geauga lake

Geauga Lake Marker

Sunday, September 17, 2017 at 3:00 pm

The City of Aurora’s Landmark Commission in cooperation with the Aurora Historical Society, The Geauga Lake Improvement Association, and the Ohio History Connection are pleased to announce the dedication of the “Geauga Lake” Historic Marker.

The dedication will take place on Sunday, September 17, 2017 at 3:00 pm.  The marker will be placed on property owned by the Geauga Lake Improvement Association located on the southern shore of Geauga Lake along State Route 43 adjacent to the former Geauga Lake Ballroom. 

The double sided marker not only commemorates the cherished history of Geauga Lake Park, but also recognizes the importance of the Geauga Lake Community as a vital part of the City’s history.  Initially known as “Giles Pond” the area quickly grew when the predecessor of the Erie Railroad began to stop at “Pond Station.”  In the 1880’s locals established picnic grounds, a dance hall, and other facilities for those seeking a country getaway.  In 1887, Picnic Lake Park opened offering rides, a roller rink, photo gallery, billiard hall and bowling alley.  The Kent Hotel was constructed on the southeast side of the lake in 1888.  In the century that followed the park grew and changed ownership over the years.

The community of Geauga Lake began as a cluster of summer cottages occupied by visitors to Giles Pond.  Residential growth began in earnest with the formation of two allotment companies: the Geauga Lake Orchard Company in 1915 and the Western Reserve Land Company in 1920.  In 1921, the Geauga Lake Improvement Association (GLIA) was chartered to protect the residents’ access to the lake.  During Prohibition, this rural setting was the site of speakeasies and dancehalls such as the Magnolia Club.  With gas rationing during WWII the GLIA’s lakeside clubhouse doubled as a church with services offered by Reverend J.R. Hutcherson.  The postwar era housing shortage and improvements in transportation brought a transition to the community with year-round housing.  The GLIA continues to be the guardian of the adjacent area.  .  In 2007, the melodic sounds of the carousel and the echoing screams from the “Big Dipper” roller coaster ceased when the park closed. 

In addition to the program Geauga Lake Park memorabilia will be on display along with the opportunity to purchase Aurora Historical Society merchandise.  The event is open to the public.  For further information contact the Aurora Historical Society at 330-995-3336 or at director@aurorahistorical.org.  Visit us on Facebook or on the web at aurorahistorical.org.

Posted by admin in Events

Geauga Lake & Sea World on Display

Come take a look at the display cases in the front hall of the Aurora Library. We’ve gathered just a small smidgen of our Geauga Lake and Sea World collection to we begin the summer season. The Aurora Historical Society is the largest collection of park memorabilia, artifacts, signs and documents and oral histories. When the parks existed, the opening day was often accompanied by large traffic jams and lines of cars up and down routes 43 and beyond. Aurora teenagers found steady employment and a lot of fun at the parks each year. For over a hundred years the activity at the parks had a important influence on the economic and culture of Aurora.

We have a lot more in the storerooms and are always happy to get donations of memories or items to add to this collection.

Stop by when ever the library is open and remember when the parks made Aurora a more interesting place to live.

Posted by marcelle in Events