Cottage Grove Lake in the Portage Lakes emerged as a picnicking and recreational spot as early as the 1880s after the Cleveland Terminal & Valley Railroad initiated passenger service through the Cuyahoga Valley between Cleveland and the Portage Lakes. By 1890 the railroad financed the development of Cottage Grove Lake into a full-fledged resort. A number of African American church Sunday school groups and social organizations visited the site both before after its inception as a formal resort. By 1901 Cottage Grove Lake featured a hotel with large dining room, cottages, tents, a merry-go-round, dancing pavilion, bowling alley, shooting gallery, swings, ball grounds, photograph gallery steamboat, rowboats, a bathing beach, five bathhouses, and even a fortune teller.
Additional information coming soon.
- Cleveland Gazette. June 12, 1886.
- “Cottage Grove Lake Picnic Grounds.” Cleveland Gazette. May 5, 1900.
- “Cottage Grove Lake Resort.” Cleveland Gazette. April 13, 1901.
- “Cottage Grove Lake Resort.” Cleveland Gazette. July 26, 1902.
- Erwine, Bob. “Cottage Grove Began as Railroad Attraction.” The Suburbanite (Canton, OH). April 4, 1984. www.summitmemory.org/digital/collection/p17124coll14/id/76