IN THE BEGINNING
THERE WAS "DOBBS COTTAGES"
The business was started by my paternal grandmother and grandfather in about 1900 when they built Minglewood for their personal summer home and offered my grandmother's uncle's hunting lodge for rent. Over time, they built other houses in the field along the lake and my grandfather planted white pines between each of the houses. Cherrybank, Minglewood, Tuckaway (which eventually became their home and office) Ripple Bay, Mirror Cove, Fernwood and Pinebrook ... I remember there was a sign on the corner of River Road (a dirt road) and Route 73 in Severance which read "Dobbs Cottages."
AND THEN THERE WAS LAKE PARADOX CLUB
After my grandfather passed away my mother and father ran the business and my father named it "Lake Paradox Club". The wooden rowboats gave way to 12 foot aluminum boats, three four-horsepower outboards were purchased, we had wood and canvas canoes, and he added several Alcort Sailfish to our fleet, taught sailing and arranged for Sailfish races. My father also taught archery, another love of his. The pines my grandfather had planted between the houses grew taller and taller. We raked pine needles and became a forest.
To meet the needs of today we have four Sunfish (the Sailfish are gone), larger aluminum boats (14 foot) with larger motors (6HP), kayaks, and aluminum canoes. The old cedar staked docks have been replaced with wooden docks with aluminum staging, the clay tennis court became an asphalt court, and we added a baseball field. Reluctantly we were forced to cut down most of the white pines my grandfather had planted. At sixty or seventy years of age they had reached dangerous heights and in wind storms they several times fell on houses. We planted shrubs and flowers and the birds and butterflies came back.
Today we have gooseberries, black currants and flowers growing in the gardens between the houses. We rake a lot of leaves and do a lot of weeding. The tennis court is asphalt, not clay. My grandfather's golf course has disappeared, preempted by the municipal course. My childhood memories of delivering ice to the houses from our ice house with my grandfather, or crossing the brook to watch him start the single cylinder pump for the water system are things of the past. I can still remember the sound of that pump in the mornings ka-chunk, ka-chunk or smell the sawdust in the ice house where i could play in the coolness. My children's memories are different from mine as are those of our guests, but we treasure all the memories because creating vacation memories is our business.
LAKE PARADOX CLUB TODAY
STILL A FAMILY TRADITION
Kelley Waleski and her husband Jess oversee the current management of Lake Paradox Club, with the help of their daughter Gwen. They reside in the house named "Back Beyond" at 79 River Road. Kelley, along with her husband and children represent the 5th and 6th generations of family members involved with running The Lake Paradox Club. They have a great respect for the family traditions and memories that are part of the experience of staying here and truly enjoy the folks who come back year after year.