Aug 212011

Noblett Lake, near Willow Springs, Missouri has been drained and it wasn’t the Forestry Department’s doing. Noblett Lake was built by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) between 1938 and 1940. This 26- acre lake has been a yearly recreation destination for our family and this prank is a tragedy. In the past families had enjoyed barbeque’s, weddings and family reunions at the lake as well as some of the best fishing in the area.

Noblett Lake 1940 Picture courtesy of Western Historical Manuscript Collection

This is a view of the dam during our visit in 2009

This picture is from a visit in March, 2010

Heres how Noblett Lake looks today, August 21, 2011

These two shots were taken from the playground area.

These pictures were taken from the Noblett Lake boat dock.

Here you can see a view into the water from the top of Noblett Lake dam.

If you have pictures or stories about Noblett Lake you’d like included in this list you can email them to me at I won’t add to the speculation thats going on since there is an investigation, but I am saddened as much as all of you.

  15 Responses to “Noblett Lake Has Been Drained”

  1. Great history of lake, I was so sadded today , first thing I thought of were the butterfiles that I saw covering so much of grounds last fall, on their way in migration.I worried they will be losing resourses for their flight. I sure hope not. I have been treated respectfully, while visiting, from Springfield,Mo.

    • MaryAnn,
      I know your feelings well. I was thinking how everything down stream from that dam must be flooded out and destroyed. What a terrible, terrible prank.

  2. At least all the moss will b gone now mayb we will b able to swim there I think the lake will recover nicely mayb the locals took it on there own to fix a problem conservation officials wouldn’t THE MOSS so maybe it isn’t such a terrible thing I like noblett lake and hope it recovers well without all the moss

    • Jerry,
      If any good can come from this I hope its swimming in the lake. I’ve never lived near lakes where you couldn’t swim until now. I hope the Forestry Service decides to reopen the park and fix all the problems.

  3. I wander now if the fish are holed up below the damn because the lake did have a lot of nice fish ther

    • I think they must be, or farther down river? Doesn’t that tributary lead to the white river? I know it was just a slow trickle before, I bet much of that area down there is flooded.

  4. Missouri is a beautiful state. Noblett is part of the whole package. To loose any part is awful. I don’t believe any local would do something like this to get rid of the moss. I am sure that most of the people who have used the lake for years and years liked it as it was. This was a crime.

  5. i think the comment about locals taking action that the conservation serv was unwilling to do is probably right.
    from the view of the lake at the dam it looks as though it was only about 6 feet deep .it was less than 15 ft in 1953, i know becauise i dove in and brought a rock on a bet.if they wait a couple of years they can sell the cow manure [silt] and make a good lake out of it again. if the old dam will hold up.

  6. Me and Lloyd enjoyed swimming there and helping Clyde Orr who looked after the lake in the 50s Lot of memories

    • Very sad. Just meanness. I have so many feeling and memories from that lake as a boy. It is sad that people would do that.

      • Lloyd, I am so glad you and your brother Boyd stopped by. The condition of Noblett lake is indeed very sad. Unfortunately, there are no plans for reconstruction or re-opening the park. If I hear of anything different I will be sure to let everyone know.

  7. I was born (1929) and raised in Willow Springs and enjoyed many trips to Noblett Lake almost from the time it was opened to the public back in the 1930’s. As a Boy Scout in Troop 64 I camped on and near the lake frequently, in all seasons of the year. Those events and the people with whom I shared them will always be cherished memories. Robert Bruce “Bob” Ferguson and I were friends in those boyhood years and often camped at Noblett after hiking out from our homes in Willow Springs, carrying all our supplies on our backs. It would really hurt to see the lake in its drained condition but my hope is that it will be restored and once again be a wonderful picnic/swimming site. This article was most helpful. Many thanks to those who prepared it.

    • Thank you George for your kind words and insight on the area in its heyday. I to hope they restore the lake so that residents can enjoy it once again.

  8. As a kid I spent many days at Nobblet Lake… we used to camp below the dam where there was a great little spring and that is where we stored our milk, and watermelons!! I am so sad to hear what has happened… Does it look any better a year later?? Has anyone been to check? My Mom and friends will be so sad…

    • Noblett Campers,
      I believe there is water in Noblett lake right now, but I cant be sure how much. The park is closed. I will try to get some new information, but last I heard there was no concrete date for when the park would reopen, if at all. I will try to get some updated pictures as well. I share your sorrow.

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