Archive for Sunday, June 21, 1992

LAKEVIEW CLUB TURNS 100

June 21, 1992

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Corrected version: Lakeview Club turns 100

Because of a reporter's error,longtime Lakeview Club member Art Wolf was incorrectly identified as Art Weaver in SUnday's Variety feature on the Lakeview centennial.

The Lakeview Fishing and Shooting Assn. turns 100 on July 4 and, happy day, there's water in the lake.

"We do a lot of praying around here, and a lot of thanksgiving when it rains," said Mary Curry Cohoon, chairman of the Lakeview Centennial Committee and a Topeka resident.

She explained, "They say whoever `they' are that 100 years is about the lifespan of an oxbow lake."

The Lakeview association, known simply as Lakeview Club, sits on the edge of the Kansas River oxbow five miles northwest of Lawrence on Douglas County Road 7. The oxbow, which now is replenished by springs and rainwater, was formed when the river changed course about 1853.

The club is a collection of 30 or so cabins anchored by a rambling clubhouse and peopled by about 60 families, many of whom have been members for several generations.

CARETAKER Chris Weaver lives on the grounds, and member families visit whenever they choose often for weekends and sometimes for weeks at a time in fair weather.

Longtime member Art Weaver of Lawrence said last week that he was 75 and had been going to Lakeview since he was 6. Both his parents and grandparents were members.

"I was a child out there," he said. "The interesting thing over my lifetime, the place has changed very little."

He added members were "an interesting conglomeration of people from all walks of life, and it's always been that way." Early on, though, he allowed, members "probably were a more-distinguished group of people than we are today."

Mrs. Cohoon, a member since the 1960s, and her committee have been planning the club's centennial celebration for five years. It promises to be as varied as the membership.

CALLING THE work a "labor of love," she said, "This is a place of peace and beauty that has echoes of history to it."

The association was formally established in 1892 as a sporting club for men, Mrs. Cohoon said, but by 1910 or 1920 women were allowed to join.

With the women came their families, and she said, Lakeview "turned into something more than a hunting and fishing club."

Over the July 4 weekend, current and former members will formally recall the club's first 100 years.

"Historically, the Fourth of July has always been the time this place has been just crawling with people," Mrs. Cohoon said.

There are, and will be, a number of physical artifacts to commemorate the big event, as well as special opportunities for the collective Lakeview family to build personal reunion memories.

Among artifacts, in addition to the likes of T-shirts and caps, are two books. One is a history of the association put together by Sharon Hagen, Lee Claussen and Joan Davies; the other is a cookbook by Fran Olin, Linette Ayers and Cheryl Hiller. Hagen and Davies are from Lawrence, Claussen and Olin are from Topeka, Ayers lives in Olathe and Hiller in Tonganoxie.

CELEBRANTS ALSO will travel back in ``Lakeview time'' via a multimedia presentation by Steve Wilde of Topeka. Wilde's celebration of the club's past eventually may become available to members in video form.

Mrs. Cohoon said Topeka architect and artist Bob Jones had done an inking of the clubhouse that committee members also had made into notecards and framable prints, and Lakeview quilters headed by Cathy Wolf of Lawrence created a centennial quilt.

Socially, Mrs. Cohoon said, the celebration will be packed with events that range from the club's traditional "leatherman's competition" to an array of feasts that pay homage to Lakeview's legendary good food.

The leatherman's competition is a skills test, she said, featuring firemaking; tomahawk throwing; rifle, pistol and slingshot shooting; canoeing; archery and horseshoe pitching.

As for the food, Mrs. Cohoon noted, hired cooks no longer serve the famous fried chicken dinners from Lakeview's kitchen, but the facility is still operational and members often gather in the lodge for potlucks that showcase their own culinary skills.

MUCH OF THE centennial feasting will go on during a "live-in week," during which members will stay at the lake and commute to their professional jobs throughout the area. Most live in Topeka, Kansas City and Lawrence.

Among traditional events planned are a cookout, ice-cream social, progressive dinner, fish fry, pig roast and pancake breakfast. There also will be a ``ladies salad luncheon'' and fashion show, and for the men, a mountain oyster dinner complete with baked beans, french fries and beer.

A beach party, boat parade, tea dance, board games and an old-time chautauqua, featuring John C. Lehman of Emporia State University in the guise of Theodore Roosevelt, will round out the week.

Lee Claussen, whose husband, Jim, organized the chautauqua, said Topeka singer and guitarist Claire Casselmon also will perform at the event along with former Lakeview member and 1950s caretaker Jim Peddicord, now of Minden, Nev. Peddicord will give humorous readings, and several current members will give monologues.

IN PREPARATION for the birthday party, members have been spiffing up Lakeview's grounds.

A berm planted with flowers and decorated with a new sign reading "Lakeview Fishing and Shooting Association, Est. 1892, Members and Guests," now graces the club's entrance.

"We wanted people who rounded that corner, maybe on a sojourn down the River Road, to see this as a place of peace and beauty," Mrs. Cohoon explained. Douglas County Road 7 also is called River Road.

Members also will place on the grounds a bronze centennial plaque that reads "Lakeview Fishing and Shooting Association, Est. 1892, Centennial Celebration, July 4, 1992," and raise a specially designed centennial flag.

They've built a gazebo, in part a gift to Lakeview in memory of Mrs. Cohoon's late husband, Don Curry, on the shore near the clubhouse, and after the celebration, various memorial bricks will be placed in the ground around the gazebo to make a permanent walkway.

AS ITS "gift to the future," the centennial committee planted 200 seedling trees on the property.

For the past several years, Mrs. Cohoon said, a restoration of the lodge has been under way as well.

In addition to the commons area downstairs, about 15 bedrooms upstairs are occupied by various members on a long-term basis.

Painting, rewiring and replumbing projects all have been undertaken, and members with lodge rooms are doing some redecorating in them as well.

"We've done it all ourselves," Mrs. Cohoon said, "except for painting the trim," which was done by some KU fraternity members.

"This is a working club. We depend on each other for many things."

Mrs. Cohoon said centennial committee member Fran Olin had been working on a club alumni roster and trying to let former members know about the celebration. Anyone who has not been contacted may call her at 272-3219 in Topeka.

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