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A Brief History of Corey Lake

Andrew Norton

Fabius Township in St. Joe County is home to Corey Lake. It was believed that Joshua Corry was one of the first pioneers to settle upon the lake’s shore and the lake took the moniker of its original inhabitant. However, there are no records of him residing here, which might mean that he was only a land speculator. The change in spelling from Corry to Corey is most likely due to using a more common form of spelling Corey. A prairie adjoining the lake was referred to as “johnny-cake prairie” due to its flatness. Visitors from Illinois and Indiana still make their summer homes on this large beautiful lake. It was also used as the hunting grounds of Chief Sangamon and his tribe.

Encounters with the Indians, wild bears, deer, and wolves made for some interesting stories and tales of this area. Local timber wolves were quite vicious and killed numerous pigs and calves. One story goes that a local farm boy came upon a rustling noise near the cattle. It appeared as a ‘big dark bush’ and when it growled the boy shot and killed the bear keeping its cubs as pets.

The grandeur and splendor of days gone by were shown in The Grand View Hotel, Richelieu Lodge, and Pulver Farm (a country home on the edge of the lake open to visitors). Dudds Motor Boat Sales and Service Station, Poe’s Filling Station, and Corey Lake Pavilion were nearby.

One of the first plats filed for Corey Lake was in 1835. The YMCA Camp Eberhart located on Corey Lake was started around 1910. Much has changed around the lake since it’s humble beginnings and early settlement. Million dollar homes are not so rare and the quaintness and quiet has been replaced with privacy fences and large speedboats.