*** Updated ***  Blodgett Landing Panorama - 2013   - click on photo for high resolution panorama.

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Blodgett Landing C. O. A. History
note: Background is the Blodgett’s Casino in the 1920s

The early history of the COA can be found in the introduction to the 1911 COA Handbook.  It presents the origins and struggles of the COA from 1894 to 1909, including the financing and building of the Casino - the showpiece of the COA.

 In addition, an article was published in the Summer 2011 issue of the SooNipi magazine,  “Blodgett’s Landing C.O.A. - The Early Years...

1911 COA Handbook, including a history of the COA (from it’s origin in 1894 to 1911); the original By-Laws; list of offices; treasurer’s report; and a membership list is included in these 16 pages.
Here are the current
COA ByLaws (2005).
Here are the current
COA Mooring Field Rules & Regulations

Courtesy of the Newbury Historical Society, here is a copy of the
1923 COA Annual Meeting minutes, held at the Casino.  In reading these minutes, you will get a flavor of the typical activities and concerns of the citizens of Blodgett Landing in 1923.  You will note many prominent names of the attendees, including Dr. Doubleday, Rollins, Kellsey, Will Cressy, Frank Cressy, Blanche Dayne, Raymond, George Taylor, Etta Blodgett( wife of George).  Some of their decendents are still on the Landing.

Additional COA  documents from 1911 to 1938.  These records were rescued by Jeff Jordan from the Casino in 1978, just before the demolition by a controlled fire by the Newbury Fire Dept.  Here is a
sample of those Early COA records.

Additional COA Meeting minutes can be read below; courtesy of the Newbury Historical Society:
1923_COA_Minutes   1924_COA_Minutes   1925_COA_Minutes
1926_COA_Minutes   1927_COA_Minutes   1928_COA_Minutes
1929_COA_Minutes   1930_COA_Minutes   1929_to_1944_COA_Misc

Also, courtesy of the NHS, here is a list of all COA members in August 1924.  The list includes cottage names, owner’s names and home addresses.  You can look up your own cottage and see who the owner was in 1924.  Also, you can look at the Blodgett’s Cottage Names web page to view the 1956 sewer survey map of the streets/cottages/owners names and the indexed 1911, 1915 Hancox Maps.

There were annual Regattas at Blodgett Landing, sponsored by the COA.  Here are a few photos from such events.
Regatta “Viewing Stands” - from the water
Regatta “Viewing Stands” - from Lake Ave
Lake Ave. and the Boathouses - about 1905
Regatta viewing from the Casino Shore - 1930s
Regatta viewing from the Casino Shore - 1930s

Will Cressy initiated what turned into being an annual “COA Ladies Fair” which was an auction of (sometimes) a lot of junk that nobody would buy at any price.  Will said - “...another of the perquisites of my official position. I have to auction off the stuff”.  He did amazingly well as an “auctioneer” and added to the COA Treasury handsomely!  Here is a
poster for the 1907 annual COA Fair which was hand-painted by one of Will’s vaudeville friends, Hal Merrit.

COA Casino Photos - thru the years...  The Casino was built in 1900 and demolished in 1978, by a controlled burn by the Newbury Fire Dept.  Unfortunately, the Casino became too great a liability and cost to the COA by 1978.

Will Cressy was instrumental in the development of the COA.  He was not a founder of the COA, but he probably did more for the organization than anybody - before or after...

Here are a few on his contributions to the COA.  Will, in his own words, from a 1921 newspaper article by Will Cressy about the early years of the COA and the building of the Casino.   Read a
one page excerpt from the article  or read the full newspaper article.

In addition to Will Cressy, Henry L. Bowles was very generous in support of the COA.  In 1922, Mr. Bowles leased six acres of land to the COA, at no cost, to build a park, including a baseball field, two tennis courts, vollyball courts, and a handball court. The remains of the park are smaller now (2.25 acres), what we call “Bowles Park” today.  Oh, for the “good-old-days”!
According to the
1922 newspaper article, Will Cressy was either the COA president or a Trustee continuously from the 1890’s until the late 1920’s.  This article give a very good account of the summertime activities surrounding the COA in the 1920’s.

Complimentary Dinner for Mr. & Mrs. Will M. Cressy..
The COA gave a dinner at Blodgett Lodge on August 26, 1925 to Will Cressy and Blanche Dayne - in honor of their major contribution to the COA throughout the years.  Here is some of the memorabilia from that dinner.  The following items are courtesy of the Kelsey Family Archives:

The Dinner Invitation, Program, Menu

A “
Jingle” written for the occasion by E.C.K. (E.C. Kelsey)

original poem “to E.C.K.” written by Will Cressy in response to the above “Jingle”.  Will wrote this “Poem” in a strict 6-lined limerick style

Cressy’s cover letter (to Frank Kelsey) with his poetic response to E.C.K’s jingle from Winnipeg, Canada dated Sept. 13, 1925.

Cottage Owners Give Dinner in Honor of Cressy” - Concord newspaper article, Aug. 27, 1925

Last updated 03/20/2019