History of Lake Meade

Then. . .

In 1965 The American Realty Service Corporation of Memphis, Tenn. Formed plans to purchase 12 to 15 farms or about 1,700 acres in Adams County. In 1966 they bought the land and began the development of the Lake Meade subdivision including the dam, a restaurant, swimming pool and bathhouse, and tennis courts.

In 1968, to promote the sale of lots, they set up a merry-go-round and had music by the Buddy Rich Band. Prospective buyers were taken on Helicopter tours of the area. A contest was started to see who could guess when the water from the rising lake would first go over the spillway. A boat and motor was to be awarded to the winner. The historic event happened close to Memorial Day 1968. By that time 8 to 10 families had built houses and were beginning to get organized. Ice skating parties, Christmas parties, hayrides, and tours of homes were held during those early years. A hat was passed to fund those early activities.

At first there was no mail delivery. Mail had to be picked up at the East Berlin Post Office. In 1969 mail was delivered to a row of mailboxes at the entrance. In the beginning the Bermudian Springs School District bus would not enter the Lake’s private roads (which were mostly gravel). The school bus stop for the few children was at the entrance.

Early on the telephone service was party line. Any news not picked up on the party line was published in bulletins as necessary. In 1980 regularly scheduled editions of The Lake Meader replaced this practice. They were edited, typed, and delivered by Dorothy Rohrbaugh, who “retired” in 1994.

John Berwager obtained commercial rights in 1968 for the one and only commercial property in the community. He built a marina and operated the restaurant as a snack bar. The restaurant undertaking proved unprofitable and in 1975 it was purchased by the LMPOA and was converted into the first community center and office.

On Sept. 10, 1968 The American Realty Co. turned the Lake Meade Subdivision over to the newly formed Lake Meade Property Owners Association. On Sept 26 the first Board of Directors was elected with Gen. John C. Steele as President. The first Lake Meade phone directory was published in (1976) by teenager Pam Brothers, assisted by her mom, Marge. The cover had a hand colored sketch of a tree located on the Berwager farm that was now a part of Lake Meade. The lake access areas that are now referred to as recreation areas were named by means of a contest in 1971.

There are 6 miles of shoreline and approximately 300 acres of lake with a maximum water depth of about 30 ft. There are about 18 miles of roads within the community. The swimming pool was opened in 1968 and underwent a major facelift in 1997.

In 1969, due to the initiative of Carl Brothers the Lake Meade Municipal Authority was organized and a sewage treatment plant was completed in 1977. The Municipal Authority is run as an organization separate from the LMPOA. In 1983, at the request of LMPOA, LMMA purchased the water company from American Utilities.

Lake Meade Fire and Rescue, Inc., Company 26 was organized in 1976. It began as the Lake Meade Volunteer Protective Organization. In 1978 a 4 bay building was constructed to house the fire and rescue vehicles and equipment. In 1995, due to changing equipment mandates, a larger 4 bay addition was added. This allowed the old building to be used for meetings and training.

In 1983, Len Trace started the Pyrotechnic Society. Len promoted the annual collection of money to pay for our annual July 4th fireworks display.

In 1999 a new gatehouse was constructed at the entrance to replace the old one that had sustained damage after being hit by an automobile. A new automatic gate and electronic security system was also a part of this project.

March of 2000 saw the completion of a new Community Center with a large multipurpose room, lounge, kitchen, conference room and new and expanded office space. We’ve come a long way since those early days.

And Now. . .

We are much like a small town. We number nearly 1,100 households. We have a diverse population of young, middle aged, and not so young. We have a myriad of clubs and organizations for all ages. We have roads, rec. areas, docks, a lake, a dam, a pool, a community center and other property to maintain and operate. We have deed restrictions, by-laws, policies, rules and regulations. We have a manager, an assistant manager, office staff, maintenance workers, and several part time gate staff. And we have a Board of Directors to oversee all this.

One of the many difficulties in working with a group of such size and diversity is that of communication. It works best when we have your cooperation and help. We welcome you to the community. We ask you to stay informed as to what is happening in the community and we invite you to be involved. The various standing committees and ad hoc committees can always use another member. Just contact the office or any of the committee chairs.