Cream Hill Lake Association

Over 100 years ago, in 1891, five young men built a small boathouse and dock on Cream Hill lake where the clubhouse presently stands. The prime movers were tow sons of the Reverend Samuel Scoville, a summer resident who had been born in Cornwall. Two brothers were Samuel Scoville Jr., age 19, "lawyer Sam", father of Alice Barry and William H. Scoville, age 18, father of Roxana Hammond. They involved their cousin who owned the land. Samuel R. Scoville, age 25, "farmer Sam", uncle of Ralph Scoville. They also interested Charles L. Gold, age 28, grandfather of Ralph and Charlie Gold. Charles controlled the lake's dam that served his grist and saw mill a mile downstream from the lake. The fifth person was John E. Calhoun, age 32, grandfather of Denny Frost. John was a close friend of Charles and had an interest in another lakefront property.

These five owners generously allowed their boathouse to be used by some neighbors. One of these, L.O. Hedden, built a float for swimmers using wooden barrels. For 19 years, some 20 to 30 selected neighbors were allowed to use the facility on a very informal basis, primarily for swimming.

In 1910 the structure was in need of substantial repairs and was judged to be unsafe to use. As a result, the Cream Hill Lake Association was formed to undertake the needed rebuilding. The work was completed in 1911, at a cost of $1,163. This was funded by loans from the two Scoville brothers, Norman Ruland, Colin Morgan, Charles Sackett, James Cooke, and C.S. Steele. The first bylaws, written in 1910, made the original five owners charter members of the Association, who with their families were exempted from all dues, fees, and assessments. At that time Samuel R. Scoville (farmer Sam) provided the Association with a right of way to the boathouse via the Scoville farm driveway, barnyard and pasture land to the north end of the dam. It was a path, not a road. By 1910, the land occupied by the boathouse had been acquired by Samuel Scoville, Jr. He then granted the Association permission to use his land. He subsequently sold the land to the Association.

Sam Jr. was an avid swimmer. When 12 years old he swam across the lake and back. He repeated the feat at least once a year for the next 50 years. His enthusiasm was not dimmed by a drowning at the boathouse on July 22, 1918 when Ralph Irving Scoville, a cousin from Plainville, Ct., suffered muscle cramps and drowned while swimming alone after a strenuous day in the hot hay fields with farmer Sam.

The original bylaws provided that the membership be limited to 30 members and their families. Year around residents were active voting members. Summer residents were associate non-voting members. Membership was limited to owners or renters of property contiguous to the lake or to Cream Hill. The dues rate was $5 per year.

During the 1920's and 1930's house rules forbade use of the upper floor by persons under 14 from 3 to 6 p.m. and by anyone in a bathing suit at any time. Dancing and use of the phonograph was not allowed on Sundays. In the late 1920's, it finally became acceptable for males to swim bare chested. Every Saturday at 4 p.m. a "Tea" was held with memorable cookies, cakes, and sandwiches. These :Teas" were THE social occasion of the week. People dressed with much care and acted with appropriate decorum. Cocktail parties had not yet been invented.

Some of the Associations early milestones were:

1921: Association became incorporated to facilitate borrowing money.
1923: First access road (the present one) completed at a cost of $2300.
1927: First lifeguard, Ed Gray.
1928: First "imported" beach sand for castle construction.
1930: First electric lights.
1931: Fourth of July fireworks discontinued (after an accidental fiasco in 1930)
1933: First indoor plumbing and first telephone.
1937: First tennis courts (originally proposed in 1927) at a cost of $1700
1938: Active membership increased to 75
1940: Charles Gold ended his 29 years of service as president.