History of BMOI
The Early Years
Not surprisingly, the social club we know as BMOI started at ....well a social event. At a dinner meeting in July 1947 the idea of BMOI was born. By January 1948, Articles of Incorporation were signed by the first BMOI Board members Charlie Lamb, Lloyd King, Paul Ambrose, Robert Owens, Alfred Evans, Seward Iliff, Earl Bartow, Charles Voigt and Andrew Dyatt. Annual dues were set at $20. BMOI was designed as a volunteer organization so it is of no surprise that the first Beach Clean-up was organized in the Summer of 1948. By September 1948 the first boat dock was finished and as a result annual dues had to be raised to $45 per year.
The Fourth of July tradition began in July 1949 with a fire works display funded from a member assessment of $4 to purchase the display. Access to BMOI by outsiders has been an issue since the beginning. Security began with the construction of a steel gate at the beach and the creation of BMOI identification stickers for the bumper of your car.
Fish management dates back to 1950 when Dan Gallagher, one of the original owners of Bowles Lake, offered to help stock the lake by rearing fish in his stocking ponds on the west side of the lake. To this day, if you rummage through the overgrowth, you'll still find evidence of the old Gallagher stocking ponds. The lake continued to be attractive to those outside of Bow Mar and the lake was fenced all the way around with three strands of barbed wire and a night watchman was hired for the summer.
In 1954, title to Bowles Lake was formally transferred to BMOI. That same year, the second tennis court was built at a cost of $2,000. Three years later another court was built at a cost of $4,332. A well-planned drive by some of the membership to add water skiing as an activity on the lake was voted down overwhelmingly. The luau at the beach that summer was banned to minors. Security continued to be an issue and a committee of vigilantes was recruited to take over patrolling the beach.