History of Little Birch Lake

We are interested in compiling a history of Little Birch Lake- if you have anything to add, please click here.

We know that on November 23, 1896, at 3:00 pm there was a signing of a charter for an association named “Birch Lake Outing Club”. Its general purpose and plan of operation was to purchase and hold real estate on Birch Lake, located in both Stearns and Todd Counties.

Those involved were businessmen from Sauk Centre:  Mr. J.W. Ward, Mr. E Richards, Mr. C.M. Sprague, Mr. R.T. Greene, Mr. J.M. McMasters, Mr. W.O.P. Hilladale, Mr. M.E. Kelsey, Mr. F. Cooper, and Mr. C. Thomas.

Mr. J.W. Ward and Mr. E. Richards purchased land and built cottages for people to stay in during the spring and summer. Each one rented out cabins at that time. They had 6 or 8 cabins to rent. Mr. C. Thomas, Mr. F. Cooper, Mr. M.E. Kelsey and others bought property and built cabins for their own use.

The Ward Springs store was started sometime during the early 1900’s. The train ran through Ward Springs going from Morris, MN and ending in Little Falls, MN. The Hoppe’s eventually bought the store providing a close grocery store to the lake, and a mail stop for the train. They also sold minnows and other fishing supplies, including fishing licenses. Later, they added a back area where they had a pool table and sold pop and beer. The Ward Springs Store was always a favorite for the kids who would walk there from the cabin to enjoy a cold ice cream treat, popsicle or some candy.  

Mr. J.W. Ward and Mr. E. Richards built a dirt road for people to use to get to their cabins. This road was always known as “Shady Lane“.

This is just the start of the history of Little Birch Lake. The Little Birch Lake Association would like to publish a book on the history of Little Birch Lake at some point. Please send Doris Sackett [2018 Garden Ave, Falcon Heights, MN 55113], or email her at skslsl@earthlink.net any background/historical  information, stories, or pictures that you may have about the history of Little Birch Lake. We do have someone that will put all the material together for the book.

Thank You in advance for your help in the making of “The History of Little Birch Lake” come to life.