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HISTORY OF LAKE MIDDLETOWN

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Vivian Moon View Drop Down
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Joined: May 16 2008
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    Posted: Jan 25 2015 at 11:43am
Written by George Crout

During the 1850's the railroad began to replace the canal, and farmers could market grain and hogs at the West Middletown Station of the C.H. and D. So as the canal had ended flat boating days, the railroad replaced it. Through it all the Great Miami continued to flow. During floods, the Great Miami resembled a vast lake. The 1913 flood led to the formation of the Miami Conservancy District. After building the series of dams, local projects to prevent flooding were put in place. Noting that the river channel at Middletown was very wide and having seen several of the floods, a local civic leader and president of the Businessmen's Club, C.V. Hatfield, proposed a lake and waterfront for Middletown. Noting the Miami Conservancy work here in 1923, Hatfield and a committee consulted the Conservancy as to the feasibility of creating Lake Middletown. With a dam, they said it was possible. Since the Conservancy had a dragline and other equipment in place, it was suggested that they put in the lake. But city officials were indifferent to the project and the aging Hatfield died. officials were indifferent to the project and the aging Hatfield died. 

But his dream was kept alive by two of his friends, also civic leaders, George H. and C. Edward Sebald, brothers. They prevailed upon the city to start building a dam, but Armco stepped in and decided to build it as an aid to their pumping station at East Works, where additional volume was needed. In 1942 they completed a 1,200-foot dam. But wartime arrived and the idea of Lake Middletown was forgotten. 

When the river reached flood state in 1959, citizens crossing the bridge were amazed at the picture of the river, as it seemed to form a natural lake. Downtown business man, Joseph P. Blose, and a friend, Kent Little, took pictures and shared their dream of a Lake Middletown with the Lions Club. They even had the Army Corps of Engineers make a preliminary survey. The lake was then included in the new 1963 master plan drawn up by the planning commission. 

The plan lay dormant until 1983 when a new local group, Leadership Middletown, adopted it as a project. William Klosterman, city manager, a Leadership graduate, helped develop the plan and win state and federal support. 

The dream of Lake Middletown was realized after a series of frustrating delays, being completed in 1995. The 100-acre lake project opened up a new era in development. On the west side of the lake is West Middletown, whose beautiful hillsides will likely someday be the sites of luxurious apartments overlooking the various recreational activities on the lake. 
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VietVet View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 25 2015 at 5:05pm
"The dream of Lake Middletown was realized after a series of frustrating delays, being completed in 1995. The 100-acre lake project opened up a new era in development. On the west side of the lake is West Middletown, whose beautiful hillsides will likely someday be the sites of luxurious apartments overlooking the various recreational activities on the lake."

Actually, the Lake was never realized as the early work done but the city leaders was wasted effort as they had a hard time following direction from the Army Corps of Engineers as they removed the levy supporting the Lake before they had permission to do so. Cost the city a fine of around $350,000 as the silt flowed out into the river. The Lake today is an overgrown useless attempt created by city leaders not being able to follow orders. To this day, I don't think we know who actually ordered the premature removal of the dam.....but I'm sure they know who it was. The Bicentennial Commons, with the Armco stage, next to the Lake attempt, also stands as a monument to an idea that has since been abandoned by city leaders. Used for a handful of events and a blues fest or two, previously held on the city building grounds, hasn't been used since. They even put more parking there to handle the increased crowds that never came.

All talk.....no delivery. What else is new?

And, let's not forget the talk years ago about building a convention center around the location of the old Sorg site......gone by the wayside also.   
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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over the hill View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote over the hill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 25 2015 at 6:53pm
Wasn't Marty involved in "Lake Mistake" ?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 409 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 25 2015 at 8:52pm
Old & not so clear photo of the construction/destruction era.
This was during busier times!!
And I purchased a family brick back then, thinking that....
Every morning is the dawn of a new error...
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over the hill View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote over the hill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 26 2015 at 11:10am
yeah,i also purchased a brick,put the kids name on. I wonder if it's still there?
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