Is there a list of Historical Markers located in Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands?

The Ohio Historical Markers program encompasses 1,479 unique markers that tell the state’s history as written by its communities. There are more than 40 markers in the Lake Erie Shores & Islands alone. Markers are erected by local community sponsors in partnership with the Ohio History Connection and describe the people, places, things, and events of Ohio’s past. Here are a few of the most notable in the region, along with their official descriptions.

Magee Marsh Wildlife Area in Oak Harbor, Ohio.

Magee Marsh Wildlife Area in Oak Harbor, Ohio.

Huron
#16-22 The Huron Playhouse – Ohio’s oldest continuing summer theatre, the Huron Playhouse has been housed at McCormick Middle School for its entire history. Dr. Frederick G. Walsh (1915-1999) of the Bowling Green State University (BGSU) Speech Department founded the theatre in 1949. Huron met Walsh’s expectations for an attractive site for the playhouse, and Huron Schools Superintendent R.L. McCormick (1904-1978) offered the use of this school. The curtain opened on the first Huron Playhouse production, Norman Krasna’s hit Broadway comedy John Loves Mary, on June 29, 1949.

Lakeside
#15-62 Lakeside – “The Chautauqua of Lake Erie” – Established in 1873, Lakeside is a pioneer of the American Chautauqua Movement, one of the greatest revival movements in United States history which flourished in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Founded by the Methodist Church, Lakeside is one of the few existing Chautauqua communities that remain and thrive today.

Marblehead
#6-62 The Keeper’s House – Built in 1822, this native limestone structure was the home of Benajah Wolcott, first keeper of the Marblehead Lighthouse (originally called the Sandusky Bay Light), and his second wife, Rachel Miller Wolcott. Benajah maintained the lighthouse from 1822 until his death ten years later. After Benajah’s passing the U.S. Government appointed Rachel as the keeper, making her the first female lighthouse keeper on the Great Lakes. The building is the oldest known residence still standing in Ottawa County and is a fine example of a “hall-and-parlor house,” an early American home design.

Milan
#20-22 Birthplace of Thomas A. Edison (1847-1931) – One of America’s most prolific and important inventors, Thomas Alva Edison was born in this house in 1847. Designed by his father, Samuel Edison, a shingle maker by trade, this small gabled brick cottage was built in 1841. Though the Edisons moved to Port Huron, Michigan, in 1854, when he was seven, Edison cherished the memories of his early boyhood here and acquired the home from his sister’s family in 1906. Edison’s daughter Madeleine Edison Sloane opened the home to the public as a memorial to the great inventor in 1947, the centennial of his birth. It became a registered National Historic Landmark in 1965.

Oak Harbor
#12-62 Magee Marsh Wildlife Area: A Feature of the Great Black Swamp – A dense swamp forest roughly the size of the state of Connecticut once stretched across this region of Ohio and Indiana. A remnant of ancient Lake Maumee, this dense, soggy flatland supported abundant waterfowl and wildlife, but blocked travel and settlement and remained largely uninhabited until it was cleared and drained for agriculture between 1860 and 1885. This marsh and other scatter remnants are all that remain of the Great Black Swamp. Managed for a variety of wetland wildlife, Magee is one of the premier bird watching sites in North America, with more than 300 species.

Port Clinton #2-62 Johnson’s Island – In 1861 the United States Army established a prisoner of war camp on Johnson’s Island, approximately 1 mile south of this point. The camp, which housed captured Confederate officers, was maintained until 1865 when it was dismantled. The camp cemetery contains the graves of 206 men who died as a result of disease, wounds, or by execution while incarcerated.

Put-in-Bay #9-62 South Bass Island Light – Constructed and first lit in 1897, the South Bass Island Light was in continuous operation until 1962 when the U. S. Coast Guard built an automated light tower to replace it. Significant for its contribution to transportation and commerce on Lake Erie, the South Bass Island Light was built to safely guide vessels through the crowded South Passage. Although many light stations were constructed with a dwelling as a separate structure, the keeper’s dwelling of the South Bass Light was attached to the 60-foot tower. The dwelling was designed in the Queen Anne style with red brick laid in Flemish bond. Outbuildings, a barn and oil house, were built in 1899. In 1967, The Ohio State University acquired the property for support of the F. T. Stone Laboratory programs for research, education, and outreach. South Bass Island Light was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.

