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Places in northeast ohio
Huntington Beach, Ohio and Reservation is a beautiful spot with multiple ways to be utilized for photos. You have the beach portion, obviously, which is stunning in both the warmer months and the colder months with the lake icing over. With the piles of ice it looked and felt like another planet! I will warn you though, don’t go out far on the ice. You never know how thick it really is and there is no one who can really save you out there! When it’s warmer and the water is low you can climb the massive sandstone rocks. You can use the path and shelter above the beach for photos, also. Across from the beach is a small, open field. If you continue going back you will reach Lake Eerie Nature reserve, which is a pretty cool place to explore but no photo ops there. It contains live fish and other rescued animals in the back, lots of fun things to look at and some educational programming. Also, worth a mention (if you know anything about ice cream): Honey Hut Ice Cream is open during the summer there!
Now Huntington Reservation is known for the beach. But there is some pretty cool history behind this beach. The Native Americans, bison roaming what was then an Indian path but has now become Lake Road. Yes, bison lived in Ohio at one point. According to history, the year 1803 was the year Ohio became the 17th state of the Union, an event that is celebrated, but this year was also the year that the last wild bison was shot and killed in Ohio. The last bison was shot near the Vesuvius Furnace in Lawrence County, which is at the southernmost edge of our state. This sad event was the beginning of the end of Ohio’s wilderness era, a time that will never come again in Ohio.
The Huntington Reserve was named after industrialist John Huntington (1832-1893), who had ties to John Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company. He built a steam engine which pumped in water from Lake Erie to irrigate his small farm. It also provided him with drinking water in the summer at his summer house. This bit of land is a huge 100-acres of Lake Erie shoreline in what’s now known as Bay Village.
Prior to European arrival, this land was sought out hunting grounds for the Native Americans, but the area became empty prior to the Revolutionary War. In 1796, people like Moses Cleaveland (the founder of Cleveland, Ohio) started to parcel the land along the south shore of Lake Erie. The land became Bay Village was laid out in 1806. The Lake Erie microclimate was essential for settlers. This “microclimate” existence provided perfect conditions for settlers to grow orchards and vineyards. But to make that happen, they had to clear a ton of massive 17-foot circumference sycamore trees. Pioneers also created fruit farms in Dover Township around 1810.
In 1880, that huge 100 acres of the Dover Township shoreline became John Huntington’s summer and small farm, as I mentioned prior. He also built a water tower, which is one of the few structures he built that still stands today! It looks like a lighthouse, but it a water tower, which was built somewhere between 1880-1890. If you look down below you can also see the brick pump room (where you’ll see lifeguards during the summer sometimes). That pump room was what brought water from Lake Eerie up to the water tower! So cool!
If you’d like to learn a little more about Bay Village, John Huntington and Huntington Reservation, check out this link: Learn More About Bay Village!
And if you were still curious about those bison, I talked about earlier you can learn more here: Learn More About Bison in Ohio!