our lake community is over one hundred years old!

 Capitol Beach bird flocks of spring

Spring 2013 finds the migrating flocks of geese, seagulls, pelicans, and other waterfowl stopping over for a few days rest… 

Capitol Beach Lake has been a vibrant, everchanging hub of activity, from the earliest days.  For hundreds of year, Indians traveled here for the salt, scraping it off the earth. In the 1860s Iowans traveled here for salt to supply the needs of their communities.  In the late 1860s Anson C. Tichenor began a salt processing operation, which eventually was abandoned when more profitably harvested saline deposits were discovered elsewhere.  By 1895, water from Oak Creek was channeled in, and Burlington Lake was born.  Enterprising companies built an entire amusement park, complete with roller coasters, merry-go-rounds, and a steamship that sailed the lake, carrying up to 50 people per trip.  Many more events are covered in our History page.

In the 1950s, the lake was drained to facilitate construction of the Interstate, but soon a dam was constructed, and the lake refilled, by the ingenuity of the Copple family.  Summer cabins were popping up along the west lake shore, with 25 appearing within the first 4 years.

In the 1970s, controversery  and unsettling times ensued: the Copples were caught up in the financial crunch, and years went by before the home owners on the Lake knew for sure that they would be able to keep their homes – the land had been leased to them for homebuilding, so the financial mess needed leadership.  Homeowners eventually banded together to form a partnership to buy the lots, and continue the neighborhood.

A January 1985 Star editorial summarized the lake’s history: “The lake has gone from great expectations to broken dreams, from romantic gaiety to a public image of virtual nothingness, from 1960s skepticism to 1970s grudging admiration, to grave uncertainty and is now on the brink of final vindication. The story of Capitol Beach is apt to remain one of the most unusual in the annals of Lincoln’s history.”

(a synopsis of a Lincoln Journal Star article, Dec 31, 1993 – article here)