Five Things You Didn’t Know About: The Bell & Windmill Tower along the Lakefront

Staff Blogger: Gretchen Colón, Vice President of Advancement & Communications


bell towerThe bell and the windmill tower, which once stood at Lakeside, has played significant roles in the early period of our community’s history.

For many years, the windmill tower welcomed steamships arriving at the dock.

Beginners and longtime artists also gathered at the tower for art classes. Just imagine the beautiful sketches created as they looked out over the Lake Erie shores and islands.

Here a few facts about the bell and the beautiful windmill tower that once stood along Lakeside’s shoreline:    

  1. A windmill, close to the dock, once welcomed passengers to Lakeside and could be seen from far across the lake.
  2. In 1883, the oldest windmill was razed and the Park Improvement Group helped create a beautiful tower and building along the lakefront.
  3. In June 1884, a new tower was built to welcome visitors. It was tall, white and beautiful. The first floor sold popcorn, peanuts and candy. The second floor had ice cream for sale and housed a soda parlor. Lakesiders could walk out on the circular open-air balcony to take in the beautiful lake view. The third floor was home to the tower’s peaceful-sounding bells. These bells would ring across Lakeside for prayer five times a day.
  4. The tower was a place where Lakesiders met to purchase refreshments and stroll down “Lover’s Lane.”
  5. The bell tower began deteriorating and was razed in 1922, after the largest bell fell and remained undamaged. The bell was preserved with the fence and covering in later years, which can be seen today.

Today, the bell rests where the original tower was built in Lakeside. This bell was made by the McShane Bell Foundry located in Baltimore, Md.

Can you imagine the journey of the bell coming to Lakeside in the 1800s? What do you think Lakeside was like during this time? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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