History of Lake Loramie

History of Lake Loramie

To most modern Ohioans the word Loramie means a lake. Yet, 200 years ago it was a bright, civilized spot where material wants could be satisfied where the lonsomeness of the endless woods could be forgotten in companionship.

Fort Loramie derives its name from an early fur trader, Pierre Loramie, whose trading post was just north of the present day village. Here Loramie traded in furs with the Wyandotte and Shawnee Indian tribes, beginning about 1769. When the fur trading post was burned down in 1782, Loramie fled west with the Indians and is believed to have settled in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

A fort was commanded to be built by General Anthony Wayne on the site of the early trading post and it was completed in 1794 or 1795. The fort was used to house supplies for the defense forts of Fort Recovery and others. By 1812 the fort was no longer in use.

Today, the site of Loramie’s trading post and the fort which succeeded it is on the farm of Ferd Fleckenstein. The Fleckenstein family have collected many traces of the previous buildings and there are still some early gravestones visible there.

The lake itself comes from the coming of the Ohio Canal System which was finished in 1840. Five lakes were created to feed the canal system and Lake Loramie was one of them. It was the canal which gave the area its first major boost after Loramie’s Trading Post. A short feeder canal connected Lake Loramie with the main canal.

Many residents of the area tell of seeing some of the last of the canal boats plying the canal moving a mule pace from one small settlement to another. One of the canal boats was named the Troy Belle, 30 feet long.

There are rough benches around the cabin and a small porch is attached to the back. Standing inside the small cabin it is not hard to reconstruct a typical passenger list and to imagine the conversations which must have taken place 100 years ago.

The canal furnished transportation for passenger and cargo from Cincinnati to all points north to Lake Erie. Speedy and more modern methods of transportation forced the abondonment of the canal. With the termination of all types of canal traffic, Lake Loramie and its 1605 acres ceased to serve a purpose and for many years through lack of attention and perhaps public indifference it almost lost its identity and was commonly called by many the forgotten lake.

On March 3, 1917 adoption of the conference committee reoprt by both houses of the state legislature in Columbus ensured the creation of a state park of the Loramie reservoir to be known as LAKE LORAMIE.

In 1949, a group of men realizing the unlimited potentials of Lake Loramie, organized the Lake Loramie Improvement Association and working in close cooperation with various groups in Minster and Ft. Loramie set up committees to work with the various departments in Columbus and a capital improvement program of great extent was put to work and today Lake Loramie is considered the most picturesque of the five feeder lakes.

At Lake Loramie you can set up camp and launch your boat, knowing that there is plenty of opportunity for cruising. Motors of any horsepower are allowed here and speed boating lanes are well marked for the skippers. It is smart to heed these lake markers because failure to do so can be the undoing of your rig. Loramie is relatively shallow and full of stumps. Cruising lanes have been cleared of these obstacles by dredging, but if you stray from the proper water avenue you can quickly run right into trouble.

The State has created free launching facilities and Loramie boaters soon discovered this lake offers many attractions. The 166 class A camping sites, gracing an island at the West end of the lake and reached by St. Route 362, is situated near the center of activity. Some might regard this as a disadvantage, but there are also many who prefer to camp in proximity to the lake’s facilities instead of a faraway place commonly called the “boondocks.” The boat launching ramp is within walking distance of the campgrounds and you can tie up your rig within several yards of your tent or trailer. Motors of unlimited horsepower are allowed, boats are available for rent. Also nearby is the park office where campers can register. Boaters who are non-campers do not need to sign up. Once the camp site is established, you will have little need for your car. Within the campgrounds are drinking water, table and benches, outdoor fireplaces and showers and just a short distance away is the swimming beach where lots of sand and grass make sunning and bathing delightful. Among fisherman, Lake Loramie is regarded as good. Anglers take a number of bass from around the stumps in the spring and a lot of catfish, bluegill, crappies and carp are caught during the summer.

All the people who are seeking a place where boating, camping and allied activities go hand-in-glove consider Lake Loramie. Besides its 1655 acres of water and 30 miles of shoreline, Loramie offers unsurpassed convenience for the family combining its boating and camping adventures. Landings around the lake within easy access to through state and national highways, where fishing tackle and equipment are available, ample parking areas for trailers can be found nearby on both sides of the lake and at many points cottages can be rented for various periods. At these landings scattered around the lake one can always secure dinners, light lunches or refreshments of all kinds. The entire area offers peace and quiet and is unspoiled by commercialized amusements and concessions.

Lake Loramie is located in a quiet and restful spot of Shelby County near Ft. Loramie and Minster and can be reached direct from Interstate 75 and State Route 119 on the east and ST. Route 66 and St. Rt. 362 on the west, also St. Route 705 from the south.

A new boat ramp was dedicated on October 16, 1988 off Luthman Road at Lemhkuhl Landing. In the fall of 1990 the (LLASD) Lake Loramie Improvement Sewer District was put into operation. Two shower houses with flush toilets were completed in the camp area in the fall of 1991. 132 campsites were installed with electrical hookups during 1992. During the 1992 season a new beach house with flush toilets was constructed and opened up for public use. A two mile hiking trail was cleared and opened for use during the winter months for 1993 on the upper end of Lake Loramie and runs between Lehmkuhl’s and Siegel’s fishing access area and named “Upper Loramie Trail.” In 1993 the wall running along ST. Rt. 362 was filled in and extended out towards the lake to provide for a walking and bicycle route. Lake Loramie now has bicycle rentals and ice and firewood sales located at the campground office. The Tree Program was started in the Fall of 1996.

The most recent improvements include upgrading and adding campsites. Lake Loramie now boasts 165 electric sites and 16 non electric sites for a total of 181. Development was in high gear during the 2007 season. 4 new restrooms at the boat ramps and picnic areas replaced the antiquated outhouse facilities. In the campground a large showerhouse 3 rental cabins and a new 2 lane dump station were constructed.