Wednesday, April 29, 2009
It is still April and there have already been quite a few boats out on Jordan Lake this year! The lake has been a local recreational attraction for many years and continues to be a "favorite!" Soon after the establishment of Lake Odessa in 1887-88 a group of interested men organized the Jordan Lake Boat Association. This group consisted of William S. Hart, Stephen Haight, F. A. Sargeant and E. E. Wagar. In 1889 the Association purchased four acres of land on the shores of Jordan Lake which eventually became what today is the beach area. It was quickly ascertained that a "drawing card" was needed to allow people to enjoy the lake. It was decided to have a steam boat constructed for use on the lake. The group hired Charlie Scheidt to build the boat which was reported to have held between 100-150 individuals. The boat was built at Saranac and transported to Lake Odessa. The name "Favorite" was given to the little steamer as it became a favorite attraction to many. It is told that the steam boat would start at the beach pavilion with a full load. It would go west toward the hill at the west end of the lake, turn course down by the outlet, go down past Eagle Point and then on east past Jordan Cove. There were many sand bars in the cove and almost every time the boat would get stuck in the sand. Then row boats had to be taken out to pull the boat free. Many parties and celebrations were held on this boat with local bands playing on the steamer. This small boat boosted the resort business in Lake Odessa greatly. The photo above shows the Lake Odessa Band as it appeared during this era. This band frequently played on the steamer and could be heard for many miles.