About Us

About Twin Lakes Association

The Twin Lakes are a recreational resource, supporting water-based activities including fishing, paddling, swimming and water skiing. The lakes are one of the state’s best fisheries, supporting both warm-water and cold-water game fish along with diverse and protected aquatic plants

The Twin Lakes Association is a volunteer non-profit committed to the ongoing health and vitality of the Twin Lakes and surrounding area.  The original Native American names for the lakes were Lake Washining (East Twin) and Lake Washinee (West Twin).  The lakes are an important source of fresh water for Connecticut, an oasis for wildlife including many endangered species, and a recreational area for boaters, fishermen, hikers, cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts of all interests.  The Twin Lakes Associations works in close collaboration with the Town of Salisbury, the State of Connecticut and other lake associations to ensure that the lakes are managed in a scientifically sound and rational manner to balance the interests of all concerned. We sponsor scientific studies of the water, publish long term management plans, manage the vendors that monitor the lakes and manage invasive plant species, engage with other associations to advocate for sound management of lakes across the state, educate our membership on issues related to lake ecology, and sponsor fun events like the annual Twin Lakes Day and photo contest. We welcome new members interested in helping the TLA remain a good steward of the Twin Lakes and surrounding area for the enjoyment of all today and for many generations to come. Association membership is about 350.  Annual dues are just $25. If you are interested in learning more or joining the TLA visit our website at www.twinlakesassociation.org or email president@twinlakesassociation.org or membership@twinlakesassociation.org

Mission Statement

Preserve and enhance the general welfare, the natural resources, the environment and attractions, and the quality and ecology of the Twin Lakes area in the Town of Salisbury and promote the civic, social and recreational activities of its residents.

Board Member Bios

Bill Barton Senior Vice President, Bill has owned a home on West Twin with his wife, Maureen, since 1995.  He retired in 2016 from working in private wealth management in NYC.  He and Maureen are permanent residents of Bronxville, NY. They have three children who reside in Nashville, Golden, CO and London.

Jean Bell Treasurer, Jean’s parents moved to Twin Lakes in 1967,  when they bought a cottage and renovated it.  She enjoyed her parents cottage for years and bought it from them when they moved to Maine. She raised her daughter Kayla at the lakes. She is a long-time treasurer for the TLA. 

Jackie Blombach Jackie has been a member of the TLA since she and her husband, Michael Duca, purchased their home on Rocky Lane 36 years ago. They moved to the lake full time in 2017. She enjoys gardening, biking, hiking, kayaking, and cross-county skiing. She has been active in the care and preservation of historic houses in Massachusetts. She has attended symposiums on invasive species, gardening with native plants and providing plant support for birds and pollinators.

Grant Bogle President, Grant  and his wife Karen have been members of the lake community since 1998. Grant recently retired from the biotech industry. He has been a member of the Twin Lakes Association board for nearly a decade and is also a member of the board for the American School for the Deaf, which owns Isola Bella. Grant and Karen have three grown children who frequent the lake often.

Jeff Bravin Jeff was born and raised in New York City. He is married with three children and loves skiing with his family. He acted as a child and played Jonah in the 1979 CBS movie, And Your Name is Jonah. He biked across America in 1988 for the Ronald McDonald House and rode for the American School for the Deaf’s 100th 􏰃􏰄􏰄anniversary celebration. He has been employed at ASD in West Hartford since 2002. He is currently Executive Director responsible for oversight of the school. 

Terry Cohen Terry has kept a house and boat in the channel area along Taconic Road for 30 years and has been a TLA member nearly as long. In that time she has come to recognize our unique lake environment and the many challenges we face keeping the lakes and channel healthy. Terry is retired and looks forward to spending time on issues that affect the larger lake habitat. Most recently, she worked for the Riverside Park Conservancy in New York.

Russ Conklin Russ was raised in the Northwest Corner and spent many summer days around the water. His family built a cottage on the lakes in the 1960s. Russ and his wife Lyn built a house on  West Twin in 1978. They became full-time residents in the early 1990s and have enjoyed cross country skiing and ice fishing. Russ is retired from the aerospace industry. He spends his time walking his dog, removing invasive plants from his property, and watching deer eat his native landscaping. He has three children and 2 grandchild who visit often.

Carey Fiertz Immediate past president, Carey joined the TLA board in 2008, and served as President from 2013 to 2020. He and his family have lived on Taconic Road since 2001. During the workweek, he insures American exporters against non-payment by their foreign creditors. On  winter weekends, he teaches skiing at Catamount.

