Snapshot of History: Sun Valley Lake
If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
I’ve got an older Sun Valley Lake brochure that looks like it is from the 1970s because of the colors and artwork. I believe it is from about 1982 as it describes the golf course that was then under construction. The Sun Valley Golf and Country Club opened in May 1984.
About a month ago I was driving past Sun Valley Lake and saw a great deal of dirt work being done west and north of the golf course. I wanted to know what was going on and my friend Karen Simpson (she works at Sun Valley) suggested I talk to Sun Valley Lake Manager Dean Petty. Mr. Petty informed me the construction was a Rural Improvement Zone project overseen by the Iowa Department of Management. The work will result in a holding pond for silt that is to be dredged from Sun Valley Lake in the future. Rural Improvement Zones of this type are designed to manage erosion control and water quality.
I also learned there are about 650 residences at Sun Valley but this number also includes non-permanent residences such as trailers. Only about ten percent of the residents live here all year long. I helped construct two house here, one in 1990 and one in 1995. I don’t think I could find either one of them.
The public beach is no longer public. I had to call and tell my brother Mark this because Rev. Weiman baptized him here about 2000!
There are about 950 boats registered for use on Sun Valley Lake. There is currently no marina.
The clubhouse restaurant is being operated as The Yellow Wagon Clubhouse. The Yellow Wagon is a food truck that I have patronized a couple of times when it was parked at Lamoni. Yellow Truck owners Rusty and Mary Sinclair operate the restaurant with the help of their children.
While in the office, I picked up a Sun Valley Iowa Lake Association Views & News newsletter. There are three fishing tournaments annually and fireworks will be displayed the 4th of July. There was a church directory as well as other helpful information.
There were four bulletin boards on the wall in the office hall. One of the notices was asking for local historical material (like books, maps, and photos) to be donated to the Ellston Library, housed in the Ellston Methodist Church. Excellent idea! I’m sure I’ve got duplicates and copies of material that would be useful. I’ll see what I can find for the good folks at the Ellston Library.
Thanks again to Dean Petty for his courtesy and cooperation.