Issue 27 Free
Tour Book 2022-2023
DAY ON BUCKEYE LAKE.
IS LOOKING GOOD, TOO!
“The Buckeye Lake Region:
Today and Tomorrow”
See inside for Attractions, Events,
Maps, Businesses and More to Make
Your Visit Great
Proudly serving Buckeye Lake and surrounding areas!
Visit us at 5245 Walnut Road,
Buckeye Lake, OH 43008
Follow us on
Always open at https://nvboh.bank
2920 Canal Dr. Millersport, Oh - 740.467.2697
ANCHORED IN COMMUNITY
Proud member of the Buckeye Lake Region
Welcome Everyone to The Buckeye Lake Region3
Welcome everyone to The Buckeye Lake Region
Thank you from the Buckeye Lake Region
Chamber of Commerce. We are glad that you have
taken the opportunity to visit our Region of Para-
dise and pick up a copy of this years Tour Book and
guide for the Buckeye Lake Region.
We love it here and we are sure you will too.
There are many businesses to visit and places to
tour. Stop and have a cappuccino, a glass of wine
while dining and watching the sunset or rise. Oh,
why not catch a guided tour ride on the Queen of
the Lake while getting a small history lesson. You might even want to buy a
new home or condo so be sure and stop at one of the local realtors offices.
Please look at the map in the center of the book to locate many of the
businesses, restaurants and drinking establishments. Don’t forget to stop at one
of our marinas and inquire about a new boat or a boat rental.
As you travel around please note that many of our businesses are open
all year round and there is always something to do no matter the season. For
instance, the last Saturday in January is WINTERFEST! This is the morning
that Benny, our resident bass, will be doing his annual spring prognostication,
so you will definitely want to be here at 6:30AM!
While you are reading through this publication be sure that you read
the stories from some of our local businesses, politicians, realtors and residents
talking about the present and future of the Buckeye Lake Region. We at the
Chamber are very proud of our Business Leaders, our Local Politicians, Real-
tors and Chamber Board Members as we have managed through some tough
times over the last five years. And today we all stand tall and tell you OUR
REGION IS GREAT.
I want to thank all of our Advertisers, The Businesses around The
Lake, the Villages and Townships, and The Buckeye Lake Chamber of Com-
merce Board for working hard and making our Lake Region a great and special
place. A special Thank You to our Chamber Administrator, Dianne Ryan, who
makes us all greater.
We all work together to make The Region and Buckeye Lake a great
place to live, work and relax. We truly have it all in The Buckeye Lake Region.
Keep the Faith and Keep Coming back!
We Love it here and we know you will too.
Timothy L. Ryan
Buckeye Lake Region Chamber of Commerce
President Vice President
Tim Ryan Brody Kuhns
Roxanne Baily Brendan Underwood
John Doneff Tom Wolfe Mike Fornataro
(through 2024) (through 2023) (through 2022)
Andrea Blower Lisa Stewart
(through 2024) (through 2024)
Table of Contents
President’s Page........................................................................................ 3
Table of Contents...................................................................................... 5
About the Chamber................................................................................... 6
Buckeye Lake & Cranberry Bog............................................................. 12
Fairfield Beach........................................................................................ 15
Queen of the Lake................................................................................... 17
Village of Buckeye Lake......................................................................... 18
Greater Buckeye Lake museum.............................................................. 21
Village of Hebron.................................................................................... 22
Village of Thornport............................................................................... 27
Village of Thornville............................................................................... 31
Village of Millersport.............................................................................. 35
Walnut Township.................................................................................... 38
Licking Township................................................................................... 39
Mark Hoffhines....................................................................................... 40
World’s Oldest Chris Craft Dealership................................................... 41
Buckeye Lake Story................................................................................ 42
Bike Buckeye Lake................................................................................. 43
Buckeye Lake Amusement Park............................................................. 45
Buckeye Lake Yacht Club....................................................................... 45
Buckeye Lake Library............................................................................. 46
Harbor Hills............................................................................................ 47
The Winterfest Story............................................................................... 51
Dawes Arboretum................................................................................... 53
Backwoods Festival................................................................................ 55
The Wreck and Recovery of the Black Diamond................................... 55
Newark Industrial Park........................................................................... 57
The First Hotel at the Lake..................................................................... 57
Fishing Buckeye Lake............................................................................. 58
Boater’s Guide to Buckeye Lake............................................................ 61
The Buckeye Lake Region : Today and Tomorrow................................ 65
Dining & Entertainment.......................................................................... 78
Buckeye Lake Region Members............................................................. 85
6 About the Chamber
The Buckeye Lake Region has a seen a metamorphosis of effort and enthusiasm
in development and entrepreneurship in the area. The Chamber’s goal is to promote a
business environment benefiting the Buckeye Lake Region. This happens through mem-
bership and networking.
The Buckeye Lake Region Chamber of Commerce is committed to the im-
provement of the communities it serves through volunteering time, efforts, and spon-
sorship to local causes. We offer many opportunities to be involved in the region and to
make your business more visible. We invite anyone interested in the betterment of the
Buckeye Lake Region to Join the Chamber. You can do this online by clicking the “Join
us” button at www.buckeyelakecc.com or by filling out the application found on page 8
and mailing along with your check to:
Buckeye Lake Region Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 5
Buckeye Lake, Ohio 43008
• Expanded discounts and opportunities through the Southern Ohio Chamber Alliance
• Your business listed in The Greater Buckeye Lake Region Tour Book.
• A listing on our website www.buckeyelakecc.com and link to your website.
• Opportunity to advertise in The Greater Buckeye Lake Region tour book
distributed throughout the area.
• Meetings providing opportunities to educate members about your business
and distribute business materials.
• Networking at Business After Hours events.
• Many reduced-cost benefits through alliances with other chambers.
• Opportunity to offer Business-to-Business discounts to increase awareness
and expand your customer base.
