Guest Blogger: Pam Armstrong
Our family history at Lakeside starts clear back in the 1890s, when my great-grandmother, Ida C. Cronenwett, ventured into a quaint little town on the lake.
In 1915, she purchased a cottage for $850 that was on block 71, Lot 3, 614 E. Second St. The cottage was named “White Rock” and it is still named “White Rock” today. I’m sorry that the cottage even got away from our family, but somehow it did.
In 1936, my mother and father spent their honeymoon at Lakeside in that cottage. All of the family spent time at Lakeside. My mother’s brother, Charles Young, worked at Lakeside in the 1920s and was the first boy to be hired by Western Union.
My mother, Catherine F. (Young) Gross, remembered going down to the park to pump water and taking it back to the cottage when she was a young girl. She also laughed about having to wear a bathrobe over her bathing suit to go down to the dock. My, how things have improved since then.
She passed away last year on June 8th at the wonderful age of 97. In those 97 years of her life, she only missed the last two summers at Lakeside.
Mom had another brother, Richard Young. All three carried on the tradition and brought their families to Lakeside in the summer. The siblings are now gone, but the tradition has been passed down to my brother and I, and also our cousins. We all still make it a point to spend time at Lakeside each summer.
My brother, David W. Gross, worked at Lakeside from 1983-1988. Two spent years at the gates before he moved up to the big job of Assistant to the Financial Director.
In 1984, my cousin, Jon Young, proposed to his wife, Kris, at the Abigail Tea Room.They were also instrumental in donating numerous articles to the Lakeside Heritage Society. Our family has so many wonderful memories at Lakeside; I could go on and on.
To our family, this is the best possible vacation anyone could have. Driving through the gates is like driving into heaven on earth. If fact, my husband told our granddaughter about the first time we took her to Lakeside, and she has never forgotten it. She loves to tell all her friends that going to Lakeside is like going through the gates of heaven.
To us, this is a place you can bring your family and feel safe. It is a place that feels like a much simpler time to just kick back, relax and leave all your troubles and the outside world at the gate.
Lakeside offers a good Christian environment and many things to take part in. If you want to stay busy, there is always something going on.
As for me, I like to just kick back and relax while I lay on the dock all day to look at the beautiful water and listen to the chimes play all our favorite hymns.
Of course, let’s not forget playing shuffleboard and miniature golf, walking the path along the lake and shopping in all the quaint little shops.
In the morning it’s down to The Patio Restaurant to get those famous donuts everyone loves. (Best donuts ever made!) At night we love the Hoover programs and also spending time with the family playing cards and board games as we catch up with one another.
I am so happy that Lakeside is part of our lives. I feel people that have not experienced Lakeside have missed out on one of the most wonderful places you could possibly spend your time. Lakeside, for us, is a part of life, and when we leave for the last time in the fall, we can hardly wait until it is once again, time to go back.
Lakeside is a part of us and always will be. You know when you have been in those situations that someone tells you to close your eyes and go to your happy place? That is ALWAYS Lakeside for me. I can close my eyes and hear the chimes and the water, and it always makes me smile.
I could never begin to tell you what a joy it is for all of us (6 generations now) to come together in Lakeside. It is more than just a tradition, it is in our blood, and I can only hope that I am lucky enough to live as long as my mom and get to spend that many years at Lakeside.