Laughery Club

The name of Laughery Club most likely originated from its beautiful setting on the Ohio River, about half way between Rising Sun and Aurora, almost opposite Laughery Island so near Laughery Creek. The grounds consisted of about four acres of fertile bottom grounds of the O. H. Pate farm, formerly owned by his father, John Hyatt Pate. Mr. and Mrs. O. H. Pate, parents of Mary Pate Jones, had set up housekeeping on the farm in 1887. The land was purchased by George B. Cox, political boss of Cincinnati, and August Garry Herman, then owner of the Cincinnati Reds baseball team, who in 1901 erected a fine building. O. H. Pate built the road from now Highway 56 to the club grounds. Many will remember the large stone post at the entrance with an arch over top, bearing the name Laughery Club. The club became famous in this community for its parties given for members from Cincinnati, Covington, and surrounding cities.

Transportation to and from the above mentioned locations where made by river, charting such passenger boats as the Island Queen of City of Cincinnati or by railroad to Aurora where the people were transferred to the club by the Rising Sun and Aurora Bus Line. The Stoll Meat Company and D. B. Teaney Grocery of Aurora furnished the greater part of the meat and groceries for the establishment. Mr. Woods also recalled seeing his first fireworks at Laughery Club on July 4, 1908.

The first club house was destroyed by fire in 1912 due to the lack of fire-fighting equipment. A second club was erected on the site of the O. H. Pate home, using the cellar for the club rathskeller. The resort furnished employment for many local people. After the death of Garry Herman, the club was sold to Harvey Langdon, Cincinnati, who used it mostly as a hunting lodge and for his own private parties. In 1926, J. W. Whitlock of Rising Sun purchases the property. Mr. Whitlock after reconditioning the buildings and beautifying the grounds operated it as a public place of entertainment with dining room service, dancing, picnicking, and cabin rentals, until his death in 1935. His family continued to run the business until 1937 when it was almost completely destroyed by the worst Ohio River flood in history.

In 1938 Harry Baker, Covington, Kentucky, bought the club for his own private use and in 1945 sold it to a Jewish organization from Cincinnati. The new owners restored the club house, cabins, and grounds adding new facilities including a large swimming pool. The name was changed to Camp Shor and each summer from May until August the excellent camping facilities are enjoyed by about 60 children, ranging in age from 10 to 15 years.


Highlights of a talk by Clarence Woods on the “History of Laughery Club,” from the Vevay Reveille, March 2, 1967