The beginnings of the House of Three Bears...

In 1938, Mrs. Mabel Brooks leased this cottage property to Mrs. Emily Lloyd, who ran a six-week summer camp for up to 60 young children ages 4-10. Most of them were from Chicago or Milwaukee. The little girls slept in this cottage and the boys slept in simple cabins on the property. The larger building to the West was the dining hall, it was used for meals and indoor recreation. Mrs. Lloyd and her assistant Betsy Ross were excellent and creative teachers. Memorable events were the Solemn Indian Ceremonial and on the last day there was a circus put on by the children for their parents which included a live circus band from Green Lake High School. Former campers occasionally stop by to see their former outdoor wonderland.

Abstract Information on the House of Three Bears Property Belonging to Brooks, Baldwin, Morell, Smith

  • 1836- Wisconsin became a territory from the Louisiana Purchase.
  • 1837-The Indians sold their land rights to the United States Government.
  • 1839-The land was surveyed by the US Government.
  • 1840-The land was made open to purchase.
  • 1842-Dartford (village name changed to Green Lake in 1907) became a village. The name Dartford came from Ansen Dart, who came here in 1840. The pond by the Dam and the Puckyan River, which were connected at that time, had to be forded.
  • January 17, 1848 Edward B. Smith, from NY bought the property. It consisted of the shoreline of the left fence of this cottage to the cove at the bottom of the hill.
  • 1848-WI became a state.
  • May 8, 1848 Edward B. Smith sold his land to Francis Catlin who came down the Great Lakes from NY on a cruise ship that was bringing troops to the fort at Portage, WI. Accompanying him was his brother in-law Ansen Dart who went back and forth to NY frequently. The Catlins were a large and active family in early Dartford. The Brooks-Smith family knew them well.
  • June 4, 1849 James Keene, who was also married to a Catlin sister, bought the land. James owned a home and a general store near the Puckyan River.
  • October 25, 1867 James Keene died. His executor Perserve Porter helped his heirs to sell the lake property to Fredrich William Page, who owned other property near Norwegian Bay on Green Lake.
  • August 3, 1884 Fredrich William Page sold the property to Frank Summerfeldt, who owned the farm on both sides of Judy Lane.
  • May 5, 1888 Frank Summerfeldt sold the land to Divid Greenway, owner of Oakwood Resort in Green Lake. He then sold it back to Summerfeldt on December 3, 1888.
  • December 7, 1898 Summerfeldt sold the property to Mini Kutchin, wife of Lester Kutchin, who was Mabel Smith-Brooks’ Uncle.
  • November 30, 1904-May 22, 1905 Mini Kutchin gave part of the property to Mabel Smith-Brooks, her two sisters, and Horrace Kutchin.
  • June 4, 1922 Mabel Smith-Brooks had bought out the property from the other heirs and now owned the entire area of land. She built the first cottage on the property and named it after her first two grandchildren Barb-Berta.
  • Between 1938 and 1957 Mabel leased the property to Mrs. Emily Lloyd for a six week summer camp for small children. 1953 Mabel Smith-Brooks died and left the property to her daughter Carol Baldwin, and three grandchildren. Two of the Grandchildren sold their property. Carol Baldwin then died and the property is now in a trust.