Hello from the Lake! Round FIVE

Girlfriends and Great One-liners


3/9/20243 min read

I got my hands on a new photo album at the Historical Museum, this one stuffed with Buckeye Lake postcards from the very early 1900s and WW1. The messages are often difficult to make out after a century or more, but here are a few that give us a glimpse of life at Buckeye Lake and its park. I’m including italicized notes for context (mostly guided by Donna Braig’s memoir).

Love Takes an Awful Lot of Energy

To Marie in Columbus from Leslie

Aug. 3, 1909

Tues. a.m. Hello. Had a moonlight launch ride last night and another date for tonight. Just got back from a stroll along the shore with … oh well what’s the use? Leslie

Note: Based on the time period, Leslie would have ridden the Interurban Electric Transit Line from Columbus to the lake in 1909. There were already amusement rides at the park by then: a merry-go-round, ferris wheel, roller coaster, and airplane ride. There was a tunnel of love and other boat rides, as well as two dance halls. It was a pretty good place to encounter love … but we don’t know if Leslie was able to hang in there long enough for the lake to work its magic.

Church is Crowded, but the fellows aren’t marvelous

To Margie in Circleville from Ruth

Aug. 15, 1933

The Catholic Church was fully _ (can’t read for stamp). It was positively packed yesterday. People had to stand up even.

Darling, how are you by now? I hope you are perfectly well again. Certainly wish you were here with me. You’d have enjoyed it the other afternoon. We had a row boat. Remember when we had the boat out at D- Park? As yet haven’t met any marvelous fellows. Saw Dan B 2x but didn’t dance with him. The Moffits are over here, but we haven’t gone over to see them yet. Mary, Angela, and 20 other girls (sorority) were over for the weekend. Paul was over yesterday. Left about 2 last night. Well, Honey, be seeing you. Lots of love.

Note: The Catholic Church in Buckeye Lake was built in 1927 and was so crowded in the summer months that they had to hold as many as four masses on any given Sunday to accommodate cottage visitors!

College friends

To Miss Ethel W. at Miami University from Amelia

July 12, 1909

I have been wanting to write to you girls for some time, but this is a lazy place. And then, now I have the fishing fever. I am awfully tired of eating fish, but I love to catch them. We are going home next Wednesday and will write you both a long letter. Love, Amelia

Note: It’s fascinating to think Miami University in Oxford had only been admitting females for a couple of decades when Amelia took a break from fishing long enough to write her “girls” over their summer break!

Hankie Club

To “Friend” from Nellie

NO date, but probably WWI era (see below)

Dear Friend, we are having warm weather again. Was real cool the past two weeks. We had a hard thunderstorm Sun. evening. Have had lots of rain lately. I don’t think I would care to listen to planes every day and night. If you are not interested in the hankie club it is OK with me as I am just sending because I received one from my sister-in-law. Sincerely - Nellie

Note: Remember chain letters? Well, I did a little research, and around WWI, women used to stay connected to one another by embroidering hankies and sending them through the mail, as Nellie clearly did here. The reference to her friend now hearing planes “every day and night” and the fact most of the postcards in this container were around WWI seem to confirm a wartime message here from the lake.