The property where Wildwood by the Lake now operates was originally owned and operated as a farm. The farmland was sold to Don Steele and Luth McCabe who developed a portion of the land and in 1971 the park opened as Terrace Beach Campground. In August of 1977, the park was sold to Dick Lehnen and renamed Jellystone Park Campground and amenities such as the mini putt, baseball diamond and expanded pool were added.
In June of 1978 there was a meeting of the lot leaseholders to discuss the forming of an association to assist management with the recreational program and to act as liaison with management. Life as Jellystone Park was relatively short lived and the park was renamed Wildwood by the Lake in 1980. The membership elected a Board of Directors, retained a lawyer and took the necessary steps to create a Corporation without share capital. Wildwood By The Lake Leaseholders Association received its charter on May 5, 1982. The mission was to provide enjoyment for all members of the Association and to prepare for eventual takeover of the park.
On March 12, 1984 the membership empowered the Directors to borrow a sum not exceeding $350,000 on the credit of the Association with the intent to purchase the park. The offer was eventually accepted and after long negotiations, the park officially became ours on May 16th, 1986. To facilitate the purchase of the park, lots were developed and sold for $3,250. In October of 1989 the $350,000 mortgage was repaid and a “Burning of the Mortgage” celebration was held.
Interestingly, a sister park was born in Bayfield, Ontario as Wildwood by the River - also a former Jellystone Park. The parks enjoyed a friendly rivalry in the early years of their existence under the Wildwood name with many competitions involving slo-pitch, horseshoes and golf tournaments. It was this initial slo-pitch tournament that eventually evolved into the tournament that we now host annually.
The park we enjoy today evolved over the years from original construction in 1971 through 1986 when the last lots were constructed along Deadwood Drive. Have a look at the photos…….of note the name Deadwood Drive was derived from a massive dead tree that used to stand just North of the Rec Hall.