In 1969, the Lazy Boy Chair Company was the largest furniture company in the world. It had factories in 31 countries. At that time, Edward M. Knabusch, Chairman, founder and inventor of Lazy Boy, owned the land that is now Rose Lake Forest. No trees had been cut from it, but with over a million board feet of hardrock maple, Mr. Knabusch was warehousing the forest as standing timber. One day the maple and oak would become arms for Lazy Boy chairs.
When approached by a guy named "Al" with the idea of developing the magnificent rolling forest into Rose Lake Forest, Mr. Knabusch, who loved nature, became interested. He wanted to know more.
"Let's make it a recreation area where people can buy and own large lots and use them pretty much as they see fit," said Al. "Let's set it up so they can use the land they own for things that are fun and won't cost much. You won't have to build a cottage unless you want to. You can use a tent, a camper, even a mobile home on your own property---"
"Install underground electric," enthused Mr. Knabusch. "Campers can tap in for about $100 if they want to. And build the roads to county specs. When the county maintains it, folks can use it year 'round."
"Let's not have a Clubhouse or Indoor Heated Pool . . . or Tennis Courts," Al said. "That just raises the price of the land. Besides, that's not what campers want. The land is perfect as it is. We'll just put in a community well so folks can get water easily."
"And," said Mr. Knabusch, "let's set up a Dumping & Flushing Station with frost-free spigots. You'll be able to use a self-contained travel trailer even if you don't have a well and septic on your lot. Those who want to put in their own well can. But they can use the community well as long as they want . . ."
"Hey," Al said, "let's have the back end of our lots next to Park instead of another lot. More privacy. And notbody cuts trees in the Park. It will just stay forest--- with trees so big you can't get your arms around 'em."
"How about interconnecting the Parks with Greenbelt, so the Park or Greenbelt will allow you to go anywhere in the forest?" said Mr. K. "And connect all this to Rose Lake, for fishing, swimming and picnics. A men and women's John with flush toilets and running water at the Beach Park would be a nice touch. It could be real handy!"
"That'll mean an electric bill. And property taxes on the Parks and Greenbelt," said Knabusch. "Who'll pay them?"
"We'll give the Parks, Beach Area and John to the property owners . . . a non-profit association . . . and we'll set it up so that each lot owner pays a small amount per year. That should take care of it," Al said.
"All right," said Knabusch. "Do it!" Whereupon the Lazy Boy Chair Company quietly surrendered the arms for 500,000 Lazy Boy chairs.
The details were worked out. The Pine River Timber Company and two guys named Charlie and Al proceeded to build winding country roads through the least of the trees. Surveying, roads, beach, John, and Dumping Flushing Station were all completed. A few common sense restrictions like no schoolbuses or milk trucks. But you can use any equipment manufactured with camping as its intended use. And you own your own property. Your spot will always be there waiting for you when STATE PARKS ARE FULL.
Come walk through some beautiful, rolling, wooded property.
Allan Wood, Pine River Timber Co. A.D. 1975