Monday, August 15, 2016

Peck’s Cottages – Part 1

Summer’s beginning to wind down, so let’s head back out to Vacationland for a while longer. Today’s destination: Peck’s Cottages.

Peck’s Cottages was located on West Lake Road (U.S. 6) where it intersects with Joppa Road about five miles west of Vermilion.

The small cottage resort was originally one of three owned by Lloyd W. Moats of Berlin Heights. The Moats family had deep farming roots in Erie County and is profiled in A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio (1916).

Lloyd W. Moats had a successful fruit farm as well. In November 1939, according to an article in the Sandusky Register, he sold five carloads of apples to the Federal Surplus Commodities Corporation, “the largest number by any single grower in any week since the purchasing program has been in progress here.” But by the early 1940s, he focused on his cottages, cabins and motel business. (According to the Sandusky Register, his equipment used to produce cider and wine was for sale in 1939, and the Moats farm itself was listed for sale or lease in 1942.)

A vintage postcard exists that shows some of the cottages at Moat’s Modern Camp near Mitiwanga. It’s unclear as to exactly which camp is depicted.
The back of the vintage postcard, which provides a description of the three cottage camps and their approximate location, has this information:

"Three Modern Tourist Camps, one mile apart on Lake Erie at Mitiwanga between Huron and Vermilion, O. State Route 2, U. S. Route 6. All three Camps have Electricity, Gas, Hot and Cold Running City Water, Showers, Flush Toilets and Telephones. Free Bathing, Parking, Picnicing, Play Grounds, Boating, Fishing. New Furniture, Inner Spring Mattresses. Specially equipped for over night, week, month or season. Cooking allowed in cabins.

Moats' Modern Camp No. 1 – 20 Cabins – 34 Beds
Moats’ Tourist Camp No. 2 – 40 Cabins – 50 Beds
Moats’ Willow Haven Camp No. 3 – 10 Cabins – 30 Beds

Both single and double cabins for (2 or 3) (4 or 5) guests. Reservations, write L. W. Moats, Berlin Heights, Ohio – Owner and Proprietor.”

Note that all three camps are identified as being "at Mitiwanga,” which is only a mile from what later became Peck’s Cottages.

Anyway, you can learn more about Lloyd Moats and his various tourist properties, as well as many of the other resorts by visiting the ‘Vacationland’ page on the Lake Shore Rail Maps website.

Next: A Change in Name

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