Celebrating RFL 100 Years

History of Property Owners Association

In the late teens a resort development was conceived in the mind of Myron Akin.  In 1920 B.H. Princell, Marvin James, George Shaw, Dr D.O., Norton and Myron Akin formed the first property owners’ association called the Red Feather Mountain Lakes Association and in 1921 started surveying for the various sub-divisions.  A large number of lots were sold, and 50 to 60 cabins were built.

About that time the local fish hatchery was built; located between Hiawatha Lakes and Ramona Lake with water from Hiawatha.  Rob White of Holyoke, Colorado has the Silver Fox farm in full swing.  Morris Swedlow built big clubhouse just west of West Lake running it successfully for a year or so during which time he was active in the property owners association.

Red Feather Lakes was bustling at this time and the property owners board asked for and received a commission for James Esterbrook who became the first Postmaster of Red Feather Lakes on July 2, 1924.

Then came the crash of 1929 which did in most of the sales of lots.  The company fell on hard times.  There were several re-organizations of the company.  John Ross loaned a large sum of money to the Company but sales were still down and he had to foreclose in mid-30’s and his daughter Mary Ross Quaintance, ultimately took over.

Red Feather was mostly dormant through the 1930’s.  Although the Red Feather Lakes Property Owners Association was as active as it was possible with such a limited number of members and the small dues ($5 per year).

The in 1941 the Red Feather Sportsman Club was formed with the blessing of the POA, with the goal of inducing the Game & Fish Commission to buy water rights on the chain of lakes.  This was not accomplished, and finally in 1946 five men from Property Owners Association put up $500 each as a down payment on the holdings of the Tunnel Water Company.  Then in 1947 the Red Feather Storage and Irrigation Company was incorporated and made a deal with the Game & Fish for them to take Dowdy, Westlake and Bellair Lakes since these were located on U.S. Forest Service ground and agreed to pay $17,500.  Stock was sold by Red Feather Storage and they paid $7500 for all the other lakes, ditches and canals in the Red Feather chain.  In February 1948 the Tunnel Water Company deeded all the lakes and water rights to the Red Feather Storage and Irrigation, and it turned deeded Dowdy, Westlake, and Bellair to the Game & Fish.

In 1949 the dam on Ramona broke through, and since there was no money in either treasury, two board members loaned money to the Company to repair the dike.  They were not able to repay this money so in 1949 or early 1950 the Red Feather Improvement Club was formed by the board of the Property Owners Association by a farsighted  and concerned group of property owners to raise money to pay for the Ramona dike.  The Improvement Club ultimately raised more than $40,000 and paid for the dike, the youth center, built the present community building, built and maintained the various wells and did many things to improve Red Feather Lakes.  The mission of the improvement club was accomplished and in the early 1970 the club was disbanded and turned back to the Property Owners Association.

The 1950’s was almost a boom for Red Feather.  The 1960’s through the efforts of the Property Owners Association interceding with the Larimer County Commissioners saw the road surfaced.

The Red Feather Lakes Property Owner’s Association has been a guiding hand for Red Feather Lakes since the early 1920’s.


               1921     Surveying for subdivisions

               1924     First Post Office

               1925     Original Red Feather Hotel

               1926     Akin, Princell & Dr Norton worked with RG Parvin to build Parvin Lake

               1926     Swedlow Built Clubhouse

               1935     Worked with AD Quaintance for CCC camp

               1938     Worked with Quaintance, Game & Fish to open Dowdy to public fishing

               1941     Cooperated with Sportsman Club to buy water rights

               1948     Rebuilt the Nokomis Lake dam and enlarged the lake

1948     Formed the Storage & Irrigation Company and bought the lakes

From 1948 to present the Property Owners Association was instrumental in forming of the Red Feather Fire District, induced the Poudre Valley REA to build line to Red Feather.  There have been very few happenings in Red Feather that the property owners have not had a hand in.  Today there are 274 members in the POA. Information from Linda Gordon and Jody Dahlstrom newsletter August 1981

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