By Joyce L. Alig, President, Mercer County Historical Society
One of the Members of the Mercer County Historical Society found this post card and sent it to me. On the front of the card, the identification states, “The Bunk House, South Shore Acres, Grand Lake, Ohio.” On the back of the card, the statement reads, “South Shore Acres: Housekeeping Cottages, Fishing Services, Duck Hunting, etc. Located half-mile north of Route 219 and a mile west of 364.” The Copyright gives credit to Hinkle Studio, Coldwater, Ohio. With Coldwater celebrating the 175th Anniversary this summer, perhaps someone knows about the Hinkle Studio History?
May 16, 1950, the St. Marys Evening Leader published a map, entitled “Lake St. Marys Tourists Map prepared by Tourist Promotion Committee of St. Marys Chamber of Commerce, in interest of Lake Promotion and for Acquainting Tourists with the Landings.” However, on the center of the map of the lake, is written, “Lake St. Marys or Grand Lake.”
This 1950 map illustrated these advertisements: South Shore Acres, Scotty’s Beauty Beach, Lake Motel, Northmoor Golf Club and Motel, Corbin Schnell and North Shore Landing, M. Okeefe and Westwood Supper Club, A.H. Kockentiet and Villanova Park, Villa View Inn, Otto D. Smith and Johnson Sea-Horse Outboard Motors at Villanova, H. K. Leadenham and Stewarts Drive-In, G. L. McCane and Mack’s Marine Sales, W. H. Rieck and Lakeside Grocery, Farley’s Inn, Slim’s Place, C. Harmon and Harmon’s Landing, Behm’s Landing, Harold Lee and Lee’s Lakeside Park, Bay View Lodge, Geo. Malone and Malone’s Landing, N. G. Maus and Bass Landing, V. J. Young and Windy Point Lunch and Cottages, Park Grand Resort, Frank Fiely and Fiely’s Landing, Midway Resort, C.R. Johnston and Johnston Cottages, Ray C. Hoenie and Fairview Park, Andersons, Achbach’s, Hoffman’s Cabins, Highland Park Grocery, Lake Front, Charles Wise, State Office, Carta Villa, Graham, Folkerth, White Front, Gary and Mary, Dues, Maggie & Web’s, Fountain Place, Furl’s, Pat’s, Knotty Pine, Knapke, Fiely’s Landing, South Shore Gun Club, It’s It, Ed’s Place, Zeb’s, Matthew’s, Park Grand, F. McDaniels, The Oaks, Davis, Doss, Hecht’s, Koehn’s, Brandon’s, Sherman’s, Swartz, Heap’s, Hreseker’s, and Lakeside Grocery. [I may have spelled some names incorrectly because the small print was difficult to read.]
On this 1950 map, place names around the Lake were listed: New Roadway & Park, Edgewater Park, Pullman Bay, Mercelina Park, Harbor Point, Highland Park, Beacon, Legion State Park, Lake Acres, Riley’s Bay, Lighthouse, Sandy Beach, Nazarene Center, Jack Oak Point, Western Ohio Fish and Game Club House, Lake St. Marys State Park Area, State Fish Farm, Bulkhead, Canal Feeder, Dayton Club House Island, Oil Derrick, Safety Island, Montezuma Bay, State Game Reserve, Goose Haven, Coldwater Creek, Beacon at Beaver Creek, Minnows Pond, Willow Grove, Riverside, Hillside Park, Coldwater Beach, Cottonwood Beach, and Channel Isle.
I have been gathering the history of Grand Lake Saint Marys, since I became President of the Mercer County Historical Society in 1973. For several of the Landings listed above, I have little or no information or photographs. Now is a good time for the people who have lived around this lake or visited this lake or camped at this lake, to share your stories and/or photographs with the Mercer County Historical Society. I need your help, to preserve the history of this historic lake which was originally a feeder to the Miami and Erie Canal in the 1840’s. If you do not help the Mercer County Historical Society to preserve these old stories and photographs of Grand Lake Saint Marys, who will?
The Mercer County Historical Society President Joyce Alig, may be contacted at 3054 Burk-St. Henry Road, Saint Henry, OH 45883, or firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-678-2614.