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Lakeside Heritage Trail
6. Green Gables
161 Walnut Avenue
Green Gables 1885
Lakeside Women’s Club 2022
In 1883, brothers Langdon and Watson Hubbard and their cousin Rollin Hubbard of Sandusky purchased one of Lakeside’s prime vacant lots, south of the dock and facing the park. Langdon Hubbard owned a large timber mill in Huron City, Michigan and shipped the lumber to Sandusky for construction of the proposed cottage in Lakeside. The design was a Steamboat Gothic style cottage with steep gables in the shape of a Greek cross. It was to be known as Green Gables.
Mary Cook, the eldest of three unmarried sisters living in Norwalk, Ohio, purchased Green Gables in 1884. In 1893, Mary signed the lease over to her sister, Alice. Green Gables served as a boarding house for many years, and then sat empty for a few years after 1923, perhaps the result of the cottage’s deterioration due to lack of upkeep by the two aging sisters. So in 1928, A.L. Hoover, Lakeside’s General Manager, persuaded Alice Cook to sell Green Gables to the Lakeside Association. Mr. Hoover negotiated with the association’s trustees to have Green Gables serve as a clubhouse for a new women’s club. Hoover’s wife, Bessie, was to serve as the club’s founding president.
And so the Lakeside Women’s Club (LWC) was established in 1928. Lakeside women responded enthusiastically, and 623 charter members joined by the end of the first season. The first LWC Constitution stated the club’s purpose as “self-improvement and mutual helpfulness.” To support members’ literary interests, an LWC lending library started in 1941, open to the entire community. Then in 1944, the LWC Board initiated rental of four bedrooms to women guests. In 1947, the original north porch was enlarged for a meeting room; upstairs toilets were enclosed and a shower added for rental guests. Green Gables has continued to serve over the decades as a guest house for women visitors during the Chautauqua season.
For 95 years, Green Gables has remained the beloved clubhouse of the Lakeside Women’s Club. Annual dues have risen from $1 in 1928 to $15 in 2022. Men are now permitted to be members and attend all activities. Tuesday afternoon educational programs continue to focus on “self-improvement” through various topics. LWC members are avid readers, evidenced by strong participation in weekly book discussions and book reviews. There are also weekly bridge and Mah Jong games. Through the years, the LWC has sponsored cottage tours, quilt shows, book author events and community service projects, as well as the publication of two cookbooks.
With over 200 LWC members attending activities every day of the week, Green Gables is a busy place all summer long. Everyone in the Lakeside community is welcome at Green Gables.