• Safety Council meeting with Licking County Chamber available to our members.
• Updates from local and state officials, business leaders and area civic asso
• Opportunity to officially participate in Winterfest.
About the Chamber 7
Here to help your business line up the pieces.
Serving the Tri-County Area
Fairfield – Licking – Perry
Visit us at www.buckeyelakecc.com
8 About the Chamber
The 2022-2023 Visitors Guide is a publication of the Buckeye Lake Region
Chamber of Commerce, the BLRCC cannot be held responsible for any errors or
changes that occur after printing.
For more information about the Chamber, membership or any other inquiries,
visit our web site at www.buckeyelakecc.com.
❒ Yes, I would like to join the Buckeye Lake Region Chamber of Commerce.
Enclose your check and mail to:
Buckeye Lake Region Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 5, Buckeye Lake, OH 43008
Business Name: _________________________________________________
Contact Person: _________________________________________________
Business Phone: _________________________________________________
Alternate Phone: _________________________________________________
E-mail Address: _________________________________________________
❒ Business or Professional Member $100.00
❒ Associate Member $100.00
❒ *Outside Area Business or Professional Member $175.00
*Outside Area is deemed as being outside of Fairfield, Licking and Perry
Counties. Business Members shall be those persons engaged in any business
or professional activity. Associate Members shall be those persons interested
in the betterment of the Buckeye Lake area but who are not directly engaged in
any business or professional activity.
Your business, our solutions
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multitude of responsibilities, you need a financial partner beside you who understands
you and is dedicated to your success.
Do business with a bank that has your business in mind.
740-928-2691 | parknationalbank.com
THE BUCKEYE LAKE AREA
What is the Buckeye Lake Area Civic Association?
BLACA is an organization of residents in and around Buckeye Lake that love the lake and its
surrounding areas. BLACA organizes events like the Tour of Homes, Reverse Raffle and the
Antique Lure & Vintage Tackle Show to raise money for:
• Scholarships to selected local high school Seniors
• Local Charities
• Christmas gifts to local needy children
• Park Beautification
• The general welfare of the Buckeye Lake Region
• The support of Tri-County Food Pantries
We welcome you to join us: The annual membership is only $15.00 for a family and
$25.00 for a Business. Have Fun and help Buckeye Lake!
Spring Dinner – 3rd Wednesday of April Reverse Raffle – 2nd Thursday in May
Boat Parade – July 4th Tour of Homes – 2nd Sunday of August
Fall Dinner Meeting – 3rd Wednesday of September
Visit our Website: www.buckeyelakecivicassociation.org ** P.O. Box 1106 Buckeye Lake, Ohio 43008
On The Lake
Follow us on Social Media
12 Buckeye Lake & Cranberry Bog
The Creation of Buckeye Lake & Cranberry Bog
An Ice Age relict and barges.
As the last glacier crossed Ohio, north- In 1830, a dike was completed and the
ern plants were forced south. The glacier
moved so slowly that a wide belt of Cana- reservoir filled, and two years later it was
dian forest was able to move along well in enlarged by 500 acres. The resulting lake
advance of the ice. By the time this mas- covered about 4,300 acres and the Lick-
sive ice sheet caught up to, pushed over ing- Summit Reservoir was born. Barg-
and buried the mature seed-producing es first used the route in 1831, six years
plants, their offspring farther south of the after ground breaking. Port towns such
glacier were producing seedlings on their as Thornport and Millersport sprung up
own. along the canal system during its construc-
tion. Horses and mules pulled the barges
By the time of European settlement, from the “tow paths” built along the sides
most of the Canadian vegetation had long of the canal. In fact, the sidewalk of the
since vanished from America. In a few North Bank of Buckeye Lake follows the
isolated sites however, environmental original tow path and is often referred to
conditions allowed individual species and as the “Old Tow Path”. Even today, canals
bogs to survive. exert great influence on transportation be-
cause eventually highways and railways
The Canal were often constructed along the aban-
Early settlers called the 4,000-acre doned canal routes.
swampy marsh in Licking County the The “Deep Cut” canal is the most dis-
“Big Swamp”and native Americans and cernible part of the Ohio and Erie Canal
settlers alike collected cranberries there. in Fairfield County, running from Bickel
By the early 1800s, the open waters of the Church Road to Buckeye Lake, approxi-
original glacier lake were 5 miles long, yet mately 4 miles in length. The Deep Cut is
only 400-500 feet wide because of vegeta- a very deep canal made specifically to get
tion which closed in the shoreline. the canal water in the Lake to flow toward
With the advent of the Ohio and Erie Baltimore, Canal Winchester, and on to
Canal, the construction of a large reservoir Circleville. This canal goes right through
was needed to lift canal passenger boats downtown Millersport.
Buckeye Lake & Cranberry Bog 13
The Creation of Buckeye Lake & Cranberry Bog
Buckeye Lake The Birth of Cranberry Bog
In May 1894 the Ohio General Assem- It was the impoundment of the Big
bly officially abandoned the reservoir as Swamp which made Cranberry Bog
a canal feeder and proclaimed it a public unique. As water backed up behind the
park. By 1900, the Ohio and Erie Canal dike the swamp was destroyed, except for
was finished as a commercial waterway. the youngest, most buoyant segment of the
Its name was changed to Buckeye Lake bog mat. A 50-acre upper segment of the
and recreational use of the lake grew as bog mat along the north shore expanded
transportation to the area improved. By like a giant sponge and rose 8 feet with the
the early 1900s, Buckeye Lake had be- new water level.
come a popular resort spot. No longer did the floating bog mat sur-
In 1949 Buckeye Lake was officially round the glacial lake, as is typically the
dedicated as Buckeye Lake State Park. In case with such bogs. Now the lake sur-
1968, it was dedicated as one of Ohio’s rounded the bog, making Cranberry Bog
first Natural Landmarks. In May 1973 the only known occurrence of its kind in
Cranberry Island was dedicated as a state the world.
