The History of Mountain Lake

 

Mountain Lake was established in 1916 by Frederick S. Ruth of Baltimore, whose family owned property in the area. Ruth assembled 3,500 acres in the hilly, verdant land, which is among the highest in the state. He engaged Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. to lay out 600 acres of the property for the residences and brought in Seth Raynor to design the golf course.

In the mid 1920's Edward W. Bok, the publisher of The Saturday Evening Post and The Ladies Home Journal, was a homeowner at Mountain Lake. He had come to America from Holland and became very successful in his career. Wanting to make a lasting contribution to his new homeland, he acquired 250 acres of the highest land of the park and created what is now known as Bok Tower Gardens. The "Singing Tower" is one of the world's most renowned carillons, and outdoor concerts and other events are scheduled on a regular basis.

Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., whose father designed Central Park and the Boston Common, among other projects, did the original layout for Mountain Lake. He also designed the Colony House, which serves as a clubhouse and private hotel. The Colony House and Mountain Lake Historic District are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Since its earliest days, Mountain Lake has kept its original character as a place of great natural beauty with a style of living that is outdoor oriented and unpretentious. The community has been described as "a setting of wondrous isolation from the clutter of commercial life." Golf & Travel magazine named Mountain Lake one of the most attractive golf communities in America. There are over 125 residences, few of them within sight of the golf course, so the gently rolling land is open and space is abundant. Mountain Lake is an ideal getaway spot for those who appreciate great golf, tennis, and croquet in beautiful natural surroundings, with an atmosphere that is warmly hospitable and relaxed.