The Lake of Many Names:
Edmonton Beach

by Glen Carmicheal

When Township 52 was surveyed, the small ponds on SE 1/4 of Section 30 were considered inconsequential, and the quarter was recorded as containing 160 acres. And then the rains came, the ponds filled over-flowed, and a lake was created, complete with sandy shores and islands.

When Reinhardt Schimpf filed on the quarter as his homestead in July, 1894, the lake became known as Schimpf's Lake. He sold the place to Ferdinand Mayerhofer of Edmonton in May, 1904, but got the title back within a month, so evidently the deal fell through. He sold again in March, 1906 to Robert G. Bull of Edmonton, who sold in July, 1907 to J. McCoppen of Edmonton. Mr. McCoppen owned and operated "The Tuck Shop" at the University, and he also owned an undertaking business. He transferred the title in August, 1907 to Anna McCoppen, who likely was his wife, and he rented the land to a farmer who then lived in a small house near the gate. A sign was erected: "McCoppen's Lake. Please shut the gate". The renter's children obligingly open and closed the gate when they could, and were often rewarded with a nickel or a dime. Local residents continued to use Schimpf's Lake as the name; the rapidly increasing number of Edmonton visitors adopted the name on the gate.

Small acreages and lots began to be sold, cottages were built, and Edmonton Beach began to be popular. When a new school district was formed west of the Rosenthal district, it was named Cottage Lake, and for a while that became the name of the lake, too.

When in 1920, J.A. Barrie bought the farm and put the title in the name of his wife, Mary Barrie, some attempts were made to popularize Barrie's Lake as the name. Mr. Barrie successfully ran a store, concession booth and dance hall, and sold many more lots.

Then as the lake level began to decline searches were made for the springs that were thought to feed the lake; dynamite was used in likely spots that were blasted to try to clear the sediment that was thought to be plugging the springs. As a result, Spring Lake became the popular name for a while. But the lake continued to go down; the islands became part of the mainland again. The cottagers formed a summer village which they called Edmonton Beach and the old names are almost totally forgotten. Schimpf's, McCoppen's, Barrie's and Spring Lake are gone; only Cottage Lake and Edmonton Beach remain.

The Summer Village of Edmonton Beach was incorporated as of January 1, 1959, to include all of Section 30 and part of the NW 19-52-1-W5

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