By  Joyce L. Alig, President, Mercer County Historical Society

John M. Adams, Middletown, Ohio wrote me about old photographs of West Bank Road, not only about the fishing on the lake, but also about the businesses along West Bank Road. 

“Could you tell me if there are any vintage photographs of the fishing piers that were along the West Shore Road back in the 1950’s.  That would be the period of time I remember.  I have memories of my dad taking me there at night after he would get off work and we would fish there all night long and go home the next morning.  My Dad's name Charles H. Adams; he always signed C.H. Adams.  His Nickname was "Ham;" he was a bricklayer by trade.

“There was a restaurant directly across the road from where we fished and dad would park in front along the side of the road.  Whatever that business was is where I believe he bought our minnows.  I can remember that there were tables or booths in there, too. They stayed open all night long.  Those were fun times for me as a kid. The drive for us to Celina was about 80 miles from Middletown, Ohio.

“I traveled from Michigan a couple of weeks ago and came south on 127.   I took a diversion and got off on the West Shore Road.  It was definitely where I used to go with my dad as a kid. The piers and restaurant were long gone but the memories are still there.  I know everything has changed so much around that area.  I did see some of the old cabins or rentals still along that road.  I saw some lots that were empty maybe where the building I'm referring to stood? 

“I would love to see the post cards and photographs of this site.  I am 70 years old and guessing I would say it was probably about 60 years ago when I was last there.  Please keep me posted and thank you so much.

 “Sincerely, John M Adams, Middletown,  Ohio.”

Perhaps, some of you remember meeting Charles “Ham” Adams and his son John, in the 1950’s, when they were fishing all night.  If you would like to talk with John Adams, please contact me. 

Photo Caption:  West Bank Road, at Waste Weir, 1930’s Post Card View

How many of you fished all night, on this lake?  Would you share your stories about fishing on this lake, with the Mercer County Historical Society?  Do you have any photographs of West Bank Road, which you would permit the Mercer County Historical Society to make copies, for the purpose of preserving the History of Grand Lake Saint Marys?

Please share your stories and/or your photographs of West Bank for the purpose of preserving the History of Grand Lake Saint Marys.  Each story is an important part of the entire history.  The old adage is that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.  Mercer County History is only as complete as each person shares his or her stories and copies of photographs.

November 8, the second Sunday, is the 15th Annual Post Card Exhibit at the Mercer County Historical Museum.  Two themes will be highlighted this year:  Oil and Gas Wells on the Lake, and West Bank Road. You are also invited to share your stories and photographs at this year’s Exhibit.

 [The Mercer County Historical Society President Joyce Alig, may be contacted at 3054 Burk-St. Henry Road, Saint Henry, OH 45883,  or histalig@bright.net or 419-678-2614.]