History of Houston Lake
In the eighteen hundreds the land where Houston Lake is now was pasture and farmland, with Jumping Branch Creek running down through it. Early records indicate that our city and surrounding land was owned by the Keller family followed by the Brenner family. Around 1880 the Brenner's built a dam across the creek to make a farm pond. The dam washed out a few times and through the rebuilding process the Brenners turned the creek into a twenty acre lake. Initially known and recorded with the county as Lake Venetia.
On September 10, 1928 Charles (C.E.) and Emma Houston purchased the land from Alma Brenner Hauetter. Mr. Houston developed it for recreational purposes and rented previously built cabins to fishermen. Mr Houston, hearing stories of how the dam had washed away decided to protect the lake. In 1930 he hired an engineering firm to design and supervise construction of a new dam. The dam he built is the dam we depend on today to give us our lake.
When happy fishermen started buying the cabins around Lake Venetia Mr. Houston plotted and subdivided the property. On June 4, 1946 he formed the Venetian Gardens Home's Association and deeded the Lake to it. New homes began popping up around the lake. Most of the homes around the lake today were built between the late 30's and the 50's.
On February 26, 1955 Venetian Gardens was incorporated as the Village of Houston Lake. The name change from Lake Venetia to Houston Lake happened because there was another Lake Venetia in the area.
November 1960 Frank (Ted) Barnes was elected the first Mayor and Judge of Houston Lake.
Brenner Family: The Kansas City subdivision Brenner's Ridge, between Houston Lake and Riverside, is named for the Brenner Family. Members of the family owned the area lots until the 2000 or so.
Houston Lake Dam: The dam has a masonry core-well starting at bedrock and running the entire length of the dam to within two feet of the top of the dirt fill. The masonary core was provided as a special precaution to insure that the dam would not wash out again. (information recorded in a pamphlet printed by Lake Venetian Gardens Company)