History of development/impacts on our lake
The Mission Lakes were named by a German Lutheran Minister, Rev. Ottomar Cloeter, of Saginaw Valley, Michigan. His Synod decided to establish in 1857 a mission station near what is now Lower Mission Lake. The Mission was located on the Mississippi River, about a mile north of where the Mission Creek flows into the Mississippi River. He ministered to a small band of Chippewa Indians in a nearby village. His letters to his Synod reveal what extraordinary hardships he faced. He and his family (four children were born at the Mission) lived in constant fear that the Indians would kill them. In 1862 they were forced to flee for their lives because of an Indian uprising started by Chief Hole-in-the-Day. The Mission was destroyed in this uprising. Thirty-five years later, in 1897, Dr. J.L. Camp (who had a farm near the old Mission site) and J.V. Brower, erected wooden markers at the Mission and platted the Indian burial mounds. Brower also explored and platted the Indian burial mounds located on the northwest shoreline of Upper Mission Lake on what is now the Ridgewood Estates addition.
In the early 1890’s logging was the principal industry in the area. The Bert Sabins operated a saw mill and logging company on the property that is now owned by the Nerbys. The logs were cut in the winter so that they could be easily skidded to the lake. In the spring, the logs were floated to the lower lake, through the channel, and down Mission Creek and the Mississippi River to the paper mill in Brainerd, Minnesota. The Sabins also began the Pine Shores Resort. Their home was the local post office. Other early homesteaders who had an impact in the area were the Fridays, Harrisons, Grand Pres, Roaches, and Rostes.
All the present resorts were started in the late 1920’s. The resorts that have ceased operations are Pine Shores, the Last Resort, Elm Bay, Fridays and Tates. The Pine Shores Resort was one of the first to sell its cabins to privates owners in 1946.
Prior to 1950 there were very few privately-owned cabins. In the late 1940’s to 1950’s lake frontage sold for $2.50 to $3.50 per foot. IN the 1920’s there was a bridge that crossed over the channel and a road followed the Upper Mission Lake shoreline to the Elm Bay Resort. Continued.....