This thread is for those of you who might want to share memories of some time(s) that you spent "summering" at the lake, the cottage, the cabin, the beach, the resort, etc.
Gem Beach was a popular NW Ohio resort area. Located on Catawba Island (which isn't really an island.....it's a peninsula) along the shores of Lake Erie, about half-way between metropolitan Toledo and metropolitan Cleveland.
Look into the crystal time machine......the time is 1960.....this Bear is all of twelve (12) years old.....
Gem Beach is on the eastern side of the Catawba peninsula. We turn right and are immediately excited by seeing the giant wooden sign, proclaiming GEM BEACH, LAKE ERIE'S VACATIONLAND. The road goes back, through a wooded area, curves slightly to the right. Suddenly, older cottages are lining both sides of the road and perpindicular lanes shoot off in both directions, filled with more cottages.
The road turns sharply right. If we would have kept driving straight we would have crashed into an old wooden restaurant. To the left of the restaurant is a huge dance hall, partially open to the weather and partially covered with a roof. Even at this age I know that you can get beer inside of a "cage" that is under the roof, accessible to those eighteen (18) or over. I also know that Friday and Saturday nights will be "a blast" at the dance hall, no matter what age.
We can see the lake, visible between the restaurant and the yellow 2-story Bath House. To get to the beach you must pass through the Bath House. If you are staying at a cottage, you have a "cottage pass" to get in free. The 2nd floor is the Penny Arcade, with wide wooden steps going up. A young boy tends to spend a lot of time in the Penny Arcade.
To the right of the Bath House is the Skating Rink, with shutters that are opened on skate nights, letting the cool Lake Erie breezes slide in. The beach itself is a typical western Lake Erie beach, with a long gradual walk before you reached deep water and a wonderful sandy bottom. In the 1950's and the early 1960's the lake was quite clean, especially in this area.
Every year we would rent a different cottage at Gem Beach. Also, my uncle owned a cottage so we also stayed at his place. Some of the cottages, including my uncles', were in a neighborhood across from the Skating Rink, just west of the giant boat marina.
Later in this Bear's life, I would return to Gem Beach. I did some drinking at and in "the cage". I met a future girlfriend while partying at the beach.
Today, all of the old wooden buildings are gone. The cottages are still there, but most of the owners are now boaters who keep their boats docked at the huge marina. Excellent walleye and smallmouth bass fishing is available just outside of the harbor, on a much-cleaner Lake Erie.
Enuf about me. Do you have some memories of your times at "that summer place"?
Bear Splashing Jennifer