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 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

What are the prices for the ferries that take you to the Lake Erie islands?

Goodtime I Lake Erie Island Cruises

Goodtime I Lake Erie Island Cruises docked at Kelleys Island.

Goodtime Lake Erie Island Cruises
Jackson Street Pier, 109 W. Shoreline Dr., Sandusky
Daytime Island Hopping Cruise:
Enjoy a relaxing day on Lake Erie aboard the Goodtime I. Visit Kelleys Island and Put-in-Bay. Live narration and a full-service snack and cocktail bar. ADA accessible. *Schedule subject to change, please call ahead.
Schedule: May 24-25; May 31 and Jun 1; Tues-Sat Jun 14-Aug 23; Aug 30-31. Boarding begins at 9 am; boat departs Sandusky at 9:30 am.
Rates: Adult (13-59 yrs): $27.54, Senior (60 yrs and older): $24.48, Child (5-12 yrs): $16.32, Child (5 yrs and under): Free. Reservations recommended. Group rates available for 20 or more.

The Jet Express is the only catamaran ferry on Lake Erie.

The Jet Express is the only catamaran ferry on Lake Erie.

Jet Express from Port Clinton to Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island
3 N. Monroe St., Port Clinton
Passenger-only ferry service from downtown Port Clinton to downtown Put-in-Bay aboard hydro jet catamarans.
Crossing time: 22 minutes.
Schedule: May 2-4, 9-11, 16-18 and Sept 19-Oct 26 Fri-Sun only; May 22-Sept 14 daily. Please check website for detailed schedule.
Round-trip rates: Adult: $33, Child (6-12 yrs): $6, Child (5 yrs and under): Free, Bicycle: $9. Prices subject to a temporary fuel surcharge.

Jet Express from Sandusky to Kelleys Island
101 W. Shoreline Dr., Sandusky
Passenger-only ferry service from downtown Sandusky to Kelleys Island aboard hydro jet catamarans. Free parking.
Schedule: May 23-26; May 30-Sept 1; Sept 5-7; Sept 12-14.
Round-trip rates: Adult: $33, Child (6-12 yrs): $9.50, Child (5 yrs and under): Free, Bicycle: $9. Group rates for 15 or more and season passes available. The Jet Express is also available for private charters. Prices subject to a temporary fuel surcharge.

Jet Express from Sandusky to Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island
101 W. Shoreline Dr., Sandusky
Passenger-only ferry service from downtown Sandusky to downtown Put-in-Bay (with a quick stop at Kelleys Island) aboard hydro jet catamarans. Free parking.
Schedule: May 23-26; May 30-Sept 1; Sept 5-7; Sept 12-14.
Round-trip rates: Adults: $39.50, Child (6-12 yrs): $11.50, Child (5 yrs and under): Free, Bicycle: $9, Group rates for 15 or more and season passes available. The Jet Express is also available for private charters. Prices subject to a temporary fuel surcharge.

Jet Express Inter-Island
Passenger-only ferry service between Kelleys Island and Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island.
Schedule: May 23-26; May 30-Sept 1; Sept 5-7; Sept 12-14.
Round-trip rates: Adult: $23, Child (6-12 yrs): $6, Child (5 yrs and under): Free, Bicycle: $9. Group rates for 15 or more and season passes available. The Jet Express is also available for private charters. Prices subject to a temporary fuel surcharge.

Jet Express Port Clinton Island Hopping
3 N. Monroe St., Port Clinton
Passenger-only ferry service from Port Clinton to Kelleys Island and Put-in-Bay (South Bass Island) aboard hydro jet catamarans.
Schedule: May 23-26 and Sept 5-14 Fri-Sun only; May 30-Sept 1. Please check website for detailed schedule.
Round-trip rates: Adult: $47.50, Child (6-12 yrs): $9.50, Child (5 yrs and under): Free, Bicycle: $9. Group rates and season passes available. Prices subject to a temporary fuel surcharge.

Jet Express Sandusky Island Hopping
101 W. Shoreline Dr., Sandusky
Passenger-only ferry service from downtown Sandusky stopping at Kelleys Island and on to Put-in-Bay (South Bass Island) aboard hydro jet catamarans.
Schedule: May 23-26; May 30-Sept 1; Sept 5-7; Sept 12-14.
Round-trip rates: Adult: $47.50, Child (6-12 yrs): $13.50, Child (5 yrs and under): Free, Bicycle: $9, Group rates for 15 or more and season passes available. The Jet Express is also available for private charters. Prices subject to a temporary fuel surcharge.

Kelleys Island Ferry Boat Line.

