Lakeside show features wooden boats, outdoor performers

LAKESIDE — When Mame Drackett was growing up, she spent a lot of time watching her father build boats at his company, Sandusky Boats.

“And I spent a lot of time falling off the docks. I was still in the water by mistake,” she said.

Mame’s grandfather helped her father run Sandusky Boats and her grandmother was the company secretary. Her childhood in the middle of woods and water gave birth to Mame a passion for boats that will remain all her life. Her husband, Bill Drackett, honored that passion when he surprised her with one of his father’s original boats.

“For a major birthday, Bill found one and gave it to me,” Mame said. “Now we have seven of my father’s boats. It’s very special.

The Dracketts’ boats were among several on display at the Lakeside Wooden Boat Show and the Plein Air Art Festival on Sunday. The boat show was started 19 years ago by the Dracketts and a few other members of the Lakeside Wooden Boat Society.

“Exactly 19 years ago, I said, ‘We should do a boat show.’ We didn’t ask for Lakeside. We didn’t ask for security. We just dragged three small boats to the bend,” Mame said.

The Boat Show is Lakeside’s second most popular weekend

Since then, the show has become Lakeside’s second most popular weekend event. This year’s show featured a variety of wooden boats, including Chris-Craft, Thompson, Richardson and several of the locally popular Lymans. Wet weather kept some boats away, but Mame said the show normally had around 60 boats.

“We’ll have as many as will fit on the docks, and the rest will sit on the hotel lawn,” she said.

Visitors discuss a Chris-Craft Continental at Lakeside on Sunday.

This year’s show also featured the traveling Lyman Boat Works Historical Display, owned by Lyman historian Tom Koroknay, whose expertise earned him the nickname Doc Lyman. In 1988, Koroknay purchased hundreds of Lyman Boat Works artifacts from the closed company, and he displays them in the traveling exhibit. The museum is popular with many Lyman fans.

“These are well-built boats, they have great design and they’re built for the lake,” Koroknay said.

Koroknay said he hopes to find a local, permanent location for his museum where people can have better access to artifacts and information. He often answers questions about Lymans.

“I do hull documentation and historical matters,” he said.

The author uses the show to meet historian Lyman

Brenda Haas, who owns a home in Lakeside, asked an unusual historical question in Koroknay on Sunday. She wanted to know which Lyman was a typical choice for a family living in the 1950s.

“I’m working on a piece of fiction – it’s a women’s fiction called ‘Found on Beddington Bluff’. It’s generational, and it goes back to the 1950s. I’m trying to find Tom to ask about the Lymans, because I want it to be accurate,” Haas said.

Haas wasn’t just looking for Koroknay. She also walked to the living room to see the boats.

“I love coming to this event every year,” she said. “They’ve cultivated it over the years, and it’s a nice throwback. Some boats are in amazing condition.

Novelist Brenda Haas, right, interviews Lyman historian Tom Koroknay about the Lyman boats of the 1950s. Haas is working on a historical fiction novel and wanted to ensure the accuracy of her story.

Barn find becomes immaculate 1954 Aristocraft

Not everyone started out that way. Monte and Kitty Bauman brought their pristine 1954 Aristocraft Typhoon to the show from their home on Lake Buckeye near Columbus. The Baumans also posted photos they took when purchasing the boat. It was broken and unusable.

“It was a barn find,” Kitty said. “It was a six-month restoration.”

Among the boats were brightly painted depictions of lake life created by dozens of outdoor artists, including Cleveland’s Kelsey Schaffer. Schaffer, who owns Art by Kelsey Rae, normally specializes in live event paintings at weddings, corporate events and other venues. At the Plein Air Art Festival, she painted her memories.

“My family has had a cabin at Lakeside my whole life,” Schaffer said. “I paint some of the summer scenes that marked my childhood.”

She painted the view of Hoover Auditorium from her cottage porch and the pier where she spent countless hours “eating, drinking and sunbathing”.

“And this is the hotel,” she said, pointing to a painting. “This is where we sit to watch the sunsets.”

Contact correspondent Sheri Trusty at [email protected]

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