Alice Lake and its community is a scenic area of Ravenwood. It once held the stature of being its own municipality, complete with a town hall and post office. It became a popular spot for vacationers (many from Pittsburgh) in the 1920s and became part of Ravenwood in 1957, making Ravenwood approximately two and one-half miles wide (east to west) by four and one-half miles long (north to south).
Alice Lake is a spring fed glacier-made lake one-half mile wide and a little more than one mile long, 8 acres, and with an average depth of 26 feet along a kettle bottom with holes as deep as 50+ feet. Surrounded by approximately 750 private homes and cottages, the lake is picturesque with its quaint cottages and beautiful homes. Visitors can rent a room anytime at Richard and Melissa Bay’s Bed & Breakfast—a charming and spacious Folk Victorian home. They can tour the Alice Myers Museum—a colorful Gothic Revival House—every Tuesday through Saturday and acquaint themselves with the lake’s namesake. They can browse Ellen Waverly’s art gallery and buy excellent local artwork. And they can shop nearly every day at the nineteen specialty gift shops, which sells a mix of country and Victorian knickknacks not found in city chain-stores. Antiques are also a specialty, and Johnson’s Antiques and Auction is less than a mile away at downtown Ravenwood.
My fictitious Pennsylvania Fish Commission maintains the lake and its two public boat launches. When I first created Ravenwood, the lake was used recreationally for swimming and fishing only; there were no horse-powered boats. Now, a 10 horsepower boat is the limit. And now, my characters can rent pontoons, paddle boats or canoes at Maguire’s Boating, Fishing and Hunting, which is open year-round.
For the angler, the Fish Commission stocks Alice Lake with pan fish, bluegill, perch, sunfish, walleye, northern pike, muskellunge, and small and large mouth bass. For the hunter, many public game lands border the area. In the winter, Alice Lake is widely used for ice fishing. Although many of the roads that wind around the lake are dirt or gravel, the State maintains them well. Other winter activities include snowmobiling sponsored by the lake park’s Recreation Hall. And the entertainment hall has a 24-lane bowling alley and a heated indoor swimming pool.
During the summer, there are fishing contests and kayaking, sailing and canoe rowing races on the lake, and go-cart racing and miniature golf at the Recreation Hall. City council displays a fireworks show on the lake every Fourth of July.
Tourists and locals can sip wine coolers and dip lobster in drawn butter on the patio at the Mill Pond Restaurant at the south side of the lake while kids can swim and slide down the fabulous water slide into the lake. Or they and their families can have delicious homemade and hand stretched pizza, subs, and calzones any day of the year at Connie’s Pizzeria.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are inexpensive pleasures at The Roundhouse. Once the lake’s roller rink, it became a restaurant and dining hall after fire nearly destroyed the building in 1966. The Roundhouse hosts dances and live music every Saturday night from June until the end of September.
The south side of Alice Lake comprises an Amish community, so it is common to see Amish buggies traveling the lake roads no matter the time of year.
More about Ravenwood is in the works. I promise.