The Holiday Lake area is approximately 755 acres; 122 acres of water, 21 miles of graveled roads, 3 boat ramps, a large swimming beach and bathhouse. There are parks, campground and playground areas for the use by all lot owners and their guests.
There are currently 870 lot owners in the subdivision and 300 families who live here permanently.
History of Holiday Lake
In January of 1962 A.N. Wilson, a Belle Plaine contractor, revived a dream of Dan Mason. Mason who was a State Senator in 1932 from nearby Brooklyn, proposed to the Iowa General Assembly that a state-owned lake be built where Holiday Lake is now located.
On January 4, 1962, plans and specifications for a dam were approved and a permit to collect and store water was issued to the private developers to proceed with plans for a lake, six miles north of Brooklyn, Iowa, which is known as Holiday Lake. The developers were: A.N. Wilson, D.A. Wilson, both contractors of Belle Plaine, Iowa: L.H. Wilson, land developer of Trenton, Missouri; and J.A. Clark of Des Moines, Iowa. They followed the plans to secure options to purchase land from Thomas P. Ryan, O.V. Osborne, C.M. Thomas, H.C. Powell, Martin Schmitz, W.L. Showalter and Leslie Showalter. Thus Holiday Lake, a private recreation area was born.
Clearing of timber was started in the Fall of 1961 and grading operations in the Spring of 1962. Some 25 men worked hard and long under the supervision of A.N. Wilson. Extensive surveys were conducted by developers and government engineers to establish the lakeshore line and to determine if the project was feasible. During the construction work the men found Indian arrowheads and war hatchets. An unusually large find was made by a Holiday Lake road building crew north of Kent Chapel on the entrance to Holiday Lake. In addition to the arrowheads, the survey crew found stone scrapers, a six-inch long spearhead and a three-pound hammerhead. The scrapers were apparently used for cleaning animal skins. Although arrowheads were scattered all over the area, there were no discoveries which indicated that it might have been an Indian burial ground.
Dams were built to impound the water for two small lakes and the large lake. This dam is 1250 feet long and the depth of water is 40 feet at the dam. The two smaller lakes, known as "Andy's Lake" and "Bozo Lake" are for fishing only. The main lake is for water sports as well as fishing.
In May of 1962 the lake was stocked with hundreds of pounds of fish, all varieties. Water for the lake area comes from springs and run-off from surrounding hills. Following heavy rains in April, the lake reached its maximum level at 11:00 p.m. on April 23, 1965, and water began to go through the spillway for the first time.
In July 1966, Andy Wilson held the first meeting of the lot owners at the maintenance building for the purpose of electing representatives from each unit to serve on the governing body of the lake area. From this Board a Holiday Lake Owners' Association was born. On August 1, 1967 the Association was organized into a non-profit corporation called "Holiday Lake Owners' Association, Inc.".
In June 1973, Andy Wilson met his death in a fatal accident while working on the roads at the lake. In December 1973 the Holiday Lake Owners' Association, Inc. purchased the Maintenance Co. on contract from the Wilson family. The Association is the legal governing body that represents Holiday Lake to all, including the County, State and Federal agencies. Holiday Lake Maintenance Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Holiday Lake Owners' Association. Through this ownership by the Owners' Association, provision is made for the maintenance of roads, lake, dams, beach, park areas, and all other areas or facilities of Holiday Lake to which all lot owners in Holiday lake have the common use thereof.
In 1988 several sediment control measures were taken. A silt trap in Unit 1 leading into Hap's Cove was completed by Showalter Construction. A silt pond located across the road above Andy's Lake was completed by Faas Construction.
The Leslie "Bud" Showalter Memorial Beach, located at the east end of the dam, is a popular spot in the summer and a place that Holiday Lakers dream about in the middle of winter. In 1992 a new bathhouse was constructed at the beach. Highest population of the lake is probably on Fourth of July weekend when our annual fireworks display is held on top of the dam. Almost as beautiful as the fireworks are the many lights on boats anchored in front of the dam to watch.
In 1994 an addition to the maintenance shop was constructed to house the maintenance equipment.
In 1995 a picnic shelter was built in Powell Park to be used by all lot members for their family gatherings. Powell Park is also home to our newest playground equipment, concrete basketball court, sand volleyball court and horse shoes. Directly across the road, families can enjoy a game on the baseball diamond.
In June 1996 the lake's household water supplier changed from Holiday Lake Water Systems, LTD. to Poweshiek Water Association.
In November 1997 Holiday Lake purchased our own dredge. In the years since the purchase, sediment control basins have been constructed for Ford's, Ike's, Don's and Bob's coves with dredging already completed in several coves. Work continues in this area.
For years there has been talk of a community building where lot owners could meet with friends and family. A special building fund account has been set up. Proceeds from the sale of directories, cookbooks, aerial photographs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, beach bags, beach towels and other money-making projects will help our fund to grow.