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Lakeside, Ohio

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This small town bills itself as ‘The Chautauqua of Lake Erie’. It is a cute, quiet town of narrow streets, vintage small cottages and plenty of trees and is located on the shore of Lake Erie. The tranquility of this place is no accident. There is a steep charge for bringing an auto into town. As a result, the traffic in town is mostly pedestrian, bicycle and electric golf cart. Lakeside is a private community formed in 1873 by members of the Methodist Church and remains a church-affiliated vacation resort. This small town contains an estimated 890 historic buildings. The Lakeside Association owns and operates a number of large assembly buildings.

The term Chautauqua refers to local assemblies that flourished in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century that provided education and entertainment in the form of lectures, concerts and plays. There are only three surviving small town Chautauqua’s in the U.S. and all three are recommended by SmallTownGems.com. The other two are Chautauqua, New York (the original and largest) and Monteagle, Tennessee.

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