My grandfather Andrew James Berkel assisted in digging the lake just after the 1937 flood of Shawneetown. The digging was done with plows and 2 horses. His father also assisted in the beginning . Around 1939 a family friend by the name of Cecil Church began to assist, he brought in a Ford bucket tractor to aid in the digging process. The lake was finished somewhere in between 1940-1943. They also constructed 8- 8 by 12 plywood boats before fishing the lake.
Says Rose Berkel (Goff)
Berkel Lake is a great place to visit for more than one day, Pharaoh - Gardens of the Gods is a great place to camp nearby.