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A Little History on
LLM County Club &
Home Owner Association

llm aerial view with frame.png

The idea of purchasing a home in the mountains, and living in a housing development, at least in Sullivan County, probably began with the novel approach of Arthur N. Smallwood in 1928. Smallwood envisioned a self-contained community, featuring not just homes, but recreational facilities, including a 90-acre lake and a golf course, and retail establishments. By 1960, there were 1,500 homes in the community that by then had adopted his name, about one-third of which were year around residents.

The Lake Louise Marie development-- located around the body of water named not by mobster Al Capone as the long time legend insisted, but by New Jersey restaurateur Charles Servanti-- was the largest of these, with 1,400 homes planned on 650 acres. Plans for amenities included beach and dock rights on the lake, eight community swimming pools, one of which was indoor, a community center, a day camp, two shopping centers and a 300-room motel. By the end of summer in 1960, about fifty homes had been completed in the Lake Louise Marie development, and although many more homes were added, most of the planned amenities never were.

In 1960, Herman Rosenwasser was the head of the Lake Louise Marie Corp. In an article in the Liberty Register by reporter Leslie C. Wood, Rosenwasser was quoted as estimating that there would be 100 homes completed by July of that year.

By September, the Register was reporting that Lake Louise Marie homes were being sold almost as quickly as they could be built. Fifteen homes were already occupied, the paper noted, while another 30 were due to be moved into within two weeks, and an additional 25 within a month.

George Bayer, the development’s director of sales, reported that ten of the homes already completed were two-bedroom models while the balance were three-bedroom.

“There are many variations on the homes,” Bayer said. “Some are two-story and run as high as $24,000.”

Bayer said that sales were so brisk that after October the development would be increasing the price on the basic homes and would be adding into the cost the price of a refrigerator and closing fees. The basic models at that time ranged in price from $12,600 to $16,600. Bayer pointed out that all but the most expensive lake front lots in Section One had been sold and that construction had begun in Section Two.

Sadly, the severe economic downturn of late 1961 took its toll on the Lake Louise Marie development, along with many other projects in Sullivan County—some underway and some on the drawing board—and most never regained their momentum. Although Lake Louise Marie Corporation was sold to Emerald Green Corporation in 1967, and that many more homes and amenities were added thereafter, the project never approached the size of what was originally envisioned.

A little history: LAKE LOUISE MARIE
Inspired from John Conway Writtings, Sullivan County Historian.

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