Boat­ing is alive and well both Lake Free­man and Shafer!

April Fools Day is alway’s fun! Spring is here and the days are final­ly get­ting warmer. Fire­works are sched­uled July 2nd this year… Lake​Free​man​Fire​works​.com. Please donate and sup­port any way you can. Also SFLECC Shore Front License’s will be going out soon. Please sup­port a clean Twin Lakes. Do not throw any refuse/​grass clip­pings into the lake and if you see some­thing float­ing in the water, please retrieve it. The Pel­i­cans are head­ing north. We were very for­tu­nate to host them. Thanks Guy’s for stop­ping by. Let’s enjoy a won­der­ful season!

How did Lake Free­man real­ly get its name? Read on…

Lake Freeman Birds
White Pelicans partying at the Lake Freeman sandbar.
Roger and Mary Freemanm
A 1923 photo of Chief Engineer Roger Freeman and his wife Mary


Many have thought, includ­ing myself, that the name Lake Free­man came to be after the Chief Engi­neer, Roger Free­man inter­vened in a dis­pute between the towns of Del­phi and Mon­ti­cel­lo. Del­phi want­ed to call the reser­voir north of the new­ly built Oak­dale Dam, Lake Del­phi. In fact, there are ear­ly pho­tos labeled with this name. Mon­ti­cel­lo thought Lake Mon­ti­cel­lo would be appro­pri­ate. When the two could not come to an agree­ment, they decid­ed, because of the benev­o­lent nature of Mr. Free­man, to call the reser­voir Lake Freeman.

Here’s the true story.

I recent­ly was con­tact­ed by Deb­o­rah Giraud (pro­nounced Girow). She is the grand­daugh­ter of Roger Free­man. I had the plea­sure of speak­ing with her and her moth­er, Anne Free­man Giraud. The 102-year-old daugh­ter of Roger Free­man! It was an hon­or to say the least. Two very sharp and well-informed ladies.

Roger Free­man designed both the Nor­way Dam (1923) and Oak­dale Dam (1925). It was his insight and rec­om­men­da­tion to the Indi­ana Hydro-Elec­tric Com­pa­ny to har­ness the pow­er of the Tippeca­noe Riv­er and bring elec­tric­i­ty to rur­al cen­tral Indi­ana and beyond. In fact, as ear­ly as 1856, two Nor­we­gian immi­grants, rec­og­niz­ing the pow­er of the riv­er, built a cof­fer dam to pow­er a grist mill.

Mr. Free­man was not an absen­tee leader. He lived with the more than 500 labor­ers who phys­i­cal­ly built the dams. He was away from his fam­i­ly for months. He was just 32 when con­struc­tion began on Nor­way. The con­di­tions were dif­fi­cult, keep in mind the crew lived at the site and worked through harsh winters.

Dur­ing the win­ter of 1925, amid con­struc­tion of the Oak­dale Dam, Roger Free­man was in New York and fell ill from appen­dici­tis and was rushed to surgery. Well, in those days an appen­dec­to­my was not a rou­tine surgery. Mr. Free­man devel­oped com­pli­ca­tions and passed away on Jan­u­ary 21st, 1925. Six months before the com­ple­tion of Oak­dale Dam. The crew was shocked and sad­dened but pushed on.

In a peti­tion by Indi­ana Sen­a­tor Emery Sell­ers to the Con­ser­va­tion Com­mis­sion of Indi­ana dat­ed April 15th, 1925, he for­mal­ly asked that the new­ly formed Lake be named, in the spir­it of ambi­tious effort”, Free­man Lake. Just five days lat­er, the Com­mis­sion unan­i­mous­ly for­mal­ly approved. 

The Oak­dale Dam was com­plet­ed on August 1st, 1925. Had it not been for the vision, inge­nu­ity and dri­ve of Roger Free­man, our beloved twin lakes and the pow­er they pro­duce, may not have every been real­ized. Thank you Mr. Freeman!

Roger Free­man passed at just 36 years of age 

Born July 20th, 1892 • Died Jan­u­ary 21st, 1925

Wife: Mary (Brad­street) Freeman

Chil­dren: (1919) Anne Brad­street Free­man Giraud, Roger Morse Free­man, Jr.


Wel­come to Lake Free­man Life. We are the infor­ma­tive resource for the peo­ple who live and play around one of Indiana’s most beau­ti­ful lakes. Lake Free­man is locat­ed in Mon­ti­cel­lo, Indi­ana and is a unique trea­sure. Formed by the con­struc­tion of the Oak­dale Dam in 1925 it is ten miles long and enjoys fifty miles of shore­line. Boaters, fish­er­men, fam­i­lies and vis­i­tors have count­less oppor­tu­ni­ties to enjoy the water and beau­ty. At Lake Free­man Life, we want to offer fresh and rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion. Share Lake​Free​man​Life​.com with your fam­i­ly and friends. Book­mark it for your­self. Come back often. We want to keep you informed with sto­ries, news, pho­tos, con­tests and con­ver­sa­tion. We hope you find Lake​Free​man​Life​.com useful.

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Prieboys Lake Freeman
If you're lucky enough to live on Lake Freeman, you're lucky enough!
Sheepnose-Mussel
"Endangered" Sheepnose Mussels are found in Lake Freeman and the Tippecanoe River

What is the best part of "The Lake Life"?

Congressman Baird vows to help Lake Freeman

Con­gress­man Jim Baird (4th Dis­trict Indi­ana) was re-elect­ed to a sec­ond term. All of us on Lake Free­man could not be hap­pi­er. He has been a stout advo­cate for the Lake. In his promise to con­stituents, he called the Lake Free­man sit­u­a­tion a Cat­a­stro­phe”. He also vowed to make sure the low­er­ing and its’ affects nev­er hap­pens again. A big thank you to Con­gress­man Baird!

Jim Baird Lake Freeman
Thank you Congressman Baird. You know how important Lake Freeman is to businesses, residents, fish and yes, even mussels!
Lake Freeman Facts

Surface Area: 2.344 square miles

MONTICELLO WEATHER