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 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

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.

Lake Erie: Giving “Fishing Hole” a Whole New Meaning

Ice FishingJanuary’s low temperatures have driven a lot of people inside where it’s warm. Here in Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands “inside” sometimes means a shanty on top of a thick layer of ice. That little hut contains a heater, a couple of stools, a hole in the ice, and the chance to catch a lot of walleye and perch! It’s been three years since ice fishing has been possible in our area and the charter captains, lodges, and restaurants that cater to this audience are rolling out the icy carpet! Whether you’re a pro or wanting to try it out for the first time, Lake Erie Shores & Islands has what you need for a memorable day on the ice. Here is a list of ice fishing resources:

Marblehead
Captain Brad Leyda
330.416.0830

Port Clinton
Char-Tom Charters
Chuck Crum
614.419.8265

Fishin’ Ful & Myrmidon Charters
419.734.9711 or 877.434.9711

Put-in-Bay
Buckeye Fishing Charters
Jeff & Melissa Jump
419.341.8011 or 419.341.8010
Facebook: buckeyefishingcharters

Captain Bud Gehring
419.261.0165

Hardwater Charters
419.285.3106

Put-in-Bay Lodging
Ahoy B&B – 419.285.2469
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

Bait Stores
Fisherman’s Wharf
83 Madison St., Port Clinton
419.734.9002

Herb’s Sportsman’s Supply
1713 N. E. Catawba Rd., Port Clinton
419.797.2455

Hi-Way Bait & Tackle
7006 E. Harbor Rd., Marblehead
419.734.3601

Rickards Bait & Tackle
17 N.E. Catawba Rd., Port Clinton
419.734.2496

Transportation to Put-in-Bay
Airplane from Erie Ottawa Regional Airport, Port Clinton:
Griffing Flying Service – 419.734.5400
Island Air – 419.573.2960

Air Boat from Catawba:
Hardwater Charters – 419.285.3106

Where can I enjoy fireworks during the Fourth of July in Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands?

Fireworks display at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio.

Fireworks display at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio

July 3-4, 2015
4th of July Celebration
Cedar Point, Sandusky
419.627.2350
10:30 pm

July 3, 2015
Independence Day Celebration
Along the Riverbank, Downtown Oak Harbor
419.898.0479
A spectacular fireworks display at dusk.

July 4, 2015
Various locations, Port Clinton
Fireworks begin at dusk. Best viewing area is Waterworks Park.
419.707.9492

July 4, 2015
4th of July Fireworks
Lakeside Dock, Lakeside
866.952.5374
At approximately 9:45 pm or dusk, fireworks will offer a spectacular finale to the day (gate fees apply).

July 4, 2015
Fourth of July Fireworks!
Put-in-Bay
419.285.2832
Spectacular fireworks at dark (10 pm). Fireworks display over the downtown harbor; great views from Perry’s Monument and downtown.

July 4, 2015
Fireworks Cruise
Goodtime I, Sandusky
800.446.3140
Enjoy fireworks from the peaceful waters of Lake Erie. Call to make your reservation today.

July 4, 2015
Red, White & Blues Bang
Huron Boat Basin, Huron
10:30 pm

Top 8 Wineries to Visit at Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands

The tempering effect of Lake Erie provides ideal soil conditions for quality grape-growing. There are a number of wineries throughout Ohio and we’ve compiled a list of the top eight wineries in Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands:

Firelands Winery
917 Bardshar Rd., Sandusky
419.625.5474, 800.548.9463
Wine has been made on this site since 1880. 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
Take a ferry boat to get to this island winery on Lake Erie. Founded in 1888, Heineman Winery is the oldest family owned winery in Ohio.

Hermes Vineyards & Winery
6413 S. Hayes Ave. (SR 4), Sandusky
419.626.8500
Hermes Vineyards estate bottled wines are produced from one of the largest viniferous vineyards in Ohio. Premium wines are served by the glass or bottle and a light menu is available. Open daily, year-round.

Kelley’s Island Wine Company
418 Woodford Rd., Kelleys Island
419.746.2678
This is one of the island’s most popular destinations. Wine tasting bar, gourmet bistro, full dinner menu available, deli, horseshoes, volleyball, children’s play area and gift shop.

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. Daily tours and wine tasting, live entertainment, banquet facilities, full service restaurant and gift shop.

Paper Moon Vineyards
2008 SR 60, Vermilion
440.967.2500
Just off SR 2 in the historic harbor town of Vermilion, Paper Moon Vineyards serves a selection of regional and viniferous wines. The tasting room offers a view of the vineyard, pond, woods and an occasional bald eagle. Call or check website for hours.

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
419.706.8005
Visit this winery and neighboring orchard market. Wines are an eclectic variety of grape and fruit specialties, made and grown on site. Outdoor seating is available.

Fourth of July Fireworks

Celebrate the Fourth of July with these fireworks displays scheduled in Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands region:

July 3, 2012
Oak Harbor Independence Day Celebration
Along the Riverbank in Downtown Oak Harbor
419.898.0479
Food, entertainment, Duck Race on the Portage River, kids games, 50/50 drawing, beer tent, and more all followed by a spectacular fireworks display at 10 pm.

July 4, 2012
Fireworks Display

Cedar Point Amusement Park, Sandusky
Excellent fireworks display. The best viewing areas include: Jackson Street Pier, Battery Marina, and Shoreline Park.

July 4, 2012
Fireworks!
Port Clinton
Fireworks beginning at 10 pm. Best viewing area is Waterworks Park.

July 4, 2012
4th of July Fireworks
Lakeside Dock, Lakeside
419.798.4461
lakesideohio.com
At approximately 9:45 pm, or dusk, fireworks will offer a spectacular finale to the day (gate fees apply).

July 4, 2012
Fourth of July Fireworks!
Put-in-Bay
The island business owners and Friends of the Bay will sponsor a spectacular fireworks program at dark. Fireworks display over the downtown harbor. Great views from Perry’s Monument and downtown.

July 4, 2012
Lake Erie Fireworks Cruise
Sawmill Creek Resort, Huron
Enjoy 4th of July fireworks (weather permitting) aboard the Sawmill Explorer. $12.95/person.

July 4, 2012
Fireworks Cruise
Goodtime I – Jackson Street Pier, Sandusky
4th of July Fireworks Cruise on board the Goodtime I. Departs Sandusky at 8:30 pm and will return a half hour after the show ends. Tickets are $15/person; children under 5 are free.

If you haven’t had your fill of fireworks for the year, check out the amazing fireworks display at 10:15 pm on Friday the 13th at the Huron Boat Basin during the Huron Riverfest.