The first residence on Big Pine lake was owned by Mr. and Mrs. William Shafer of Springfield, Illinois, who purchased 40 acres on the north side. At the time, they could have purchased the south side of the lake for $300 as tax delinquent property. However, they didn’t have $300 to spare at the time, so the first two cabins built on the south side of the lake ended-up being owned by the Andersons and the Larsons. From that point on, the number of cabins and lake residences grew steadily. Mrs. Shafer said she remembered the Larsons and Andersons coming across the lake to borrow tools and others followed the same pattern; each helping the other to complete their cabins.
On August 16, 1970 a meeting was held at Ray and Darlene Egolf’s cabin for the purpose of forming the Big Pine Lake Association (BPLA). Extremely low water levels were destroying wild life in the marsh and greatly impairing fishing, so the BPLA board voted to approve construction of an earthen and rock dam below the Greer Creek outlet at the second bend in the Pine River, just downstream of Big Pine Lake. Officers also voted to assess each property owner $75 to cover development and construction costs.
First BPLA Officers:
President – Ray Egolf
Vice President – Ed Cotton
Secretary – Isabel Updike
Treasurer – Roy Updike
At that meeting,
At a meeting at Egolf’s on September 6, 1970, it was reported that construction requests had been sent to the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers (COE) and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that included sketches of dam and other information. The sketches, developed by Donald Colter, a registered licensed civil engineer, complied with the COE and DNR’s requirements and permits were eventually issued. Officers voted at that meeting to enter into a contract with Guy Wannebo to construct the rock dam.
On November 1, 1970, Ray Egolf announced that construction of the dam had been completed on October 16, 1970. Labor costs totaled $4,913. Mrs. Bragsted, a property owner, paid $150 and the officers voted to asses the other property owners an extra $50 to cover construction costs and to start a maintenance fund for the dam.
On July 15, 1973 the officers voted to name the dam “The Roy Egolf Dam.”