THE HISTORY …
“In finding none, he decided to build a ‘lake’ that would provide not only a place to relax and swim, but a place to live with plenty of water for swimming, fishing, ice skating — relaxation of all kinds the year round.”
That’s the legend of it, at least. Resident historian David Little is not sure the legend is accurate.
Little researched and wrote about the lake’s beginnings in his 2004 book, “The History of Lake Cable: A Chronological Reference Book.”
“In reality, Lake Cable was conceived in 1922 (not 1920), as stated in a Monday, May 31st 1926, Canton Daily News advertising supplement written by the Cables,” Little wrote. The Cable family said in that supplement that the more businesslike founders were “two young men who clearly visioned the necessity for some such place for the citizens who wished complete privacy amid nature’s handiwork.”
Regardless of which origin is more accurate, Lake Cable in Jackson Township clearly was developed in the 1920s by Austin Cable and his brother Dueber Cable. The first temporary dam — streams flowed into Lake Cable and it was fed by more than 50 springs — was built in 1923.
“The Cable brothers built the clubhouse with whatever materials they could salvage from their excavation and demolition business,” said an article in The Repository in 1992. “They dredged the lake using a combination of a steam shovel and mule-drawn drag buckets.”
Little said in his history that a unique measurement was used to determine the footage for lakefront lots and the total amount of shoreline.
“It was a buggy wheel 16 feet in circumference with a string tied to one spoke,” he wrote. “As the wheel was rolled along the shore line, revolutions of the wheel were carefully noted, and the shore line was calculated at seven miles.
Farms were purchased. Dirt for the dam was excavated. Land was flooded. The beach and bathhouse were opened in the spring of 1924.
“The first recorded lot ‘with lake privileges’ was sold to Ethel L. Cline on Monday, June 1st, 1925, for $1,578.92,” Little wrote in his book.
A second, larger lot was sold for $6,000 three months later, and a third was sold for $1,500 just before the end of the year. And thus the vision of the Cable brothers — whether personal or professional — began to take form on Lake Cable almost nine decades ago.
THE PRESENT …
From those humble beginnings, Lake Cable has grown considerably. More than 700 homes are now found in the residential community, ranging from some of the original cottages to newly built estates.
“Here stately mansions and other large homes sit side-by-side with bungalows, colonials, split-levels and just about every other style of home found in the area,” according to www.lakecable.org. “It is a community of neighbors from all different walks of life.”
The Lake Cable Recreation Association, first incorporated in 1926, remains active today. It is formed by Lake Cable property owners and owns and maintains the lake, clubhouse, and an adjoining shopping area. Membership in the association is not mandatory and usually sits between 400 and 500 members. It is governed by a board of directors elected by members and employs a full-time manager. The association also hosts clubs for members, including a sportsman’s club, women’s club, garden club, retirees club and a fish club.
Full member: Open to all property owners in the Lake Cable allotment.
Associate member: Open to children of LCRA members above the age of 25, but still living at home.
Beach member: Open to people who live outside the Lake Cable allotment who wish to enjoy the Lake Cable beach throughout the summer. For information, call 330-499-2608.