The naming of the Warsaw centennial observance as the Lakeland Festival points up the importance of the lakes in the history of our town and county. We ran across some interesting information in the 1879 Atlas which tells of the boating and skating on Center lake and the importance of that body of water as a recreation center.
In 1878 there were fifty-four boats on Center lake. About half of them were sail and row boats, called yachts, and the other half were row boats only. The boat owners were very proud of their crafts, and oftentimes put considerable money into their construction. Whenever a new boat was launched on Center lake, a celebration was usually held. Every boat was named, these names usually showing great originality.
One of the most expensive yachts on the lake was a craft called "Pinafore," which was valued at $150 by its owners M. B. Funk, C. V. Pyle, and others. Another yacht, "The Paul Standish," owned by W. L. Standish was valued at a like amount. Other yachts were the $100 "Peerless: owned by dry goods merchant W. B. Funk and the $75 "None Such," owned by dentist W. H. Eggleston.
Row boats and their owners were as follows: "Ark" owned by W. L. Standish; "Blue Band," E. W. Long, judge of the circuit court; "Continental", O. P. Jacques, iceman; "Centennial," Marcus Phillipson, clothing merchant; "Flora," Mrs. W. B. Funk; "Ellenor," Hart and Woggamon; "Kosciusko," J. H. Rousseau; "Pauline," S. B. Frasier; "Venture," C. V. Pyle; "Long John," Samuel Weirick.
We would guess that Mr. Phillipson's row boat was christened in 1876, which was the one hundredth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, hence the name "Centennial."
Much credit was given to Oliver P. Jacques, Warsaw ice dealer, for his untiring efforts in beautifying the grounds along Center lake and especially at the lower end of Buffalo street.
Warsaw Times-Union Sat. Mar. 13, 1954