The boat ride boat business operated as the Black Hawk Line. Here is Grandma in second cockpit of 26 Dart with the Chief of the Blackhawk tribe.

Yesterday we featured the Wallace Aero Marine Service Buildings, today we have some amazing images from the Wallace Boatride archives. Okay, archives might sound a little lofty. Maybe more like a photo album. Or maybe even some of Gregs Drawers. Troy talked about a bit of this yesterday in the comment section. This may seem romantic now, but this was hard work, and the Wallace family was working every angle to make it work. Giving rides was just part of it all, but I am sure it helped sell boats, and fill in the cash flow portion of running a small business.


Blackhawk line 22 Dart harbor view

THRILLER, Note the location. WOW, Lilly pads and a very tropical feel

SPPED KING! Capt French – Remember, you can now just click on the image and blow it up!

Look at that reflection? WOW

GHOST – Scotty at the helm of his favorite large boat, 30 Belle Isle Super Bear Cat. Hall Scott power.

That is hands down one of the coolest paint designs EVER! Same Lilly pad location

Note the bridge on the right

This is Bumble Bee. My head exploded when I saw the graphics, and look closer.. A Bumble bee on the Burgee mast! Oh hell ya! – just click and enlarge it!

It made a crazy cool post card.

Remember Capt “Scotty” – according to Greg, hard use and the varnish thing, caused some to paint the sides. I also guess after a while all the wood boats started to look the same. So in true marketing terms, this was a smart move. Now we would wrap the boats with graphics.

Rare pre war Racer, and would have been one of the first made with a KB. Blue and white- “Grandpa Scotty’s last toy. 37 19ft Special race. According to Grandma he really loved that one.”


Greg told me stories of the youngest kids gave rides and were preferred over the more cautious adults. mmmmm, What could possibly go wrong? HA. What a life. This could have been the best way to grow up as a kid on the planet earth.

Giving rides and taking photos as memories.

The happy couple. and how cool would it be to find that BOAT RIDES sign

Here is a little bit of reference to show how these photos were fixed and digitized. Its a process for sure, and actually fun as hell to do. Each shot has its own little drama that unfolds as you dig into it.

How Greg captured the images from the photo album.

Adjusted and in a position to start cleaning up the image without changing it

I have tools. And had to try and interupt the left side a bit of the roof. But as you can see, it allows the viewer to feel the moment now and not be distracted by the fact that its a photo of a photo. You can now see there is some eating at the restaurant for example. Oh and this is a Hacker giving rides in the area.

Stay tuned, tomorrow we talk about the lake……And the stumps that made it notorious..

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19 Responses to “The Wallace Family Boats Of Indian Lake Ohio”
  1. Greg Lewandowski

    What a fleet of cool runabouts. Was that upswept fore deck/windshield on Top Hat a production Dart design? I have never seen anything like that.
    It would be cool to have the Ramsey brothers weigh in on some of these Dart boats.
    A really great story. Thanks for sharing!

    • Greg in Ohio

      According to stories and memories from my grandmother, father and uncle who’s ages were in single digits at the time, the top hat was a 30 footer built by the crew at the shop. I am inclined to believe there memories or my interpretations may have been over exuberant relative to reality. Most of the discussion centered around the lower streamlined deck” and 4 row seat configuration. A scoop like cover was made to accommodate the Kermath that was now too tall for the low profile decks. I suspect that they started with a 30 Dart or similar that had decks damaged perhaps by storm, fire or maybe even Gun Fire 🙂 and rebuilt to the new configuration. The gawd awful raised foredeck seems to have been lifted from a Toledo Dart suggesting a Dart as the starting point. It was built to make money , be flashy, fast and keep the passengers in the wind to enhance the go fast experience.

  2. John Rothert

    One of the best series of pics and stories! Keep them coming.
    We are off to the everglades and Key West etc next week…catch up with Woodyboater after return.

    John in Va

  3. Dave Ramsey

    Thanks for sharing the photos, Greg! (and Matt, of course) As you’re probably aware, the Dart started at Indian Lake circa 1925, then came to Toledo in 1928. There’s a couple of Darts in these photos, but they’re all slightly bastardized versions of the production boats. For instance, that Blackhawk 22.5 has a windshield off an 18 Dart. And the photo with the Indian chief, that may not be a Dart, but it’s a 22.5 Dart windshield on the boat. I think they ended up with some oddball boats partly because these were ride boats that saw a lot of abuse, but also because Wallace Aeromarine bought some of the unfinished hulls from the Toledo company in 1932 (as seen in the June 1932 ad below). The company was struggling to sell boats during the Depression. They auctioned off the remaining inventory in August of that year and went out of business.

    • Greg in Ohio

      Thanks Dave. I have never seen this particular ad before. Certainly provides best explanation for the origins of Top Hat.
      As well as the inconsistencies in the configurations of the other “Darts” in the fleet. Would you be kind enough to email that ad .

  4. Greg In Ohio

    In the interest of full disclosure, the Henry Blum Hacker was not a Wallace boat. Henry ran his own outfit.

  5. Mark in Ohio ( today in Florida)

    WOW!! Very cool, I know that it took a lot of time digging those old pictures up, but it is greatly appreciated. I can’t help but notice the picture of grandpa Scotty in Ghost. The setting looks a lot like the Wallace Aero Chris Craft sign. Maybe they painted the image on the sign off the picture. Very interesting.Greg, thanks for sharing the fun memories of your family.

  6. Ron in Seattle

    Amazing “CLICK BAIT” thanks Matt for that!
    Thanks to the family for sharing the photos.

  7. tom

    Looks like a ferry boat converted to rooms and meals? Are most of these photos during the 40’s?

  8. Troy in ANE

    Wonderful stuff.

    Didn’t know much about Darts. Catching up some and looking forward to the upcoming Dart story.


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