The region around the lake that would later be called Clear Lake was a summer home to the Dakota and Winnebago American Indians. During a land survey of northern Iowa done in 1832 by Nathan Boone, the son of the famous explorer, Daniel Boone, a map was made showing the lake and other bodies of water in the area.
In 1851, Joseph Hewitt and James Dickirson brought their families
to camp on the east side of Clear Lake, soon building a cabin, and
began a friendship with the Winnebago natives. By 1853, many more white
settlers had also came to settle in the area. By the year 1855, the
first Clear Lake school was built as well as the first steam saw mill.
In that year a hotel was built by James Crow.
By 1870, the town had 775 residents and by 1871 the streets were
graded and sidewalks were made of raised boards, sure signs of a
thriving new city. The city of Clear Lake was incorporated on May 26, 1871. The first bandstand in Clear Lake was built in 1877 at the City Park.
The town continued to grow and built its first library in 1889. In 1909,
Bayside Amusement park opened for the first time. The first North Iowa
Band Festival was organized by John Kopecky, among others, in 1932.
In 1933, the Surf Ballroom
opened up on the site of the old Tom Tom ballroom that had been
destroyed by fire. The opening dance night saw approximately 700 couples
attend. In 1947, the Surf Ballroom burned down; a new Surf Ballroom was
built across the street the following year. The Bayside Amusement park
closed down in 1958.