Book Review: Lake Panorama - Devoted Chronicle of First 50 Years


Susan Thompson, a seasoned journalist with deep ties to Lake Panorama, brings a gifted eye for detail and passion for Guthrie County and its people, current and former residents, dreamers and doers, to an exhaustively reported book, “Lake Panorama: The First 50 Years.”

The book, now available for sale, brings to life what former Gov. Terry Branstad, who has maintained a residence on the lake during his service as ambassador to China, describes as one of the more inspiring places in Iowa.

Sales of Lake Panorama History Book Continue

Susan Thompson, author of Lake Panorama – The First 50 Years, prepares to sign a book for Janet Luing, while Gary Soreide waits in line. The book celebration also included historical displays and a short program.

About 100 people attended the August 20 celebration of a new book about Lake Panorama. Lake Panorama – The First 50 Years is a full-color, hardcover 112-page book that includes both historic and contemporary photos. Chapters in the book describe six decades of planning and development. 

The event was held at the Lake Panorama National conference center. During the first hour, attendees purchased books, viewed historical displays, and talked with Susan Thompson, the book’s author. Thompson also signed books on request. 

Friends of Lake Panorama Begins Research on New Amenities

By Susan Thompson 

Friends of Lake Panorama is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity dedicated to improving recreational amenities at Lake Panorama. Major projects so far have been a playground at Sunset Beach and sports courts at Boulder Beach. A $473,000 estate gift led to significant improvements at Panorama West. Donations also have funded renovations in the LPN dining room, memorial benches, and a rain garden.