Sandusky #17-22 Cedar Point – Cedar Point became a popular beach resort in the late 1870s, when visitors traveled to the peninsula by steamboat from Sandusky. The Grand Pavilion (1888), the oldest building in the park, dates from this era. Promoter George Boeckling formed the Cedar Point Pleasure Resort Company in 1897 and vastly expanded the resort’s attractions. During the first decade of the 1900s, he built the lagoons, an amusement circle, and several hotels, including the landmark Breakers in 1905. The Coliseum, opened in 1906, became the centerpiece of the park and hosted many of the famous big bands through the Depression and World War II years. In the late 1950s, Cedar Point began its transformation into a modern amusement park.

You can read more about Ohio’s historical markers and find a complete list of them at http://www.remarkableohio.org/. A lot of visitors make a hobby out of seeking out historical markers during their vacations. Which ones do you want to check out?

Where can I find an experienced ice fishing guide in Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands?

Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands (Port Clinton, Ohio specifically) is known as the Walleye Capital of the World. Fishing enthusiasts know that some of the best walleye catches come from a hole cut through several feet of ice on a frozen Lake Erie. The fishing community is abuzz about the record size and number of walleye being caught so far this ice-fishing season. But don’t go it alone. Experienced fishing guides are available to teach you the ropes and assist with on-ice safety measures.

Ice Fishing Guides

MarbleheadIce Fishing

Capt. Brad Leyda
330.416.0830

Port Clinton

Blake’s Ice Fishing
419.341.5509

Char-Tom Charters
Contact: Chuck Crum
614.419.8265

Fishin’ Ful & Myrmidon Charters
419.734.9711 or 877.434.9711

Put-in-Bay

Buckeye Fishing Charters
Contact: Jeff & Melissa Jump
419.341.8011 or 419.341.8010

Capt. Bud Gehring
419.261.0165

Mike’s Sportfishing
419.308.6925

Sandusky

Air1 Airboats
Capt. Toni Muscioni
419.366.8472

Put-in-Bay Lodging

Bay Lodging Resort – 888.742.7829

Black Squirrel B&B – 419.285.7181

First Island Son B&B – 419.285.4448

Linda’s B&B – 419.285.3045 or 419.341.0928

Transportation to Put-in-Bay

Airplane from Port Clinton: Erie Ottawa National Airport

Griffing Flying Service – 419.734.5400

Island Air – 419.573.2960

What are the top ten options for fun-filled group outings?

“Don’t Miss” #LakeErieLove Group Activities

On Ohio’s north coast, we’re all about Lake Erie Love. We love our Great Lake, our islands, our neighborhoods, our friendly people, and our natural resources. Groups of all types including family reunions, student groups, senior groups, military reunions, and motorcoach tours, love visiting for the variety of activity options offered. Put in Bay Tour Train

The group sales team at Lake Erie Shores & Islands works closely with a number of local attraction, dining, and hotel partners to make planning easy. Here are the Top Ten activities that have appeared most often on group itineraries and have received rave reviews.

  1. Island Tour Train – This island tour gives groups a guided tour of Put-in-Bay and includes stops at many of the island’s most visited attractions.
  2. Winery Tour/NorthCoast Grapevine Tours – Groups love touring and tasting the many wineries on the Lake Erie Shores & Islands wine trail. Northcoast Grapevine Tours offers a safe and educational way for smaller groups to make a day of it.
  3. Ghostly Manor – This much loved attraction is a hit with student groups especially. In addition to the award-winning haunted house, the thrill center includes a skating rink, arcade, indoor black light miniature golf, XD-3D theatre, bounce houses, and indoor climbing playground.
  4. Downtown Sandusky Historical Tour – This popular itinerary includes the Follett House, Cooke-Dorn Historic Site, and a driving tour of local Underground Railroad sites.
  5. Tour and talk at Sandusky Greenhouse – Sometimes scheduled in conjunction with the downtown Sandusky historical tour or with one of Sandusky’s museums, this horticultural tour gives a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to maintain Sandusky’s lovely floral gardens and many tropical plants.
  6. Liberty Aviation Museum Tour – This museum showcases operational, historical aircraft and vehicles, including “Georgie’s Gal” a WWII B-25 Mitchell Bomber, a U.S. Navy WWII TBM Avenger, PT-boats, and more. Visitors can witness the restoration of a 1929 Ford Tri-Motor and dine in the 1950s-era themed diner.
  7. Merry-Go-Round Museum – Group visitor’s young and young-at-heart enjoy a spin on the carousel and the lively band organ music at the Merry-Go-Round Museum. Tours include this history of carousels and carousel art, wood carving demonstrations, gift shop, and more.
  8. Ferguson Gallery – The highlight of a visit to the gallery of master glass cutter Cary S. Ferguson is a glass blowing demonstration and the opportunity to create your own paper weight.
  9. Marblehead Lighthouse/Keeper’s House – The oldest continuously-operating lighthouse on the Great Lakes has been welcoming visitors since 1822. Complement a visit to this majestic lighthouse with a stop at the nearby Keeper’s House, the oldest surviving home in the area and home of first three original keepers of the light.
  10. Edison Birthplace/Milan Museum – Be inspired when visiting the birthplace of invention! Groups tour Thomas Edison’s boyhood home which includes a collection of early inventions and family mementos. Then, within the same quaint village block the Milan Museum gives visitors a glimpse into the past with historical exhibits, antique toys, and a renowned glass collection.

