Camp Lake, Wisconsin

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Camp Lake, Wisconsin
Location of Camp Lake, Wisconsin
Location of Camp Lake, Wisconsin
Coordinates: 42°31′33″N 88°8′21″W / 42.52583°N 88.13917°W / 42.52583; -88.13917Coordinates: 42°31′33″N 88°8′21″W / 42.52583°N 88.13917°W / 42.52583; -88.13917
Country United States
State Wisconsin
County Kenosha
 • Total 5.4 sq mi (14.1 km2)
 • Land 4.5 sq mi (11.6 km2)
 • Water 0.9 sq mi (2.4 km2)
Elevation[1] 751 ft (229 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 3,665
 • Density 680/sq mi (260/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 53109
Area code(s) 262
FIPS code 55-12400[2]
GNIS feature ID 1562628[1]

Camp Lake is a census-designated place (CDP) in the town of Salem, Kenosha County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 3,665 at the 2010 census.[3]


Camp Lake is located at 42°31′33″N 88°8′21″W / 42.52583°N 88.13917°W / 42.52583; -88.13917 (42.525918, -88.139247).[4] According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 5.4 square miles (14.1 km²), of which, 4.5 square miles (11.7 km²) of it is land and 0.9 square miles (2.4 km²) of it (17.28%) is water. (Camp Lake and Center Lake)



As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 3,255 people, 1,149 households, and 875 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 724.0 people per square mile (279.3/km²). There were 1,310 housing units at an average density of 291.4/sq mi (112.4/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 97.45% White, 0.37% African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 1.04% from other races, and 0.55% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.83% of the population.

There were 1,149 households out of which 43.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.4% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.8% were non-families. 19.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.83 and the average family size was 3.25.

In the CDP, the population was spread out with 30.9% under the age of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 36.1% from 25 to 44, 19.2% from 45 to 64, and 7.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 102.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.9 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $42,986, and the median income for a family was $48,523. Males had a median income of $39,515 versus $26,544 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $17,863. About 8.0% of families and 9.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.3% of those under age 18 and 8.7% of those age 65 or over.


Camp Lake was not named for Camp Wonderland and Fresh Air Camp, Salvation Army. It was named after the lake of Camp Lake which was noted on the first township surveys.[5] When the Wisconsin Central/Soo railroad came through the area, there was a depot stop created as Camp Lake. Prior to that, James McVey had a hotel called the Camp Lake Hotel and Gardens. The Salvation Army property was originally owned by the Orvis family which sold their farmlands on Center Lake in the 1920/1930s to the Army. The Army then moved several buildings that they had at a location in Lombard Illinois to the site on Center Lake, a lake north of the Camp Lake. The earliest visitors to the Camp were from Chicago, children and their mothers. The Camp still operates and continues to offer humanity and community services that one would expect of the Salvation Army. Camp Lake has had a post office since the 1910 era but Camp Lake is not incorporated.

It has been suggested the lake of Camp Lake was named because of an Indian Camp near the area. Until recent times, there were several Indian Trail Trees in the area. Except for one, they are gone now, all lost due to their age and community development.

Center Lake and Camp Lake were noted on the earliest maps as two separate lakes with an isthmus. Navigators could not and still cannot traverse between lakes. The high level of this isthmus made this the choice area for the railroad, Wisconsin Central/Soo, to cross between the lakes and escape the low land areas to the south of Camp Lake en route to the Northwest.

In the 1920s, Camp Lake Oakes subdivision was the location of one of the nation's early radio stations, WCLO, for 'Camp Lake Oaks'. Camp Lake Oaks was a subdivision built on property owned at one time by the Knickerbocker Ice Company on the northeast corner of Camp Lake south of the Soo rail line. Charles Whitmore used the radio station to advertise his 'new' subdivision as well as offer the community music and news on the air waves. The building where the station was located still exists as a private residence. The station is still on the air in Janesville, Wisconsin.

Many of the early (1840–50) buildings in this 'hamlet' still exist, though they are not being used as their original intention. Hotels are now apartments, grocery stores are now restaurants and residences are now businesses.