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Lake Thunderbird Association

2 Lake Thunderbird Drive
Putnam, IL 61560
Putnam County
Phone: (815) 437-2757

Lake Thunderbird snuggles in the beautiful meandering hills and woods of the Illinois River valley. The lake is inhabited by deer, raccoons, wild turkey, ducks, song birds, geese, an occasional bald eagle and of course a few people. Boating, fishing, swimming, picnicking, hiking, biking, tennis, ice skating, sledding and many other pursuits are enjoyed around the lake during the passing of the seasons.

The American Central Corporation completed the Lake Thunderbird dam in 1970 resulting in a lake with 8+ miles of shore line and approximately 115 acres of water surface. Several creeks and springs feed the lake to maintain a maximum water depth of 66 feet and an average depth of 35 feet. Senachwine Creek is the primary source of water. This provided an ideal water sports arena and beautiful home sites and camping.

Lake Thunderbird Association consists of approximately 1,560 acres of timber covered hillsides and valleys that were formed during the last glacial intrusion into Illinois. The varied landscape around the entrance on the Illinois River valley side to the western exit on the upland prairie side offers an excellent location for a secluded community and provides sufficient elevation change to accomodate the large earthen dam needed to produce the lake.

Lake Thunderbird was one of several lake developments that resulted from the “urbanization of America” in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Cars and highway infrastructure, combined with cheap gas prices, encouraged many people to seek homesites outside the crowded and noisy cities. Hence, Lake Wildwood at Varna, Oak Run at Galesburg (Dahinda) and Lake Thunderbird developments began. That together with a new steel mill at Hennepin and an interstate highway project intended to link Hennepin and Peoria with I-80 were the developer’s strategic vision for a successful project.