Where can I Ring in the New Year at Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands?

Ring in the New Year with one of these celebrations at Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands and make the last day of the year memorable!

Walleye Madness at Midnight. Photo credit: Bill Gordon Photomaker Studios

Walleye Madness at Midnight. Photo credit: Bill Gordon Photomaker Studios

Walleye Madness at Midnight
Downtown, N. Madison St., Port Clinton
3 pm-12 am
Free
Where else can you see a 20-foot, 600-pound walleye drop from the sky at Midnight? This annual event will provide fun and excitement for the whole family! Stay up-to-date with events, vendors, and new entertainment on the Facebook page “Walleye Madness at Midnight.”

A New Year’s Eve Celebration
Chez Francois/Touche’ Wine Bar, 555 Main St., Vermilion
440.967.0630
There will be three sittings: 4:30-6:30 pm, 7-9 pm, and 9:45 pm. Each seating will feature a multi-course dinner. The last seating will feature Mr. Mike Moore with an atmosphere for dancing. Note that availability of the last seating is extremely limited. Reservations are required.

Las Vegas Style Charity Casino
Sawmill Creek Resort, 400 Sawmill Creek Dr. (off US 6), Huron
800.729.6455
8:30 pm-1 am
Featuring Vegas-style gambling, dancing, cash bar, and a chance to win prizes with gaming tickets. Overnight packages are available at Sawmill Creek Resort.

New Year’s Eve at Quarry Hill
Quarry Hill Winery, 8403 Mason Rd., Berlin Heights
419.588.3179
8 pm-12 am
Enjoy musical entertainment by Jay Guerrero.

New Year’s Eve at Zinc & Hearth Tavern
Zinc Brasserie, 142 Columbus Ave., Sandusky
419.503.0864
4 pm-1 am
Live acoustic music by the Serfs. Dinner reservations available at 6 & 9 pm for a multi-course dinner with wine. Reservations are required. Please call for details.

New Year’s Eve Celebration with Derrick & Derrick
Rosie’s Bar & Grill, 102 Madison St., Port Clinton
419.960.7310
9 pm-1 am

New Year’s Eve Party
Port Clinton VFW, 214 Madison St., Port Clinton
419.734.9981
6 pm
Free
Watch Trooper the Trout drop with good friends, great food, and lots of fun.

Toast to the Town New Year’s Eve Gala
Merry-Go-Round Museum, 301 Jackson St. (at US 6), Sandusky
419.626.6111
6-8 pm
$15/person
Begin the evening at this gala featuring carousel rides, music, food, and beverages.

New Year’s Eve Party
Ghostly Manor Thrill Center, 3319 Milan Rd. (US 250), Sandusky
419.626.4467
8 pm
Families, kids, teens…everyone is welcome to celebrate on the skating rink! Choose from two party packages: $10 includes skate admission, skate rental, NYE party favors, one slice of pizza & a small pop or $20 VIP includes skate admission, choice rental of skates, scooter or rollerblades, NYE party favors, 12 game tokens, two slices of pizza & a large pop, and choice of one admission to Mini Golf, 4D Theater, or Ghostly Manor Haunted House.

New Year’s Eve Cabaret
Bellevue Society for the Arts, 205 Maple St., Bellevue
419.484.2787
7 pm
This New Year’s Eve event will feature Broadway standards and novelty songs performed by familiar BSA faces. The menu includes pork and sauerkraut, tossed salad, applesauce, and dessert, as well as a cash bar featuring a selection of beer and wine. Must be 21 or older with valid ID to purchase alcoholic beverages. Reservations are required.

Top Eight Wineries in Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands

Stop by for a taste and leave with a case from one of the many wineries in Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands. Here’s a list of the top eight wineries in the area: Doller Estate & Put-in-Bay Winery

Firelands Winery
917 Bardshar Rd., Sandusky
419.625.5474, 800.548.9463
Wine has been made on this site since 1880. Their vineyards are located on North Bass Island (also known as Isle St. George) in the western basin of Lake Erie. Stop by for a tour and a tasting of award-winning, estate bottled wines and browse through the gift shop.

