In 1859, William Bihler purchased the 8,000 acres, and drained Tolay Lake in order to plant potatoes and corn. The town of Lakeville grew around this farm and attracted Irish immigrants to the area who worked the farms and established a close-knit community. The town of Lakeville thrived in the late 1800’s because a steamboat stop near our property was developed into a transit hub for people headed north by stagecoach. This is evidenced by the businesses that supported the travelers including a hotel, dance hall, post office, a school, a race track and more than one saloon. (If time permits, enjoy a beer at Ernie’s Tin Bar, an historic speakeasy on the corner of Stagecoach Road and Lakeville Highway).