Stealthily, under the cover of approaching darkness, a group of Deer Lake residents approached the lake’s outlet at Mirror Waters and threw rocks and debris into the water. These residents were advocates of raising the lake’s water level (Durand Blanding, Interview, April 20, 2008). The drought of the early 1930’s had caused the lake level to fall considerably (Mary Coyte, Hungerford Point History). The following evening a different group of Deer Lake residents, opposed to raising the level of the lake, approached the outlet and removed the rocks and debris from the lake. They believed a high lake level would erode the banks of the lake and undermine trees.
Time and time again the high water advocates threw junk into the lake and those desiring low water removed it. This dispute led to the creation of the Deer Lake Improvement Association. Organized in 1939, the purpose of the DLIA was stated broadly: “The object of this association shall be to further and improve the beauties and attractions of Deer Lake, to prevent, if possible, its deterioration or damage from any cause whatsoever; to devise ways and means of increasing its value to the members and to the community at large” (Constitution and bylaws, section 2, 1939).
According to the Association’s Constitution, officers were to be the President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer, plus an Executive Committee. This Committee was composed of the officers and three additional members elected by the total membership. All persons who owned or rented property on Deer Lake were eligible for membership. Dues were $2 annually until 1957 when dues became $5 per year. At least one annual meeting must be held by midsummer. Other meetings could be called by the Executive Committee or on the request of at least ten members of the Association. At the annual meeting, the President and Secretary were to report on the activities of the Executive Committee during the year.