Friday, July 17, 2015

The Round House, tea, and ice cream — circa 1906

I heard the cutest story from an old high school friend this week. She was on vacation with her six-year-old grandson when they got on a roller coaster at an amusement park. After they went down the first big hill, her grandson cried out, "This is not how I planned it!" As we say down South, that'll preach!

So this is "not how I planned" to show you this photo. I wanted to use my beloved Waterlogue app on my iPad to turn this photo into some dreamy artwork for a Saturday Teatime Tale, but alas, this is just too detailed a photo for my purposes and never looked good when I ran it through the app.

Even so, I think the photo is too pretty to leave without mentioning that I discovered it on that Library of Congress website I'm so wild about. (When's the last time you read the words "Congress" and "wild about" in the same sentence? Ahem.) At any rate, here's the page from the website, where I learned the 1906 photo is from Put-in-Bay, Ohio. The banner across the street advertises Round House, Tea, and Ice Cream. If you enlarge it from the LOC website, that poster at far right, the one leaning against a column, says, "Tea, Coffee, and All Kinds of Bottled Goods Delivered in the Park." At least I'm guessing the letter behind that gentleman is a "P." And look at those ladies in their elegant finery strolling down the street. Wouldn't they have made a great short story? The Round House was actually the Columbia Restaurant when it opened in 1873, was at some point a tea house, and is operated as a bar today. I sure wish the photo would have been usable as an illustration for a short story, but as the little boy on the roller coaster discovered, life doesn't always turn out how we plan it!


  1. That is a wonderful photo! I can see it as inpriration for a story, I'm sorry turning it into a watercolor didn't,t work. Could you crop out part of the details and try watercolor-izing just part of it?

  2. I thought this scene looked familiar! I don't often comment, but wanted to let you know this is a couple hours from where I live, and we visit every summer for a day trip. The scene is certainly different now. I doubt much tea drinking happens these days. Most of the drinking on the Island is of the alcoholic variety. If they stilled served tea at the roundhouse, I would be stopping as we tour the island on our rented golf carts. We don't frequent the downtown bar area, preferring to view the lake and outer parts of the Island. I love the fashions of that era, certainly a lot less fabric in the clothing worn these days.

    1. Hi Teresa,

      I grew up on Catawba Island, and you say you are a couple hours from PIB from where you live - so I was wondering from which direction? I am in the Columbus area now, a few hours south. How about you? You know PIB is a nice place to visit on a Sunday afternoon. My days of the "crazy" part of the island is long over. I wish it were still a teahouse and ice cream parlor, too!

    2. Hi, Teresa, and thanks for taking time to report that you know this place! It's great to have an "eyewitness" confirmation that yes indeed, the Round House is still there! Nice, too, to hear that you can tour the island on rented golf carts. I would so love to do that!

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  4. I just know you could have come up with a story here, but I do love seeing the photo. Great find!

  5. OH MY GOSH!!!! Angela, do you realize that this is where I am FROM? This is where I grew up (Carawba Island) and I could see PIB from my bedroom window.

    The Round House is a wild and crazy bar now (as the comment above states) but, well, it is kinda fun on a Sunday afternoon for a couple nice drinks and some live music. I haven't been to PIB in a very long time.

    My sister is a bookkeeper for a boutique there in the summer and my cousin is a docent at The Commondore Perry Monument there on the island, too.

    I knew we had serendipty but a post card from home, be still my heart.

    Funny truth: not sure if they still do but the Roundhouse used to sell tee shirts that had a drawing of the outside of it and belong in Olde English Script it said "Looks Innocent Enough!"
    LOL - exactly - my brother wore one for years, ya have to know it to understand it LOL.

    My home where I grew up is about 2.5 hours north of me now, so when you come visit me (during warm season) we can GO to the roundhouse if you wanted to do so! And maybe even to Cedar Point Amusement park - but I can't ride those scary rides anymore! LOL!

    I love love love love love this pic- will have to link this to them. In fact my little sister is there right now!

    Thanks, ha, looks innocent enough is right - WAS, when it was a tea and ice cream parlor! : - )

    If you want some GREAT old stories, look up the history of Cedar Point - it's got some great history and WONDERFUL pictorials. Hugs.

    1. You know, Michele, I *almost* wrote to see if you know the place before I posted this, but I thought, "Nah, she's got so much going on, don't bother her with your pesky little questions," so you don't know how happy I was to hear from you that yes indeed, you most definitely know this place! What a fascinating history it has! I was just charmed the moment I saw that photo of ladies and gents strolling the street, but I love even more knowing that the place is still alive and well … if rather different today! How awesome that you not only knew it but grew up nearby. Wow! So yes, DEFINITELY put this on the list for WHEN I come visit! Thanks so much for filling me in on "the rest of the story," ha!

  6. Oh my... 'this is not how I planned it'! Too funny! Makes you wonder how he actually planned it, and how many more roller coaster hills they had to tackle! Okay... on to my story - there is (was?) a 'roundhouse' in Reading, PA and when I saw your blog post title, it reminded me of that roundhouse. Whenever my parents would take us to Reading to visit our grandparents, we would drive past the roundhouse, and my dad would always say 'I used to sweep the corners in the roundhouse'. We all laughed at that thought!


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