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Kepler Park History

In 1952, the late Jesse T. Kepler cleared a small area of his property on the lake named after him to provide a picnic area for his family to gather. Over time, he did a lot more clearing of brush and large trees. What is now an open channel of water between Kepler and Bradley Lakes, used to be just a low boggy area full of weeds and dead alder brush. Jesse built a spruce log bridge over the channel and extended the existing trail to access more of his property.

Jesse and his wife, Harriet, decided to share what they had with others by allowing the general public to come visit and enjoy the area too. He established a business and developed the area into what is now Kepler Park. Jesse designed and built twelve flat-bottom wooden rowboats and began renting them to the public. He couldn't always be on site, so as a system for boat rentals he set up a post in the ground with a metal can attached to it at the lake shore for people to deposit their rental fees. The people took the boats out on the lake and returned them when they were done. This honor system worked quite well back then.

When Jesse passed away in 1960, his son, David C. Kepler, took over the business and development of the campground. David and his wife, Lois, ran the business from their home for many years. Their three children also took part in operation and maintenance of the campground, making it a joint family effort. Eventually, the original boats deteriorated and had to be replaced. As an improvement, the bridge has been redesigned and replaced twice. Over the years the campground area has been expanded to provide more campsites.  In 1970, an office building was built on the premises. David had a heart for helping young people and would give them a summer job in order to provide them with a new start. In more recent years, family involvement in the business has been renewed by Kelper's children, grandchildren, and now even great-grandchildren taking part in the operation of the park.

David and Lois have now both passed away, leaving a huge void in the Kepler family. But, as with our father and his father Jesse before him, we want to share with others what the Lord has blessed us with. Now in its 70th year of existence, and into our fifth generation of enjoying family picnics there, we invite you to visit us at Kepler Park for a time of fun and relaxation with your family and friends.

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