top of page


bird only white.png


Kemp Lake's primary focus is empowering disabled veterans, stroke survivors, and other disadvantaged people who would not otherwise normally be able to experience the great outdoors via guided fishing, hunting, bird-watching, and other activities. 


Kemp Lake was built in 1939 by the Workers’ Progress Administration.  The Works Progress Administration (WPA; renamed in 1939 as the Work Projects Administration) was an American New Deal agency, employing millions of people to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads.  The lake was originally called “Grotemac Lake” because the property around the lake was owned by the McWilliams and Groteweil families.

bird only white.png

In 1956, Fred & Mollie Kemp bought the properties and renamed the lake “Kemp Lake”.   Unfortunately, Mr. Kemp had passed away in an auto accident in the  early 1960s.  But, for some 30 years, fishermen in the Crawford County area could rent aluminum boats and fish the well-stocked and productive lake.  The lake became known for big stringers of bass and producing buckets of crappie and bluegill.  

Most who fished there were greeted by Mollie – a tough German immigrant who ran the farm with a stern hand yet had demonstrated her very generous nature to anyone who needed anything.   In the late 1980s, Mollie was also in her late 80s and moved back to St. Louis to be with the rest of her family.

In 1999, Mollie Kemp passed away at the age of 97.  Kemp Lake was then passed down to her two sons, Fred II and Joseph Kemp.   Fred Kemp passed away in 2004 and Joe Kemp in 2011.

bottom of page