By Martha Stoelting
The first in the Syracuse-Wawasee Historical Museum Centennial Homes Series was presented Saturday, July 27, at the Syracuse Community Center Kiwanis Room. A standing room only crowd wanted to hear about homes and businesses along Waco Drive from The Sleepy Owl Supper Club to the St. Martin des Porres Catholic Church.
The area is known as South Park.
Museum board member and author Ann Vanderford Garceau guided visitors along the former route of SR 13, now Waco Drive. Brief stops were made at the Wawasee Amusement Company or WACO dance hall, beach and slide, Mock’s Marina, the Lake View Hotel, Winter’s Sandwich Shop and Emerson’s Grocery.
Three centennial home families were honored and spoke about their homes, all older than 100 years.
Karen Stiles has spent part of every summer of her whole life at the lake cottage of her family at 6950 E. Waco Drive. It was built in the early 1900s. She shared delightful photos and warm memories of growing up at the lake as part of the Settlemire family enjoying the water, boats, swimming and life at the lake in general. The tradition is continuing.
The second cottage was built by the Hammer family in 1900 and purchased by the Henschen family in 1980. Located at 6602 E. Waco Drive, it holds many memories of wonderful times at the lake for the family of Jim and Sandra Loucks and Carol and Gene Henschen added to the information given by Garceau to fill in its history.
The Meyer-Teetor cottage has a long family history as well. The Teetor family first came to Sargents Hotel and then bought the cottage across the lake in South Park at 6602 E. Waco Drive. Granddaughter-in-law Connie Meyer presented the information about the home and the fascinating life of the late Ralph Teetor, a noted inventor and engineer. The cruise control is just one of his creations. As with the other families, summers at Lake Wawasee are a tradition.
Each family received a plaque from the museum commemorating the event and their homes standing as a centennial landmark on the lake.
The second in the Centennial series will be held 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, Syracuse Community Center, 1013 N. Long Drive. It will center around a family farm that became Leeland addition on Lake Wawasee.