Archived Story

Mud and log dam leads to Beaver Lake

Published 4:39pm Saturday, June 16, 2012

In 1858, someone built a mud and log dam on Dobbins Creek, east of the then-fledgling village of Austin. It was built to power a flour mill; it also served to create a large lake about 15 blocks east of Main Street. Known as Beaver Lake, it became an area recreation center: offering swimming in the summer and ice skating in the winter. Beaver Lake was especially popular with the residents of ‘Dutch Town,’ the neighborhood sandwiched between the railroad tracks and the lake.

Then in 1892, the dam was washed out by a flood on Dobbins Creek. The lake was drained, leaving swamps and pasture land.

Fast forward 120 years to 2012. Austin’s east side is home to another large lake: East Side Lake. The lake defines the eastern approach to our community and provides recreation to residents. The Vision 2020 project even seeks to expand the recreation on the lake, and other waterways.

But East Side Lake is not Beaver Lake. How was East Side Lake created? Who led the effort and why? Come find out at Mower County Historical Society’s Lunchbox History at the fairgrounds on Thursday, June 28 at noon. I will speak about the history of East Side Lake. The event is free, call the MCHS at 437-6082 for more information.

 Coming soon to the HHH

Monday: Board of Directors, 8:30 a.m.

Tuesday: Board of Trustees, 4 p.m.; ASD Family Respite Night, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 23: Etiquette School for Young Ladies presented by an expert from the Minnesota Historical Society at 9 a.m. at the HHH. Recommend for ages 9-14, all ages welcome. Register with the HHH office at 433-4243, cost is $5 per person. A program of the Austin Public Library and the HHH.

 Next Week

Mower County Historical Society Lunchbox History: Thursday, June 28 will feature HHH director Laura Helle speaking about the history of East Side Lake at noon at the Mower County Fairgrounds. The event is free and open to the public

Coming Soon

Free concerts in the Peace Garden: Monday, July 2 at 7 p.m. by the Austin Community Jazz Band and Tuesday, July 24 at 6:30 p.m. by Koo Koo Kanga Roo.


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  • cooper

    East side lake is not a large lake. A large pond would be a better way to discribe it.

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