HAMILTON, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) - Hamilton, Indiana is a gloriously quiet town that owes its existence to the lake that bears its name. Like most lake towns in northeast Indiana, life around Hamilton takes on a different character when summer arrives.
Hamilton was plotted in the 1830's and prospered by serving local farmers year 'round and tourists in summer. Folks would ride the train in from places like Fort Wayne, Detroit and Chicago and take water taxi's out to cottages on the lake. Many of them would go to the Cold Springs Resort.
Robert Watkins family has owned Cold Springs Resort on the east shore of Hamilton Lake for more than 100 years. The resort started out as a picnic and swimming spot and eventually a concession stand was added along with boat rentals and a few small cabins. In 1898, the Watkins family built a hotel and a bowling alley. But the big draw was always the water.
Around 1920, the bowling alley was converted into a dance hall. For decades, four nights a week, dance bands would play through the summer nights as couples slid across the floor. In the late '50's, rock and roll bands replaced the dance bands.
“Beachboys were here, Yardbirds were here,” Robert said. “So many stars back in those days… because this was a main venue.”
Today, the Cold Springs Hotel still welcomes summer visitors and the dance hall still entertains people a couple of times a week. Many of the 100+ cottages are used year around now, often by families who've been coming here for generations.
“A lot of people come back and reminisce about the good old days.” Robert said. “I was just talking to one before you showed up here he's staying in the hotel talking about how he had such a great time staying in the cottage over here when he was a kid.”
Also in Hamilton, there are a lot of good places to eat. Jason Meyers found a couple of new kids on the block, and at one, you don't even need to get out of your boat.
Most people who live in Hamilton love the lake. And what's not to love about cruising in your boat, doing a little fishing, or just soaking in the water on a hot day. The laid back, fun atmosphere is what drew the owner of Margarita beach to this particular spot.
"We just love the city. We love the town. Everybody's so welcoming. It's a great location, and there's a need for a Mexican restaurant in this area." Arturo Salgado said
Here, you don't even need to get out of your boat for service. They have a few docks where you can tie off and enjoy yourself. But if you do decide to go landside, you have quite a few options at the screened in patio, the deck, or in the air conditioned dining room. And no matter where you sit, you'll have fun.
If you're looking for something a little simpler, you can't go wrong with ice cream, where else than at Captain Pete's Dairy Dock.
"Our focus is on selling ice cream although we do have sandwiches and other food items.” owner Peter Diehl said. “We're getting, we're building a little identity here and a little brand acceptance."
Pete and his wife live on the lake and they're semi-retired. So, when they realized the closest spot to grab a cone was in Angola, they jumped on the opportunity to scoop up some smiles in the summer time.
Whether you're sitting around at the lake all day long or you're busy in Hamilton, life's just better here.
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