History of Lake Byrd

The Tworoger family is deeply rooted in the traditions and history of Lake Byrd. The family's first experience at Lake Byrd was in 1959 when Tom attended church camp at the Lake Byrd Shores site of the former Florida United Church of Christ Conference Center (Lake Byrd Lodge). After many years attending week - long camps and weekend retreats, Tom spent the summer of 1966 as a counselor at the camp. Tom came back to Lake Byrd in 1971 with friends and family to marry Leslie at the Lodge. Realizing his childhood dreams of once owning a home on Lake Byrd, Tom and Leslie purchased their home at 58 Lake Byrd Blvd. form the United Church of Christ twenty-five years ago. After teaching campers to water-ski at Lake Byrd, Tom could hardly wait to teach his own children how to ski. David and Annie, as well as many of their friends, learned to ski on Lake Byrd as the family vacationed here from Fort Lauderdale. Both David and Annie attended youth and family camps as their father did before them.

The Lake Byrd Lodge was built in 1919 by the Pittsburgh Real Estate Company. The Lodge was a replica of the eight-story log cabin at Yellow Stone National Park. This three-story version was used to house people visiting the real estate company. During the Second World War, the US Military used the Lodge to house pilots in training. At the end of the war, the Florida Congregational Christian Conference bought the lodge with the intention to create a retreat for its parishioners. The church ran it as a camp/retreat for nearly fifty years until 2000. The Lodge had been in declining condition with little chance to save the old buildings. Today the buildings may no longer be there, but the history and traditions of Lake Byrd Lodge will always live on.