History of the Lovell Lake Association

by Anusia Hirsch

The Lovell Lake Association was created by Carl Johnson, Bob Tucker and other dedicated volunteers in 1963 as a community organization dedicated to the preservation of Lovell Lake. Back then, there were fewer homes, cottages and camps on the lake, not to mention, no internet, social media or cell phones. The social aspect of the association was paramount and included sailboat races, dances, regular get-togethers, fireworks at Sunshine Acres, socializing after the Annual General Meeting, twice yearly newsletters and the Boat Parade.

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In 1963 the Lakeside Representative Program was established as a mechanism for communication and coordination of lake related issues to all residents and property owners on the lake as well as renters and other visitors. The lake was divided into 5 districts and representatives were responsible to visit properties several times per season and welcome newcomers as well as distribute flyers and newsletters.

The Boat Parade has been an annual event for over 50 years and offers LLA members the opportunity to show their creativity and lake spirit by decorating their boats and joining the parade. Each year a theme is chosen and prizes continue to be awarded for the most family participation and decorating originality and imagination.

The Water Quality Monitoring Program began in 1989 by a group of dedicated volunteers who worked with the University of New Hampshire to ensure that any adverse trends or water quality issues would be quickly identified. At that time, the laboratory services of the UNH technicians and professors were our single highest expenditure. Today, volunteers run a successful Water Quality Monitoring Program and continue to collect water samples for testing.

During the late 1990’s, the Boat Safety Committee and the Sailing Committee were combined and renamed the Watersports Committee to reflect the increased use of the lake by many different types of watercraft and activities. The Committee coordinated these various activities, such as the weekly sailboat races, with an educational program to promote safe enjoyment of the lake by all users. The Lake Association also sponsored a Fish Monitoring Program which was run by a dedicated angler to provide education, such as the ban on lead sinkers. Samples of fish caught in the lake were periodically sent to the state for analysis for various contaminants such as mercury and lead.

Lovell Lake had an active Loon Preservation Committee whose task was to educate residents and visitors about these magnificent birds and their need for nesting areas and privacy. A full report about nesting pairs and offspring was given at each Annual Meeting and written up in the bi-yearly newsletters.

Our Lovell Lake Scholarship program was introduced as a possibility of providing a modest scholarship to a deserving Wakefield student interested in pursuing a career in the environmental sciences. Thanks to the generous donations of the LLA membership, today the Scholarship program is able to award one or two scholarships per year.

The Weed Watch Program was developed as an important semi-annual event related to the water quality of the lake. Lovell Lake members don scuba masks and snorkels or go out in canoes or kayaks to look for early signs of milfoil infestation. This program continues to operate as an essential part of our water quality protection.

Lovell Lake at Sunset

Photo by Jeff LeGrow

In 2001, with the discovery of milfoil in neighboring lakes and the subsequent introduction of the Lake Host Program by the New Hampshire Lakes Association, the Lovell Lake Association shifted from a social organization to a group dedicated to preserving the water quality of Lovell Lake. Suddenly, the membership dues of $25.00 per family would not be sufficient to fund programs necessary to protect our lake. The dues card was changed to reflect an “optional donation” section and members of our association rose to the challenge and began donating an extra $25.00 to $500.00 per year. We currently have our third “anonymous donor” who committed $5,000.00 per year for 5 years. Lovell Lake is in a financial position unlike most other lakes and we consider ourselves to be extremely fortunate. We joined the New Hampshire Lakes Lake Host Program in 2001 and continue to have enough matching funds to hire Lake Hosts to inspect boats down at the Wakefield town ramp. During the summer of 2018, over 900 boats were inspected by the Hosts working at Lovell Lake. The Lake Host Program is now our highest expenditure with funds being donated by the Town of Wakefield, the New Hampshire Lakes Association, our anonymous donor and the Lovell Lake Association.

Back when there were no street addresses for most of the lake, Carl Johnson, one of the original founders of the Lovell Lake Association, coined the phrase, “Lovell Lake is a lot, and a whole lot more.” We are all dedicated to maintaining the pristine condition of our water quality and look forward to our summers on beautiful Lovell Lake.

Thank you to Ken Cram, who is one of our past presidents, for supplying his historical notes, dates and lake information.