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?

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Where Can I Enjoy the Beach at Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands?

Catawba Nickel Plate Beach in Huron
Catawba Island State Park
4049 Moore’s Dock Rd.
419.734.4424
Stone beach, picnic shelter, picnic tables, grills, fishing pier, boat ramp. Pets permitted.

Huron
Lakefront Park
Park St.
419.433.8487
Sandy beach, restrooms, gazebo, picnic tables, grills, drinking fountain. Leashed pets permitted after 6 pm only.

Nickel Plate Beach
Nickel Plate Dr. (off US 6E.)
419.433.8487
Parking fee, sandy beach, picnic shelter, grills, playground, beach volleyball. Leashed pets permitted after 6 pm only.

Kelleys Island
Kelleys Island State Park
920 N. Division St.
419.746.2546  ohiodnr.com/parks
Sandy beach, playground, hiking trail, campground, shelter, fishing, launch ramp. Pets allowed in permitted areas. Must take a boat to get to the island.

Lakeside
Central Park Beach
236 Walnut Ave.
419.798.4461
Playground, splash pad, sandy beach. Gate fee required Memorial Day-Labor Day.

Marblehead
East Harbor State Park
1169 N. Buck Rd. (SR 269 N)
419.734.4424 ext. 2
Sandy beach, lifeguard, concession bath house, grills, restrooms, picnic tables, walking trails, bike path, fishing, camping nearby. Pets allowed in C and D areas only.

Port Clinton
Camp Perry
1000 Lawrence Rd.
888.889.7010
Available for public use; I.D. required. No pets permitted. Sand beach and fishing pier.

Port Clinton City Beach
E. Perry St. (SR 163 W)
Sandy beach, playground, picnic tables, basketball court, charcoal grills, restrooms. Pets permitted on leash.

Put-in-Bay/South Bass Island
South Bass Island State Park
1169 Catawba Ave.
419.734.4424
Stone beach, playground, campground, shelter, fishing, launch ramp. Pets permitted. Must take a boat to get to the island.

Sandusky
Cedar Point Beach
419.627.2350
Must pay admission to Cedar Point or Soak City, or be a guest at Hotel Breakers, Sandcastle Suites, Lighthouse Point Resort, or the Cedar Point Marina. Parking fee. Sandy beach, beach volleyball, lounge chairs, Jet Ski rentals, and restaurants nearby. Pets not permitted.

Vermilion
Main Street Beach
Main St. (off US 6)
440.204.2490
Sandy beach, observation deck, and benches. Near shops and restaurants. Concession stand. No pets allowed.

Sherod  Park Main Street Beach in Vermilion
US 6 & Coen Rd.
440.204.2490
Natural area, sandy beach, ball diamonds, picnic shelters, playgrounds, soccer field. No pets allowed.

For more information or to receive a copy of the Official Travel Planner to Cedar Point and the Lake Erie islands area, call 800.255.3743, 800.441.1271, or visit us online at SHORESandISLANDS.com.

Water Fun: Where Can I Splish-Splash Outdoors?

Splish-splash all day long in these three outdoor waterpark locations:


Huron Park Splash Pad
Huron Park, Corner of Hancock & Monroe sts. and Huron Ave., Sandusky
419.627.5879
The Splash pad is operated by the City of Sandusky and is a popular spot for local families. It is open every day, Memorial Day – Labor Day, from 10 am-9 pm and is free to the public, making it a great destination for families on a budget.

Monsoon Lagoon Water Park & Family Fun Center
1530 S. Danbury Rd. N, Port Clinton
419.732.6671 or 866.732.6671
Affordable water park complex, including a gigantic aqua play center, tipping bucket, water slides, a lazy river and an adult pool with swim-up bar. The family entertainment center has 18-hole miniature golf, bumper boats, NASCAR go-karts and an arcade.

Soak City
1 Cedar Point Dr. (off US 6), Sandusky
419.627.2350
An 18-acre outdoor waterpark next to Cedar Point, Soak City features Splash Zone, a huge bucket and multi-story interactive water play area, with refreshing cascades of liquid fun to splash about in. Also enjoy cresting the waves in Breakers Bay, a half-million-gallon wave pool; rafting with friends on Zoom Flume; speeding down body and tube slides; challenging a wild inner tube river and relaxing in a meandering river. Choo-Choo Lagoon and Tadpole Town offer big fun for little ones, Eerie Falls plunges riders into tunnels of darkness, and Adventure Cove is a great place for parents and children to play together; and for adults only, there’s Bubbles Swim-Up Bar. Soak City guests also get to enjoy the sandy Cedar Point Beach. Soak City opens Memorial Day Weekend, and is open daily through Labor Day. Proper swimwear is required. Admission to Cedar Point not required, but parking fee is.

