Since 1969, we’ve been a family owned and operated campground.
In 1960, William (Bill) and LoRene Klaue moved onto an old rundown 54-acre farm. Steve was just 5 years old then. Bill was a heavy equipment operator and used to drill water wells.
He originally thought he wanted to develop the property into a retiree mobile home park. He drew up the plans and submitted them to the township but a competing entity won out. So he quickly regrouped and designed a campground. Wi-Lo Lake.
It was a slow start as the whole campground concept was relatively new. Bill himself put in all the water and electric. He dug the ponds. Grated out the roads. Lorene helped with the water and electrical install. They did all the planting, including the many Willow trees and Maples from seeds!
They started with some seasonals and themselves ultimately became snow birds, coming back up to open the campgrounds every year. Steve always lived in the area and assisted with the grounds every season – mainly in grounds and maintenance.
1974 Bill contracted Lupus and was unable to work. They decided to sell in 1976 to Ben and Annette Schwegler. While his parents remained in Florida, Steve stayed on to help run the business and grounds. First working second shift, then full-time when the Schweglers added two pieces of property and their son started an RV dealership on the grounds – JAYCO Travel Trailers.
When Dick and Pat Rowley bought Willow Lake in 2000, they completed the current 200-acre grounds introducing new amenities like the dog park and shower house, and building up a meaningful program calendar. The Rowley’s built a flourishing community and a seasonal wait list with many sold-out overnighter weekends. They were known for their Halloween in September, and extending the season May to October.
Steve has been on the property since he was 5 and continues to run it today for the Ehrenfeld Companies, with his meticulous care and dedication. He knows every seasonal camper by name.
Together with the Willow Lake Team, they have shared countless wonderful memories over the many years – picnics, potlucks, bands. With a continued focus on offering serene multi-generational camping memories and milestones, Willow Lake is the happy place for every age, every May to October!