Straddling Lake and Ashtabula counties on the lakeshore, Driftwood was the palatial summer resort of the late George Henry Hopper. It was an example of the private estates east of Cleveland that flourished during the 1890s.
“Virginal” trees were said to be a hallmark of this estate and one of the reasons settlers were originally drawn to Geneva Township. An elm tree on the property, in 1948, was considered the largest in Ohio.
The property changed ownership in May 1948. The new owner was Mrs. Harold Stevens of North Broadway. She purchased it from Mr. and Mrs. E. Russell Swiler of Shaker Heights.
The Driftwood was renamed “Old Elm Lodge” by the new owner. It had 14 rooms, sweeping porches and a lake frontage of more than 740 yards and private beach.
Stevens planned to operate a family-style dining room at the lodge.
Beachmore Cottages were part of Driftwood. Beachmore was owned by Frank Gabriel and in 1946 it consisted of 26 cottages. Gabriel built “penthouses” at his resort.