Some historic pics and comments from my good friend, Neal Luoma.
Neal is a retired longshoreman who grew up and still lives in Saybrook, a quiet coastal town just east of Geneva-on-the-Lake. His family ran a campground that was very popular at one time. Working class families from Youngstown and Pittsburgh would spend there summers there, swimming and camping along the beach.
during the 1950's Neal picked up surfing while on trips to Florida with his family. He brought his passion for waves back to Ohio and naturally he taught the kids at the campground to surf. By the end of the 1960's there was a vibrant, if hidden, surfing community in Saybrook, Ohio, all thanks to Neal.
Gradually over-development and rising lake levels led to erosion that wiped out many of the sand beaches, and people stopped coming up to the Lake. The coastal resort towns like Geneva were hit hard, and looked destined for ruins. For quite a few years Neal was the only surfer in Ohio.
When surfing here started to get popular again in the 1990's, Neal was there to share generous advice on tracking storms and finding the best wave spots for every weather condition. So many years later he's still out there in the water, and his Surfers Point Campground is still open for business. Stop in and say hi!
pic 1 Lots of sand on Lake Erie's shore protected the hillside from erosion back then. Shadow my dad.
pic 2 My Grandmother standing on her wide beach back before the high flooding lake levels of today.