Indian Lake was originally a group of small lakes and wetlands measuring over 640 acres. In the 1850s, the reservoir was built and named the Lewistown Reservoir. The lake was used as a water supply for the Miami and Erie Canals. As a result of the reservoir construction, hundreds of acres of land flooded and joined the smaller lakes. In 1896, the lake was purchased by the State of Ohio for a state park and renamed Indian Lake in honor of the many Indian settlements that had once populated the area.
In the 1920âs, an amusement park was opened in Russells Point and was often referred to as "Ohioâs Million Dollar Playground" or "Atlantic City of the Midwest". Several dance pavilions were opened that hosted entertainers including Louis Armstrong, "Count" Basie, Miles Davis, "Duke" Ellington, Peggy Lee, Patti Page, Dinah Shore, Rosemary Clooney, Nat "King" Cole, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. Sandy Beach Amusement Park closed in the early 1970s. The lone remnant of the park is the steel arch bridge that spans the Russells Point harbor.
Indian Lake, with 5,800 acres of lake and 800 acres of parks, now features year-round recreation. Activities include camping, boating, swimming, fishing water skiing, hiking miniature golf, bicycling and more. The Lake area offers a number of unique restaurants and dining opportunities. You can enjoy flea markets, antique stores, marinas, golf courses and so much more all within minutes of the Lake, as well as special events that have become Lake traditions.
Many gorgeous waterfront homes now line the shoreline and provide year-round living or weekend get-a-ways. Also available are condominiums that provide carefree living. Many people have purchased second homes and rented boat docks thus having a place to enjoy after a day on the Lake.
Once again it can be nicknamed "Ohioâs Million Dollar Playground"