INSURING EVERY BOB
AND MATE OUT THERE!
helping build and protect others' assets!
614-486-7300 | [email protected]
14 Buckeye Lake & Cranberry Bog
The Bog Environment season in the bog, as compared to sur-
A critical feature of a bog ecosystem rounding environments.
is a simple plant called sphagnum moss.
As it grows, sphagnum, upon which the Cranberry Bog’s Future
entire bog community is based, releas- When the island surfaced, it was about
es a staggering quantity of acid into the 50 acres in size. By 1910, 45 acres re-
water. This environment is too acidic for mained. By 1955, it was down to 23
most plants, other than those adapted to acres. In 1963, the island was less than
Unique plants populate Cranberry Bog Today the island has dwindled to less
than 11 acres. In all probability, Cran-
the bog community. berry Bog will continue to shrink.
Sphagnum moss has an unusual cell
Man, not nature, created the island.
structure, enabling it to hold many times Now man and nature are slowly destroy-
its own weight in water. On hot days ing it. This little island is at the mercy of
it acts as a sponge, evaporating large wake and ice action coming off a very
quantities of water, cooling the surface large, shallow lake.
of the bog while maintaining a high hu-
midity, absolutely critical for many bog Trees and marsh vegetation have
species. This thick, spongy covering of invaded the edges of the island where
sphagnum moss also acts like a huge in- bog acid has been sufficiently diluted
sulator, keeping root temperatures well and oxygen is readily available. When
below air temperatures. This dramati- trees are blown over, large clumps of
cally reduces the length of the growing peat clinging to the trees’ root system
are torn away from the island Just how
much time the island has before it disap-
pears is unknown. Cranberry Bog State
Nature Preserve remains today as one of
the most unique and fascinating natural
areas in the nation.
Fairfield Beach 15
For a century after the “Big field Beach Property Owners Asso-
Swamp” was discovered by Euro- ciation (FBPOA) was established
pean settlers the South Side of what as a civic organization for residents
became Buckeye Lake was little more of the Beach and at times boasted
than oil wells and farmland. After the 216 members. The FBPOA has gone
demise of the canals the first steps of through many phases, holding dances,
development of the lake as a resort community clean ups, hosting speak-
rather than a canal feeder began. ers, and giving the members of the
Fishing cabins, social clubs, and the community a voice. Fairfield Beach
Shell House Hotel constituted the de- has grown from a seasonal retreat to a
velopment of the South Side until the vibrant, diverse, year-round commu-
mid-1920’s, when attention turned in nity. Fairfield Beach has the largest
a serious way to what would become area of natural shoreline public access
Fairfield Beach. on Buckeye Lake, with a sand swim-
Arthur Smadbeck, a developer ming beach, picnic area, boat ramp
from New York City, set things in and abundant public parking.
motion. Known for developing rural There’s more to the story of the
tracts bordering lakes at vacation Beach and the FBPOA to be written.
areas and seeing a similar opportunity The addition of a new convenience
at Buckeye Lake Smadbeck pur- store by Andy Wolfe has brought
chased the land that would become fuel, groceries and a laundromat to
Fairfield Beach from the Zollinger the most populous unincorporated
family. He subdivided it, creating the neighborhood in the Region. Add the
roads and lots we know today, and energy brought by the Buckeye Lake
then sold it to the Columbus Dis- Winery, Beach House Pub, updates
patch. 20’ x 100’ lots were offered and improvements to Buckeye Beach
to subscribers of six months or more Park and the State Park and the
starting on August 5, 1926 for $69.50, Beach’s future is bright. Be sure to
with $9.50 down and the balance in visit when you come to the Lake!
$3 installments. – Submitted by Alex Fant, FBPOA President
In November of 1926 the Fair-
“Water” you waiting for? Treat Your Feet with Calzuro Aqua!
Queen of the Lake 17
History of the Famous Queen of The Lake
The arrival of a sternwheel- ty investment as many groups
er tour boat on Buckeye Lake came together to get her in the
came in 1950 when area native water.
Fred Taylor and his sons of Mill- Now history is repeating it-
ersport believed that Buckeye self. An 88ft true sternwheeler
Lake needed a passenger boat. built on the Muskingham Riv-
He built the boat right on the wa- er was recently renovated and
ter in a Buckeye Lake Channel. christened the “Queen of the
The last sternwheeler was Lake III”. This boat gives pub-
retired in 1973 a few years after lic tours, dinner cruises, and is
the Amusement Park closed. For available for special outings. It
many years thereafter visitors is a most beautiful addition to
to the lake would stand on the Buckeye Lake.
shoreline and wish they could “QLIII” was restored and
take a tour of Buckeye Lake. In renovated by a dedicated group
2007, the Buckeye Lake Histor- of talented volunteers and has
ical Society focused on bring- become the latest craft to share
ing a tour boat back to the lake. with visitors and guests the
Through their efforts the ”Queen beauty and history of Buckeye
of the Lake II” was born, a 48’ Lake, Ohio’s oldest State Park.
pontoon boat donated to the Mu- For more information go to
seum that became a communi- www.buckeyelakehistory.org
18 Village of Buckeye Lake
Buckeye Lake Village
Tour Book 2022 - 2023
Buckeye Lake Brewery
Buckeye Lake Library
Buckeye Lake Yacht Club
Buckeye Lake Art Gallery
Buckeye Lake Hardware
Petplex Animal Hospital
North Valley Bank
Buckeye Lake Museum
Leisa Davis/Parker Realty
Louie's Corner House
TLR and Associates
Boat Yard Tavern & Grill
Buckeye Lake Beer Pier
Bob's Bar & Grill LLC
Buckeye Lake Eagles
New Dam Pub
Village of Buckeye Lake
Whit's Frozen Custard
* for more information about our member businesses, see our website
Village of Buckeye Lake 19
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Village of Buckeye Lake
A full service accounting firm serving clients throughout The Village of Buckeye Lake
Central and Southeast Ohio was incorporated July 9, 1980.
