Information on Lake Cochrane

Compiled by Marlene Lien 

Lake Cochrane is a 355 acre spring-fed lake located in Deuel County, SD near the MN/SD border.  The residents who live around the lake have a Gary, South Dakota address.  Gary is located seven miles north. 

Lake Cochrane is named for a pioneer, Bryon (By) Cochrane who came to this area in April of 1872. He was the first permanent white settler in Deuel County when he homesteaded the land on the south shores of the lake. He lived at Lake Cochrane until his death in 1949.   A historical marker can be found on the south side of SD Hwy   # 516 at the site of his log cabin.

When By Cochrane married Agnes Herrick of Gary, it was the first wedding in Deuel County.  The couple had three   children.  The Cochrane Homestead Home located on East Lake Cochrane Drive is now owned by his great, great grandson, Wayne Cochrane. 

The eye-catching setting soon attracted other settlers. Areas around the lake reflect thesettlers names.  Other areas were named for the landscape or for groups of people who used a particular area.   

I.                    The people-Agnes Place, Severson Bay, Bostic Beach, Thokola Beach and Marion Bay

II.                 The landscape-Sugar Sand,  Shady Beach, Elms, Ash Point, Clearwater Beach and Hillcrest

III.               The groups of people who used the lake-Methodist Bay, Isaac Walton 

There have been several businesses around the lake.  Jensenís Resort served the needs of area residents in 1916-1971.   Shady Beach Supper Club is now located in that area.  The Horstiens owned and operated a resort just north of Shady Beach.  They sold block ice, sundry items, fishing licensees, and bait, held outdoor movies and rented swimming suits.   Red Cross swimming lessons were conducted there.  Others entrepreneurs   include a bait shop, a hamburger place and a gun shop. 

A stone bridge built either 1916 or 1917 located between 2856 and 2868 Edgewater Drive is listed as an historical site. At one time there was a golf course and a dance pavilion at the lake.  

In 1955, Art Bostic deeded three lots to the State of South Dakota for $1.00 for a public beach. The    sandy beach on the north side of the lake was later incorporated into the present State Park Recreational Area.  It contains thirty camp sites with electricity, water, dump station, comfort station, swimming beach, childrenís play area and rental cabin. 

The Department of Game, Fish and Parks of SD owns a section along the west shore. It maintains a public boat landing there. 

Lake Cochrane is a fishermanís delight.  Northern pike, walleye, bass, crappies, perch and bluegills provide excitement for the angler.  The State monitors fish population and has stocked the lake many times. In the winter, many fish houses spring up at the lake.  The South Dakota Game Fish & Parks indicates that in 2002 the mean depth was 13.2 feet and the maximum depth was 24 feet.


Disclaimer: All information on this site is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.