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In late 1919 the Eastbrook Outing Association decided to open a small recreational park on a 25-acre property west of Eastbrook. A dam was constructed on Hettenbaugh Run and a small lake was basically filled in by the summer of 1920. A public contest was held in June 1920 to select a name and “Lakewood Park,” submitted by Miss Marguerite Lackey of Ray Street, was the winning entry. A large pavilion was erected and visitors flocked to the park for summer picnics, swimming outings, camping trips, and family reunions. John D. Rung Sr. & his wife Olive purchased the property in November 1925 (renamed “Lakewood Beach”) and made many improvements, adding private cottages, a bathing house, a restaurant, a baseball field, boat rentals, and wintertime ice skating. The Rung’s and their children operated the small resort area for over twenty years. John & Lillian O’Neill became partners with the Rung’s in the mid-1940’s. (c1940) Full Size
An advertisment that appeared in the New Castle News from July 1926. Full Size
The O’Neill’s took over full ownership in April 1948. In the coming years O’Neill’s Lakewood Beach, known for it’s popular Saturday night square and polka dances, remained a popular local hangout. The park declined in attendance during the 1960’s and lake eventually became filled with silt. The lake was drained during the summer of 1971, but a plan to dredge and refill it apparently never happened. Rung sold the property in 1973 and the pavilion was utilized as an auction hall during the mid-1970’s. William & Celeste Stiles purchased the property in 1978 and opened a disco that thrived for a short time. I believe the property was basically shuttered a few years later and the pavilion was lost to a fire on the night of Tuesday, October 11, 1983. The property sat vacant until Joe and Kathy Grimm (she sadly passed away in 2009) acquired it in about 2000. The Grimm’s rebuilt the facility and reopened it for picnics and other gatherings. It can still be rented today. (c1930) Full Size