Several past residents have contacted the Association seeking information about their previous summer homes and offering reminiscences and occasionally pictures of their years here at Lilly Lake. If you have contributions, please contact Marilyn. If your home is mentioned on this page, enjoy the trip down memory lane!
Paul Sr. and Libbie Jarke owned the cottage at 8034 335th Ave.
Libbie's father, Frank Lhotak, built it in the spring/summer of
1928. Paul Jr. and his twin brother Ray helped with the building
and learned a lot about carpentry and other things from their
grandfather Frank. During construction, they lived in two tents
on the back property.
Paul Sr. erected the flag pole in July of 1939 to commemorate
Paul Jr. and Ray's being drafted during World War II.
About the same time, the basement was added. Paul Jr. and Ray
and some of their friends crawled under the cottage and dug the
basement by hand.
Tony Belmonte (nephew of Paul Jr.), his brother, and some cousins spent many summers there in the 1950s and early 1960s. They learned to swim and rowed rental boats from Bill and Marie Greil's store.
The home was only a summer cottage. The family opened it around
Easter and closed it for the winter by Halloween. There was no
insulation or heat, no phone or TV, only a radio, several games,
and decks of cards.
Friday night was pizza at Marino's in New Munster. Sometimes
the family went into Lake Geneva on Sundays.
The cottage and the vacant lot in back were sold in 1973 after
Submitted by Tony Belmonte (email@example.com).
Per Linda Lightholder Kmiecik (firstname.lastname@example.org):
In the late 1940s and early to mid-1950s my parents spent two weeks each Summer up at Lily Lake. We were southsiders (of Chicago) and it seemed to take forever to get there, to my child's mind. I know we went through Slade's Corners and the lake was near New Munster. I believe my folks also vacationed up there in the 1930s, before I was born in 1940. One year we rented a cottage directly across from the Lily Lake beach. Other times we rented a cottage off up the hill to the right as you are looking at the beach. At that time there was a tavern, Bill and Marie's just as you started up that hill. I have my parents' 1951 address book, and for Bill and Marie's tavern I show the owners' address as Route #3, Box 428, Burlington, WI, and the phone as Wheatland O-55-R. I believe Burlington was their Winter residence.
Close friends of my parents had their own cottage at the lake, on
what was then the last street "behind" the beach. Their names were
Pop (Clair) and Babe Kohl. Both are now gone, as are my parents.
My husband and I took a short trip up to Lily Lake several years
ago and couldn't find any of the above sites - not the cottage we
rented up the hill, nor Bill and Marie's tavern, nor the Kohls'
cottage. I do have photos of many lake sites, from those early
years, and even with photos in hand of the Kohls' cottage, we
could not find it. No doubt it has been torn down and replaced.
Ethel Kohl, John Kohl and Linda's dad Harold Lightholder
in the 1930's
Back row: In the 1930's, Harold Lightholder, Babe Kohl,
Jean Kohl, Verna Lightholder (Linda's mom).
This is the rental cottage the Lightholders used in the 1950's. Its location is unclear (probably on 334th or 336th up the hill past the beach). The owner's son was in his 20's at the time and had recovered from a bad bout of polio.
[May, 2003] ... we took a ride to Lily Lake, well known by the
brother-in-law Mike Iselin whose parents lived in Lily Lake for
about 30 years, and whose sister, name unknown, still lives there.
We drove to where I think the Kohls' cottage was, and that seems
to be on 337th St. I did not see the name/number of the cross
street, but it is at the farthest end of the street (if standing
with your back to the lake, that farthest end would be at the
extreme right). There is a fairly new house on that lot now. We
also drove to where I think a rental cottage was, on the first
street running to the left just beyond what was Bill and Marie's
tavern. Couldn't find that one either, although there seemed to be
several possibly abandoned cottages on the right-hand side of that
The Cashman house was built around 1935. Paul and Catherine
Cashman bought it in 1946 as a summer home. Mary Louise, their
youngest, tells of playing on the beach and jumping off the raft
with her brothers Bob and Jim.
In 1954, the Cashmans sold the house to the Mack family. The
Macks added a second floor with bedrooms and an attached garage.
They also converted the house to a year-round home.
Around 1965, Bob Cashman, late husband of current resident Kathie
Cashman, bought the house back. He built a garage and changed the
attached garage into a family room. Kathie lives in the home today
with her cats Ralph, Otis, and Walter.
The following photos are courtesy of Kathie Cashman. The
full-size versions are 150KB to 250KB.
House in 1946. Paul Cashman is shown with his mother, Elizabeth Cashman, who was born in Ireland and came to this country when she was 18.
House in 1965
House today. Ralph patrols the driveway.
Chuck Lockwood's family spent many summers at Lilly Lake in the
early to late 50's. His aunt and uncle, Edith and Walter Hebner,
owned the cottage three doors north of what is now called Lilly
Lake Resort, formerly Harry Kirsteins. They would go there or to
Bill and Marie's on weekends.
Says Chuck (email@example.com): "I remember a drive-in called Beckers. My cousin and I would go there for an ice cream cone. I remember we had to stop in Wilmot on the way up to get a block of ice for the ice box. There were trips to Lake Geneva and Twin Lakes to go grocery shopping. In a picture of a recent ice fishing derby, it looks as if there is a new house on that lot. It's been 40 or more years since I've been up there. I am living in Florida now and don't get up north any more."
