Wooster Lake is a body of water in Lake County, Illinois, in the United States. It is mostly in unincorporated Ingleside, northeast of the Village of Volo, northwest of the Village of Round Lake, and southeast of the Village of Fox Lake, near Illinois Route 134 and Wilson Road.
The Lakes Management Unit of the Lake County Health Department provided a summary of Wooster Lake in 2003, describing it as a glacially formed, non-public (private) lake encompassing approximately 98.9 acres (40.0 ha) with a 2.03-mile shoreline (3.27 km). It is reported to have a maximum depth of 29.8 feet (9.1 m) and an average depth of 16.3 feet (5.0 m), making it the fourth deepest (on average) of the inland, private lakes in Lake County, Illinois. It is part of the Fox River watershed’s Fish Lake drainage. The Fish Lake Drain runs from Fish Lake to Fischer Lake and then to Wooster. Water flows into Duck Lake from Wooster via a small creek along the northern shoreline, eventually draining into the Fox River.
Despite the private lake’s depth, Lakes Management – a division of the Lake County Health Department – provided a slide deck presentation in February 2005 highlighting the total phosphorus (TP) levels recorded as spilling into Wooster Lake by month. During significant rain events (such as in June 2004), 20.5 pounds (9.3 kilograms) of phosphorus were recorded as spilling in at this single measured location.
According to Diana Dretske of the Lake County Historical Museum, Jacob L. Beilhart founded the Spirit Fruit Society on the shores of Wooster Lake after purchasing a 90-acre tract known as the Dahlziel Farm in 1905. The Spirit Fruit Society’s established members, as well as a few new members, relocated to Illinois with Beilhart. Over the next two years, the society constructed a large house and then a large barn entirely by hand. The 212-story mansion featured 32 rooms, a full basement, and modern (for the time) amenities. Up to 100 people could be seated in the dining room. For several years, the society lived peacefully in Ingleside. They supported themselves through what became known as the “Spirit Fruit Farm,” opened the farm and temple to visitors, and published a newsletter. Beilhart continued to speak to groups in Chicago promoting societal ideals.
Beilhart became ill with acute appendicitis in November 1908. Despite being treated by a surgeon who performed an appendectomy, he developed peritonitis and died three days later. In keeping with the society’s belief in simplicity, he was buried in an unmarked grave overlooking Wooster Lake in a plain coffin. None of the buildings remain, having been demolished to make way for a housing development, though Beilhart’s grave can still be found in a brush-obscured corner of the tract.

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