Where the land and the river meet....
George Wesley Hartley
George Hartley was raised in Scottsburg Indiana. He graduated from Purdue University in 1932. George met his wife, Wilma, from Salem Indiana, and they were married in 1936. George and Wilma had a son, Stephen. Mr. Hartley then entered active duty in the US Army and was stationed in Trinidad and Curaco during World War II. After George's discharge from active duty his daughter, Elaine, was born.
George then went back to his job as a customer engineer at IBM in Louisville, Kentucky. George retired from the Army in 1952 as a Lt. Colonel. Except for a brief time at the American Tobacco Company, George worked his entire career at IBM, mostly in Endicott, New York and retired in 1968. George has many stories from his experiences at IBM.
George and Wilma purchased Sparkhaven in 1952. George's plan was a fishing camp instead of continually camping at Kring's Point State Park. He did not want something that was going to need a lot of maintenance - not even cutting grass! Wilma wanted more of a family retreat. In the end they had a family retreat that needed a lot of maintenance.
As a boy in Indiana, George had a great desire for good fishing and in his 90's he said he was very satisfied with the fishing he experienced.
Mr. and Mrs. Hartley sold their home in Endicott, NY and purchased a manufactured home in Venice Florida in 1973. They then began a new phase of their lives. They would drive from Florida to southern Indiana, Cincinnati Ohio and Rochester NY to visit family then arrive at the cottage around mid-May. It seems that they brought about half of their possessions in the car. They stayed at Sparkhaven until about mid September.
During that time many friends and relatives came to visit on a mostly regular schedule each year. They then drove to Schnectady to visit family and then back to Venice.
After Wilma passed on in 1994, George continued to spend summers at Sparkhaven until 1997. At that time his macular degeneration had made him legally blind. He stayed in Venice until he died in 2008.