Kelleys Island Ferry Boat Line.

Kelleys Island Ferry Boat Line
510 W. Main St., Marblehead
The only passenger/vehicle ferry service between Kelleys Island and Marblehead runs daily year-round, weather permitting. There is a parking fee at the Marblehead dock
Schedule: Regular service available Apr-Dec, weather permitting. During peak season, ferries run every half-hour and offer late night service on weekends. Please call or check website for details.
Round-trip rates: Adult: $19, Senior (62 yrs and older): $16, Child (5-11 yrs): $12, Child (4 yrs and under): Free,
Automobile: $30, Motorcycles: $16, Bicycle: $6. Group rates available. Can accommodate tour busses, RVs, trucks, and tractor trailers for additional fee.

Middle Bass Ferry.

Middle Bass Ferry.

Middle Bass Ferry
341 Bayview Ave., Put-in-Bay
Ferry between South Bass and Middle Bass islands. Check out the Sun-Thurs special package and points of interest on Middle Bass. Dock is located at The Boardwalk on South Bass Island and the township dock on Middle Bass Island.
Schedule: Please check website for detailed schedule.
Rates: Please check website for rates.

Miller Ferries to Middle Bass Island
5174 E. Water St. (SR 53 N), Port Clinton
Offers daily passenger and auto transportation from Catawba. Reservations are not required for passengers. Vehicle reservations are required and may be made up to two weeks in advance, but must be made by 4 pm the prior day. No same day, round-trip vehicles on Sat, Sun, and holidays. Crossing time: 40-45 minutes depending on weather conditions. Can accommodate RVs, trailers, boats and tour buses for an additional fee. Free parking.
Schedule: Year-round service; weather permitting. Please call or check website for detailed schedule.
Round-trip rates: Adult: $19, Child (6-11 yrs): $6, Child (6 yrs and under): Free, Automobile: $43 (rate does not include passengers), Bicycle: $6, Group rates available.

Miller Boat Line.

Miller Boat Line.

Miller Ferries to Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island
5174 E. Water St. (SR 53 N), Port Clinton
Offers daily passenger and auto transportation from Catawba (SR 53 N). Departing every half-hour during peak times. Offering auto transportation. No vehicle reservations accepted; first-come, first-serve basis. No same day, round-trip vehicles on Sun or holidays. Vehicles leaving Put-in-Bay must be in line by 4 pm daily, 3 pm on Sun and holidays. Crossing time: 18 minutes depending on weather conditions. Shuttle bus and taxi available from the Miller dock on South Bass Island to downtown Put-in-Bay for a fee. Golf cart/bicycle rentals nearby. Can accommodate RVs, trailers, boats, and tour buses for an additional fee. Free parking.
Schedule: Year-round service; weather permitting. Please call or check website for detailed schedule.
Round-trip rates: Adult: $14, Child (6-11 yrs): $3, Child (6 yrs and under): Free,  Automobile: $30 (rate does not include passengers): Bicycle: $4, Group rates available.

Pelee Island Transportation Company
Jackson Street Pier, 109 W. Shoreline Dr.,  Sandusky
Passport required to enter Canada. Offers auto and passenger transportation from Jackson Street Pier in downtown Sandusky to Pelee Island. Must arrange overnight accommodations as ferry does not return in same day. Advance reservations required. Crossing time: 2 hrs to Pelee Island and 4 hrs to mainland.
Schedule: Please check website for schedule. Schedule subject to change, please call ahead.
One-way rates: Adult: $13.75 to Pelee Island, $21.25 to mainland (Kingsville or Leamington, ON)
Senior (65 yrs and older): $11.25 to Pelee Island, $17.50 to mainland (Kingsville or Leamington, ON)
Child (6-12 yrs): $6.75 to Pelee Island, $10.50 to mainland (Kingsville or Leamington, ON)
Child (5 yrs and under): Free
Bicycle (excluding rider): $6.50 to Pelee Island, $10.25 to mainland (Kingsville or Leamington, ON)
Motorcycle (excluding rider): $14.50 to Pelee Island, $22.75 to mainland (Kingsville or Leamington, ON)
Standard Vehicle: $30 to Pelee Island, $46.50 to mainland (Kingsville or Leamington, ON). Call for oversized vehicle rates; know length and height of vehicle at time of calling.

“Don’t Give Up The Ship” – Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial

Wind, water and history converge as an international flotilla of tall ships sails into Lake Erie’s western basin this August. Get an up close look at these ships in ports including Catawba Island, Kelleys Island, Middle Bass Island, Port Clinton and Put-in-Bay. These communities will host festivals featuring tall ship tours, day sails, musical entertainment, historical re-enactors and more.
Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial
The events culminate with a full-scale re-enactment of the Battle of Lake Erie at the actual battle site near Put-in-Bay.

