Putnam County, Illinois History and Genealogy
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Lake Senachwine News


Snachwine Lake a Summer Resort (1881)
Senachwine Lake Alive with Pleasure Seeker (Aug 3, 1882)
New Hotel at Lake Senachwine (1882) 
Undercliff Hotel Now Open (1883)
Grand Opening of the Undercliff (1883)
Swan Lake Club Burned (1901)
Undercliff Hotel Burns to the Ground (1914)

June 2, 1881 - Local items
Taken From the Henry Republican

Snachwine Lake has become famous as a summer resort, and especially for fishing, as the fish in the lake are uncommonly fat and relishable. Parties are going and coming every day, and all seem to have good luck, as large strings are caught of bass, perch, and other choice varieties. Charley Grubbs, the gentlemanly superintendent of the grounds has a full supply of tackle and pleasure boats, and will supply parties with refreshments and every facility for having a good time.

Senachwine Lake Alive with Pleasure Seeker

Henry Republican, Henry IL, August 3, 1882

Senachwine Lake is alive with pleasure seekers. Last Friday there was a party of 22 from Ottawa, some 20 from Pontiac, quite a number from Peoria, among who was the veteran printer J. W. Franks and his son Fred, besides parties from this vicinity. Editor Whiffen's family spent this week there being joined on Friday by the Editor in person, who spent the day with them, returning to Lacon in the evening.

New Hotel at Lake Senachwine

The Henry Republican, Henry Illinois
August 31, 1882

Lake Senachwine

We are delighted to be able to state positively that the new hotel at Senachwine Sand Bar is to be commenced immediately and pushed with all possible speed to completion. It is expected that the "Undercliff" for this is the baptismal appellation of the proposed elegant hostelry, will be ready to receive visitors about Oct. 15th. We caught Mr. Robert Challoner for a moment yesterday and gained a few particulars as to the building, size, internal arrangements, etc. The ground plan in 60x40 feet facing the lake to the east. The building is to be three stories in height, with veranda be on first and second floors 8 feet wide. Across the main floor will run a spacious hallway of 8 feet, entered by a broad double door. Upon the right of the main hall will be the office and gentleman's sitting room 24x20 feet, with store room, wash room, etc., in the rear. Upon the left of the hall and entered by double doors will be the ladies parlor 30x20, in the rear of which is the dining room of similar size. The dining room is also entered by double doors from the main hall and by means of wide, folding doors, can be thrown into one with the parlor, thus giving a dancing floor of 30x40. The parlor and dining room are also accessible to the verandah and lit by a number of well proportioned French windows. Ascending from the main hall by means of a circular stairway, the second floor is reached. The 2d and 3d floors will be very similarly arranged. There will be 10 airy front rooms connected with the veranda by French windows and enjoying a fine view of the entire lake. Spacious hall run the entire length of the building and upon the west side of the hall there will be 14 rooms, sleeping apartments to be used en suite or singly. Kitchen and laundry will be disconnected, except by hallway from main house. Spacious stables, floating back house, boat house, etc. will be erected at the proper time. The already attractive grounds will be made in a manner ten fold delightful. The whole enterprise affording ample testimony as to the nerve, natural genius and marked paracticability of the lessee, Mr. Robert Challoner. Do not we all think he is just the man for the place? We answer affirmatively. A thorough gentleman, educated and refined of exquisite taste, affable and genial, yet commanding the necessary dignity and polite bearing to merit respect and esteem. Let us welcome the enterprise. The lake is an immense attraction with its myriads of water fowl, inexhaustible supplied of the gamiest of fish, pickerel and black bass. What a place for game and fish dinners! Retired from the hum of business and cares of life there will be always rest and refreshing sport at the "Undercliff." What a place for our happy younger society to enjoy the dance and accompanying oyster supper. We must all enjoy its attractions and make or help to make it a great success. Futher particulars as work progresses.

Undercliff Hotel Now Open
Henry Republican, Henry IL, May 17, 1883
Undercliff Hotel, located at Lake Senachwine, is now open for guests, and the public. Messrs. Leavitt & Thompson are provided with the necessary paraphernalia for gunners or anglers, having decoys, boats, nets, hooks, etc. It is pleasantly located and picnickers and pleasure seekers will find it a pleasant resort. Meals furnished at reasonable rates.

Grand Opening of the Undercliff

Henry Republican, Henry IL, May 31, 1883


Thursday evening, May 24th, the grand opening at the "Undercliff" took place. It was a most enjoyable occasion. Young and old alike were made to feel "at home." Messrs Leavitt & Thompson truly deserve great praise for the hospitable treatment which they bestowed upon their guests. The merry dance was kept up until the "wee sma' hours" of the morn. The music as furnished by Prof. Willis's orchestra was of course very well rendered. But we must not forget the "Henry Cornet Band" who furnished the "open air concert," in a manner which would be a credit to old "Theo. Thomas: himself. The tables groaned with the delicacies of the season. Financially, socially and musically it was indeed a success. Long may "Undercliff" and its proprietors prosper upon the shore of the beautiful Lake Senachwine.
Swan Lake Club Burned (1901)
The St. Louis Republic. (St. Louis, Mo.), March 13, 1901
Wenona, Ill., March 12 - The big three-story clubhouse of the Swan Lake Club at Lake Senachwine burned at an early hour there this morning. The blaze emanated from a defective flue. The Swan Club was one of the best equipped in the State and was owned and controlled by Chicago capitalists, who frequently spent weeks at the resort hunting, fishing and boating. The contents and furnishings were practically all destroyed.
Undercliff Hotel Burns to the Ground (1914)
The Madisonian. (Richmond, Ky.), September 29, 1914
Flee Fire in Summer Resort
Peoria, Ill., Sept. 26.
The Undercliff Hotel at Lake Senachwine, a summer resort, burned to the ground last night. Over a score of guests lost most of their belongings. The fire consumed a number of out buildings.

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