A natural lake, Summit Lake existed before the glacial age. It is located on the Continental Divide, meaning that its waters flow north to the Great Lakes and south toward the Gulf of Mexico. When the Ohio and Erie Canal was constructed, a floating towpath was created along the eastern shore of the lake to provide solid footing for the mules which towed the canal boats. In the late 19th century, Summit Lake served as a source for Akron’s water supply. During this period, two resorts were established, Lakeside Park on the east and Summit Lake Park (also known as Beerside) on the west. Although Lakeside did not offer alcohol, both resorts featured picnic areas, baseball parks, and a bandstand. Easy access to these parks was provided by trolleys. In 1917, Summit Beach Park was established, a grand amusement park complete with a dance hall, swimming pool, and rides. (Art Work of Akron, Ohio. pt. 3 pg. 4)
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