In the early years of Conneaut Lake Town, then known as Evansburg, several small hotels were found. They mainly served traveling salesmen and sportsmen who visited the area to enjoy the hunting and fishing bounty.
As the mid and late 1800s approached, Conneaut Lake was becoming a destination for boating, family recreation and entertainment. The arrival of the railroad in the late 1880s put Conneaut Lake on the map and the opening of Conneaut Lake Park in 1892 brought throngs of people to the area. So began the resort era, and the building of dozens of hotels.
Our hotel exhibit features photos of many of those built not only in downtown Conneaut Lake, but all around the lake, East Side, West Side and Conneaut Lake Park. The hotels ranged from hundreds of rooms, to small Boarding Houses, similar to the Bed and Breakfasts we know today.
The larger ones, for example the Hotel Conneaut at Conneaut Lake Park,
and the Midway Hotel and the Oakland Beach Hotel on the East Side, were destinations within themselves. In the early years, families arrived by train and were taken to their hotels by steamboats, in the case of the East Side locations. There, they spent at least a week, enjoying the dining rooms, lounges, beaches, ice cream stands, and in some cases golf courses, bowling alleys and dance floors, until the train returned to take them back to city life.
Hotel Conneaut is the only one still in operation in 2021.
The Midway and Oakland Hotels were torn down in the 1960s when a new sewer system was installed.
Our exhibit also includes items from the hotels, such as a warming oven and table and chairs. The menus from that time gone by not only show the amazing prices, but a unique selection of foods.
Also, check out our photo kiosk for the floor layout of Hotel Conneaut as well as many other photos.
In addition to the items in the exhibit, we have much more information related to hotels in our archives.