MONTICELLO, Ind. (WLFI) - A popular White County marina will soon have new owners - a move prompted by a large construction project. Pearson's Marina on Lake Freeman has been sold to the owners of the Tall Timbers Marina on Lake Shafer.
"The community and the lake people were very, very good to us," said the former owner of Pearson's, Katrina Coghill.
Coghill has owned Pearson's Marina since 1998. She said when she started out, the marina could store just 30 boats. That number has since grown to 300 boats. But recently, talks of selling the marina started. She said she would only sell if her customers would be left in good hands.
"What was important to me was to find someone I knew was experienced in the boating business, someone who understood the way our lakes work, our short-term boating season, all those things," Coghill explained.
That someone is Gary Creigh, owner of Tall Timbers Marina on Lake Shafer.
The Indiana Department of Transportation is rebuilding the Washington Street bridge of US 24 over Lake Shafer and Tall Timbers' land and buildings are needed for the project. Creigh said the state wants to rebuild the bridge because of the dangerous curve coming off of the bridge.
Creigh said when he found out he would have to fork over his property, the search was on to find a new location.
"Have looked for a long, long time, trying to find something on the water and there's just not much available. So we got to talking to Katrina down here at Pearson's and we were able to work out a deal. We're going to expand our business, dramatically," Creigh explained.
Tall Timbers will be all moved into Pearson's by Feb. 1. Creigh said Tall Timbers will continue to operate their Lake Shafer location, about five miles north of Indiana Beach. The Shafer location will service boats and have gas pumps.
"Our own customers are wanting to know if the Lake Freeman customers are now going to be our number one customers over Lake Shafer. It's not. We service both lakes. The Pearson's people will become just part of that family. A lot of the Pearson's employees are staying so we should be able to service everyone," Creigh said.
As for Coghill, she said there's one thing that helped Pearson's grow throughout the years.
"That's due to the wonderful customers that we've had, both the lake customers and the river customers. We also attended the Indianapolis Boat Show so we had a lot of out-of-town customers as well," Coghill explained.
Coghill will continue to operate Pearson's Propane Plant in Delphi.
Creigh declined to disclose the selling price of Pearson's Marina. He said the financial details about the buyout from INDOT are still being negotiated.
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