This village is located on State
www.mhrcpa.com Route 79, abutting I-70 on the
north and Buckeye Lake to the
NEW LEXINGTON NEWARK south. It is approximately half way
395 Lincoln Park Drive 33 West Main St.• Suite 202 between Columbus and Zanesville
and many of the residents com-
740-342-3512 740-349-0771 mute to work in these towns. It is a
growing community covering 1159
LANCASTER ZANESVILLE acres or 1.81 square miles, with a
137 South Broad Street 601 Underwood Street population of approximately 3,200.
Interestingly, the village was
740-687-6313 740-453-0371 originally comprised of private-
ly-owned so called “additions.”
Instead of selling the land to the
cottage owners, it was leased for,
say, $10 a year. The additions were
Neel, Myer, Rosebraugh, Bounds,
Carlin, Elliott and Holtsberry. To-
day nearly all land has been sold to
The evolution from resort area
to incorporated residential village
was driven by the desire to update
former summer cottages into year-
round, permanent homes. Interest-
ing places to see in Buckeye Lake
Include the Blue Heron nesting
area, Cranberry Bog, the Lake it-
self, Buckeye Lake Museum, the
multi-use trail along the original
canal tow path and the Yacht Club.
There are churches of sev-
continued on page 20
20 Village of Buckeye Lake
eral faiths, a Community Action News service is furnished by the
Agency, the “Harbor” Communi- Buckeye Lake Shopper, Columbus
ty Center, LEADS, a full-service Dispatch, Newark Advocate and
library and more serving the resi- websites including explorebuck-
dents. A professional Fire Depart- eyelake.com and escapetobuck-
ment, Youth Association, Chamber eyelake.com. The radio stations of
of Commerce and Civic Associa- Heath and Newark cover activities
tion are all active in the concerns in the village.
and welfare of the community and Fishing, boating and camping
in the affairs of a self-governed, are available in the village. The
growing village. Buckeye Lake State of Ohio purchased the former
Village has a nicely equipped park, amusement park land and developed
“Ryan Park”, with a ball diamond, the grounds into the state-owned
basketball court, picnic shelter, “North Shore Landing” park with 3
bike & skateboard park, rest rooms boat ramps, sand beach swimming
and children’s play equipment. area, restrooms and public docks.
Several restaurants, a brewery, This park also offers access to the
bank, an auto parts store, hardware east end of the 4.1-mile “multi use
store and a motel are welcome path” atop the Buckeye Lake dam.
business assets to the communi- Smooth and level with an asphalt
ty, as is a public water system that surface, this trail along the shore-
came online in 2010, along with the line is unique, scenic and permits
re-paving of many of the village both walking and bicycling.
streets. Highlighting the communi- Come spend an afternoon at
ty pride is the Buckeye Lake Muse- Buckeye Lake – you may be so
um, dedicated to the history of the enchanted you become our newest
3-county Buckeye Lake Region. resident!
Buckeye Lake Museum 21
Greater Buckeye Lake Museum
The pride of the Buck- of photos, tickets, bathing suits and
eye Lake Region is evident at the shoe skates.
Museum, located at the corner of The Museum features spe-
Route 79 (Walnut Road) and Cot- cial displays of the Polo Field, the
tage street beside the Post Office in Yacht Club, our Veteran’s Memori-
the Village of Buckeye Lake. Open: am of Uniforms and Guns, and the
Tuesday – Sunday from 1:00 – 4:00 completely restored Rocket Ship
p.m. and other hours by request. ride from the park.
Thousands of items bring back A great way to learn more
the memories of the famous Buck- about the Buckeye Lake Region is
eye Lake Amusement Park. See a to visit our Museum. Put it on your
complete layout of the Park, the “must see” list! Contact (740) 929-
original taffy puller, plus hundreds 1998 or www.buckeyelakehistory.org.
Jim Ward, AAMS® edwardjones.com
Financial Advisor Member SIPC
4455 Walnut Rd C
IRT-1848G-A Buckeye Lake, OH 43008-7768
22 Village of Hebron
Hebron - Heath
Harbor Hills Country Club
Mill Dam Corner Grill
Liz Godsey: Allstate Ins
RCD RV Supercenter
National Trail Raceway
Park National Bank
Crossroads Pub and Grub
* for more information about our member businesses, see our website
BRODY KUHNS, AGENT
Call or Text 614-863-8899
Email: [email protected]
American Star Certified Agency
Village of Hebron 23
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hebron
Hebron , the sixth town founded serve as our news outlets.
in Licking County, is located on A large industrial park on
Route 40, the “Old National Trail”, State Route 79 north (known as the
which was constructed through Newark Industrial Park) is a boon
Hebron in 1834. to the area, providing a number of
The Ohio-Erie Canal extend- assets for the Village of approxi-
ed from Cleveland on Lake Erie to mately 2200 residents. Hebron is
Portsmouth on the Ohio River, and strategically located near Interstate
was constructed through Hebron 70, with State Route 79 and RT 40
in 1828. Since these two major crossing through Hebron. There
routes of transportation crossed are utilities, good schools, church-
directly in the center of Hebron, es, library, banking, restaurants and
the village became known as “ The shopping facilities. Access to Port
Crossroads of Ohio”, the nick- Columbus Airport is only a half-
name of the village to this day. hour away.
