or 1907.  The land they leased was not in use by the railroad, for recreational purposes.  About 1918, a group formed the Lakeview Golf and Country Club.  A nine-hole golf course was their first project.  The water formed by the reservoir was called Crystal Lake and the golf courses east boundary.  The course itself was laid out and completed over the rolling terrain.  Golfers were attracted to the well-kept greens of creeping bent grass, where every green was watered individually.  In 1921 the club was incorporated.  The golf course had proven so successful that a clubhouse was now needed.  The first one was built in 1921, and planned to cost less than ten thousand dollars.

This article appeared in the Chariton newspaper in 1921:  "Chariton is just beginning to appreciate its advantages as the only town in southern Iowa offering real summer resort privileges.  This handsome clubhouse will afford a splendid place of recreation to the members, more than doubling the pleasure of membership.  We believe it will also serve to make the Gun Club more popular and make it possible to add many improvements.  There is no reason why Chariton should not build up a summer resort at this lake, which will attract people for many miles and make this city, to southern Iowa, what Okoboji is to northern Iowa.  More than three-fourths of the necessary funds have been pledged and the committee anticipates no difficulty in securing the balance of the funds in view of the fact that the privileges offered far out-balance the expense."

Long-time Chariton resident's who recall those early days, say that the Clubhouse was the center of many activities.  Just as today, the calendar showed stag golf dinners, stag bridge dinners, ladies' luncheons, mixed-dinner parties and dinner dances.  Family picnics and recreational events were very popular.

The Lakeview Golf and Country Club purchased the property on July 21, 1955 from the C.B. & Q. Railroad, as the railroad no longer needed the water supply.  Forty homes occupied the building sites around the lake in November 1977.  25 were on the east side, with 12 permanent homes; 15 were on the west side with 10 permanent residences.  The country club had 243 members and their families when the article was written for the 1978 history book.

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