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About Cordry Lake and Sweetwater Lakes
In northern Brown County, Cordry Lake and Sweetwater Lake are located in Hamblen Township, the earliest part of Brown County to be settled. Near Nineveh, Indiana, many original residents moved into the area in the 1820s from Johnson County to the north. When Brown County was established in 1836, Hamblen Township was mapped.
During that time, the township was loaded with what they described as nuisance wildlife: bears, panthers, and wolves. You know - pests. A bounty on the exotic creatures took care of that. Also removed were various hardwoods like hickory, cherry, walnut and oak as well as minerals such as gold, quartz and jasper.
Before the development of the lakes, the Cordry/Sweetwater area was an attraction for the upper and working classes from Indianapolis and other nearby cities, mostly for old-fashioned hoe-downs or to hear jigs and waltzes from the original German or Irish settlers.
Now, picture yourself in postwar America - the early 1950s. America was beginning to turn its attention toward the growth and development that would characterize the decade. A handsome young developer named Howard Prince, who had already developed a resort area in southern Johnson County called Prince’s Lakes (get it – Howard Prince = Prince’s Lakes?) had an idea.
Mr. Prince’s newest brainchild was more aggressive. Originally a larger lake (Cordry) with a second, even larger lake (Sweetwater) imagined shortly after. And so it began, with the purchase of the land, some for as little as $60/acre. “You sold what? For how much?!?” The first dam, for Cordry Lake, was started in 1952 at the same time that lot sales became available. An early brochure advertises prices at $12 per lakefront foot. The original sales building still stands, at the entrance to Prince’s Lakes, now housing a liquor store and a barber shop.
At one point it’s said, that the two lakes were to be one, with a canal proposed just north of Muskrat Drive. There was also talk of a third lake that would join Cordry and Sweetwater Lakes, southwest of the two. Apparently, at only $12 per lakefront foot, there wasn’t enough cash to make these a reality. In fact, The Prince’s Lake Building Company went belly up in the late 1950s. The existing homeowners attempted to complete the development using private donations, but that proved too small an effort.
Around 1962, after Mr. Prince’s death, a conservancy was formed to complete the Cordry and Sweetwater Dams. Lot sales continued on both Cordry and Sweetwater Lakes. Sweetwater Dam was begun in 1963. Sweetwater Dam was completed and the lake was filled in 1967. Cordry Dam was finally completed and the lake filled in 1968. How big were the garden hoses needed to fill those?
Today, these two lakes in beautiful Brown County offer some of the clearest and cleanest water in Indiana. Still a private community, you'll find some amazing (and newer!) lakefront homes. Most of the other area homes offer access to both lakes and the beach. Indianapolis, Nashville and Bloomington are all nearby, so you're always near shopping, dining and the arts. But you can still relax and enjoy a year-round lake home with your friends and family, and have the rest of Brown County, with the most beautiful scenery in the midwest.
Homes on Cordry Lake and Sweetwater Lake are still very popular, with the economy having little impact on values. Is it time for you to start enjoying your own lake house?
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Homes for sale in Cordry Lake
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