Monk Watson's (1894-1981) notes on his childhood in Colon|
written by Joe Ganger, Nov 2000
"Early on Sunday morning little Donald (me) was busy hauling wood for the wood upright boiler of the Lioness. This was the big boat that was to carry 50 people at a time for the trips across Palmer Lake.
They ride started at the boat dock on Swan Street which is now the public access. The boiler was fired up early and I think the first trip started around 10:00 in the morning.
Mel Lyons had built the big boat in back of what is now Fisher Automotive at the corner of East State Street and Michigan Avenue. It took such a long time to build such a boat, and as it took shape people would yell, "How's the Ark coming, Mel?"
He'd just laugh and think, "I'll show them one of these days."
That is just what he did, because I really don't remember such a large boat on any lake around Colon. As I look back, I believe it must have been 50 or 60 feet long, and 10 or 12 feet wide. I do know it carried a lot of people. It would follow the channel along the shore line to a hog pen, and then make a sharp turn east along the shore line of the lake, then turn across the lake to a clearing on Palmer Point near what would now be about 58500 Palmer Point Road. There were tables and benches where the church people held their summer picnics, and where the Lamb Knit Goods band would hold its concerts.
About 20 stumps were marked with boards, and at night a lantern was hung on the board. Then on the last trip home, I would lean out and bring in the lantern, and that ended another beautiful day on Palmer Lake.
I believe the cost of the trip was a dime. I went free for working on the boat. I was about 15 at the time (that would have been in 1909). Great days to remember, and I love them to this day."