History of the LCRPOA
The Lake County Riverside Property Owners Association was formed in 1961 by a group of concerned citizens that cared deeply about the “rivers and streams” and their property –most having acquired the property for privacy, seclusion and contentment. With the increasing population encroachment in accessing and using the river (i.e., canoeists, rafts, float boats) and government regulations, property owners needed a “watch dog/mouthpiece” as a vehicle for expressing their concerns and taking action in terms of the many social, user and quality issues. Thus the Association became a ribbon that bound owners together to not only protect their investment but as important, to preserve an environment for generations to follow. Although zoning was a major focus of the Association in the earlier years (particularly Pleasant Plains Township which was finally zoned primarily as a result of founding member Joe Whinery’s efforts), the focus has grown to “represent, promote and support the interests of property owners on the rivers and streams in Lake County in all matters affecting their rights of ownership, use and enjoyment of their property”.
The earliest meeting on record was held Saturday, September 13, 1961 at the Flint Rainbow Club. Jerry Eberts, Vice President called the meeting to order with six members present – Blass, Eberts, Jack, Whinery, Stevens and Strouse. There was $392 in the bank and a bill of $78 was paid to Warner, Norcross & Judd for Articles and Bylaws and $40 to the Lake County Star.
The Association had membership applications for 46 individuals and 2 club memberships. Dues were set at $5 per year.
The first annual meeting was in September 1962 at St Ann’s church in Baldwin. Elected to the Association Board were Del Todd, Russell Buck, George McCarger, Jerome Eberts, Howard Davidson, George Blass, Max Strouse, Dr. Joseph Whinery and Thomas Jack. Jerome Eberts was elected President and Seth Bidwell was appointed Association Counsel. Of note, one of the 16 members (of 67) present at this first annual meeting was Merle (Zimmy) Nolph a river guide, property owner/protector, friend who over the years distinguished himself in so many ways on behalf of the Association. He was still on the Board when he died. His memory is permanently memorialized in a “rock” along the river at the Shrine of Pines.
Fishing was the primary topic at the annual meeting particularly fish planting programs. A fish epidemic was reported at the Baldwin Hatchery. Discussion with Lansing officals had been fruitless though they did agree to consult with the Association with respect to the 1963 planting and consented to plant by boat rather than bridge.
At the October 1962 meeting committees were appointed: Public Relations, Conservation, Membership, Public Health, Sanitation and Publicity. Metal $100 Reward “Trespassing/Breaking ad Entering” signs were authorized – many are still seen today on member properties.
In 1963 the annual meeting was changed to July in the hopes of attracting more members with selected speakers. The subject of control of canoes surfaced at this meeting for the first time. The Association has been working on this matter for over 40 years.
A river clean up program with the Boy Scouts was authorized which continues to this day. The annual meeting continues to be held in July with selected speakers.