Resurgence of “The Million Dollar Playground”
Indian Lake proper wasn’t always a State Park. In fact, the area has had a rich and unique history. The lake began in the mid-1800s as a reservoir for the region’s canal system. By the early 1900s, the “reservoir” was evolving into one of the Midwest’s favorite summer resorts. It eventually earned two nicknames: “The Million Dollar Playground” and “Atlantic City of the Midwest.” Among the impressive attractions were an amusement park, hotels, cottages, campgrounds, beaches, dance pavilions, music halls, gardens, nightclubs, and illegal casinos.
The amusement rides and grand hotels of previous eras are now history. In 1949, Indian Lake became an Ohio State Park, managed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. However, the resort lifestyle of the past is being revitalized by new developments like Longview Cove.