New Inn

After the lake road was rerouted in 1912 due to lake erosion, businesses began to be built on what previously had been the “backyards” of homes that faced the lake.

On the north side of the new main street, the New Inn was built by Newton Mott and Gary Swan. Started as a sandwich shop, the inn was soon expanded to a hotel that employed 32 workers and served up to 500 meals a day (Sunday was the busiest). The big attraction were the “milk fed” chicken dinners, although Mrs. Swan would confess “those chickens never saw a drop of milk.”

The New Inn, for many years, was the home of the summer post office of Geneva-on-the-Lake. Mrs. Swan would go to the railroad depot in Geneva every morning to pick up the mail and have it back to the post office by 6 a.m.

This area was still farm land; next to the New Inn at North Warner Drive was a cow pasture, where a large tent was set up in the summer, presumably for religious meetings. The tents would eventually give way to large dance parlors.

The Swiss Chalet now stands where the New Inn was.

Swiss Chalet stands where the New Inn was.

Swiss Chalet stands where the New Inn was.


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

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