The following answers the questions posed by Mercer County Historical Society President Joyce Alig in the article "How Well Do You Know Grand Lake St. Marys History?"
OUR OLD BOOK CASE
By Joyce L. Alig, President, Mercer County Historical Society
Don Spitler sent a copy of Gladys Gray’s May 26, 2001 article in The Daily Standard. “Ben Adams owned three cottages named Pontiac, Blue Light, and Triangle. Adams was famous for his homemade turtle soup. His business was located on West Bank Road, just south of the Sugar Street hill.”
The answers to my questions about Grand Lake, in my November 1 article can be found in these books: “Our Post Card Past; Grand Lake Saint Marys, Ohio.” and “Passport: Mercer County Ohio History, Franklin Township,” and “Celina Sesquicentennial, 1834-1984.”
*This Lake has had various names: Mercer County Reservoir, Lake Mercer, Grand Reservoir, Grand Lake, Grand Lake Saint Marys, Grand Lake Celina, and/or Celina's Lake. The U. S. Board on Geographic Names, as of February 17, 2011, identified the lake’s official name as “Grand Lake.”
*Bass Landing, Behm's Landing, Brandon Landing, and Bruce Landing are the four landings on the south shore, whereby their names begin with the letter “B.”
The winter of 1936 proved to be a great winter for the ice cutters! The ice on the lake was a yard thick in front of Ben Adams’ White Front Lunch Room.
*Zeb Zollars (Sollars) was the Cincinnati Red's player who owned Zeb’s Resort and Zeb’s Carry Out.
*Mercelina Hotel, had a New Year’s Eve Dance and it was so cold that the punch froze, and the horses’ hooves froze in the ice, and the people danced to keep warn.
*Leonard "Slim" Belsher was a gunner in World War II. He was also the mechanic for airplanes at Lakefield Airport. He had a great scrapbook. His death was a loss to the history of this Airport.
*Wm. Jennings Bryan ran for U.S. President three times; he campaigned at the 1905 Chautauqua in Celina. [Editor’s Note: I fear that every Presidential Candidate, who has campaigned in Mercer County, Ohio, ended up losing the Presidential Election!]
*In 2001, Paul Cullers told me that he remembered roller skating at the Roller Skating Rink at Edgewater Park. Dan Meyers’ red satin jacket from the Roller Skating Rink is at the Mercer Co. Historical Museum.
*The lighthouse is a copy of the Eddystone Rocks 1759 Lighthouse in the English Channel. This lighthouse was built about 1922 by Bill Jasperson, developer of Northwood, on the North Shore of Grand Lake. In 2001, Mary Jo McKirnan owned this historic landmark.
*Gordon State Park, an amusement center at Grand Lake Saint Marys, in operation from 1924 until the early 1930's, was named after Robert Gordon, Jr., who donated the land to the State. East Bank Marina was located at 215 Gordon Park Drive, in 2001. Villa Nova is located nearby.
*Edward and Mary Slorp purchased Coldwater Creek Landing from Elmer Knapke about 1957. (Other owners are listed in the Post Card book.) The buildings were destroyed in the 1970's.
*Pullman Bay acquired its name from the old railroad Pullman sleeping cars, which had been used on the L. E. & W. Railroad, a century earlier.
*The Gate House was located above the West Bank Spillway, whereas water could flow beneath it. The control system for controlling the flow of water, was located in this Gate House.
*Who did build the tourist boat, “The Lillian,” which docked at Edgewater Park?
[The Mercer County Historical Society President Joyce Alig, may be contacted at 3054 Burk-St. Henry Road, Saint Henry, OH 45883, or email@example.com or 419-678-2614.]