Lake-in-the-Woods was the brainchild of Dave English and his son, Dave Jr. A large track of farmland was purchased from the Jaros family and platted into 144 parcels. Phase I began in 1984, encompassing the area from Route 306 to Haskins. Phase II began approximately two years later, extending from Haskins to Stafford.
The father and son team owned Northcrest Homes, Inc., and many Lake-in-the-Woods homes were built by them. Other builders included American Homes, Heritage, and Williamsburg Homes. Original lot prices ran approximately $25,000 – $30,000; lakefront lots were more, and they sold quickly. Most home designs were based on standardized modules which reduced design costs. A limited number of self-build lots were available; all designs had to be personally approved by Dave Sr. to ensure that the development had a consistent “feel” to it.
Our lake is man-made, and entailed excavation of many truckloads of scooped-out earth that was moved to create the present berms around the lake. Heavy equipment spent weeks tamping down the future lake bed so it would hold water. The lake eventually became filled by rainfall, and was then stocked with fish.
By the early 1990’s, available lots for building were getting rare. The last several homes were built on Wilderness Passage and Moccasin Run. Even before major construction had finished, there was a fair amount of demand for the finishing off of basements, additions and other improvements. Especially active in this regard was the late Dr. Mike Ucchino, retired Burton High School principal. Mike served as a general contractor for many such home improvements, and worked with a number of Amish builders. When he passed away in 1995, then-president Ed Votypka solicited residents to contribute for a memorial for Mike. The Amish built gazebo on the south side of the lake is that memorial.
Lake-in-the-Woods has matured greatly in the last decade. Both the front and rear entrances have received landscaping improvements, and a series of improvements have been made to the recreational area. Ten years ago, every car racing along Stafford Road created a large dust cloud, and many driveways still consisted of crushed rock and dirt. The Township paved Stafford, and prodded owners to get their driveways completed. Compliance in this was 100%. Most driveways are concrete though some are asphalt.
Today LITW is a beautifully-sited, vibrant development, with access to excellent schools, great recreational facilities, solid real-estate values, and a bright future.