History of Indian Lake

For 1200 years this area south of the Missouri River and west of the Mississippi River was populated by Missouri and Osage Indians. They traded with French settlers such as Louis Joliett and Fr. Marquette. The Missouri Indians lost their cultural identity when they combined with the Oto and Shawnee.

In the mid-eighteen hundreds, the property where lot 1553 is now located was owned by the Sweetin family. The grave of Noble Sweetin, son of J.E. Sweetin, is still there.

Around 1929 the land, some 360 acres was purchased by a man named A.J. Barnett. It was later sharecropped as a dairy farm. The farm was named A Indian Mounds Farm@ because of the mounds all along Brush Creek. This farm can still be seen at the top of the hill above the dam.

In 1962 the American Realty Corporation of Nashville, Tennessee, purchased over 1,400 acres from local families; Pinnell, Hedtkamp, Coons, Sorrells, Bowers, Cottrell, Hanks and Ice, and surveyed it into 1800 lots which they incorporated as Indian Hills, and the Indian Hills Development Corporation.

(The subdivision was later forced to change their name when it was determined that another development was already named Indian Hills. Thus we officially became Indian Lake. However, having already been well established the development is still widely known as Indian Hills).

A large advertising campaign, complete with television, newspaper and billboard advertising for the big 326 acre lake was begun. By 1963 thirty five houses had been built and people had began living at the lake although it did not begin to fill until March of 1964. The first elected Board of Directors took office in December of 1964 and the Developers then released the subdivision to the board January 27th, of 1965.

The new dam and spillway, altered to meet state specifications for dams of their lakes size, was dedicated on September 1st, 1985.

As a private development the lake receives no outside funding. The Indian Lake Property Owners Association gets its funding from Annual charges paid by the property owners. In 1969 the Association assessed a $20 Maintenance Charge and a $20 Membership Dues per member. Sometime between then and 1978, the primary Annual charge increased to $100. In 1978 the members approved an amendment (Part C) to the Warranty Deed whereas the Annual Charge would be increased yearly, beginning January 1981, based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index, St. Louis area. Over the last twenty six years the charge has increased to $231.71 per primary lot in 2004.

Today Indian Lake has over one thousand members and nearly seven hundred homes. Initially primarily a retirement community, Indian Lake is now the permanent home, as well as a weekend retreat, to people of all ages. Many of today's members own the homes their parents purchased in the 1960's and 1970's, where they spent many enjoyable summers and holidays as children. They in turn now host their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as the tradition continues.