William A. Erwin came west with his parents in 1862, as a young man, he got an education in Franklin county, New York. After marrying in 1866 and having six children, he located to Delavan Lake where he ran a resort, Strow’s Park. He ran it for about nine years, which became a favorite gathering place each summer for hundreds of tourists and visitors to the beautiful lake region. After selling William moved to Green Lake and resumed farming for 13 years, then located in Turtle Lake and continued farming for 3 years, then sold out and bought a farm in Darien township. I was told by the grandson, of the man who purchased the farm, J.O. Anderson bought the farm with the attention in keeping it a working farm, when people started to come, wanting to stay. People from Chicago and all over was offering money to vacation on the farm.
They started marketing the property As a resort, that became Lakeside Farm Resort. They offered free camp sites if you rented their boats. They also furnished vegetables, milk, butter, etc. They were proud to say, We have Jersey cows.
The rates for board rooms went from $7.00 to $10.00 per week for two people. For one person it was $9.00- $12.00. Children 10 and under were half price. The resort also had transient rates. %1.50- $2.00 per night.
The store on the property sold fresh vegetables from the garden, fresh meat, fish, milk, cream, butter, eggs, cottage cheese, and fruits that were in season. For your convenience, they had postcards and stamps. Good line of Confectionery and chewing gum; also a fine stock of Tobacco and cigars.
This poem in the paper brochure really describes what it was like, a place to relax your soul.
How could you enjoy the lake? They had a sandy beach, rented boats and also had drivers if you just wanted to enjoy the view. The lake is stocked with bass, pickerel, pike, perch, and blue gill.
This is how the paper book advertisement looked as you turned the cover.
The Lakeside Farm Resort is long gone but is a part of our rich history, but we have another nice resort here, McItyre’s Resort. The lake has more cottages on it than these photos, but it is because of these resorts that brought people here. The lake still offers great fishing, and thanks to the D.N.R. we have the Turtle Valley Wildlife Area surrounding us.