Hebron was a busy mar- Canal Park features two light-
ket-place as the regional center ed ball fields, gazebo, shelter house,
for importing and exporting prod- and a playground. Evans park with
ucts. Soon there were tanneries, its protected wetlands, walking
sawmills, warehouses, distilleries, path, basketball courts, BMX park,
stage coach stops and pioneer traf- Veterans Memorial, baseball, foot-
fic heading westward. ball, and soccer fields add to our
The Village is governed by beautiful community.
an elected Mayor, Village Coun- Active organizations in He-
cil and Clerk/Treasurer. A Village bron include the Mutual and Civic
Administrator oversees daily oper- Improvement Club, Hebron Lions
ations. It is protected by a full-time Club, American Legion Post 285
police force and a staffed Fire De- and Ladies Auxiliary, Boy and Girl
partment provides EMS. Scouts, 4H Clubs, Masonic Lodge
The Newark Advocate, Co- F& AM 116, Fifty Five Club for
lumbus Dispatch, multiple web- seniors and the Hebron Historical
sites and Buckeye Lake Shopper Society.
Village of Hebron 25
Thornville/Thornport (East End of Lake)
Flip Flops Dockside Grill
The Port Smokehouse
Luckys Lakeside Grill
Amvets Post 51
The Buckeye Lake Shopper
Peoples National Bank
Waterfront at Buckeye Lake
Loyal Order of Moose
Thornville Family Medical
* for more information about our member businesses, see our website
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Thornport
Thornport is an unincorpo- return they brought pine lumber,
rated hamlet with rich history. It’s salt, groceries, dry goods, etc.
been more than a fishing resort and Modern visitors to Thornport
a place to visit the local tavern. will find a complete grocery, sev-
A map of a government survey eral dining/shopping and banking
of the Refugee Tract (the present options along with the active and
Buckeye Lake) was signed in 1801 vibrant Amvets Post. Heron Bay, a
and Thornport was laid out in 1839 beautiful lake-side community of
by William W. Talbott who had an fine home and condominiums, is
agreement with Licking Summit adjacent to Thornport. Work is un-
Reservoir Improvement Company derway to create a public park with
of Thornville to construct the canal access to the Lake on Honey Creek
in Thornport. Rd in Thornport.
In 1850 Thornport was a lively
community at the head of naviga- WE REPAIR
tion on the east end of the lake and LIGHTING
the only seaport in Perry County.
During the boating season, many at One Man’s Treasure...
canal boats could be seen waiting
their turn to be loaded with flour For all your lamp needs!
and grain for Cleveland. Upon their Pick-Up & Delivery
12027 Lancaster St.
Millersport, OH 43046
Care where you need it, when you need it.
www.fairhopehospice.org • 740-654-7077
• The State of Ohio has owned and managed Buckeye Lake for over 150 years.
• Buckeye Lake, not a true lake, is a shallow, man-made impoundment hold
ing millions of gallons of water from a twenty-seven-hundred-acre reservoir
and a forty-four square mile watershed… all held in place by a four-mile
long dam which was rebuilt from 2015-2018 at a cost of $110 Million.
• The first Buckeye Lake Dam was built before the Civil War by men and
mules using swamp dredging and loose rock fill to create a crucial link in
the Ohio – Erie Canal system.
• Buckeye Lake Dam is the only known dam in the world to have private
residences and other structures built adjacent to the toe of the dam.
• First spillway to control lake water level was added around 1910.
JoAnne McFarland Ins Agcy Inc Thanks, Buckeye Lake.
JoAnne McFarland, Agent
233 W. Broadway St. I love being here to help
in a community where
New Lexington, OH 43764 people are making a
Bus: 740-342-3348 Cell: 614-374-9507 difference every day.
Thank you for all you do.
2007004 State Farm, Bloomington, IL
Thornville - South Shore (mid lake)
Beach House Pub
Buckeye Lake Winery
Marathon/Beach Stop Market
* for more information about our member businesses, see our website
At Buckeye Lake, Is there a better way to
What better way to get around Buckeye
get around? Lake, run to the club, the park,
marina or grab a quick dinner. Our
award-winning team stands ready to
help you in every way possible. Call
today or visit our showroom and let
our team help you select the golf car
that is right for you.
2333 Hebron Rd.
Heath, OH 43056
32 Thornville & Thorn Township
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Thornville & Thorn Township
The most likely first explorer to map as center of trade for the local farm-
ers. The largest is Thornville, platted in
what is now Thornport was Christo- 1810.
pher Gist who in 1750 began work for The early industries thriving be-
the Ohio Company, established by the tween 1833-1880 included tailors,
British government to stem the flow of shoemakers, a wagon factory, several
the French into what is now the State of blacksmiths, and other businesses which
Ohio. From Gist’s writings we know he attracted people from miles away.
stopped on the shores of the “Great Buf- Now that the railroads have moved
falo Swamp”, that he encamped, fished out, Thorn Township and Thornville
and trapped here, wrote of the beauties enjoy easy access to the world by way
of the area and the abundance of wild- of nearby Interstate 70 and State Rt.
life. 13. Visitors will find beautiful Victo-
Thorn Township, named for the rian homes, a public swimming pool,
numerous thorn bushes along the south- bowling alley and restaurants, banks
ern shore of the lake, was originally part and antique shops. Thornville hosts sev-
of Fairfield County. In 1804 it was or- eral festivals each year, including the
ganized as a congressional Township, “Backwoods Fest “a September festival
a six-mile square unit. March 1, 1817, of primitive arts, crafts, music and food
parts of Washington, Muskingum and that draws tens of thousands of fans to
Fairfield Counties were combined to this unique, family-friendly event. And
create a new county, Perry, named for access to beautiful Buckeye Lake is nev-
Oliver Hazard Perry of Put-in-Bay fame. er far away.
Settlements began to appear on the
Leading the way in local news
72 E. Main St., Logan • 740.385.2107
Engaging, entertaining and covering what matters
108 S. Main St., New Lexington • 740.342.4121
12041 LANCASTER ST, MILLERSPORT, OH 43046
(RTE. 79) 2005 HEBRON RD. HEATH
Doneff's Island House
Feeder Creek Vet
One Man's Treasure
Buckeye Lake Marina
Wall to Wall Floors
Guitar Parts Factory
Weldon's Ice Cream Factory
Buckeye Lake Place
The Heart of Buckeye Lake
The Canal on Buckeye Lake
Johnstons LakeHouse pizza
Picadilly Vintage Furniture
* for more information about our member businesses, see our website
Kristi Woolard 740.670.4487
4595 Walnut Rd. Unit N, Buckeye Lake
Let’s find the lake home you’re looking for! Call me today!