Dave Haab Dave has operated O’Hara’s Marina for many years.

Richard Haupt Richard has been coming to the lake his entire life, enjoying the community in summer and winter alike. He is a fourth generation property owner on the water and a member of TLA for 30 continuous years. He enjoys sailing, waterskiing and fishing and is committed to keeping the environment safe for all. He is experienced with Wooden Boat Restoration and Preservation. He is vice president of operations at JayPro Sports Equipment in Waterford, Ct.

Dan Kadlec Dan and his wife Kim have been coming to the lakes with their three children (now grown) for 20 years. For most of that time they lived in Westchester County, N.Y., or New York City and were members of the Twin Lakes Beach Club. He is a long-time member of the TLA. Today, he and Kim spend summers at their home on South Shore. He enjoys boating, kayaking and hiking. He is an author and journalist, most recently with Time magazine.

Susan Knight is a long-time board member and the head of membership.

Justin Meyer 

Pat Miller is the board secretary. 

Blake Morrison Blake grew up shuffling between Manhattan and Sharon, CT. He is a longtime member of Twin Lakes Beach Club and owns a landscape design company, The Lignin Group. He and his wife Cagney are full time residents of Sharon. Blake and Cagney love to water ski and be on, or in, Twin Lakes.

Eric Stoer Eric has a passion for Salisbury and the surrounding area, which he has explored in all seasons for 25 years. He has twin seven-year-olds, Dylan & Julia, and is a member of the Twin Lakes Beach Club. He lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. He became familiar with Salisbury while a student in 1995, when his parents bought a second home on Preston Lane. He is dedicated to preserving the area’s natural beauty and looks forward to an active role. He is a commercial property underwriting manager for Chubb in New York City.

Danny Vogus Danny and his wife Sarah have owned the Narrow Escape home on Twin Lakes Road since 2008. Danny is a retired attorney and spent 24 years with the H. J. Heinz Company. Sarah is a retired fitness instructor. They make their permanent home in Charlottesville, Virginia. Danny and Sarah have three grown children and four young grandchildren.

TLA past presidents:

Carey Fiertz 2014-2020, Louis Fox 2011-2014, Nina Mathus 2006-2010, Tony Aiuvalasit 2005-2006, Louis Fox 2000-2004, Jack Silliman 1996-2000, Stan Tetenbaum 1994-1996, John Mathus 1990-1994, Lee Hoag 1988-1990, Richard Elliott 1986-1988, Garth Kauffman 1984-1986 , Morgan Shafer 1982-1984, Art Wessels 1980-1982, Evelyn Firth 1978-1980, Mike Haupt 1976-1978, Bob May 1974-1976, Scott Tracy 1970-1974, Bill Cole 1968-1970, Bon Atmore 1967-1968, Catherine Roraback 1965-1967, Scott Neely, 1959-1965, Earl Rundell 1955-1959.

History

Indians of the Mattapacook nation were the first known inhabitants of the Twin Lakes region. Today the lakes are called by their last known Indian names: the east lake, Lake Washining (“laughing water”) and the west lake, Lake Washinee (“smiling water”).

The earliest recorded history of the Twin Lakes is in the Connecticut General Assembly Woodbridge land grant of 1671, which covered a large area of Western Connecticut.

In 1748 Joshua Jewell bought property from the Woodbridge Grant west of Washinee, and Daniel Bingham and his brothers settled grant property on the Undermountain Road and on land between the lakes. Between the Lakes Road was then known as Bingham Lane.

With the exception of Taconic, which had a thriving iron ore smelting industry, Twin Lakes was quiet farmland with grain fields and pastures to graze cattle and sheep. After the Revolutionary War, the Whittlesey family also settled at Twin Lakes. The Jewell, Bingham and Whittlesey families were the first to clear Twin Lake lands and establish farms.

Eliphalet Whittlesey was the first owner of the Island in Lake Washining. At that time the island was cleared and used for sheep grazing. The island then passed through several hands until, in 1867, it was sold to Edward Rogers of Philadelphia for the sum of $500.

Life at Twin Lakes changed after the Civil War when, in 1871, the Connecticut Western Railroad began train service from Millerton, NY to Hartford, CT passing through Twin Lakes. The trains serviced the Iron industry in Taconic and, by the end of that century, brought vacationers to the lakes.

