Lakeside Heritage Society opens new archives building
LAKESIDE – Several dozen people gathered at Walnut Plaza in downtown Lakeside on May 20 for the grand opening and unveiling of the new Lakeside Heritage Society (LHS) Archives Building.
LHS was formed to preserve, promote and advance the history of Lakeside, the Marblehead Peninsula and the Chautauqua movement, and the new archives building, which has undergone extensive renovations, provides safer storage for this history and better accessibility for the public.
The new archives building, which houses the local history, has its own history. It sits on Walnut Plaza, where the community’s first buildings were built in 1873.
Without roads, visitors arrived at Lakeside by steamboat
There were no established roads leading to Lakeside, so visitors arrived by steamboat, disembarked at the wharf, and walked down Walnut Avenue to guesthouses and cabins. Hungry travelers bought food in the “dining room” where the chefs cooked over a wood fire under two large tents.
In 1903, a souvenir shop was erected on the current site of the archives building.
“It was a tent-like structure,” said Lakeside historian Gretchen Curtis, who was the main donor for the renovation project. “Dr. Charles and Rosa Gould came from England to open a souvenir shop. They sold postcards and glassware, but also offered eye exams.
After Charles’ death in 1915, Rosa continued to own and manage the shop until 1939. Lakeside purchased the property in 1944 and razed the gift shop in 1946. The lot was eventually sold to Clayton G. Weber, who constructed the current building in 1953 and opened a drugstore that featured a soda fountain selling ice cream and sandwiches. The name Weber is still engraved above the front door of the building.
The ownership of the building had many faces; Shade Tree home for 26 years
Ownership of the building has passed through many hands over the years and was purchased by Becky Price in 1993, who operated the business as The Shade Tree for 26 years.
“She was beloved in the community and was a mentor for the young girls of Lakeside,” said Curtis. “She was a very important part of the community during the 26 years she had Shade Tree.
LHS, which is an independent organization separate from Lakeside Chautauqua, purchased The Shade Tree store from Price before his death in 2019. The building was emptied, renovated and made accessible to people with disabilities for storage of the archival collection. of the LHS.
“Becky was happy to think she would be with the Lakeside Heritage Society,” Curtis said. “She supported our ideas.”
Caldwell House was a former archive house
Prior to its opening, the archival collection was housed in Caldwell House on Third Street. Former LHS President Carol Morgan searched for an air-conditioned building for the collection during her tenure.
“Carol had been looking for a building for us for 20 years,” said current LHS president Kathy Venema. “She was instrumental in raising funds and generating ideas for this purpose.”
In the new building, the archival collection is not only better protected, but it will be more accessible to the public, who can now search for historical information about Lakeside, the Marblehead Peninsula and the Chautauqua movement.
“We want to be more proactive in sharing local history,” Venema said. “We are in the process of digitizing the documents and will put more of them on our website so that the public has more access to these documents.”
The public is invited to visit the archives building, which is open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“People can come in and ask research questions and search our database,” Venema said. “We have over 30 collections. People can research the history of their own cabins and browse our talent database to learn more about famous people who have visited Lakeside, like Amelia Earhart and The Grateful Dead. “
For more information visit www.lakesideheritagesociety.org or call 419-798-5519.
Contact correspondent Sheri Trusty at [email protected]