Lake Reel-em-in: Memories of a WC Recreational Area Not Forgotten

For a lot of folks that were youngsters or teens back in the 50s and 60s, you’d have found no better public place in or near Webster County to take a fun dip in the water than at Lake Reel-em-in recreational area in Dixon, Kentucky. Some say that the Sturgis Pool (formerly in Union County) and Reel-em-in’s camping, fishing and swimming spot were two of the best places for a kid to enjoy jumping off the diving board. Even better yet, was going to the snack shop for a coke and a candy bar, which you could have gotten for a quarter or less… “Those were ‘good times.’” 

Known by many as Walker Lake

The 65-acre body of water is designated as Walker Lake, a reservoir in the Kentucky Geological Survey that is within the Green/Tradewater River Basin in Kentucky (see The lake was named after Bill Walker of Henderson, who was at one time the property’s owner.

Today, Walker Lake is part of the property owned by Dixon area resident Frank Boggess along with a beautiful home there. A boat dock remains, though, no diving board. A small fishing boat rests along its shore. On the hill, there are picnic tables and a grill, most likely used for private gatherings. 

Memories of the lake recalled and shared on Facebook
Members of the Facebook group ‘If you grew up in Webster County, Ky, you remember…’ have memories of cabins there, jumping from the diving board, fishing, a playground and family picnics, as well as the delightful snack shop or store as it was often called it, too.

The Facebook group members recall when Victor and Virgil Puckett ran the place, and when Terry Franklin was a lifeguard there.

One of my most vivid memories is from a trip there with my grandmother, Bessie Owen Gardner. 

My brothers were swimming, and I was playing in the sand. Grandma, as we called her, was sitting on a bench. In those days, women wore dresses almost everywhere. Grandma had one on that day, and a full flower design apron over top. 

Everyone seemed to be enjoying the afternoon. Warm day it was… made most every living creature want at least a splashing of the lake water. Guess that’s why you could expect what happened next, but none of us were prepared for it. 

There we were, all having fun when we heard a loud ScReaM, “Oh, my God, it’s a SNAKE!!! HELP Me!!”

Next thing we knew, grandma had taken off running toward that snack shop hollerin', “It’s in my skirt…It’s in my skirt.” Of course, it didn’t take long for that snake to get out of her dress, or skirt as she was referring to it at the time. 

Weren’t we kids awful for laughing at her frightening moment?

She fared well, though. Other than a case of shaken nerves, she’d not been harmed, no bites that is to say.

A Memorial  

While performing research for this article, I felt especially grateful that my grandma's scary experience at the lake was no comparison to that of Beverly Drury's, age 19, of Utica, Kentucky, who had drown in the lake in 1952. I’d like to dedicate this article in her memory. 

All of us who had the privilege to enjoy Lake Reel-em-in and collect fond memories are indeed blessed.

Thank you members of the ‘If you grew up in Webster County, Ky, you remember…’ Facebook group for sharing your experiences with me. The people of Webster County who live there now and have lived there in the past make this e-zine a happy place to come and write.

Share your memories of Lake Reel-em-in/Walker Lake on our Facebook page.