After Rogers’ death in 1890, the island was conveyed to the Twin Lakes Land Improvement Association, in Bridgeport, CT, for $2,000. In 1891, the island was purchased for $2,500 by the Camp Riga Club, also of Bridgeport.

The Camp Riga Club was known for good times. They built a clubhouse on the island, and club members built private houses. They also built a house and barn on the land side. The barn eventually became a roadhouse and dance hall with an all-girl band. The over-whelming popularity of this establishment was such a nuisance that when the Alvords became the owners they leveled both buildings.

The club’s bylaws prevented the Camp Riga Club members from buying other members shares in the island until only two members were left. By 1906 John T. Alvord became the sole owner of the island, paying $2,400, to the other surviving member; twice the market value of the land. On his death in 1924, he willed the island to his brother, George Alvord. George conveyed the island to his daughter Muriel in 1925. They named the Twin Lakes Island Isola Bella.

It was John Alvord who built the stone tower on the island during 1912. It is thought to be inspired by similar towers in Europe, particularly one on the northern Italian island of Isola Bella in Lago Maggtiore. Known then simply as “Alvord’s Tower”, it was constructed by an unknown contractor from East Canaan.

In 1930 George Alvord built a large house, called The Camphouse, complete with a forty-foot tower and seven bedrooms. When Muriel Alvord became the island’s owner, she built two boathouses for her Chris Craft launch which she named after the island; Isola Bella.

In the mid 1930’s Muriel Alvord developed plans to build a causeway to join the island to the mainland. There was opposition from the community but it was approved by the Attorney General of Connecticut and constructed in 1935. Muriel built a second house for herself as an artist’s “retreat” in 1940. Today her artwork can still be seen on the walls.

Muriel Alvord married Ferrari Ward late in life. Through Mr. Ward, she became actively involved with The American School for the Deaf, becoming a member of the Board of Directors. Upon her passing in 1960, her will designated that her husband have life use of the island and that he select a tax-exempt organization to receive it after his death.

Mr. Ward selected The American School for the Deaf to receive Isola Bella under the conditions that they operate and maintain the property for the school and also maintain it as a wildlife refuge. Mr. Ward died on July 5, 1963.

Since Isola Bella was conveyed to the ASD, they have operated a summer camp at that location for children who are deaf and hard of hearing. They have maintained the islands rustic feel, the original buildings and preserved its natural habitat. A dedicated caretaker maintains the grounds and oversees repairing damage from weather events such as Hurricane Irene and the October snowstorm of 2011.

The ASD had been a good neighbor to the Twin Lakes Association and has lent their facility to the TLA for their August meeting and cookout for several years. In 2012, for the first time, Twin Lakes Day was held on the beach cove at Isola Bella under the watchful eye of the Isola Bella Tower.

Additional detail on the history of Isola Bella, and on its connection to the American School for the Deaf, visit the ASD website.

ArtifactsTo preserve the Twin Lakes heritage we have archived historical photos and documents. Click on “artifacts” to view them.

Partners and Sponsors

Our valued partners and sponsors at Twin Lakes include the following:

American School for the Deaf:

O’Hara’s Marina:

Twin Lakes Beach Club:

Bylaws

As adopted Sept. 3, 1977, and amended Aug. 31, 1991, July 6, 1996, Aug. 8, 2015, and Aug. 8, 2020. 

I. NAME AND OFFICE

The name of the organization shall be The Twin Lakes Association of Salisbury, Inc. Its office shall be located in the Town of Salisbury, Connecticut.

II. OBJECTIVES

The objectives of the Association shall be to preserve and enhance the general welfare, the natural resources, the environment and attractions, and the quality and ecology of the Twin Lakes area in the Town of Salisbury, and to promote the civic, social, and recreational activities of its residents.

The nature of the activities to be conducted and the purposes to be promoted or carried out by the Association shall be exclusively charitable, educational, and scientific within the meaning to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as amended.

The Association is nonprofit and shall not have or issue shares of stock or pay dividends. No part of the net earnings of the Association shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, its officers, directors, members or other private persons, except that the Association shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in these By-Laws.

III. MEMBERS

There shall be one class of members. Members shall be any person eighteen years of age or older who subscribes to and supports the purposes of the Association and has paid the annual dues for that year. Dues shall be in the amount established by the Board of Directors. Each member shall have one vote.

