Most of the earliest tourists were from Ohio (word spreads back home) and came for the fishing, as well as the relaxing, but there is an account in American Sportsman Magazine, in 1901, by a Mr. Brown from New York City describing his trip by train to Thompson’s Resort and his daily diary for his two weeks of fishing. Thompson’s, Ingleston’s, and Worden’s were the big fishing hotels in the early 1900’s, each with their faithful return clients year after year. At this same time we had an actual town on the lake, Edgewater, built around a large sawmill on the northwest corner. You wouldn’t want to be trying to fish when the huge log rafts were towed down the lake by a home-made steam tug, the Mud Hen. Edgewater went the way of all lumber towns. It lasted from 1890-1903 when the mill burned, the timber was played out, and the folks moved on to the next boom. The buildings were torn down by the farmers for the wood.
Most of the fishing resorts were built and run by local farm families on their property for extra income. Some guests inquired about having a cottage of their own, so a farmer would sell them a piece of lakefront and build them a cottage during his slack time in the winter. We have pictures of these as early as 1907. That was the beginning of what we have today.