Mother of eighteen, Mae, quite an adventurous swan in her younger days, was in
anyway but a receptive mood when callers visited her and her family as they paddled among the
water lilies in Silver Lake's cool, clear water.
Hustling her mate, Pete, and her eight-month-old cygnets into high, protective
water foliage at a safe distance, Mae would rushed forward to meet her visitors, her flapping
wings indicating more then a little temper. She was downright angry. A little patience, however, convinced Mae
that her callers were friends, just dropping around to see her babies. She then settled down and
permitted picture taking, always keeping an alert eye for signs of foul play.
"Ive raised probably 100 swans in the last 46 years, but Mae is the most
interesting one Ive ever had,"said William R. Lodge, who, with his father the
late R.H. Lodge, operated Silver Lake Park and amusement center for many years.
Mae received her first taste of life's bitterness in 1934. She was then 3 years old. Banded and released by
William Lodge, Mae and seven other Silver Lake swans hopped off late in the fall for a winter in the south.
Two days later, all but Mae were brought down by West Virginia hunters in
violation of the law. In another two days Mae was back on the ice at Silver Lake,
a disillusioned bird.
It was shortly after her return that she started making eyes at Pete, one of the
settlement's more popular male swans. "Having been a justice of peace here for seventeen
year and mayor for ten, I felt it my duty to unite the two birds in wedlock," Lodge
declared. "So I did.".
Although Pete is the head of the family, he is docile and hard to rile. He permits Mae to do all the protesting
when visitors get too close to their babies.
Lodge said he was unable to determine the natural food for the young ones, but he
knows it is something the grown swans stir up from the bottom of the lake by treading water with their big propellerlike feet.
"I think some water insect larvae are churned by the grown swans to the surface," Lodge said. "At any rate, the babies gobble up
whatever it is and thrive on it."
Information obtained from the Cleveland Plain Dealer Newspaper written
by Edward Kernan in 1938.
Photographs courtesy of Silver Lake Garden Club.