Over the years many of Faribault’s prominent business owners have owned property on Roberds Lake. These community leaders along with the resort owners on the lake and other interested residents organized the Roberds Lake Club in 1947.

Photographs courtesy of Bob & Shermayne Cross

In 1949 the Certificate of Incorporation was recorded. The purpose of the organization as stated is: to encourage and advance the best interest of the residents and owners of real estate and personal property, of homes, cabins, boats and other resort property, abutting and adjacent to and upon Roberds Lake:  to promote the general welfare and prosperity of the community surrounding it: to provide for the improvement and maintaining the proper water levels: to provide means and programs for the entertainment and edification of its members: to provide for the improvement of the waters and beaches of the lake for the greater enjoyment of resort life: for the healthful swimming and bathing: for the  improvement of facilities for fishing, boating, skating and winter ice boating.​

Meetings were held in the early years in the spring and summer months. In later years it has expanded to all year long because so many residents live here permanently. At times there were as many as four people running for each board position. Many projects have been discussed, promoted and undertaken by the club since it began. in the early years, just as today the quality of the lake waters was one of the major concerns. In 1948 the group began raising money to “treat” the water with copper sulfate to kill algae. Each year for many, many years’ residents worked to “treat” the lake, sometimes twice a summer. In the mid fifties this method came under question, but the practice was continued until 1964 when a firm from Wisconsin was hired for two years to treat it with dry cutrine. At present there is no known chemical treatment that is suggested for lake treatment. This was a costly project for the club over the years so many fundraisers were conducted. In the early years dances were held to raise money. Bingo was tried. Postcards and stationary were sold and a car-sinking contest, with a car on the ice were all projects that were organized from time to time. Fishing has also been a prime concern, over the years discussion was on going  about stocking the lake, promoting a rearing pond and maintaining a screen at the inlets and outlets. A rearing pond was set up after years of work in the Gagnon and Kasparek land in 1958. What to do about weed growth, has been another on going concern and the dam at the outlet was perennial order of business. The Dam has been taken out, and the club wanted it replaced in the early 1950’s. There was much discussion about what the proper lake level should be. The Issac Walton League worked with the Roberds Lake Club in this endeavor. 

First Meeting Minutes

Photographs courtesy of Bob & Shermayne Cross

In 1952 and 1953 the Club worked with the County Commissioners on blacktopping the road on the north side of the lake. Traffic around the lake was a concern for the board. In the late fifties, the board worked to get natural gas provided for residents around the lake. Mosquitoes were also considered a big problem and spraying was discussed and implemented several times in the late 1950’s and 60’s. In 1958 the water safety patrol was begun on Roberds Lake and in the early 60’s resuscitators were purchased and several programs were held on mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. In 1961 three projects were started by the club; Fishing, Treating the Lake and Mosquito Control. In 1971 snowmobiles were first mentioned in the minutes. The possible need for volunteer firefighters was a topic of interest at that time. In the early 70’s the interest in the Roberds Lake Club dropped off and there was no activity for over fifteen years. In 1989 a group of local residents got together and reactivated the Club. Since that time most of the energy has been in the area of water quality. The Club has joined with the Rice County Coalition of Lakes to test the water on a regular basis. This is also being done with a state organization called Lake Watch. There is no question that to qualify for state programs to improve our lake water quality, an active association, interested in and educating in pollution problems is an asset. 

This article was taken from the book: Lake Chedeweta, A History of Roberds Lake: written by Robert  Misgen. Assisted by Betty Harkins and Sue Carlson and published by the Roberds Lake Club. 

 

EPILOGUE

 

"They came by horseback, buggy, sleigh, bicycle, omnibus and later by motor car. Their destination - Roberds Lake. They came mostly from Faribault, but other places as well, to fish, to picnic, to swim, to dance and just to be near the water, which has a way of refreshing body and soul. There is perhaps no other place in Rice County which attracted the weekend crowd like Lake Che-de-we-ta (The Indian name for Roberds Lake). Manley Park was a big draw with its lovely setting, the creek meandering through the majestic black walnut trees and the 3/4 mile of rock walled picnic grounds - the quaint old mill and mill pond by the marvelous quarry stone bridge. The resort, a little later, brought throngs of people from far and near, Who can forget the good times on the sandy beach with the wheel and the slide and the diving boards or the great dances at the Blue Moon Ballroom, dancing to the best bands in Southern Minnesota? Or the gay weekends and holiday celebrations and especially the big firework display on the 4th of July? It was a fun place."

 

Taken from the book - Lake Chedeweta by Robert Misgen

THE HISTORY OF THE ROBERDS LAKE CLUB

ROBERDS LAKE - FARIBAULT, MINNESOTA