The community of Millersport, and west banks of Buckeye Lake,
Ohio, was founded in 1825 by Mathias an extremely popular resort area in
Miller as a port of trade on the Ohio central Ohio.
Erie Canal. With the perseverance and Businesses provide tourists with
creative initiative of its residents, restaurants, coffee shop, art studio, bait
Millersport has flourished. stores, park offices, service stations,
Millersport is a beautiful grocery stores, nightclubs, and a very
community with Buckeye Lake to the popular old-fashioned homemade ice
east and rural farms throughout the cream parlor.
surrounding area. A well preserved Millersport is also the site of
portion of the Ohio Erie canal cuts the second largest festival in the state
through the center of town enhancing of Ohio, the annual “Sweet Corn
the colorful, picturesque community Festival”. Through the years, millions
loved by its approximately 900 of people have come to enjoy the
citizens. shows, music, parades, rides, and
Millersport is located in the exceptionally good food. Square
northeast corner of Fairfield County dancing, talent shows, games and lots
in central Ohio. It rests on the south of fun grace the festival each year
on Labor Day weekend. With every
conceivable delicious food available,
the most popular is the steaming hot
and juicy sweet corn dripping with
butter. Children and adults alike
devourer it with earnest enjoyment
and utter delight. The profits earned by
the Sweet Corn Festival help finance
participating civic organizations and •
provide eyeglasses through the Lions
Club for children unable to afford •
There is no community as •
small and tranquil that offers more •
than Millersport. The mayor, village
council, board of public affairs,
Volunteer Fire Department and Police
Department continually seek to
maintain a community rich in history,
patriotism, culture and environmental
beauty. They also endeavor to enhance
the opportunities of the citizens,
local churches, civic organizations,
businesses, and the public school
system. The local government has as
its goal maintaining the values upon
which the community was established
and building upon that foundation to
assure steady growth, progressive
innovation and a healthy tomorrow.
The Village of Millersport is a
great place to live and raise a family.
It is a tremendous place to visit and
enjoy as a guest. Though it is within 30
minutes of Columbus and Zanesville
and within 20 minutes of Lancaster and
Newark, Millersport has maintained
a fresh country flavor. Perhaps you
should come see for yourself, taste
Millersport’s fruit, meet its people, and
enjoy what it has to offer. Likely you
too will find it an oasis in the desert, an
island in the stream, and an extremely
refreshing community in the heart of
Central Ohio. That’s Millersport!
38 Walnut Township
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Walnut Township
Fairfield County was organized and completed in 1833), “Buffalo
December 9, 1800. It was part of the Swamp” became the Licking Reser-
Northwest Territory until March 1803 voir, which served as a feeder for the
when Ohio became a state. By 1807 canal. In 1894 the name was changed
or 1808, Walnut Township was creat- to Buckeye Lake.
ed from the northern part of Pleasant Mathias Miller laid out the town
Township. Its name came from Wal- of Millersport, a port on the Ohio-Erie
nut Creek. canal, on February 12, 1827, near the
Walnut Township is a part of the southwest shore of the Licking Reser-
Refugee Tract, set apart by Congress voir.
in 1798 to certain persons who left the The Village of Monticello was
provinces of Canada and Nova Scotia settled about 1803 by a small group of
to aid in the Revolutionary War. Virginia Pioneers. When Millersport
The first road in Walnut Town- was laid out, Monticello was already
ship was built in 1803 and was called thriving about a mile south along the
the Lancaster and Newark (New Ark) bank of “Deep Cut”. It had grown
Pike. This later became the Lan- as a community for those working
caster-New Salem Road and is now on the construction of the canal and
known as Ohio Route 188 or Lancast- had a Post Office from 1827 to 1833.
er-Thornville Road. Now nothing remains of Monticello
New Salem, located halfway only the “Deep Cut”.
between Lancaster and Newark, was At the southern end of Walnut
laid out December 12, 1832 by Abra- Township, Columbus Street in Pleas-
ham Hashbarger /Harshbarger and antville is the boundary between
David Swazey/Swayze. It may have Pleasant and Walnut Township.
been named after the town of Salem, Today’s visitors will find that
Massachusetts. Walnut Township includes over a
The Village of Thurston, origi- third of the shoreline of Buckeye
nally called Hitedale (1849) was laid Lake, including sections of the north,
out as Bush City in 1881 by George west and south shores. Visitors are
Bush, and a year later became Had- welcomed by several restaurants and
ley Junction. In 1913 the village offi- clubs, along with marinas, islands
cially became Thurston, named for a and businesses. Learn more about
well-liked Methodist minister. what Walnut Township has to offer at
With the construction of The www.walnuttwp.com.
Ohio and Erie Canal (begun in 1825
Licking Township 39
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Licking Township
Rolling Hills, Historic National Road fire station, serving the community
and Lakeshore with professional, rapid emergency
Easily accessed via state high- response. For the visitor there are
way or interstate freeway, Licking several golf courses, a major concert
Township includes portions of the venue (Legend Valley) and restau-
east and north east shore of Buckeye rants both inland and on the shore of
Lake and Rt. 40 – the old “Nation- Buckeye Lake. A recent major project
al Road” – runs through its length. brought public sewer and water to the
One of the 1st townships in Licking hamlet of Jacksontown, at the inter-
County, its rolling hills and beautiful, section of Rt 13 and Rt 40, resulting
honest, country character are a rare in renovations and new construction.
treat. That beauty is enhanced by the Licking Twp is dedicated to staying
famous Dawes Arboretum. Home green and preserving its charming
to rare and varied plant species from rural character while welcoming vis-
small and delicate to towering trees, itors, residents and businesses. Learn
you can read more about Dawes else- more about Licking Township online
where in this book. Licking Twp re- by visiting http://www.lickingtwpohio.us
cently built a spacious and modern
National Trail Raceway
Located just west of Buck- kinds of drag racing from the JR
eye Lake, National Trail Race- Drag Racing League to 280 mph
way began life as a NHRA Quar- Jet Cars. Come visit us while you
ter-mile dragstrip in 1964 and has are in the Buckeye Lake Region.
continually hosted drag racing Find our schedule at nationaltrail-
events since. Today National Trail raceway.com or on Facebook.
