The DNR maintained a walleye rearing pond on the Lower Mission Lake from 1948 until the mid-1960’s. This area is just west of the County Road 19 and is now a wildlife game refuge. The Mission Creek dam was built by the WPA in 1938.
In 1950 the Mississippi River flooded, primarily because of inadequate flood control and ice jams. This caused the Mississippi River to flow up mission Creek and into the lakes, increasing the lake level by about four feet and causing damage to cabins and homes.
The lakes most recent real estate development begin in 1975 and is known as the Ridgewood Estates addition located on the northwest shoreline of Upper Mission Lake.
In 1986 the lakeshore property owners were alarmed to learn that a proposed 150 site trailer park was to be developed at a resort known as Elm Bay. This resort had been an operable for several years and was comprised five cabins. The proposed campground was exceptionally environmentally sensitive. Nearly 100% of the lakeshore property owners joined in an effort to defeat this project. In the course of fighting the campground it was found that there was a fairly large dump located on the property, and members were concerned that it could be leaching into the lake. Tom Hitchcock hired an attorney to represent us before the Planning and Zoning board and we had a turnout of almost 100 people. The result was that the county commissioners required that the developer obtained and EIS (environmental impact study) before proceeding with the campground. The developer refused to undertake the study and subsequently dropped the project. This made the residents realize that a show of solidarity was important to keep the lakes safe for the future.
NOTE: In the remaining history portion of this report we have tried to identify the many activities that have taken place as a result of the formation of the Mission Lakes Association. We have undoubtedly missed some important events and the names of many of the people that have made the association as successful as it is. If you have anything to add, please contact Ron Hedlund, 218-765-3258 or by e-mail at email@example.com.