It all started with Paul Webb and Nadine Henderson. Paul was from St. Petersburg, Florida, and Nadine was from Corry, Pennsylvania. As young kids, they both moved to this pioneer town called Mayville, which sat on the nose of Chautauqua Lake, just below Lake Erie. Paul was an athlete, Nadine a dancer. The crux of their story begins around 1937, the year they graduated from high school. It all seemed to happen at once. First, they were married, binding their stories together, and then they attended their talents, Paul as a ballplayer, Nadine as a tap-dancer with her partner and friend, Marmey Crandall. Paul played for the local Moose club, and then was invited to play for the County team, known as the Lake Erie Redbirds. He attracted so much attention from his performance on the field that a professional scout invited him to tryout for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Meanwhile, in her own realm on the dance floor, Nadine was also turning heads. After a successful performance on Major Bowe’s Talent Hour, a popular radio program of the time, Nadine was invited to tryout for the New York City Rockettes. And yet neither Paul nor Nadine ever made it to their auditions. A war was brewing in Europe. Germany invaded France, then Belgium, and then Norway. In Washington DC, a military draft was reinstated, and Paul Webb was notified that his name had been drawn.
So Paul went to Europe, and Nadine stayed in the Mayville, tending the young family business, a soda shop known as The Fountainette. In 1944, Paul landed at Normandy under Nazi machine-gun fire, and not only survived the invasion, but took twenty-nine German prisoners. He fought with General Patton at the Battle of Bastogne. When the war over, a Bronze metal adorned his chest for acts of heroism in a combat zone, and he returned to Mayville. Ready to work, and disciplined from wartime, Paul and Nadine sold The Fountainette to make way for their dreams as candy-makers and restaurateurs. They purchased a small cottage on the shores of Chautauqua Lake and began making chocolate suckers out of the kitchen. Then they purchased The Mooring Bit, a small diner in Mayville that eventually became Webb’s Captains Table. In 1970, Paul and Nadine, with a family of children now beneath them, started construction on a lakeside motel.
From there came many changes and expansions to the Webb’s family business, but the groundwork had been set. What started out as a venture in chocolate suckers grew to include not only the restaurant, motel, candy shop, and miniature golf course in Mayville, but also various real-estate acquisitions in Florida, including a second candy shop, medical offices to rent, a gas station with convenience store, and a citrus grove. And though Paul passed away in 1999, and Nadine in 2007, their imprint on the business remains firm and lasting. The way they learned to entertain, to care, to listen, and provide—it’s all still there, like they never left. Today their story, the story of Webb’s, lives on through their five children, many grandchildren, and ever-extending company of great-grand children.