This branch of the Austrian Hesch family is descended from Johann Hesch and his wife Marya (Schlinz) Hesch, who came to America from Oberschlagles, Bohemia with three sons: Paul, Mathias, and Anton. +++Johann & Marya settled in Buffalo County, Wisconsin but moved to Pierz, Mn in about 1885. .+++Mathias settled in Waumandee, Wisconsin and moved to Pierz in 1911. +++Anton never married but farmed with his dad in Agram Township, where he died in 1911.+++And Paul, my great grandfather, settled five miles away, in Buckman, Minnesota. He died there in 1900.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lake George, St Cloud, Mn

For more St Cloud history, check "St Cloud" in the sidebar or search "Lake George", above're welcome!  ☺

I've wanted to do a sort of illustrated timeline of how the size and shape of Lake George has changed over the last 150 years, but what I still needed were the dates, cuz I have a nice collection of pictures ☺.  Ha!  All it took was mentioning it to our favorite researcher, and he came up with a website called "Placeography: A website about any place anywhere that anyone can edit".  And THERE is a page about Eastman Park, which is the city owned land adjacent to Lake George.  Well, OKAY!

Birdseye view in 1896
"April 1855 - R.B. Blake, the first surveyor of Stearns County, records the existence of a 7 1/2-block lake in the plat book and names it Lake George.

December 1867 - John Coates created a skating rink in the park and describes it as the largest in the State.
From Harold Zosel's book of postcards, 2010
May 1876 - Lake George was drying up because it was so shallow. In response, citizens petitioned the City Council to do something about the Lake George problem. They suggest building a dam to raise the water level and using the lake for the town's water supply. They also wanted the City to acquire land around the lake, install a road, and turn the lake into a City park.
September 1888 - The City Council orders the street commissioner to construct a boulevard around Lake George. After numerous delays, the project is completed in the early 1900s.
St Cloud plat map, 1896

February 1926 - St. Cloud Ice Co., which had sold Lake George ice to St. Cloud residents for more than 25 years, sells 21 acres of Lake George to the City.
December 1926 - The City makes an agreement with the Minneapolis Dredging Co. to dredge Lake George. The company removed 215,000 cubic feet of mud and used it to fill in the north and south ends of the lake. The project cost the City $57,800. During the process, workers discover a huge granite ledge on the west side of the lake, which at its highest point is 9 feet from the surface.
September 1928 - workers completed the dredging of Lake George and turn an unattractive area into a municipal park and recreation area. A shallow 23-acre swamp became a 7-acre lake, 35 feet deep in spots.
Lake George about 1900

October 1928 - Citizens constructed a giant toboggan slide, 45 feet high and 200 feet long on the lake's southwest corner. Lake George became extremely popular for leisure skating, skating shows, sledding, and winter carnivals.
July 1947 - The St. Cloud Municipal Swimming Pool was dedicated. The pool was Minnesota's first outdoor Olympic-size pool and cost $170,000 to build. The dressing house was Georgian Revival style and was built during the Works Progress Administration. In the 1950s it was used by as many as 2,000 swimmers a day, 60,000 in the summer of 1955.
June 1969 - Area businesses, groups,and individuals started raising funds for a fountain in the middle of Lake George. The fountain was installed in 1973.

Note: Wow,  someone wrote a whole article about the Lake and forget to mention the SWANS?  They were the main feature about Lake George when I was a kid. (Ok, ok...I could go edit the article myself, right? ☺)

Lake George in the distance, 1969
November 1978 - The landmark warming house at Lake George is demolished. It was built in 1936 through the Works Progress Administration with materials from the Pandolfo Plant. A new warming house is building south of the old site.
                                                     September 2002 - The St. Cloud Municipal Swimming Pool closed because of declining attendance and the need to replace an expensive chlorine treatment system. (This is where most area kids learned to swim, including us) Brrr!
June 2007 - A new splash pad was installed to replace the swimming pool. Also, a public restroom and concession building, plaza, picnic areas and new playground area was completed to complement the historic character of the area.
May 2008 - The Lake George Community Center opens in Eastman Park. The community center is housed in the historic dressing house. The dressing house building was reused with a complete interior remodel. The historic character of the dressing house was preserved".

This is Lake George today.  It's still used for skating in the winter, when the city plows and polishes a nice large rink.
Lake George originally was a swamp that drained to the Mississippi thru a ravine (top picture).  All that's left of the ravine now is the last bit along Highbanks Place, north of the SCSU campus.
It's still a pretty place to be, with a well used asphalt walking path all the way around, too.

OMG, how St Cloud's changed, huh?


  1. Got here from a WJON site about St.Cloud 4 years of high school was at St Cloud Technical next to Lake George. I was from Rockville Minnesota...rob/ferts/phx

  2. I never knew why municipal pool closed but now I do lol an yup I learned to swim there also. Iv lived in my whole life an I don't plan on ever moving! Ps wait park sucks!! Lol