Sturgeon Point

Sturgeon Point map Sturgeon Point is an point of land that extends into Lake Erie. It was on this five-acre point that the resort of Geneva-on-the-Lake got its start July 5,1869. Cullen Spencer and a friend, Edward Pratt, took note of a trend that occurred in the township following the Civil War — people from Cleveland were coming out on the train to camp, fish and swim. They leased five acres at Sturgeon Point and established there a “Pleasure Grounds” where folks could pay to picnic, camp and enjoy Lake Erie. The grounds became very popular and amenities were added by the investors in the coming years. A merry-go-round was one of the first attractions they added.   Sturgeon point is named after the lake sturgeon that would congregate at this point certain times of the year. These were large fish that grew to 200 pounds or more. The were considered a nuisance fish by most fishermen; the only value they had was as fertilizer. But in the latter half of the 19th century, people began eating them and their eggs. They developed quite an appetite for the fish, and by the early 20th century, the fishery was depleted.

A Lake Sturgeon washed up on a Pennsylvania beach in 2000. Read the Pittsburgh Post Gazette story.

Another fish species that once was common to Lake Erie but has been lost is the Blue Pike or Blue Walleye. It once accounted for 50 percent of the commercial fish take from Lake Erie; the last time a specimen was found and confirmed as the subspecies was 1983.

Blue Pike/Blue Walleye. An extinct subspecies related to the yellow perch.

Blue Pike/Blue Walleye.
An extinct subspecies related to the yellow perch.

Our guests remember:

Pirl Beach

I spent the summer of 1942 in Pirl Beach (at age 16) and worked part time for the manager pulling weeds and such. Also swam every day. My Pittsburgh relatives had reserved a cottage there for many years. My aunt and cousins stayed. My uncle commuted weekly in his Buick. The Pirl Beach manager used a Model T Ford truck for his chores.

Ken Ford

Memories of Ford's

Most of my summer childhood memories are at Ford’s! My parents met there right at the picnic table. We vacationed there every summer along with my grandparents and great aunt and uncle until they passed away. We made amazing friends there that we still vacation with on Putnam Drive!! I could never thank the Payne’s enough for my childhood memories. Playing Indians in the huge back yard, solving make-believe mysteries, playing release and listening to everyone playing penny poker when my sister and I should have been sleeping. I now bring my son to Geneva every summer. He is the 5th generation at Geneva!

Sara Turner Campos

Chestnut Grove

My extended family and I vacationed at Chestnut Grove from 1948-1964. Being from McKeesport, it was a dream come true to go there every summer. I currently live in Michigan but go back occasionally. Not too long ago, I found a post card of some of the cottages where the swings and horseshoe pit were and a local artist is making me a 24×36 painting of it. I can't wait to see it! So many wonderful memories and so few things left as reminders. It is nice to know that others still remember and care.

Michelle Turner ( a Chestnut Grove Kid)


We vacationed every summer at Idle-A-While in the late '50s and early '60s, partially because my aunt was the receptionist there. I often got to ring the bell summoning guests to breakfast, lunch and dinner in the dining room, which was staffed by co-eds from various universities. Evenings were spent playing bingo, fascination and other games on the strip or bridge and poker back at Idle-A-While. Great memories.
John Bloom

Read more memories or submit a memory.

Share a memory