Buckeye Lake and Cranberry Bog Tour – June 30, 2012

The Perry County Historical and Cultural Arts Society is hosting a tour of Buckeye Lake and Cranberry Bog.  Come to the Buckeye Lake State Park on Saturday, June 30 and board the Queen of the Lake II boat for a historic lake tour.   Our group will be stopping at Cranberry Bog, the world’s only floating cranberry bog.  While touring, we will learn about the sights that made Buckeye Lake one of the most popular attractions in the state.

It is the oldest state park in Ohio, originally built to provide water to the Ohio Erie Canal system.  It became a favorite weekend trip for people from Columbus when the interurban electric train was built in 1902.    It cost 10 cents to ride and reached a speed of over 70 miles an hour!  By the roaring 20’s there were twelve hotels and an amusement park that was destroyed by a tornado in 1928.   Rebuilt larger and grander, the new amusement park boasted two ball rooms, the splendid Crystal Ball room and the Pier Ball room.  People came from all over the Ohio to see the big name bands like Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, and Louis Armstrong that played there on Saturday nights.  Imagine a huge ballroom with nearly 500 couples doing the “jitterbug.”

Two tours lasting one hour each will leave the North Shore Ramp at the Buckeye Lake Park along Route 79 at 10:00 and 11:00 A.M. Please plan to arrive no later than 30 minutes before your scheduled departure.  Flowers, including wild orchids, should be in abundance.   A boxed lunch will be available to eat on the boat.  The cost is $25.00 per person.

Reservations will go fast, and they may be made with Lena Bowman at 740-246-5910 or 740-221-3876.  No reservations will be accepted after June 15.

This event is a fund raiser to help with restoration efforts of the Babb House in Somerset.  The Perry County Historical and Cultural Arts Society has recently purchased the Babb House with the intent of both preserving a piece of our history from the early 1800’s but also making it a museum for students and residents.  The house is located along the old Zane Trace, now Route 22, in historic Somerset and was the home of Jonathan Babb, his wife Mary Henthorn and their five children.  Jonathan served Perry County as sheriff and auditor and was also an Ohio Militia general.  In 1832 when scarlet fever swept through the county, the Babbs lost all five of their children to the disease.  Their gravestones can be seen in the Methodist cemetery.  The last family to live in the home was that of William Welch.

Hope to see you there!

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