Friday, September 14, 2007

On the west side of Lake Erie

... is a town called Lakeside. Once you drive in through the gates, you will feel as though you have stepped back 100 years. Established by the United Methodist Church in 1873, Lakeside retains its quiet charm and air of tranquility. The town bills itself as the "Chautauqua of Lake Erie" and the "Lakeside Experience" is designed to nurture your mind, body, and spirit.

This view of the entrance to the pier always says "Lakeside" to me.

As a PK (Preacher's Kid) I spent several summer vacations in Lakeside during the UMC's annual church conferences. This sleepy community was and is the perfect place for kids to run around loose, and safely. From exploring the lake shore and collecting rocks to bike rides and miniature golf, days here were slow and lazy. (Mom says we got bored on our week-long stays, but I don't remember that part.) When I found out that this fall's OOS event ("Confusing Fall Warblers") was scheduled to take place in and around Lakeside, I was eager to return and see if it is as I remembered.

The miniature golf course hasn't changed...

... but I remember the shuffleboard courts being a lot busier.

The gazebo is still near-by, with plenty of seating for the weddings that are often held here.
Lakesiders tell me they come to every wedding, whether they know the couple or not.

The lake is very different - no dead fish or yucky brown foam. Lake Erie has really been cleaned up in the past 30 years. I remember the rocky shore being wider and more accessible, though. Or, maybe I was just smaller and more agile. Rock collectors still look for pretty stones to take home. My sister asked me to check to see if the rocks she left in 1975 were still there.

Are these the ones you meant, Lisa?

After this summer's drought in SW Ohio, where everything is brown and crispy, the cool green grass and beautiful gardens were a welcome sight.

You can stay in the historic Lakeside Hotel, with its lakefront view, but be prepared - no WiFi, no cable, no TV!

Or, you can rent a cottage and live like the natives.

The streets and village green are lined with the cutest cottages
some with names like "Conversation Corner"
or Victorian gingerbread trimor painted in bright, cheery colors.
"Doc's View" - Is this one for me?

And, the number one evening entertainment is sitting on the front porch, talking about the day's events.

Even the mannequins enjoy porch swings and people watching.


Lynne said...

It sounds like a wonderful get away place- slower pace, clean, quiet, gentle.

holly said...

What a magical place! I envy you.

There are several places around here that used to be Methodist Summer Camp meeting places. There are still a few of those old narrow 2story Victorian cottages left down around the beach areas. Never knew that's what they were until I read about them in Country Living. The kids' old sitter lives in a house that was a summer camp meeting cottage (added on to, of course). At the end of her street on the highway still stands a large wooden sign that says "Camp Meetingwoods".

KGMom said...

What a lovely looking place for calm. It resembles the community at Thousand Island Park, which was also established by Methodists. They must have blanketed the East Coast in the late 1800s setting up camp meeting & summer places.