The idea of Lake Wabaunsee was formed when there were no lakes in Kansas. The site was suggested in 1928. Local sportsmen and businessmen chartered the Lake Wabaunsee Corporation in September of 1933 to sell lots to finance the purchase of the site and build the lake. The project began as a state operated camp for transients. A recruiting camp was established in Topeka to find homeless men who would go to Wabaunsee Co. to work. In 1934 workers arrived to clear the valley and quarry stone from the lake bed. Construction of the dam began in 1935. August 26, 1939 the lake was officially open. June 12, 1941, heavy rains filled the lake and ran out the spillway for the first time. Finally, the lake was full.