Lake Holly Ski Club

Sparta, VA (Est. 1978)

History of Lake Holly:

by Rick Stansberry

Lake Holly and the surrounding property was originally owned by Edmund Pendleton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and Caroline County’s most favorite forefather. The old house, which once stood at the entrance to Lake Holly, was a tenant house built around 1774. It was moved to it's present location _____in _____ . The home of Edmund Pendleton, known as “Edmundsburg” was about one mile from the Lake and stood until 1931 when it was burned.

Lake Holly was built in 1968 by a local resident, the late Clarence “Soup” Campbell. Mr. Campbell was a major league baseball player and lived in Sparta for many years. In the early seventies, Mr. Campbell sold the property to a group of investors from Bethesda, MD.

In 1978, my business partner Jerry Stansberry and I purchased the property for the sole purpose of water skiing. Work immediately began to make the Campbell fishing lake into a water ski haven.

The Lake’s banks were reshaped, points of land removed, and the Lake widened in several places. But all of this could not have been done alone. So after settlement on the Lake took place on July 4, 1978, the Lake Holly Ski Club was formed. A group of enthusiastic skiers from Virginia and Maryland worked together to develop this skier’s heaven.

During the first year, an enormous amount of work was done. In September 1979 our first water ski tournament was held – a small invitational slalom competition. Although work was not yet complete, the cool, rainy weekend provided us with some exciting feedback. Lake Holly was something very special.

Since that first tournament, more than 103 tournaments have been held at Lake Holly. Of the 103 held, 44 of those have been record capable. Eight Eastern Regional Championships have been held on the site, along with twelve VA State Championships, the U.S. Junior Team Trials in 1992, and many Junior Development Clinics during the past several years.*

For the past 44 years, a considerable amount of money, work and time have gone into developing this site. For owners and club members alike, the continuing evolution of Lake Holly as a premier water ski site continues to be their true labor of love. The pay off is an outstanding performance.

And as you’ll see from the performance boards posted at the judge’s stand, fame is still in residence at Lake Holly. Many World, National, Regional and State records have been set here.

For the future at Lake Holly, we plan to continue improving the Lake for future skiers to come.

Have a Good Run!

Rick Stansberry


* Note - Tournament statistics are as of completion of the 2021 season.