1898 text from reference (14) in the Bibliography
the numerous resorts for summer visitors and tourists scattered among the
islands of the archipelago, Ballast resort holds a prominent place. The island
itself is a romantic bit of nature, consisting of picturesque rock, native
forest trees and vineyard and orchard lands.
cottages, artistically built and vine embowered, with winding walks and smooth
lawns, adorn the spot, and overlooking precipitous rocks to northward is located
the Ballast club house, an airy structure. An ample wharf, boat house and other
improvements also appear.
“Home of the Western Canoe Association” is the term by which Ballast island is best known to its patrons, having formed for years the resort at which this organization has held its annual meets, and a newly erected club house on the gravelly stretch of the south shore furnishes excellent accommodations to its membership. In addition to the clubhouse of the canoe association, the canoer's camp - as seen during the summer - with its tents of white and striped canvas, and its line of birchen canoes crowding the beach, forms a pretty picture, which the photographer, camera in hand, has not been slow to discover. Ballast Island was so named in consideration of the fact that just before the battle of Lake Erie the ships of Perry’s squadron were provided with ballast in the shape of stone brought from the shores of this island. History does not locate the exact spot where the gallant commodore obtained his supply, but he must have found it without looking far, as lime rock, gravel stone and boulders are there found in inexhaustable quantity.
island contains about nine acres of land and is owned by a stock company, among
whom are ex Mayor Geo. W. Gardner and Gen. James Barnett of Cleveland, Colonel
Bartlett of Fremont and many other gentlemen of prominence who, with their
families and friends, patronize the resort.
rugged wildness and art's refining touch here combine to form a scene most
among summer cottages may be mentioned the Gardner “log cabin,” a romantic
picture, a rustic poem, from its old fashioned chimney, furniture and spinning
wheel within, to the scaly bank of its unhewn logs and ivy-clad gables without.
this resort the Cleveland Canoe association was organized
nearly twenty years ago, W. Scott Robinson, of the Cleveland Recorder, and Geo.
W. Gardner being its chief sustainers.
1885 invitations were extended to all Western canoers to become guests of the
Cleveland club at Ballast. These invitations were accepted and from this
friendly alliance blossomed a new organization known as the Western Canoe
extended program of races in sailing and paddling are arranged for each season
and prize cups of chaste and costly design are annually competed for; each meet
lasting about ten days.
of canoers, they are all extravagantly fond of just such a romantic situation
as this little island affords. They are fond, too, of brisk breezes, flapping
sails and dashing surf. They worship a canoe as a Hindoo
his gods, or an Arab his horse, and little wonder, for the willowy masted,
swift-winged canoe of modern construction is the prettiest and most agile thing
ever designed to float upon water.
of these canoes are trimmed in nickel and silver plating, with delicately,
wrought tiller chains and rudder of shining nickel. They are decked with flags
and pennons of unique designs and their furnishings are novel and pretty.
canoe is an expensive toy and fit to grace a parlor mantel - only that it is
just a trifle too big for this purpose. Its color is a pale birch-brown. It has
two sails, but is also propelled, when desired, by a single paddle, after the
manner of aboriginal canoers.
canoer appears as strikingly picturesque as the canoe which he sails, for his
costume is natty and novel.
the trophy cups sailed for, flags are awarded winners, together with other
prizes, both pretty and appropriate, consisting of articles such as silk
blankets, silver soap cases, traveling drinking cups, fishing boxes, camp
lanterns, canoe rugs and other novelties.
families and friends of club members occupy the cottages, taking their meals in
the dining hall. A manager is appointed to furnish supplies and to look after
the interests of the island. This position is filled at the present time by S.
Ballast resorter is a lover of nature, finding "sermons in stones and
tongues in trees," and beneath his umbrageous screen of elms, maples,
cedars and sycamores the days of summer speed like a dream. One especial
favorite known as the "umbrella," or "eagle tree," contained
for many years a large eagle's nest. Within it every returning season a pair of
old eagles reared their young, and some of the brood were domesticated by the
islanders. The nest and the eagles have now disappeared, but the tree still
Ballast patrons are individuals of quiet, refined tastes, but unconventional
withal, and prefer easy but substantial comfort to stiff formality.
dress as they like and do as they please, bathing, boating, dozing, dreaming.
They are all thoroughly in. love with their pretty isle, and money would not
tempt them to part with it.
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