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, His Grandfather 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.
He eventually started selling the property for cabins that helped Turtle Lake become what it is today. Most of the roads are named after the family, like Anderson Dr, that goes by the lake.
The Turtle Inn is located were the barn ounce stood, and a well was dug, that supplied water to all of the cabins, the pump house was by the Inn. It became the gathering place for all vacationers. They would have summer parties like Christmas in July, Costume, parades, or just hang out on the big piers. That was place by the beach in front of the Turtle Inn.
Louis and Evelyn McIntyre bought the original business in the 1940’s that consisted of a bait shop and one boat. They built McIntyre’s into what it is today. Louis worked for the Beloit police department, so at one time there was a lot of officers that owned cabins.
William A. Erwin and his ties to Strow’s Park, played a huge part in making this lake what it is today.
Turtle Lake is a 141 acre lake located in Walworth County. This spring fed lake has a 85% muck and 15% sand mix that makes up the bottom, it has a maximum depth of 30 feet. The lake’s water is moderately clear. Visitors have access to the lake from a public boat landing on the West side. Fishermen can expect to catch Panfish, Largemouth Bass and Northern Pike.What also makes this lake unique is that the D.N.R. purchased 5,000 acres and turned it back into wetland called The Turtle Lake Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge is one one side of the lake and the Kettle Moraine is on the other.
ROUTE 12 LAKE EXPERIENCE