A look at the past

Jonathan Reed discusses lost resorts on Aug. 15

Local historian Jonathan Reed is taking a look into the past.

And he’s inviting you to join him.

On Thursday, Aug. 15, he will be the last speaker in the 2019 Pearson Lakes Art Center Speaker Series: “Booze, Books & Business.”

The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will feature this Arnolds Park resident’s take on the history of the Iowa Great Lakes through the topic of “Lost Resorts of the Iowa Great Lakes,” which is also the title of his upcoming book.

Reed published his first book on Okoboji history in 2017 titled, “Okoboji and the Iowa Great Lakes” as a part of The Images of America series put out by Arcadia Publishing. His second book is set to publish in 2020, according to Reed.

“‘Lost Resorts of the Iowa Great Lakes’ is a photo-driven book that will deal with the many lakefront resorts that have come and gone. The sale of The Inn really motivated me to move ahead with this topic. I realized The Inn was just part of the changes passing into history,” Reed said.

“Take a look at all the Mom & Pop resorts that are now gone, replaced mostly with expensive private homes. The book — which is still in production with the publisher, Arcadia Publishing — is divided into chapters dealing with the most important resorts over the years.”

Reed will talk about many of these lost resorts during his presentation at the PLAC.

“I’ve asked friends what they would like me to talk about, and they want to hear about all the small resorts. I’ll be covering some of those, always trying to relate the origins and ‘how it was’ back in our parents’ and grandparents’ day,” Reed said.

Reed hopes that his presentation will inspire others to learn even more about their own Okoboji history.

“Hopefully they will be excited enough to get into their own family’s photo albums and start some ‘I remember when’ discussion with their own children and grandchildren,” Reed said.

“After all, that’s how I learned about the Lake’s history, from my mother’s recollections — some of which came from her grandparents! Also, I hope they learn a little something and will enjoy themselves.”