Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Early Days of Vermilion-on-the-Lake – Part 1

Ad from the Pittsburgh Press of July 21, 1940
I live out on the eastern edge of Vermilion, right across U. S. Route 6 from Vermilion-on-the-Lake. Originally, I had hoped to buy a "humble cottage" (as referred to in The Quiet Man) down there, but it wasn't meant to be. But I still like to drive around the area, especially around the Clubhouse, and check it all out. It's cozy, and reminds me of Sheffield Lake, another place that started out as a summer resort of sorts.

Here's a nice link to a history of Vermilion on the Lake on the VOL website.

It's hard to believe that at one time, there were big plans for Vermilion-on-the-Lake, which was marketed as "The Atlantic City of Lake Erie.”

Here are a few newspaper clippings and ads from the early days.

This clipping from the Sandusky Star Journal of May 18, 1920 announces the construction of the first wave of cottages, and the now well-known log clubhouse.

In this article, which appeared in the Sandusky Star Journal a few days later on May 21, 1920, the sale of lots for Vermilion-on-the-Lake had just begun. The article notes that it had "been created from the Werk farm located just east of Vermilion.” The article also mentions Shore Inn and Blue Bird Beach, as well as farms that were going to be turned into other summer resort colonies.

It seems that getting the land ready for the new Vermilion-on-the-Lake allotment was hazardous. This clipping from the June 9, 1920 Sandusky Star Journal proves that mosquitoes, like now, were a concern back then.
This unfortunate chap was injured while clearing land for Vermilion-on-the-Lake. The small blurb about Joseph Wagner appeared in the Star Journal on June 30, 1920.
This article from the March 22, 1921 Star Journal notes that Vermilion was preparing engineering plans and cost estimates for the extension of the village water mains out to Vermilion-on-the-Lake. Also of note is the mention of the planned paving of Liberty Street, referred to in the article as part of the Cleveland-Sandusky highway. (The Federal route designation of the highway as U. S. Route 6 was still a few years away.)
Next: Selling Vermilion-on-the Lake


Anonymous said...

Nice articles Dan. I have lived in VOL for 40 years and can't bring myself to sell my home. It's a fantastic community. When I was a kid, the Valley View area of Vermilion was the desirable new neighborhood. VOL or "Valley of Losers" as the Valley View kids called us had no idea how awesome it was to grow up in VOL. So, I guess the jokes on them today.

Dan, since your going to be living amongst us, you are going to have to know a couple things. First, Showse park in VOL is called Tiki Beach/Park. I have no idea where the name Showse came from. It has been known to us as Tiki for 40+ years. Secondly, Aunt Ruths Store always has and always will be called the "Little Store". If you ask someone where Aunt Ruth's store is, they will have no idea what your talking about.


Dan Brady said...

Hi Shane! Thanks for the comments, as well as the insider information! I was down there last weekend driving around and seeing what's for sale. I've even eaten dinner in my car down at Showse, uh I mean Tiki Park!