Built in 1882, the cottage at 411 Lakefront is the oldest Lakeside cottage along the Lake Erie waterfront and the first cottage built west of the Hotel Lakeside. In the early form of the Methodist camp meeting, the emphasis was on the natural setting, with tent sites arranged around the open-air assembly/preaching area. Over time, however, the wooden tents were replaced by canvas versions and then by the more permanent cottage form. The camp meeting cottage type appeared first between 1859 and 1864 at the Methodist camp at Wesleyan Grove on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. In Ohio, as Lakeside developed into a Chautauqua community, its buildings followed a comparable evolution from demountable to permanent.
The two-story, wood-frame building is an example of the camp meeting cottage type with its characteristic cross-gabled roof, two-story porch with decorative bargeboard trim, and a symmetrical facade. Here there is an arched doorway above a projecting balcony over a wider doorway between windows. The distinctive Lakeside version includes the double doors opening onto a two-story porch that wraps around the narrow (16 feet wide by 60 feet deep) central cottage to connect to the two extended side wings toward the rear of the cottage. With front double doors and four additional doors opening from the rooms in side wings onto the porch and balcony, this plan maximizes the circulation of fresh and the lake views by enabling. Typically, cottage interiors were simply finished, with wood paneling and exposed rafter ceilings.