fter World War II, moving to Lake Dreamland was a awesome place to live.
The resort that had been built more than a decade earlier , and its developer, Ed Hartlage, was offering people a chance to rent lake cottages -- cheap.
The cottages had their own yards, and many had scenic views of the lake and the nearby Ohio River.
A stroll through the area -- which extends roughly from the Ohio River to Camp Ground Road, between Senn Road and Bramers Lane -- reveals a neighborhood surrounded by large trees, a lake and the Ohio River. The floodwall cuts the area in half, giving the appearance of two separate neighborhoods. There is little written record about the resort in its heyday.
It was begun when developer Hartlage dammed Bramer's Run to form the lake. According to Mary Hartlage, niece of Ed Hartlage by marriage, the people who stayed at the resort during the early years traveled from Louisville during the summer.
Hartlage, of Camp Ground Road, said that until the 1950s, resort vacationers used to swim, fish and boat in the lake, and a few people even rode horses along it.
Through the '50s and '60s, the area had no sewers or publicly maintained roads and limited water service.
Hartlage converted a dairy barn into a community building that Lotze called a "lake-side country club." It was the site of dances and social gatherings. Later, it was turned into Club El Rancho, a tavern and dance club. "When we first moved out here, the club was going pretty good -- Club El Rancho ," Watson said, pointing down the road from her home. "And they had the big bands. We'd sit out on the porch and listen to them, and they really had good crowds."
In 1957, the club was featured in The Courier-Journal as being a forerunner on the music scene, bringing a new brand of music to Louisville called rock 'n' roll.
"A reporter and photographer returned to the relatively tranquil downtown section with their ears buzzing after a call on a recent Friday night at the Club El Rancho . . . ," unfortunately this club caught fire and was heavly damage in 1967.
During the '60s a reform movement took hold, led by an activist resident named Charles Jones, also called "Mad Dog Jones." He died in 1987.
"He was a wonderful man," said Lotze. "He was very involved in trying to give a positive image to Lake Dreamland."
The residents formed a community council and worked to get a park and utilities, renovate run-down property and clean up the green areas and the lake.
In April 1983, a neighborhood association incorporated in hopes of gaining eligibility for state and federal programs.
Some cleanup and renovation has been done, and the county blacktopped the roads in recent years.
Finally, the county was able to buy the land from the estate of Ed Hartlage, who died in 1980, and it plans to spend $2.1 million improving the area. The county will deed the land over to the residents.
Because it is in the flood plain, the county plans to turn the property back into a "land trust."
This is just a brief history more can be found on the world wide web