Are there any pick your own/orchards in the area?

Rather than buy a basket of fruit stacked up by the register, some prefer to go into the fields and pick their own. Given the abundant orchards and farm markets in the Lake Erie Shores & Islands region, the option to do so is readily available.

A. B. Phillips & Sons Fruit Farm, located at 30 E. Main St. in Berlin Heights has sweet and sour cherries, peaches in September, raspberries and apples in September and October, depending on the crop of course. You may find that apples and boxed pears available during the off-season. The fruit farm is open Monday – Saturday 10am – 6pm and Sun 12pm – 6pm. To contact, please call 419.588.2329 or 800.205.7062.

Apple Hill Market
The Apple Hill Market is located on the corner of SR 113 and Vermilion Rd. in Amherst and is open year round. Cherries are available in June and July and you’ll find delicious, juicy apples in mid-September and October.

Bergman Orchards
Bergman Orchards has three convenient locations to help serve you; one in Lakeside, another in Marblehead and a third in Port Clinton. They offer a wide variety of homegrown fruit and vegetables and are open daily, April – December, 8am – 8pm.
Burnham Orchards
Burnham Orchards
Burnham Orchards, is a family owned and operated farm, providing great tasting fruits and vegetables along with a fun experience that includes activities for people of all ages. Pick your own is available in the summer and fall, however, due to its popularity, you may want to join their mailing list to receive a post card indicating the start of it. Burnham Orchards is open year round; please call for specific hours. They are located on SR 113 in Berlin Heights.

Enderle’s is located at 756 River Rd. in Huron. Pick your own is available in the summer and fall season with a typical harvest of: strawberries in June, raspberries in July, blackberries in August and pumpkins in October. To contact, please call 419.433.4856.

Quarry Hill Orchards
Quarry Hill Orchards in Berlin Heights provide a fine variety of apples, pears, peaches, and other farm-fresh produce. Cherries are available in June, peaches in July, apples in September and October and pumpkins in October. In addition to fresh produce, they also provide a selection of fine wines at Quarry Hill Winery.

There are more orchards in the Lake Erie Shores & Islands region than we have listed here. Please feel free to add your suggestions and experiences by commenting on this post.

Where can I have an outdoor wedding along Lake Erie’s shoreline?

Lakeside – Waterfront pavilion and waterfront gazebo
Location: 236 Walnut Ave., Lakeside, OH 43440
Contact: Lakeside Association
419.798.4461, 866.952.5374 or lakesideohio.com

Marblehead Lighthouse
Location: 110 Lighthouse Drive, Marblehead, OH 43440
Contact: East Harbor State Park, 1169 North Buck Road, Lakeside-Marblehead, OH 43440
419.734.4424 or eastharborstatepark.org

Kelleys Island – Village Park Pavilion (not waterfront)
Location: Division Street and E. Lake Shore Dr., Kelleys Island, OH 43438
Contact: Mayor’s Office
419.746.2535 or kelleysislandchamber.com

Put-in-Bay
Locations: There are many wedding locations on Put-in-Bay, including DeRivera Park Gazebo and Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial (Bay View Ave.) Put-in-Bay, OH 43456
Contact: Maisie Cox
419.285.2505 or pibweddings.com

Downtown Sandusky Parks
Locations: Facer Park (foot of Hancock St.), Shoreline Park (Shoreline Dr.) and Washington Park Gazebo (Washington and Columbus Ave.), Sandusky, OH 44870
Contact: Sandusky City Manager’s Office
419.627.5844 or ci.sandusky.oh.us

Goodtime I – Cruise boat
Location: Jackson St. Pier, Sandusky, OH 44870
Private charters for weddings and/or receptions available – can accommodate up to 300.
Contact: Joe Lamb
419.625.9692, 800.446.3140 or goodtimeboat.com

Lyman Harbor – Waterfront entertainment facility
Location: 1615 First St., Sandusky, OH 44870
Waterfront with spectacular view of Cedar Point – restaurant/banquet facilities available.
Contact: Suzi Evans
419.625.9626 or lymanharbor.com

Cedar Point – Coral Courtyard, Coral Dining Room, Point Pavilion and Convention Centers (not all are waterfront)
Location: One Cedar Point Drive, Sandusky, OH 44870
Contact: Manager of Group Events and Facilities
419.627.2217 or cedarpoint.com

Sawmill Creek Resort – Waterfront gazebo (if reception is held at Lodge at Sawmill Creek Resort)
Location: 400 Sawmill Creek, Huron, OH 44839
Contact: Group Sales Department
419.433.3800, 800.729.6455 or sawmillcreekresort.com

Mystic Belle – Paddleboat in Vermilion Harbor
Location: Parsons Marina, 636 Sandusky St. (at the Liberty Bridge), Vermilion, OH 44089
Contact: 440.315.1907 or 440.967.7910

Feel free to contact us with any questions that you may have.

