Lake Thunderhead

Lake Thunderhead was started in 1963 when hundreds of local citizens joined together to design and build a recreational lake to improve the area economy. The lake dammed the north and south branches of Blackbird Creek and backed water up to within one mile of the Iowa border. The lake community has a total of 8,000 acres with 1,500 acres of water, 34 miles of shoreline and the lake is seven miles long.

Lake Thunderhead Development Corporation has been developing additions at the lake for 20 years and the lake community consists of 954 lots, 22 condominiumns and four townhouses.

Lake Thunderhead is a private lake. The only place to launch a boat is at the marina and every boat has to have a sticker issued by the lake office.


Northern Missouri was inhabited by indian tribes for several thousand years. A group from Lake Thunderhead volunteered a few years ago to help the University of Missouri with a major archeological dig at the Big Eddy in central Missouri. National Geographic Magazine had a large article about the Big Eddy dig because indian artifacts were found dating back possibly 10,000 years. Most of the main indian villages were located along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers and the tribes would go hunting in our area from March through October and return to their main village for the winter. We think of indian villages as small groups but the Mississippi Indian tribe located just north of what is now St. Louis may have had as many as 100,000 inhabitants during the winter at their height in 1600.

There is an archeological seminar at the lake each spring to explain how to find indian artifacts and petrified wood while you are out picking mushrooms. There are indian arrowheads in the ditches feeding into the lake at all times, but they are easier to find in the spring after the winters freezing and thawing and spring rains.

The Indian Red Line in 1840, where all indians had to move west of the line goes north and south about a mile west of the lake.

In 1960 a Boeing 707 jet was flying from Kansas City to Chicago when a despondent passenger set off a bomb in the rest room and the plane crashed killing everyone on board. The plane crashed about a half a mile west and a little south of the North Bay Townhouse. Another way to find the crash site is if you have a depth finder on your boat, as you start up the far north finger of Blackbird Creek, you can see the outline of the bridge that was left across Blackbird. The crash site was about half a mile north and a little east of the bridge. They dug a shallow hole and buried the plane in the place where it landed so you can see more of the plane after a heavy rain.