Vermilion’s yachting industry began to thrive in the early 1900’s, taking advantage of the prime location of the river and harbor. Most available Lake Erie harbors were used for commercial purposes and therefore lacked docking facilities for pleasure boats. The one exception was Vermilion harbor. There were about sixty acres of broad beach and marshland fronting Lake Erie and adjoining the picturesque and navigable Vermilion River. In 1928 this area attracted Louis A. Wells, a Cleveland contractor, who bought the land. He envisioned a community of summer homes, each fronting on the water, most with dockage at the doorstep. The marsh was dredged and four lagoons were cut eastward from the Vermilion River. Linwood Park allowed Wells to bring his equipment and trucks through the Park to get to
the construction area. A Linwood tree now blocks the old gate. The first entrance
to the Lagoons was located at Park Drive. A bridge spanned Superior Lagoon to give access to Portage Drive. The bridge was located just west of the sharp curve in the road at 5279 Portage Drive.
In 1931 this bridge was removed and the current entrance at Portage Drive was opened. Plats were recorded in 1930. Landscaping was carefully planned and willow trees planted. It was decided that the 1 ½ story Cape Cod house was best suited to the site. A supervising architect was to approve all proposed plans so
the standards of design would be maintained. Streetlights were banned, lest they interfere with the houses’ reflections in the water. By 1931 the beach house and the first home had been built. Donald Comstock, an employee of the Wells Realty Company lived in the home at 5385 Portage Drive while he sold homesites in the Vermilion Lagoons. The average price of a 50 foot lot was $2,200.Today, our unique waterfront neighborhood has over 160 lots, each home in the 1½ story Cape Cod style originally chosen. There isn’t anything in Ohio quite like the Vermilion Lagoons!