Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania’s largest natural lake, was formed when glaciers receded during the last ice age. Founded by Abner Evans in 1793, the town was originally called Evansburg in 1858 but was renamed Conneaut Lake in 1892. This area has retained much of what made it unique over the years. The large ship structure protruding from Oakland Beach Hotel was as familiar a sight to visitors in the mid-1950s as railroad cars filled with blocks of ice were to tourists in the early part of the century. Ice was harvested from beautiful Conneaut Lake, wrapped in sawdust, and stored in mammoth icehouses until it was time to ship them to large cities. Today, the lake is used mainly for recreational purposes, such as skiing, boating, swimming, and fishing. The largest Muskie ever caught in the state of Pennsylvania was from the waters of Conneaut Lake. The town is also where Channellock, Inc., a worldwide distributor of famed blue handle pliers and other quality hand tools, got its start in 1886.
Author Bio: Jane Smith is a retired news reporter and a charter member and board member of the Conneaut Lake Area Historical Society. Images in the book are from the society’s archives and private collections of historical society members.
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