Sports & Recreation


The Summer Playhouse 1939

The summer playhouse attracted noted talent from Broadway and regional theater in 1939, but lasted only one season.



The Championship Lake Swimmers

Between 1936 and 1939 a remarkable team of Wyoming Valley and Harvey’s Lake swimmers dominated major swimming contests at the Lake. 



Smelt Fishing

Smelt was a staple of the popular winter ice fishing season, but is now nearly gone from the Lake.



Sandy Beach

Smith's Flying Service

K. Russell Smith operated a scenic flight service at the lake from 1939 to 1961. He acquired the area's first locally-owned sea plane in 1936 and opened a lake-side hangar in 1944, in the location at Alderson now occupied by the Harvey's Lake Yacht Club.


1950s Boat Races

In the 1950s, Harvey's Lake hosted power boat races sanctioned by the American Power Boat Association (APBA), but boat racing got its start at the lake in 1915.


Miss Helen


Brynfan Tyddyn Road Races

From 1952 to 1956 Harvey’s Lake hosted the Brynfan Tyddyn road races in association with the famed Giant’s Despair mountain races in Wilkes-Barre Township. The race drew top national racers, including the famous Caroll Shelby.



YWCA & Girl Scout

The Wilkes-Barre YWCA and the Penns Woods Council of the Girls Scouts both maintained camps at Harvey's Lake.


Camp Wildwood

Lady of the Lake Beauty Contest

The Harvey's Lake Lions Club sponsored a beauty contest called "Lady of the Lake" as a fundraiser. The contest ran from 1950 to 1964 and for 10 years also featured a "Little Lady" contest. At right are the 1958 winners.



Fishing has been a popular past-time at the Lake for more than a century. Early area anglers sought out colorful Lake guides to help them find the big fish. The Lake has been stocked wth a variety of fish over the years, including bass, lake trout and walleye.


Site and Contents © 2008 F. Charles Petrillo