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What is the District of Powers Lake (DPL)?

The District of Powers Lake was founded in 1985 to protect and preserve the beautiful natural resources of Powers Lake. It had become increasingly clear that Powers Lake was subjected to accelerated urbanization and heightened demand for water-based recreational use. The DPL’s objective is to continue its preservation efforts for the benefit of the lake’s environment, the water quality, shoreline, and the surrounding watershed of Powers Lake.

Given that Powers Lake encompasses two counties and three townships, the District provides for a single unified voice to speak on behalf of lake owners and management. It also allows all property owners in the District to vote on lake related matters, regardless of where permanent residency is maintained.

Recognized as a “special purpose” unit of our government, the District has officials to carry out its responsibilities. The DPL board is comprised of five elected commissioners and two appointed commissioners; one from Kenosha County and one from the Town of Randall. Each elected commissioner serves a three year term.

The main goal of the DPL is to be proactive in the protection of the water quality and the lake’s ecosystem. In doing so the DPL has been very successful in many areas, such as the purchase of surrounding wet lands that feed into the lake, successful water testing programs and water level recording programs. With those successes there are still many challenges facing our wonderful lake, and we all strive to take responsibility to ensure that we pass on a clean lake for the enjoyment of future generations.

History of Powers Lake

“The joy of spending childhood time near a lake is a precious legacy”.(1) Founding families settling in the Powers Lake area in the 1830’s cherished this legacy, enduring arduous road trips by covered wagons in order to indulge in the joys offered by lakeshore life. We have so many to thank for establishing a solid historical foundation upon which today’s good living and activities are based. Let us hope that we can continue to preserve and respect the beauty of our area so that future lake lovers will consider us with the same reverence we owe our settlers.

Originally called Lakeville and then Nippersink, Powers Lake was named after James B. Powers, one of its early settlers, convivial neighbor, and one of our first postmasters. The farming community appreciated our fertile Wisconsin soil and access to a water supply. Our natural resources were especially conducive to wheat growing, but in the 1870’s The Chicago Railway sent three trains a day from Chicago, expanding the agricultural opportunities for the resale of oats, corn and hay. Recreational activities garnered interest around the lakes in the 1880’s, but it was in the 1890’s that fishermen and others, primarily from Chicago, enjoyed long visits in the area and eventually developed the North Shore of Powers Lake. Ice companies also ‘mined’ the south shores of Powers Lake and the north shore of Benedict lake in the 1890’s, eventually establishing five ice houses on Powers Lake.
   

Families continued to thrive on the sporting entertainment offered by our lake, including swimming, sailing and socializing. Loving their lake, groups formed a “Powers Lake Improvement Club” early on, meeting most Sunday mornings at the Austin Club to oversee the preservation and maintenance of our lovely area. We hope to carry on this honorable tradition through the governing body of the District of Powers Lake.

An enduring spirit of cooperation inspired neighborly exchanges. One neighbor offered to take food orders, delivering supplies door-to-door, while the next provided medical care or sent youngsters to meet the ice wagon, or to roll a barrel of beer home for group gatherings. Neighbors coalesced over common interests, forming the Sportsmen’s League of Kenosha County in 1905 and the Powers Lake Yacht club in 1912. Resorts and hotels encouraged visitors to share good times during parties, horse races, dances, baseball games and dinners.

The enthusiasm for our lake life thrives today, and we experience increasing demand for the use of our natural resources. As growing pains evidence themselves, it becomes paramount that we come together in historic fashion to promote the protection and improvement or our treasured resources. This is why we have formed this web site, so we can disseminate important information concerning the health and appeal of our beloved District of Powers Lake. Together, we can make a difference.

(Based upon the fascinating and historically significant book authored by Powers Lake area former resident Dee Wells, entitled “Powers Lake, Benedict Lake & Tombeau Lake, The First Hundred Years – Volume 1”. To pick the book up "in person" the price is $25.00 (tax included, and no credit cards).
Books are available at:

1. Wells Osborn Spiral Stairs

162 Walworth Street , Genoa City, WI 53128 .
Office hours are: Monday through Friday 9-12, 1 to 4.  Saturdays 9 to 12.

2. Uncle Ed’s BBQ Grill and Catering

N 1530 Powers Lake Rd
Powers Lake , WI 53159 (262) 279-6673

3. Solid Brass Antiques

5509 Broadway St
Richmond, IL 60071 (815) 678-4411‎

Or, ask Dee to mail a book to you for $30.00 each. Send your check and mailing address to

Dee Wells, Box 133, Genoa City, WI  53128.

(1)(Quoting Dee Wells, author).

Click here to see some historical pictures of the area.

Points of interest

The population of Powers Lake is about 1,500, according to http://www.muninetguide.com/. Families (non-single residences) represent 74.6% of the population, giving Powers Lake a higher than average concentration of families.

Facts of Powers Lake:





 
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