Thursday, June 18, 2015

Beaver Park Article – August 11, 1962

Here's an interesting article that ran in the Chronicle-Telegram on August 11, 1962. It's an interesting snapshot of what was going on along the lakefront from the western limits of Lorain out to Vermilion-on-the-Lake back in 1962. The focus of the article is the pollution problem, but it also provides a little historic background of Beaver Park as well as Hole-in-the-Wall beach. It also mentions some of the motels including the Vanishing Beach Motel.
Beaver Park has managed to escape lake pollution
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is one of a series dealing with pollution in Lake Erie and its effect on beach areas and communities.

Billboards of two Lake Rd. motels near Lorain’s western city limits tell the story of struggling Lake Erie. The first advertises its location, “On the Lake,” and an added – and rather ironic – feature, “heated swimming pool.”
Nearby the Vanishing Beach Motel sports its colors.
Despite these telltale signs, swimming, boating and fishing enthusiasts are flocking to areas within the nine-mile stretch from western Lorain to Vermilion-on-the-Lake.
A growing resort area along Lake Erie is Beaver Park, just west of the intersection of Rts 611 and U.S. 6 and St. Rt. 2.
Behind the area’s development have been the efforts of Dr. W. G. Schaeffer, who purchased the plot of overgrown brush in 1922.
Boating Marina
Since then a boating marina which harbors more than 500 boats, a restaurant, houses and a motel have sprung up along the 1,000 foot sandy beach.
Swimming enthusiasts also have discovered the area. In addition to the beach, which is cleaned daily, a low bacteria count also attracts hopeful bathers.
“Bacteria count readings have showed no pollution,” Dr. Schaeffer said. This is probably due to the fact that the beach is more than four miles to the west of the Black River.
The only time we get any dirt in the area is when there is a prevailing north east wind, Schaeffer said.
Swimmers are guarded only on Sunday, when there are two guards.
Heading west, a collection of motor vehicles parked to the north of Lake Rd., announces the approach to well-known Hole-in-the-Wall beach. Swimmers of all types frolic in the unguarded water.
On a day when temperatures were in the low 80’s, more than 100 people gathered from 20 cars and a tractor-trailer truck.
Dr. Schaeffer, operator of the Beaver Park property, explained the history of the beach’s name. “There used to be a culvert right across from where the Ford Plant is today,” he said.
“To get to the swimming area we used to drive into this culvert,” he continued.
This hole in the wall was eliminated about 1924 or 1925 when Nickel Plate Railroad raised its tracks and the Hole-in-the-Wall beach was moved to the east a few miles.
Coliform bacteria readings have been taken by officials of the Lorain City Water Dept. Results of the readings indicate the waters have a count of 30.
Coliform counts
The water department also found Lakeview and Century Park has readings of 30. At the same beaches, the city health board found the coliform counts were 2,198 and 1,107. However these latter readings were taken in May.
That count is well below the safe-swimming limit established by federal officials. The limit is 1,000 coliform bacteria per 100 milliliters. Coliform bacteria are found in all industrial and animal waste.
Another beach apparently well below the 1,000 limit is the beach at Vermilion-on-the-Lake. Lot owners in the settlement have undertaken “Operation Rejuvenate” and are in the process of rehabilitating their beach.
Existing structures indicate that a series of piers and a long sidewalk once existed. According to Ken Bender, lifeguard at the beach, efforts are under way to reconstruct these forms.
Bulldozers have begun the project by moving all rocks off the sand. In addition the lot owners association have received railroad ties which will be used to help rebuild the central pier and for stairways down to the beach.
Youngsters are getting into the act as well. On a recent workday, a 10-year-old boy named Denny was seen throwing rocks into the frame in which the pier is being rebuilt.
Bender said yesterday that beginners' swimming lessons have been started. 13 children have enrolled in the classes and five sessions have been held already.
A Lorain school teacher, Bender distinguishes himself from other swimmers by wearing a black baseball cap, and guards everyday but Sunday from 12 to 6 pm.
An unusual plan for Sunday swimmers has been instituted at the beach. Swimmers only will be admitted if they are with their families.
"There are two motives behind this plan," Bender said. "First we want all swimmers to be watched, and second this will keep families closer together."
I'm guessing that the unnamed motel referred to in the first paragraph of the article was probably Anchor Lodge, judging by the motel's phone book ad in 1963 (below).

1 comment:

Wireless.Phil said...

At one point it was called something else back in the 60s or 70s, they used to have bands there when we were teens.

It was named after a TV show at the time, but was it surf side six or sunset strip, I can't remember.