Pick’s Boat House History
The Pequignot family moved to the area from Warren, PA., shortly after World War 1. In the early 1920’s, brothers, Lee & Ray, opened businesses on the shores of West Reservoir. The brothers ran a local grocery store, rented canoes and cottages to vacationers who flocked to the area
William E. Brown, Sr. arrived in Barberton in the late 1920s to visit his sister. He discovered the Portage Lakes area and was soon engaged to marry Marjorie (Betty) Pequignot, daughter of Lee and Mary Pequignot. Shortly after their marriage, Brown purchased a power boat business from Ed Heim, who had owned the Crescent Launch business, and moved the power boat business to 530 Portage Lakes Drive.
The Browns and Pequignots continued developing more businesses in the Portage Lakes area. In addition to the grocery store, canoe rental and power boat business they added a realty office and ice cream stand.
Bill, Sr. was instrumental in the creating the popular power boat races that took place in the Portage Lakes from 1947 to 1954. Son, William E. Brown, Jr. competed with other youngsters in the local boat races.
In the 1970s, Betty Brown, her son, Bill, Jr. and daughter, Susan were the only survivors of the long line of Pequignot/Brown families. Betty decided to sell the large piece of property. Bill, Jr. leased the building from the new owner and continued to operate a power boat business. In 1983, he decided to relocate and built a new boat house at the corner of State Route 619 & Manchester Road. It is now a uniform business.
The “old “ Pick’s boat house has been home to many businesses over the years: Simmons Marine, Hook Line & Drinkers, Nicoletti’s Park Place. The building is now owned by brothers, Tom, Bob & Herb Hutchison who grew up in the Green area of Portage Lakes. The building is currently being leased to Donnie Boyer who will operate the facility as a restaurant called Picks at PLX.
History compiled by
Carol A. Eubank
Portage Lakes Historical Society 2018