The Winker family bought two lots at Lilly Lake in the early
1960s due to the influence of friends. The house originally on the
lots had burned down. Their current home was built in 1964-65
while Helga was in Germany teaching for the US Government.
The Winkers planned to retire at Lilly Lake, but John Winker died
in March, 1972, six weeks before his retirement. The death was a
blow to Tillie, who never learned how to drive.
Mathilde ("Tillie") Winker turned 100 years old on February 16,
2009. Below are some pictures from her birthday party in Illinois.
Tillie in her birthday party gear
Tillie with her three children: Fred, Helga, and Bernie
Tillie with her whole extended family: 30+ people
Tillie wearing a rosary blessed by Pope Benedict XVI
Following are several historical pictures of the Winker house and family:
1965 - Tillie Winker supervises work on the house
1969 Tillie (on left) and John Winker working the vegetable garden behind their house
1973 July 4 parade
Chuck & Helga Stephansen with Stephansen and Winker children in front of Bill & Marie Greil's tavern
1982 Derek Winker getting a haircut from Larry Smith, the barber in New Munster. It became a Winker tradition for the boys to get their first haircuts from Larry.
February 16, 2010
Tillie with her children at the birthday party
Per Kim Cleland (Kimcleland@aol.com):
My parents, Paul Cleland (d. 1987) and Pauline Cleland (d. 1991), owned a house on Lily Lake in the 60s/70s. (They lived in Riverside, Illinois after they sold the house at Lily Lake.) The previous owners were Schlotfeldt and the next owner was Natalie Bohnson. When my parents bought the house, the road ended at our parking area. Mother complained when everyone turned around in her yard and she had to buy gravel frequently, then she complained about the cars and trucks and motorcycles zooming past. I have a few photos taken during the road construction. I have no clear memories of the road being put through. I remember when Val and Sophie Liss' friends built a big house on their side of the road and down a bit. I walked down every day to watch the men work for a few minutes and see what progress had been made.
We had a cement block boat house with a white wood railed deck on
the roof, and a very long, curving stone stairway from the water
up to the house. It was very easily distinguished from others. I
cannot tell you how many hours we mowed that yard with an electric
push mower. And that horrible bank. I can tell you
that I bought Scotts Super Turf Builder and applied it just once.
[For waste management] We used to have two brothers whose names I
cannot remember. They doubled as the tree surgeons when storms
went through. Very nice men. [Ed.
The men were probably Wally Grossman and his nephew Jimmy
Father said that house would be worth $50,000 some day. I thought
he was nuts. [Ed. Scott
and Lori Hale bought the property in 2004.]
Cleland house in the 1970s. The Rambler was Kim's first car. It cost $600 used.
Paul and Pauline Cleland
View from the house to the road
View from the lake
Building the new road past the Cleland house - 1
Building the new road - 2
Like a number of people around the lake, Paula Adams decided to
completely demolish her crumbling old home and replace it with one
of the new modular homes. The following photos capture just a few
of the steps in the process:
House at 8018 335th before demolition
Down it comes
Brand new house landscaped and ready for living
Corlyn Banks Kamin is holding the dog. Her mother Isabelle is in the polka dot dress in the center of the photo. Everyone else is unknown. I am guessing the photo was taken in the late 1930's.
If anyone has any information, please let us know.
John Fitzgibbon remembers the golf outings that his father hosted
every August for his New York, Chicago, North Carolina, and
Wisconsin business friends. Dad was the men's hosiery buyer for
Sears, which made him the biggest men's hosiery buyer in the world
in the 1950s and 1960s. The group of up to 20 men were all titans
in the men's hosiery business. They bunked at the Firzgibbon
cottage, a neighbor's home, and the Greil's cottage.
The men knew how to party. They kept Greil's tavern busy every
evening, and they made many local friends. Young John was the
gofer for the outings. The men remembered him generously at his
1964 wedding in Los Angeles. They also invited John to go on a
deep sea fishing trip and goose hunting. On one pheasant hunt,
they bagged 32 birds. John had to clean 29 (the others were too
damaged to clean).
Here is a picture of two shirts from that era:
The Burlington Historical Society web site, www.burlingtonhistory.org,
is a gold mine of information about the area. It has several
searchable databases. To use them:
1. Click the Search
button at the top of the home page.
2. Click the database you want to search.
3. At the bottom of the database description window, click Start Searching.
4. Type the words you want to search for and click the Search button. Example: type "lily lake" and click Search.
Result: The search engine shows you what it has found. Many of the results are abstracts of articles from the Burlington Standard Press. To read the whole article, you must go to the Burlington Public Library and look it up in their microfilm files.
Many thanks to Elaine Burke for providing copies of the following
platts of the area:
Old timers remember certain
interesting pieces of lake history. If you have additional
information or pictures, we'd be happy to hear from you.
For most of its life, the home at 7655 Lily Lake Rd was a tavern owned by Bill and Marie Greil. When it was converted to a private home, the familiar tavern sign came down. Coutesy of Kathie Cashman.
View of some 1930's cars parked across from Bill & Marie's tavern. Lake and swimming area can be seen in the background.
(Courtesy of Linda Lightholder Kmiecik)
Lucille Kietzer tells of a barn that used to stand near the current intersection of Cty W and JI. When it was torn down, the rats that used to live there scrambled to find new homes. Some of them came into homes across from the beach.