In a roundabout fashion, Treasure Lake, now a semi-private resort and residential community, could trace its origin to June 1842 when John DuBois visited what would later be the DuBois area to determine its potential for lumbering. DuBois, then 33-years-old, liked what he saw and started to buy large tracts of land, totaling close to 32,000 acres at one time.
DuBois did not develop his property until returning in 1871 at the age of 63. His efforts were so successful that the town that developed around the lumbering industry became known as DuBois.
John DuBois died in 1886 and his nephew John E. DuBois (1861-1934) was the sole heir of his legacy.
The DuBois Cabin
In 1910, John E. DuBois, built a 60’ x 60’cabin of rough-hewn logs and massive stones in what would become Treasure Lake. What became known as the “DuBois Cabin” hosted visitors such as movie cowboy and former DuBois resident, Tom Mix; novelist Melville Davidson Post; and American political leader and orator William Jennings Bryan. The “DuBois Cabin” fell into disuse in 1938, was restored in 1968 for use as a recreation center, and has since been torn down.
It fell to John E.’s son, John E. DuBois Jr. (1898-1984) to create what would become Treasure Lake.
DuBois Jr., a successful businessman who served several terms in the Pennsylvania State Legislature, was an ardent environmentalist, spent time in isolated areas in South American as a commissioned officer, and was a member of the World Famous Explorers Club, which flew over both North and South Poles. In 1945 he envisioned the damming of an expanse of water as the first step toward a year round resort.
After receiving permission from Harrisburg in 1946, DuBois, along with Charles “Chick” Harvey, started surveying the property. The spot selected for the lake had the potential to be fed by the 17 to 21 streams in the area.
One-acre lots in the property were sold. Waterfront property cost $3,000, with prices decreasing to $500 for property further from the lake. The lots provided privacy and freedom while preserving the forest atmosphere. Strict rules covered construction, with trailers forbidden and all houses to be constructed to size specifications and colored brown to blend in with the surroundings. A $100 assessment, which included garbage removal, was established.
Knox Construction Company started excavation of the lake in April 1956. Two years later the lake, whose depth reaches 70 feet and is held back by breast works 90 feet deep and 50 feet across, was completed and filled. Knox Construction could congratulate themselves on completing the project a year ahead of schedule.
John E. and Rene DuBois Jr.
Next the lake had to have a name. In a speech DuBois said, “Water is feminine, boats are feminine.” Upon a friend’s suggestion that he name the lake after a woman, DuBois chose his wife’s name, Rene.
In 1968, DuBois sold the Lake Rene property to the Great Northern Development Corporation headed by James Dunbar. Great Northern changed the name to “Treasure Lake” in 1969. That same year the Declaration of Restrictions was developed and sale of lots started.
Great Northern improved the area by finishing many projects begun by DuBois, including the installation of a sewage system and water treatment facility, moving the main gate to Route 255, building a new lake (Bimini), expanding Treasure Lake, and providing horse stables, more beaches, and a golf course. Future owner NACO finished the second golf course, started but not finished by Great Northern.
Over the years, there have been several other developers who have aided in the creation of the community. In February 1996, the Treasure Lake Property Owners Association (POA) assumed ownership of all the amenities at Treasure Lake.
On March 6, 2006, the POA appointed a committee to begin work on a borough initiative to separate the private gated community from Sandy Township. The POA voted on April 28, 2008, to have legal documents prepared to become a borough with those being filed on Sept. 15, 2008. The initiative failed when Judge Fredric Ammerman rejected the petition on Sept. 19, 2013. The POA decided not to appeal the judge’s ruling at its Oct. 1, 2013 meeting.
In 2013, Treasure Lake is a semi-private resort and residential community, including over 9,000 acres and 2,200 homes. Recreational opportunities include three beaches, two PGA-rated, 18-hole golf courses, tennis courts, swimming pools and more.
The Gold and the Silver golf courses are both open to the public. Each course has its own pro shop and restaurant.
Treasure Lake’s Lakeview Lodge and Conference Center serves as a location for large group functions, with seating for up to 400 people. It also functions as a wedding location and its restaurant provides a place for family dining.
Each year the Events and Recreation department schedules special events including classes, parties, live concerts, a classic car show, the annual MS Walk, and more.
Cayman Landing Campground and Cottages provide year round accommodations for visitors. RV and tent camping is also available.
For additional information on Treasure Lake visit its website: www.treasurelakepoa.com.