In the mid-50s and early 60s both Champaign and Urbana were growing communities, with a great deal of the development extending beyond the city limits into the surrounding farm areas. In Champaign a lot of the growth extended westward from Mattis Avenue. Much of the land that was developed was owned by Clarence A. Thompson, owner of Thompson Lumber Co., who established several real estate corporations for building roads and developing new lots for the home builders in the growing population. In the Champaign area, two of these companies were Southwood Corporation, which developed the Southwood Subdivision, just to the west of Mattis Avenue, and Westwood Corporation, which developed the Westwood and Maynard Lake Subdivisions to the west of Duncan Road. At the time of Westwood’s purchase of the land that was to become Maynard Lake Subdivision, there was a large abandoned gravel pit in the middle of the land that had been dug out by Dale Parro to obtain the gravel required for his local road-building business. When Westwood Corporation purchased this land, the gravel pit, fed by spring water, had developed into a lake, which they named “Maynard Lake”. They then sold a large parcel of the land around the lake to a newly-established company, Maynard Lake Realty Co., which was owned and operated by C. A. Petry and Sons. John Petry, Charles Petry, and Joseph Shilling were named the officers of Maynard Lake Realty Co. which built the roads and sidewalks that surrounded the lake, platted the land for lots, and installed underground utilities to service each lot. These improved lots were sold to those interested in joining this new community.

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