As cities go, Mentor-on-the-Lake is a young community. We need reach back in time only to the early 1920’s to find that it was still a township with Mentor. As its population grew, 33 voters petitioned the township trustees to create its own village government, which began on October 22, 1924. The 1970 United States Census registered Mentor-on-the-Lake above 5000 residents, and so it was able to be incorporated as a city on February 12, 1971.
The City of Mentor-on-the-Lake is 1.6 square miles in area, with 99% of the land already developed. Today, there are approximately 7 acres of land left for new business and office use. There are at present 2,600 single family homes and 700 apartments and condominiums. Mentor-on-the-Lake has no industry; however, there is one large private utility, Aqua Ohio (formerly Consumers Ohio Water Company), operating within the city’s limits.
It is interesting to note that one official reference book still describes Mentor-on-the-Lake as a tourist resort known for its tree nurseries. It can no longer be referred to as a “tourist resort”. It is a small (2000 U.S. Census population of 8,127) bedroom community with amenities often reserved for cities much larger. Located close to major highways and Interstate 90, it’s an easy commute to downtown Cleveland. However, almost everything you need can be found right in town.
There are four parks, approximately 100 businesses including an 80,000 square foot grocery store, several banks, major fast food restaurants as well as small family run eateries. Having just celebrated its thirtieth anniversary as a city, Mentor-on-the-Lake has a well established Police and Fire Department and local government which consists of seven at-large council members and a Mayor.
Summer activities are spread throughout the four parks in the city. Mentor Beach Park and Overlook Beach Park are located right on Lake Erie and offer beautiful views of northeast Ohio’s spectacular sunsets. John R. McMinn Memorial Park, named for a former Recreation Board member, fills ten acres of land and offers three baseball fields, a soccer field, a small basketball court and playground equipment. Andrews Road Park, adjacent to City Hall, includes two baseball fields and two tennis courts. The City’s largest annual event is its Labor Day Parade, one of the largest in Lake County, with many auxiliary events as well.
Students in the city attend schools in the Mentor School District. Lake Elementary is the only school located within the city. Students and adults alike, currently use the Mentor Library Branch just down the street from City Hall. This brand new library building was completed in 1998 and is located at the corner of Andrews and Salida Roads.