Raceway hosts over 70 days of
racing each year along with a 2
month showing of drive-through
Christmas lights display. During
the summer, fans are treated to
many large events: Hillbilly Na-
tionals, Night of Thunder, JEGS
Speedweek, and Mopar Nationals.
National Trail Raceway offers all
40 MARK HOFFHINES, ODNR PARK MGR.
Mark encourages visitors and
residents to embrace all that Buckeye
Lake has to offer and looks forward
to a bright future for Ohio’s first State
To contact Mark call the ODNR
Lieb’s Island office at 740-467-2690
or email buckeye.lake.parks@dnr.
state.oh.us. Please type “Attention
Mark Hoffhines” on the subject line.
Buckeye Lake was home to the World’s Oldest Chris Craft Dealership!
In 1926 Mr. Edgar Wolfe Sr. went to New York to attend a boat
show. While there he was impressed by the “Chris-Craft” line of
boats. Wolfe told Chris-Craft representatives if he could get a Chris-
Craft serviced at Buckeye Lake he would purchase a boat. The boat
manufacturer contacted Sayre Brothers and appointed them “Chris-
Craft” agents for sales and service at Buckeye Lake.
It is debated if Sayres’ was the first or second authorized dealer,
but when they quit carrying the Chris Craft line in 1994 they were
certainly the oldest.
Does a new Chris The Sayre Bros.
Craft for $3485 boathouse built over
sound like a good the Lake with living
deal? Consider that quarters above. The
a new car could be last remnant was torn
bought for about down in 2016 during
$500 in 1929! the dam construction.
Bud & Zenna Sayre Looking East from
Sayre Bros., Wolke’s
Grocery & Meats
was renovated into
the Sayre residence,
still standing today
“Cherokee”, a Sayre Bros. restau-
stunning restoration rant, located imme-
by Sayre Bros. and diately West of the
owned by Bud & Marina
42 Buckeye Lake Story
Buckeye Lake Story
In the mid 1700’s, Buckeye As the water level rose, several
Lake was known by the Indians as large mats of sphagnum moss broke
the “Big Swamp” or “Big Pond.” loose from the bottom and became
Near the pond was a salt spring “floating islands.”
that attracted deer and bison, which Other islands were also created
gave the area another name: “Buf- because the land was above the
falo Lick.” The Lake, as it is known water level.
today, was formed in the Glacial Port towns and mills sprung
Period. It was of little importance up along the canal system during
to the white men until the build- its construction. Horses and mules
ing of the Ohio Canal. The build- pulled the barges up and down the
ing of the canal enlarged the lake canals from the tow paths built
to 7 1/4 miles in length and about along the sides of the canal. In fact,
1 1/4 miles in width at its widest the North Bank of Buckeye Lake
point, the dimensions of the lake was a tow path and today is known
as we know it today. On July 4, as the “Old Tow Path.” Barges first
1825, the first shovel of earth was used the route in 1831, six years
turned to begin the Ohio-Erie Ca- after ground breaking. Even in
nal System. The July 4 ceremony disuse, canals exerted a great in-
was held on State Route 79 mid- fluence on transportation because
way between Newark and Hebron. eventually highways and railways
Approximately 100 years after the were often constructed along the
ceremony, a granite boulder with a old, abandoned canal routes.
bronze plaque was erected on the The Deep Cut Canal is the
site by Licking County residents. most discernible part of the Ohio
Construction of the dike, blocking and Erie Canal in Fairfield County,
drainage into the South Fork of the running from Bickel Church Road
Licking River, began in 1826 and to Buckeye Lake, approximately
was completed in 1830, forming 4 miles in length. The Deep Cut is
the reservoir which would eventu- actually a very deep cut canal made
ally become Buckeye Lake. In the specifically to get the canal water
canal days, Buckeye Lake gained in the Lake to flow toward Balti-
yet another name, the “Licking more, Canal Winchester, and on to
Summit”, because it was one of Circleville. This canal goes right
the high points along the canal’s through downtown Millersport.
Bike Buckeye Lake 43
Bike Buckeye Lake
Bike Buckeye Lake (BBL) is and Thorn Township. We are also
a local 501(c)3 organization dedi- working on safety and wayfind-
cated to developing a continuous ing signage for the Buckeye Lake
multi-purpose trail around Buck- Trail, the current 28 mile loop
eye Lake so that families can safely around the lake. The route uses
cycle and hike between communi- surface streets where no trails exist
ties. Most of our time throughout and will continue to evolve as new
the year is spent working with local multi-purpose trail segments are
villages, counties, and townships completed. Check out our website
to identify the best routes for trail for the current route.
segments and pursuing the funding Throughout the year, we also host
required to build them. several community events includ-
A highlight of BBL efforts in-
cludes helping to develop the 4.1 - The Bike Buckeye Lake
mile Buckeye Lake Dam Trail. We Spring Golf Outing which helps
have several projects occurring at to raise funds to pay for trail de-
any time around the lake. For ex- velopment activities such as feasi-
ample, there are now active trail bility studies, trail engineering and
projects in Millersport, Maple Bay grant writing.
