Fox Lake above Cottonwood Lake as seen in 1902.

Fox Lake above Cottonwood Lake as seen in 1902.

This is a photo of Fox Lake taken in 1902. Fox Lake was located about a mile above Cottonwood Lake. It originated as a beaver pond.

Notice the lumber piled on the south side of the lake.

Fox Lake was developed by the Fox brothers in the 1880s. The first Fox brother who came to the area was Asa and he was joined by his five brothers.

They discovered, opened and worked on the Cora Bell, the St. Geneva and Little Annie. They filed on 25 mine sites in the area.

Asa and his brothers, joined by their father Thomas, built a dam for the pond and filed on five acres to build a saw mill and a crushing and concentrating mill for their mining operation.

They built some log cabins on the site, some of which are still standing. This property and the Cora Bell Mine on Fox Mountain were patented in 1904 and are still private property.

A hundred years ago Cottonwood Creek was much narrower in this area and Fox Lake was a long narrow lake. There was a spring on the mountain that furnished fresh water via a flume to the cabins at the mill site and into the creek.

The Fox brothers built an ice house on the property, sold ice and caught and sold fish in Buena Vista and the area. In 1883, the ice on the lake was 23 inches thick, pure and clear.

Asa Fox married Vera Determan of Buena Vista in 1894 and they had a baby girl Cora Bell who only lived a few weeks.

Asa Fox, his daughter and two of his brothers Charles and John are buried at the Buena Vista Cemetery. Asa died at his cabin at the lake in 1925 at 80 years of age.

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