Monday, May 18, 2009

Lakeview Park of Yesteryear

As it gets warmer outside and Memorial Day approaches, thoughts naturally turn to going down to Lakeview Park.
   According to the book Images of Lorain, published by the Black River Historical Society, Lakeview Park was the idea of Mayor Leonard Moore. He became mayor in 1916 and is credited with persuading City Council to purchase land west of town for a park.
   The postcards above show the park through the years. The postcard with the view from the water was postmarked 1943. The other two provide views that should be familiar to local baby boomers. It's interesting to see the long-gone B&O coal-loading docks in the background of the beach shot.
   It's funny to think how the park was in the 1960s, with its skimpy, rocky beach. No wonder my family used to drive all the way to Findley State Park in Wellington or East Harbor State Park out in Marblehead just to go swimming!
   And who can forget how, for a long time, it wasn't safe to go down to the park and watch the fountain lights change unless the doors were locked and the windows were rolled up!
   Times have certainly changed. Since 2006, Lakeview Park has been leased to the Lorain County Metro Parks, who have done a terrific job of improving and maintaining it. Although it was painful to watch the old bathhouse get demolished, at least it is great to see the park looking so good.

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