Lake Independence Settlers
The earliest known Lake Independence settlers located on the south shore near Pioneer Creek. Their settlement eventually became the village of Perkinsville. Perkinsville was a thriving community until 1868 when the railroad bypassed the town in favor of Maple Plain and Long Lake; eventually Perkinsville disappeared.
A more detailed history of Perkinsville can be found in the WCPA newsletter article about the history of Medina.
The first settlers in Independence Beach were Charles Hamisch and Henry Meninger, and their wives. Meninger purchased 159 acres in 1857. He paid for the land with a military script warrant purchased from a New Hampshire Militia veteran, who had received the script as a bonus for his military service. The Meningers property included 48 acres west of County Road 19, from Pine Street to where Dockside is now. They also owned two parcels east of County Road 19, one straddling Spurzem Creek between Half Moon Lake and Lake Independence and the other from Half Moon to County Road 24. It is believed that the Meningers’ house was near what is now the canoe launch on Half Moon. But in 1860 Henry Meninger defaulted on his $250 mortgage and lost his property to R. L.Hawes.
Charles, Adolph and Carl August Hamisch were probably brothers. Charles apparently arrived first, with Adolph and Carl August joining him later. Adolph and Charles both homesteaded their properties. Homesteading was a legal process whereby pioneers could earn ownership of their land over time by meeting residency requirements.
Charles’ property consisted of 69 acres west of County Road 19 from Pine Street north to Maple Street. He declared his intent under the 1862 Homestead Act, and after fulfilling the residence requirements, finally obtained title to the property in 1875. In 1877 he sold most of his land to his brother Adolph for $200, retaining ownership of a 50 foot wide strip of property along Maple Street, from Cedar Avenue to County Road 19, probably because his family’s home was located there.
Adolph Hamisch homesteaded 80 acres east of County Road 19 and south of Maple Street to Half Moon.
Carl August Hamisch owned the property north of Maple Street (now the Roundabout Stables and part of Camp Iduhapi). The Hamish properties were all contiguous, totaling 311 acres.
Later, in 1874, Adolph Hamisch purchased the former Meninger property from the subsequent owner. In 1877, as noted above, Adolph bought his brother Charles’ property. In 1880, Adolph sold both properties to Carl Pieper and his wife for $950. Carl and Caroline Pieper had immigrated from Germany in the mid 1860’s. The Piepers later established Piepers Farm Resort, the first of several resorts in Independence Beach.