CCGS learns history of Quaker Knoll, Cowan Lake

By Clinton County Genealogical Society

The Clinton County Genealogical Society held its annual picnic on July 22 at Quaker Knoll Campground. Twenty-six members and guests enjoyed the carry-in dinner at the Clark Lodge.

After dinner, Christine Snyder shared the history of the camp.

The land for the camp was donated by Harry Clark and his sister Elma Clark Wood. The first camp occurred in 1952 with 20 campers using tents.

The construction continued over many years with donated labor, funds, and materials.

The lodge was completed in 1956 using trusses from the Lamax Theater. Stones for the fireplace lintel and mantel came from the former front steps of the Springfield Meeting House.

The camp now includes 10 cabins, a bath house, and a year-round house used for a conference of ministers. In 2008, a gazebo was constructed with Memorial Funds for Theodore and Elsie Dunsieth.

The Quaker camps occur in June, and other Meetings and churches and groups rent the facilities year-round.

Christine introduced the speaker, Bill Schieman, who presented information about Cowan Lake State Park.

The area was once home to Miami and Shawnee Indians. The park was named for the dammed-up Cowan Creek, which had been named for John Cowan, the area’s original surveyor.

Cowan Lake was built for recreational purposes. Land acquisition began in 1946. By 1950, the dam was completed, impounding a 700-acre body of water that continues to offer quality recreational opportunities. Although the lake has positively impacted the reduction of flooding in the region, it was not built for that purpose.

Bill is a member of Friends Caring for Cowan Lake State Park and enthusiastically described the many attractions available, including camping, boating, fishing, hiking, swimming, picnicking, and some winter recreation.

There are scheduled events throughout the year featuring many different activities for adults and children. There is a certified naturalist on staff.

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By Clinton County Genealogical Society