Hello from the Lake! ROUND THREE - FOOD

Original postcards from Buckeye Lake, the Playground of Ohio


11/13/20232 min read

There are photo albums full of historic postcards mailed from Buckeye Lake’s amusement park more than a century ago, and here are a couple more: the front of the cards and the messages on the back offer a glimpse of what it was like to vacation there. These two make me think about how much planning must have gone into feeding a family in those cottages on the water!

Recipe for a Good Visit

July 28, 1908

Addressed to Laura in Newark from ? (unsigned)

“Laura, you and mama and grandma come up this morn. Tell grandma if she comes bring a loaf of bread, just about six large potatoes, and corn. Be sure and come. If it rains there, come anyhow. It won’t rain up here and you won’t get wet if it does. We will watch the cars for you.”

Kim’s Note: “The cars” here refer to the railroad I mentioned in the last installment - the way most vacationers would have arrived at the park. It wasn’t a long trip from Newark to Buckeye Lake, so poor Grandma would have have been able to pack up the perishables that might have gone with the most recent catch of fish. July 28 fell on a Tuesday in 1908, so this was a weekday meal.


Milk Cost

July 15, 1916 (I think … the stamp is a little smudged)

Addressed to Mother in Johnstown from Carrie

“Dear Mother - Having fine time. All well, arrived safely. Elizabeth has never mentioned home. Milk is 10ct quart. I guess we had better brought more with us. Carrie.”

Kim’s Note: According to Craven O’Donnell’s book Ice Cream Summers, seasonal visitors to the cottages on the lake could stock their pantry in various ways. He remembers hiking to nearby farms and hauling back eggs, veggies, and meat to the cottage. Donna Braig’s book and several stories I heard as a reporter mentioned a grocery boat. Owned by the Bowers Brothers, the 24-foot boat called “The Regular” was stocked with groceries in Millersport and circled the lake three times a week. A “clapper bell” notified vacationers that the boat had arrived and it was time to shop. Based on this particular postcard, the comparatively short trip across Licking County from Johnstown to the lake did make toting fresh milk feasible for Carrie and Elizabeth.