Today, Lake Placid in Blackford County is an 85-acre campground and retreat center owned and operated by the Indiana District Assemblies of God. When it was created in the late 1930s, it was envisioned as an economical way for many people to enjoy swimming, fishing and boating. It was also agreed that it would be a popular resort for picnics, family reunions and other social gatherings, attracting many visitors.
In October 1937, Wayne Wentz and Roy Pruden agreed to donate 15 acres of their farmland east of Hartford City for the creation of a lake. This lake was built, at no cost to taxpayers, through Franklin Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration, designed to help the nation emerge from the Great Depression. The construction of this lake was also part of a statewide program to conserve water supplies, maintain a more regular flow of streams, raise the water table, provide water for livestock and game, to improve the landscape and to provide fishing and recreational activities.
In the early 1940s, the Indiana Assemblies of God was looking for a place to hold special meetings. They had also discussed summer camping programs for youth and children. The organization purchased the land in 1946 and held its first camp meeting and youth gatherings the following year. At that time, there was nothing but the lake and a dormitory/cafeteria.
Over the years, many improvements have been made to the course. What was once typical farmland is now a venue that hosts several events throughout the year. Much more than a lake, there are now sports fields, boat docks, climbing walls, slides, etc. Lake Placid can now accommodate up to 450 people. One wonders what those who envisioned the lake over 70 years ago would think of what their vision has become. It seems to fit very well with what they originally envisioned even now, including things that were thought impossible at the time.
Lake Placid is definitely an asset to Blackford County which offers a beautiful location for retreats, reunions, reunions and several recreational activities. It is definitely one of Blackford County’s hidden gems.