History of Austin Lake

Chimney Rock - Bartels House in Ohio - historyOur first Ohio ancestor, Jonathan Cable, settled on Yellow Creek, Jefferson County, Ohio in 1810, within 7 miles of our current location. Wanting his own land, in 1812, he bought land at the First Federal Land Office in Steubenville and moved farther northwest into the wilderness of Stark County, near Canton Ohio. He built a cabin for his expanding family and by his death had acquired much property in Sandyville.  Jonathan Cable and his family were “incessant workers”, a trait carried down through every generation.

Sidney Cable, son of Silas and grandson of Jonathan, and his sons Austin B. & Dueber, engaged in the land construction business, using mule teams for excavation. Later, his sons continued under the name of the Cable Company excavating for the Akron-Fulton Airport, B.F. Goodrich blimp hanger, and building the Whitney Point Dam in New York. They bought land near Canton and built a dam and real estate development that they named Lake Cable. It remains a beautiful real estate development and lake recreation combination today.

Austin B. Cable wanted to create another land / lake development and set out to research possible sites to build a lake. In the late 1930’s, A.B. had land ready to be purchased near Purdue, Indiana. The day the deal was to be signed, the attorney died suddenly and the deal fell through. Around 1940, he located another potential site in an exquisite valley containing Town Fork, a creek that flows into Yellow Creek then the Ohio River. He discovered in his research that this creek flowed continuously, even during times of drought, hence enough to create a lake (big bucks engineering). He began to lease and purchase approximately 3000 acres of property surrounding this lovely creek in rural Jefferson County, Ohio.

photo looking up the lake into the Ohio ValleyA.B. Cable contacted his son Glenn and said, “We’re building another lake. Get back here.” Glenn was currently working for the Army Corp of Engineers as a heavy equipment instructor during WWII. Glenn brought his Akron socialite wife, Jeanne, and two young daughters, Carole and Cinda, and moved into the Van Dyke farmhouse that had no electricity, no indoor plumbing and a fireplace for heat (culture shock). Soon after, a son William was born. Glenn ran the crew, planning and constructing the dam and complex. Percy Harris surveyed lots using the same survey instrument he used on the Hoover Dam. Austin Lake opened in 1946 as a real estate development and recreation park.

After the dam was constructed, Glenn and Jeanne managed and operated the park.  Jack Hughes, a long time friend of Glenn & Jeanne, came in 1955 and built many buildings, drove the ski boat and then, upon retirement, mowed the park until 2013.  Glen also worked full time outside as an operating engineer using heavy equipment to support the family and lake.  Don “Red” Moore worked with Glenn on heavy construction and started working evenings and weekends at the lake in 1965.  Red drove many a hayride and continued here until 2012.  Jeanne and children Carole, Cinda and William worked at the park during the day and Glenn at night and weekends.  During their teen years they taught water skiing and put on water ski shows each Labor Day.  Later, Cinda’s husband, Wayne Hollister and children Lauren, Deborah and Brett each worked at the park.  Carole, husband Pete Blake and children moved to Florida.  The family continued operation, ever developing and growing.  In 1965 camping was added to the day park and a new era began.

Originally, there was a plan for two lakes thus the corporate name Austin Lakes, Inc., however, the second lake was never built.

Photo of the dam at Austin Lake ParkWilliam Cable, and wife Marsha took over management in 1988.  Glenn Cable passed in 1990.  Bill worked full time teaching junior high and teaching and directing the ABLE program at night, while Marsha worked full time as a special education multiple handicapped teacher all while operating the lake and raising 3 children.  Their children, Ariana & Mike Novak; Austin & Dawn, children Gage & Leila; and Courtney are now continuing the family tradition.  Jeanne lived to age 95 and got to see all the improvements made until her passing in 2013, including sewer sites, modernized family restrooms, cabins, pedal karts, tube slide, Wi-Fi and paved roads.

Many improvements have been added recently, online reservations, pontoon boat rentals, bumper boats, inflatables in swimming area and a camp store to name a few.

William & Marsha Cable; Austin & Dawn Cable, children Gage, Leila; Ariana & Mike Novak and Courtney Cable welcomes you to Austin Lake and a great outdoor experience.  They continue to offer the best in camping and family recreation in the Ohio Valley and were recognized by USA TODAY as being one of the “Top Urban Campgrounds in the United States in 2014”.