- The Tour de Buckeye Lake
fundraiser, which occurs on the
third Saturday in August each
year and is a community event for
all cycling skill levels. Ride dis-
tances range from 10 to 63 miles.
Unique to our event, a free water
taxi service that is available to all
registered participants. The ride is
followed by a festival with food
trucks, live music and local craft
44 Bike Buckeye Lake
beers. This year’s Tour takes
place on August 22nd. organization or want to contribute
funding to the cause, please visit
- Our Christmas Bike Drive bikebuckeyelake.org or visit our
which provides brand new bikes, Facebook page facebook.com/
locks and helmets to underprivi- bikebuckeyelake.
leged children in all 3 counties sur-
rounding the lake. To date, almost Thank you and please take the
800 bikes, locks and helmets have time to enjoy what we have to offer
been distributed. at Buckeye Lake.
If you are interested in par- Terry Fischer, President of
ticipating in one of our fundrais- Bike Buckeye Lake
ers, becoming involved with the [email protected]
Buckeye Lake Amusement Park 45
The Famous Buckeye Lake Amusement Park
Buckeye Lake was home to “The sphere Man”, just to list a few.
Playground of Ohio”, a very popular Boats of all kinds were avail-
amusement park located where the able for boat rides, including the
North Shore State park is now. It was big stern-wheeler, fast speed boats,
not unusual for 50,000 people a day to “u-drive em” boats and row boats.
come to the Park on holidays… Easter, The Park had many ride attrac-
4th of July, Labor day and other special tions through the years. The biggest
times. and most popular was the roller coaster
The park had two big dance halls “The Dips”.
and all the big bands of that time, in- Concessions of all kinds were in
cluding Tommy Dorsey, Guy Lom- the park, with games of skill, Bowling,
bardo, Vaughn Monroe, Xavier Cugat, Penny Arcades, Fortune Tellers, a Ri-
Kay Kyser, Lawrence Welk and Cab fle Range using live ammunition, and a
Calloway played at the Lake. Drug Store with souvenirs.
Free Acts were performed each The Roller Coaster “crashed” in
night in the center of the park. Among 1958 and was never repaired. As other
the performers were the Wallendas (an attractions deteriorated, the Park went
aerial group), carnival acts, dog and downhill, coming to an end in the late
horse acts, and “Seldon the Strato- 1960’s.
The Buckeye Lake Yacht Club
Early Visionaries of the Lake Region
The Buckeye Lake Yacht Club was established in 1906 by a group of recre-
ation-minded gents who looked at a stump-clogged reservoir and envisioned the lake we en-
joy today. Early Club members used their statehouse connections to lobby the State of Ohio
and were instrumental in having the lake cleared and the spillways constructed to control the
Since 1912 the BLYC has been located
on an island connected to the North Bank by a foot
bridge. Illustrating their early political connections,
the island is named “Watkins Island” in honor of
George H. Watkins, president of the Ohio State
Board of Public Works in the early 1900’s. Watkins
ran the state agency with the authority to turn this
stumpy reservoir into a real lake, and with the urging
of the club members did exactly that.
The Buckeye Lake Yacht Club sponsors
many lake-area projects and community charities
to this day, along with sailing races and regattas. The private, members-only club is open to
the public during Winterfest the “Cruisin’ at the Yacht Club” car show and the Classic Boat
Regatta. Mark your calendar to visit the historic clubhouse during these “open house” events
and check out far more information and membership details at www.buckeyelakeyc.com
46 Buckeye Lake Library
Buckeye Lake Library
Thanks to a partnership grams, materials, and technology to
between the Friends of the Buckeye area residents.
Lake Library and the Newark Pub- Many people who walk through
lic Library (now Licking County our doors are surprised by the diverse
Library), the Buckeye Lake Library collection, the vast variety of pro-
opened its doors for the first time on grams and technology resources pro-
September 10, 2005. It’s original vided. Children of all ages love the
location at 41 W. First Street was life-sized pirate, treasure chest, and
leased to the Friends Group for $1.00 story time boat located in the chil-
a year by the Village of Buckeye dren’s department. The gazebo and
Lake. The agreement was that the victory garden is a relaxing outdoor
Library would provide the staffing, space for programming during the
collection, and technology providing warm summer months. And many
the Friends Group paid for the lease, groups and organizations reserve our
utilities, and upkeep on the building. spacious conference room for meet-
This was all part of a two year provi- ings and programs.
sional status, both parties wanting to Looking to the future, the goal of
see if the interest, usage, and support the library to keep growing in every
of the area was enough to maintain a way. To build lifelong relationships
fully operating library branch. within the community, to inspire
The community responded to learning and intellectual growth, and
the library in a positive way by vot- to always make the library an open
ing “yes” on a library levy, providing and welcoming place to everyone.
support to the Friends of the Buckeye Please stop by the Buckeye Lake Li-
Lake Library group, and becoming brary and check us out!
loyal everyday patrons. In January
2012, the library moved from its orig- This bronze sculpture welcome visitors to the
inal location to a spacious facility lo- full-service Buckeye Lake Library.
cated at 4455 Walnut Road. The new
location boasts more than three times
the original square footage, better
visibility, and more parking spaces.
So much hard work and dedication
has went into making this library a
successful and thriving organization.
The library has become an integral
part of the community offering pro-
BUCKEYE LAKE REGION CORPORATION (BLRC)
is a non-profit organization open to all political and civic entities
of the tri-county Buckeye Lake Region, created to coordinate
and implement the mission outlined in BLR2036.
BUCKEYE LAKE 2036 is a grassroots declaration created January 2016 by over
270 volunteers to chart the economic growth of the Buckeye Lake Region, in
order to improve the well-being and prosperity of its residents and businesses.
OUR CORE VALUES
RESPECT g OPEN COMMUNICATIONS g PRIORITY TO LOCAL
COMMUNITY FIRST g DIVERSITY AND OPENNESS