Port Dover museum celebrates 100 seasons of the Arbor

One of the displays available at the Port Dover Harbour Museum. Submitted/Delhi News Record

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For a century, the Arbor Restaurant in Port Dover has been feeding hungry beachgoers.

To celebrate the milestone, the Port Dover Harbour Museum has opened its newest exhibit, Basking in a Golden Glow: Celebrating the 100th Season of the Arbor. The exhibit features vintage signs, cutlery, photos and menus.

Opened by George Holden in 1912, the Wigwam, as it was originally named, was built on wooden posts on marshland at the foot of Main Street. The business changed hands four times in eight years.

The Arbor was created by Carl Ryerse, who served mainly ice cream. In 1929, Ryerse patented the Glow drink, and shared the recipe only with his sons, Vic and Vern.

“Carl would bring me 144 oranges,” recalled staffer Betty Powell in 1939. “I would cut them and then squeeze them in a big commercial squeezer. Once squeezed, he’d take them in a private room to make the Glow.”

After the Second World War, Vic and Vern joined their father and added hot dogs, hamburgers and fries to the menu. The restaurant was later purchased by the Schneider family, who also owned the nearby Erie Beach Hotel. Tony Jr., Andrew and Pam Schneider now own the Arbor and carry on the tradition.

The exhibit – which runs until Dec. 20 – showcases the people and milestones that have made the Arbor a success for decades.

The museum at 44 Harbour St. is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

After Labour Day, operating hours will be Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday, noon to 4 p.m.