IV. OFFICERS

There shall be a President, a Senior Vice-President, a Secretary, a Treasurer (who shall distribute the funds of the Association with the authorization of the Board of Directors), these four positions collectively referred to as “Officers” and other such directors as the membership at any meeting or the Board of Directors from time to time may determine to be necessary. In the absence of the President, the Senior Vice President shall assume all the prerogatives and responsibilities of that office.

V. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The Board of Directors shall consist of the Officers, the immediate past President, and such directors as shall be elected by the membership. The Board of Directors shall formulate and carry out the program of the Association provided, however, that the Board of Directors shall not authorize an expenditure of funds in excess of $5,000.00 on any particular project in any one calendar year without a vote of the membership approving the additional expenditure. The Board of Directors shall meet at such times as the President shall determine. At least 50% of the current directors shall constitute a quorum; provided that the attendance at the meeting by either the President or Senior Vice President (either in person or via any means of communication that simultaneously allows all participating directors to hear each other) shall be necessary for a quorum.

VI. VACANCY AND PARTICIPATION

Any vacancy in any office or position may be filled by the Board of Directors for the remainder of the unexpiredterm of such office or position.

Directors may participate in and vote at any meeting of the Board of Directors through the use of any means of communication that simultaneously allows all participating directors to hear each other. Board of Directors action may be taken without a formal meeting by the written consent of all directors.

VII. COMMITTEES

The President shall appoint such committees, as the Board of Directors shall determine, from time to time, to be necessary to carry out the objectives of the Association.

VIII. DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS INDEMNIFICATION AND INSURANCE

The Association shall provide indemnification, to the fullest extent permitted by law, to the directors and the officers of the Association for actions taken on behalf or at the request of the Association and shall advance funds to pay for or reimburse, to the fullest extent permitted by law, expenses incurred in connection with any legal proceeding or claim against an individual who is a party to the proceeding or claim because that individual is a director or an officer of the Association.

The Association may purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of an individual who is a director, committee member, officer, employee or agent of the Association, or who, while a director, committee member, officer, employee or agent of the Association, serves at the Association’s request as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or agent of another domestic or foreign corporation, partnership, joint venture, trust, employee benefit plan or other entity, against liability asserted against or incurred by him or her in that capacity or arising from his or her status as a director, committee member, officer, employee or agent, whether or not the Association would have power to indemnify or advance expenses to him against the same liability.

IX. MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS

There shall be a regular meeting of the members of the Association in the month of June or July in each year. There shall be a second regular meeting of the members of the Association in the month of August or September in each year. The Board of Directors shall designate the place, date and time of all regular meetings and shall cause prior written notice to be given to the membership at least one week before any regular meeting. Special meetings of the membership shall be called by the President upon written request of five members and upon at least one week’s prior written notice to the membership. Prior to each meeting of the Association, it shall be the duty of the Secretary, together with the Treasurer, to determine the number of dues-paying members eligible to vote.  Voting by members may be in person or by proxy.

Officers and directors shall be elected for four-year terms, or until their successors are elected and qualified. Nothing in these Bylaws shall be construed as barring any officer or director from running for reelection upon the expiration of his or her term.

At the first regular meeting of the members in each “Election Year” (2020 and every 4 years thereafter) , the nominating committee shall present a slate of Officers and directors to be voted on at the second regular meeting of members in such Election Year. Such Officers and directors shall take office immediately following such vote of the members.

The nominating committee shall consist of a chairperson and at least 2 other members representing different geographic parts of the Twin Lakes area. Such committee shall be timely appointed by the President with the approval of the Board of Directors.

A Member may nominate himself or herself or any other member to serve as an Officer or director by giving written notice of the nomination to the Secretary of the Association at least 14 days before the second regular meeting in an Election Year.

Fifteen percent of the eligible membership at any duly called membership meeting shall constitute a quorum, and a majority vote of those members either present or voting by proxy shall govern. In the case of election of directors, each director receiving a majority of votes cast in favor of election shall become a member of the Board of Directors. In the case of election of Officers, when there are two or more candidates for a particular Office, the candidate receiving a plurality of the votes cast shall be considered elected to that Office. To the extent permitted by law, members may participate in any meeting through the use of any means of communication that simultaneously allows all participating members to hear each other.

X. AMENDMENTS

The By-Laws may be amended by a majority vote of the members present or voting by proxy at any membership meeting, provided at least one week’s prior notice of such meeting is sent to all members which sets forth the amendments proposed.