BY PHIL WHEELER
Over 30 classic wooden boats, many dating from the early 50’s, covered the lawn in front of the Hotel Lakeside last weekend. Lymans, Chris-Craft and Sandusky’s, each perfectly restored to like-new condition, were presented by their proud owners.
Each boat was perfectly detailed, with vintage equipment absolutely correct for the era, and polished to a brilliant shine. More boats were exhibited at the Lakeside dock area. The event also included food, fun, art and live musical entertainment.
Susan Lewis and her husband, Bob, traveled from Cortland, Ohio to display their ‘59 Lyman Runabout, a 16.5-foot wooden beauty with the original Evinrude 40-horsepower outboard. They purchased the boat 17 years ago, and lovingly restored it over a 3-year period.
“We bring it to Lake Erie at least once a year, and we use it throughout the year at nearby lakes,” said said Lewis. He emphasized that the boat is not for sale at any price.
The annual Lakeside Wooden Boat Show & Plein Air Art Festival is a unique event as it only showcases the workmanship of wooden boats. In addition, the show highlights paintings of Lakeside scenes rendered by Plein Air artists – a French expression meaning “in the open air.”
This describes artists painting outdoors with the subject directly in view, rather than in a studio. Plein artist Phil Fisher travels all the way from Naples, Fla. for the event.
“I have been coming here for the past seven years,” said Fisher, “My cousin has a cottage here in Lakeside, and I stay with them.”
He was painting a wonderful watercolor of the boat house, creating it right on the spot.
The Lakeside Wooden Boat Society (LWBS), established in 2005, was inspired by the role of wooden boats in Lakeside Chautauqua’s history, emphasizing the art and beauty of wooden boat construction and the passion of Lakeside Chautauqua wooden boat owners. The society is dedicated to preserving this heritage.