The Birth of the Lake Matinenda Cottage Owners Association

“Let’s keep the garbage out of the lake.”  It seems like such a simple and logical idea, but in 1962 most lake residents buried and dumped their garbage into the nearest and deepest hole they could find…which was often the next bay over.  Frieda de Beauclair was tired of just talking about the problem, she decided to take action and as a result The Lake Matinenda Cottage Owners Association is celebrating it’s 50th Anniversary this year!

“Environmentalist” wasn’t yet a commonly used term in 1962, in fact Rachel Carson’s world changing novel “Silent Spring” came out that same year, but never the less there was an energetic group of them had been spending their summer’s on shores of Lake Matinenda for several decades.  Frieda, her husband Russ and their neighbors Duke Hayes, believed that the majority of people wanted to do the right thing and that by working together, the local cottage owners could solve the garbage problem, as well as other local concerns.  They wrote up notes, hand delivered them to the various camps and as with all good things, people came.  By the second meeting at the end of July, Ione Merseth, Don and Jean Fitch, Floy and Preston Wells and Ozzie Feldon were all Charter Members and had decided that they were going to form a real Association with regular meetings and elected officers.  The first order of business that year was a group “clean up” of the lower lake’s shoreline.

By the following summer, 20 of the 90 current cottage owners attended. Russ de Beauclair presided and was voted in as Vice President.  Duke Hayes became the Association’s first official President and Ione Merseth was Secretary/Treasurer. There was unanimous approval of William Hogg and Don Fitch suggestion that they call themselves the “Lake Matinenda Association” and become a legally registered organization.

It was at this meeting that the Association’s guiding objectives were set:  the responsible disposal of garbage, the creation and maintenance of parking and docking facilities, water safety education and the protection of the lake’s natural beauty and resources.  A tradition of Annual Meeting treats, Association picnics and civil involvement began that year as well.

Over the years, the Association has held Children’s Rock Bass Tournaments, Family Fun Days and Bar-B-Ques.  It’s produced a  highly popular local cookbook and history book and is currently ready to publish a second up-dated edition of both. Over the years the Association has donated several thousand dollars to local charities and lent it’s support to a number of municipal projects.  While other nearby Lake Associations have come and gone, Lake Matinenda’s is still a strong and vital voice for its residents.

The Lake Matinenda Cottage Owners Association is proof that a few impassioned individuals can make a positive difference in the world. 

Happy Anniversary LMCOA!