Lake Erie Shores & Islands Welcome Center – East
Contact: Amanda Smith
419.625.2984, 800.255.3743
amanda@shoresandislands.com

Lake Erie Shores & Islands Welcome Center – West
Contact: Larry Fletcher
419.734.4386, 800.441.1271
larry@lake-erie.com

Are there any fishing charters available in the Shores & Islands area?

No matter the season, Lake Erie’s southern shore is a freshwater fishing hot spot where both pro anglers and beginners join in the fishing fun.

Although most known for walleye, perch and smallmouth bass, in certain waters at many times of the year you will also find steelhead trout, white bass, rock bass, largemouth bass, catfish and other species. Charter captains and walk-on head boats make the fishing experience easily available for all ages.

Char-Tom Charters
2240 E. Harbor Rd., Port Clinton
614.419.8265
Fish for walleye, perch and bass on one of Lake Erie’s finest charters. Three and five hour evening charters are also available, with island pick up at Kelleys Island, Put-in-Bay and Pelee. Lodging is available, all equipment is provided and lunches are offered on fishing days. Casting and trolling charters are available for novice or seasoned anglers. Large groups of 60 or more are welcome. ADA accessible. Apr-early Oct.

Dad’s Girl Charters
83 Madison St., Port Clinton
419.341.4027 or 800.331.9382
Offering an all-inclusive fishing experience that you won’t soon forget. What they don’t provide nature does, and she provides fish in abundance. All you need to bring is the desire to catch lots of walleye, perch and bass – and you will. ADA accessible. Open daily Apr-Oct. Book early for the best dates.

Fishin’ Ful and Myrmidon Charters
1124 Lee Ave., Port Clinton
419.734.9711 or 877.434.9711
Charter a great day of fishing on Lake Erie. Specializing in light tackle sport fishing with two boats to serve you and your party. Standard, executive and Canadian trips available for walleye, bass and perch. Ice fishing off the mainland available, weather permitting, with a heated ice shanty for up to two people.

Geno’s Holiday Charter
839 Curran St., Sandusky
419.625.4366 or 419.271.4366
Enjoy a Great Lake experience, fishing and cruising in comfort aboard a custom 30′ twin engine Cherokee hardtop. “Come as guests…leave as friends.” Only minutes from Cedar Point, and offering customized walleye or perch trips. Plus, you may also plan an adventurous portion of your day for sightseeing. Plan tomorrow’s memories today – and welcome aboard.

Middle Bass Charter Company
Middle Bass Island & mainland near East Harbor State Park, Marblehead
614.443.3595 or 419.285.2617
Offering fishing and cruising charters around the islands of western Lake Erie as well as guided waterfowl hunting in season. May-Oct.

Shore-Nuf Charters
at Drawbridge Marina
247 W. Lakeshore Dr. (SR 163), Port Clinton
419.734.9999
Fishing charters and walk-on headboats accommodate groups up to 48 with five boats available. Fish for walleye in the spring and summer and perch in the fall. Apr-Oct.

Speerfish Charters
570 Bimini Dr., Sandusky
419.627.8340 or 800.735.1218
Sport fishing charters for walleye, perch and bass on Lake Erie. Fishing out of two locations; Sandusky and Wild Wings Marina in the Western Basin. Mar-Nov, daily.

Tibbels Charter Service
6965 East Harbor Rd. (SR 163), Marblehead
419.734.1143
Private group fishing charters for 20 people and individual walk-on charters are available. Call in advance for reservations. Fishing for walleye, perch and smallmouth bass. Late Apr-Oct.

Fishing License Information:

Resident $19.00
(Persons age 16-65 who have resided in Ohio for the past six months)

Annual non-resident $40.00

One-day resident or non-resident $11.00

Three-day non-resident $19.00

Resident senior $10.00
(Persons age 66 or older and born on or after Jan 1, 1939)

No charge for persons born before Jan 1, 1939.

Fishing licenses and the 2010-2011 Ohio Fishing Regulations Brochure are available from most bait shops and the Ohio Division of Wildlife. Licenses are renewable by March 1 of each year.

Fishing Report:

Lake Erie Fishing Hotline
888.HOOK.FISH (466.5347)

Ohio Division of Wildlife
305 E. Shoreline Dr., Sandusky
419.625.3187 or 800.WILDLIFE (945.3543)

You can also hear the Lake Erie Fishing Report on our website!