Statement issued by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:
Chain O’ Lakes will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Saturday, June 12.
A party and open house will be held in the picnic area near the beach from 1 to 3 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend, and a special invitation goes out to past employees who’ve worked at the park.
Activities will include yard games, face painting and a short presentation by interpretive naturalist Howard Luers on the history of the park. Special guest Smokey Bear will visit. Birthday cake and punch will be served for as long as it lasts.
“We would love for anyone who comes to bring old photographs of the park so we can start a permanent collection to document the park’s history,” said new property manager, Sam Boggs. “Photos can be donated, or we can scan them and return them.”
The Department of Conservation, the precursor of the DNR, recommended the natural lake area located in Noble County’s Green Township as a future state park site in 1946. A year later the Indiana General Assembly supported the process of land acquisition and park development. With the backing of the commissioners of Noble, Whitley and Allen counties, a joint county park board purchased 1,200 acres for the project, while the state acquired about 300 additional acres.
The park opened in 1960 with a dedication ceremony held June 12, in which Gov. Harold W. Handley addressed the gathering.
This event also provides an opportunity to meet Boggs or welcome him back.
“I grew up here, and I’m glad to be back home,” he said. “Please come and enjoy the fun and help us celebrate the 50th anniversary of one the most beautiful natural areas in this part of the country.”
There is a park entrance fee of $5 for in-state vehicles or $7 for out-of-state vehicles, or you can use your annual entrance pass. Both are available at the park front gate. For further information, call (260) 636-2654.