Saturday, February 11, 2017

A History Lesson in Long Lake Lot Economics!

These initial Long Lake Shore Owners were provided Lots in 1868 as Soldiers Script and sold the entire 89.63 acres just two years later for $1222:
  • Lots 2 & 3 near the southwest end of Long Lake in Section 17-139-34 were sold by Joseph Gaylord Smith in Feb 1870 for $1222.00 for the entire 89.63 acres. Joseph had received the two lots as Soldiers Script in February 1868. He and his wife, Mary B. Smith undoubtedly enjoyed their cash flow from the sale of these lots on Long Lake. 
In approximately 1885 with the building of the dam and the flooding of existing shoreline, there was some devaluing of certain lots.

Fast Forward to 1923 when three men and their families purchased lots on the then newly mapped Pine Haven Beach development in the southwest portion of Long Lake; Joe Tam, Don Sanders and Bill Burnett. The men all worked in various capacities for the Des Moines Post Office. Joe Tam and Bill Burnett split a lot so each family could be safe and close to each other on the 50 foot lots.
Taxes in approximately 1934 or earlier were about $4 a front foot. Later, Joe Tam’s daughter Barbara (2nd generation) and her husband, George Curtis purchased a cabin and lot for $400 on Long Lake.

In 1969, Barbara & George Curtis’s daughter, Judy (3rd generation) explored the idea of purchasing land on the northeast side of Long Lake in 1969 when she was approximately 35 years of age:
  • The letter from the land owner of Eagle Bay Lots at that time explains the front foot rate is between $30-35 depending on the lot. The terms on any offered tracts are equal to $500 down per each lot, with balance payable per month in the money equivalent to 5/7 ounces of gold, including interest at 6.5% per annum...... The seller goes on to explain that “Since our money is being devalued so rapidly, it is necessary in self- protection to make this provision, as money paid in the future could quite conceivably have about the same value as German marks after World Wars I and II...... “
  • Read more about the interesting marketing approaches by the land owner that includes the future price of a hamburger sandwich, the prized eating qualities of Long Lake’s fish, and a cash deal also which doesn’t involve the gold equivalents – now in our Long Lake History.
  • Original letter
Judy did not end up purchasing a lot on Long Lake but continued to enjoy her parent’s cabin on the East side near Dakota Beach. Special thanks to Barbara Curtis for sharing this piece of Long Lake history with us from her late daughter’s estate records.

Remember -     It’s your turn now to record and share your family stories!

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