Heineman Winery
978 Catawba Ave., Put-in-Bay
419.285.2811
Heineman Winery has been producing award-winning island made wines since 1888. It is the oldest family owned and operated winery in Ohio.

Hermes Vineyards & Winery
6413 S. Hayes Ave. (SR 4), Sandusky
419.626.8500
A small winery set in a rustic barn with indoor and outdoor seating. Premium wines are served by the glass or bottle and a light menu is available.

Kelley’s Island Wine Company
418 Woodford Rd., Kelleys Island
419.746.2678
The Wine Company is Kelleys Island only winery, manufacturing and bottling all varietals on premise. They offer ample outdoor and indoor seating along with plenty of activities including volleyball and horseshoes.

Mon Ami Historic Winery & Restaurant
3845 E. Wine Cellar Rd., Port Clinton
800.777.4266
This is one of the oldest wineries in the Lake Erie islands region. Mon Ami features daily tours and wine tastings, live entertainment, banquet facilities, a full-service restaurant, and gift shop.

Paper Moon Vineyards
2008 SR 60, Vermilion
440.967.2500
Paper Moon sits on 50 acres of cleared and wooded land just west of the Vermilion River in the historic harbour town of Vermilion. They offers tastings and sales of quality regional and vinifera wines.

Put-in-Bay Winery
392 Bay View Ave., Put in Bay
419.285.3343
Sample regional island wines while relaxing in the wine garden or enjoying wonderful harbor views. A winery exhibit follows the grape seed from the ground to the bottle.

Quarry Hill Winery & Orchard
8403 Mason Rd., Berlin Heights
419.588.3179
Visit this winery and neighboring orchard market. The wines are an eclectic variety of grape and fruit specialties, made and grown on site, and the wine bar offers a light food menu to complement the wines. Enjoy live music every weekend.

Looking for a guided winery tour? Contact Northcoast Grapevine Tours!  It is a fun, informative, and safe way to experience the wineries in Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands.

What is open on Kelleys Island during the fall season?

Restaurants
Bag the Moon Saloon (open through October 26th; weekends only)  Kelleys Island, Ohio
Caddy Shack Square (open until October 31st; closed Monday and Tuesday)
Captain’s Quarters (open until October 31st)
Kelleys Island Brewery (October 26th; call for hours)
Kelleys Island Wine Co. (open year-round)
Dockers Waterfront Restaurant & Bar (open through October; closed Monday and Tuesday)
The Village Pump (open through December 20th)

Shopping
Caddy Shack Square (open until October 31st; closed Monday and Tuesday)
Island Market and Fudge Shop (open year-round)
Kelleys Island General Store (open through December)
Sweet Valley Trading Post (open through October 26th)
The Village Peddler (open through December)
The Village T’s (open through November)
Unc’l Dik’s (open through December)

Things to Do
Caddy Shack Square (open until October 31st; closed Monday and Tuesday)
The Little Healing Room (open until mid-October)
Charles Henderson Galleries & Sculpture Garden (open through December)
Captain Park’s Lake Erie Fishing Charters (open through October)
Nachofish Charter & Guide Service (open through October)
Inscription Rock (open year-round during daylight hours)
Glacial Grooves (open year-round during daylight hours)

For lodging or transportation information, visit SHORESandISLANDS.com or contact one of our welcome centers at 800.255.3743 or 800.441.1271.

Where are pets permitted on South Bass Island (Put-in-Bay)?

Hotels
– Bay Lodging (888.742.7929)

Campgrounds
– South Bass Island State Park (866.644.6727)

Vacation Rentals
– Birds Nest Resort (419.285.6119)
– Bormans Cottages (419.341.9640)
– Dave’s Rentals (419.285.2812)
– Put-in-Bay Cabins (440.967.3395)
– Saunder’s Cottages (419.285.3917
– The Wee Anchor (419.285.5055)

Parks
– DeRivera Park
– Oak Point Park
– South Bass Island State Park

Attractions
– Perry’s Family Fun Center (designated areas)
– Perry’s Memorial & Visitor Center Grounds (outside)
– Saunder’s Resort Golf Course

Restaurants
– Boardwalk Main Deck
– Frosty’s Backyard
– Joe’s Bar (patio only)
– The Goat (back patio only)
– Reel Bar (patio only)

Ferry
– Miller Ferry