Punderson Manor Lodge
Arriving from Connecticut in 1806, Lemuel Punderson surveyed the area and dubbed the lake “The Big Pond.”
Lemuel, wife Sybil, and their six children lived in a cabin originally built for the workers of the family’s grist mill and distillery. After Lemuel’s death in 1822, the pond was renamed “Punderson,” and upon Sybil’s death the lake was opened for public use.
In 1902, W.B. Cleveland began acquiring land around the lake, and after marrying Ocie Coppedge in 1904, construction began on the “Big House,” located where the Manor stands today. When W.B. Cleveland fell ill in the 1920s, the Cleveland/Coppedge families entered into a land contract with builder Karl Long, who spent $250,000 to tear down the existing “Big House” (leaving only the chimneys) and built an English Tudor-style Mansion.
In 1929, Long defaulted on the mortgage and abandoned the property, which reverted back to the Cleveland/Coppedge families. Ocie Coppedge operated a girl’s summer camp at the Mansion in the 1930s.
No longer able to support the camp or keep up the property, Ocie sold the rights to the land to the State of Ohio in 1948. The State began renovations in 1951 and opened the Mansion’s seven guestrooms and dining facilities to the public in 1956.
A $1.4 million addition in 1965 added 24 additional lodge rooms and 26 cabins, and on February 1, 1966, Punderson Manor State Park Lodge was unveiled to the public, featuring 32 lodge rooms, 26 cabins as well as tennis courts, outdoor pool, shuffleboard courts, snack bar, dining room for 160 guests, and banquet / meeting facilities for up to 125 guests. Other recreational facilities included a golf course, marina, beach, and hiking trails.
The lodge closed in the fall of 1979 and the state spent approximately $655,000 on a structural renovation reopening in March, 1983.
Part of this renovation included restoring the original master bedroom built in 1929. Now the existing lodge has 31 guestrooms and 26 cabins as well as the Oak Lounge, the Alcove & Cherry Dining Room, The Round Room, the Sir James, four Banquet Meeting Rooms, indoor/outdoor pools, and an 18-hole championship golf course.