BUCKEYE LAKE – The Buckeye Lake Region Corporation announced last week that it has donated $25,000 to the Buckeye Lake Historical Society to assist in the restoration efforts for the Queen of the Lake III sternwheeler. This donation was made possible by the Buckeye Lake Region Community Foundation, which procured donations from both private and business donors. The funds will be utilized by the Buckeye Lake Historical Society to finance ongoing restoration of the historic, 88-foot sternwheeler, which will make the boat available for both public and private charters on Buckeye Lake.
Board members from the Buckeye Lake Region Corporation and the Buckeye Lake Region Community Foundation presented the $25,000 donation to the Buckeye Lake Historical Society during an official ceremony on February 22, 2019 at the Buckeye Lake Yacht Club Eastport Boatyard, which is the current home of the Queen of the Lake III.
“The restoration of the Queen of the Lake III represents a significant milestone for the next chapter of Buckeye Lake and the Buckeye Lake Historical Society,” said Mike Fornataro, Executive Director, Buckeye Lake Region Corporation. “It is our hope that this iconic sternwheeler will serve as an ambassador for the revitalized Buckeye Lake Region, and encourage visitors to learn about the history of Buckeye Lake – and all that it has to offer now – in the best way possible: on the water.”
This donation and restoration also serves as a tangible marker of the Buckeye Lake Region Corporation’s mission, which is to marshal the unique assets of the Buckeye Lake Region, enhance the well-being and economic prosperity of residents and promote the Region as a premiere tourism destination in the Midwest.
“We are pleased that, through the excellent fundraising efforts of the Buckeye Lake Region Community Foundation, we are able to help the Buckeye Lake Historical society turn the dream of the Queen of the Lake III into a reality,” said Fornataro.
The Queen of the Lake III was donated to the Buckeye Lake Historical Society in 2015 by Dr. Ronald and Cindy Downey. The 88-foot sternwheeler was originally designed as a pleasure boat and can operate in less than two feet of water. Restoration efforts include: refurbishing the hull and paddlewheel, decreasing the size of the pilot house and increasing the size of the hull top for increased seating. The ultimate goal is to make the Queen of the Lake III accessible for both private and public charters – including corporate events, dinner excursions and educational/pleasure cruises.
For more information on the Queen of the Lake III, visit the Buckeye Lake Historical Society at www.buckeyelakehistory.org.
From left to right: Ben Carpenter, Perry County Commissioner and Chair of the Buckeye Lake Region Corporation; Duane Flowers, Licking County Commissioner and BLRC Secretary; Mike Fornataro, BLRC Executive Director; Jim Layton, Buckeye Lake Historical Society Treasurer; Larry Arnold BLHS Trustee; and Luann Cooperrider, Perry County Probate Juvenile Judge and BLHS Board President. Courtesy photo.