The following are just a few events planned for the Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial Celebration. Click here to view a full list of events.

May 25, 2013
Salute to the Troops: Honoring War of 1812 Casualties
Perry’s Victory Visitor Center Lawn, Put-in-Bay
419.285.2184, 11:30 am
The National Park Service honors our nation’s service men and women with music, games and inspiring speakers on the back lawn of Perry’s Victory Visitor Center.

August 29-September 2, 2013
Tall Ships Challenge® Great Lakes 2013
Various locations in Ohio and Canada
419.285.2832
Celebrating the 200th anniversary of the major military events of the War of 1812 that took place in the Great Lakes. Tall Ships will dock in the communities of Catawba Island, Port Clinton, Kelleys Island, Middle Bass Island, Put-in-Bay, and in several Canadian ports including Leamington, Kingsville, Amhurstburg, and Windsor. There will be a Tall Ship Bicentennial Parade on Sept 1 and a re-enactment of the Battle of Lake Erie featuring the Tall Ships on Sept 2.

August 30-September 1, 2013
Reenactment Village at Put-in-Bay
DeRivera Park, Downtown Put-in-Bay
419.285.2832, 9 am-5 pm
Featuring historical demonstrations, education, and crafts as well as food and craft vendors.

September 2, 2013
Battle of Lake Erie-Battle Reenactment
Put-in-Bay
440.349.3210, 12-2 pm
Experience history first hand in one of the largest celebrations ever to take place on Lake Erie. Join the crew or join the fleet. Take part in the battle as a tall ship crew member or as part of the fleet aboard your own vessel.

Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island

The Victorian era village of Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island has been attracting visitors for nearly 150 years. Hundreds of thousands travel here annually to enjoy family fun activities, outdoor recreation and a large variety of special events.
Many start out with a narrated tour on the Island Tour Train. For those wishing to go at their own pace there are golf carts, scooters, and bicycles to rent. Families will find plenty to keep the kids entertained including a butterfly house, miniature golf, gem mining, cave tours, arcades, a carousel, and go-kart racing.

History enthusiasts won’t want to miss Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial. The National Park Service manages this site that includes a visitors center and frequent interpretive programs offered by park rangers. Many other historical offerings document island history and heritage.

Outdoor recreational activities include charter fishing, boat/personal watercraft rentals, a nine-hole golf course, kayaking, and parasailing. There are numerous shopping spots and art galleries on the island along with a wide selection of restaurants and pubs to please every taste and budget. There are even two wineries and a microbrewery.

Of course, Put-in-Bay is also known for its exciting and varied music scene and more than a dozen establishments offer daily entertainment.

A range of lodging opportunities are available; see lodging charts for options. Many properties specialize in accommodating large groups for family reunions, company meetings, weddings and other events.

Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial: The Restoration Process

Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial was established to honor those who fought “The Battle of Lake Erie,” during the War of 1812. This decisive naval victory ensured modern-day Ohio and Michigan would remain a part of the United States of America. The memorial also celebrates lasting peace between the United States, Great Britain and Canada.

This 352-foot tall column is the nation’s third tallest memorial structure, after the Washington Monument and the St. Louis Arch. It has towered over South Bass Island for nearly 100 years; however, in the summer of 2006 a piece of granite weighing about 500 pounds fell from the column onto the memorial’s upper plaza. The granite fell from the southeast side of the observation deck, broke into smaller pieces and shattered the plaza floor. Fortunately, no one was hurt. According to the National Park Service website, the monument was closed for 64 days until the initial damage could be studied and a fence erected to ensure the public’s safety. That fall, a more detailed inspection was conducted by taking core samples of the monument’s concrete substructure. The damage caused by 94-years of harsh Lake Erie winters and the freeze-thaw of water that penetrated into small cracks had taken a toll on this remarkable structure. It was then determined that Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial was in need of major repair and restoration.

The memorial’s observation deck has been closed to public access since September 2009. Repairs continue to be made to the deck, the walls and the drainage system. Future restoration plans include improvements to the exterior of the monument and the grounds below. Restoration is to be complete by May 2012, in time for the Bicentennial commemoration of the War of 1812.

While restoration takes place, rangers will give “construction tours.” Meanwhile, the adjacent visitor’s center will be opening on March 25, 2011, weekends only, until April 22, 2011 when it will be open seven days a week. The hours are 10 am – 5 pm. Many special events will be held on the memorial grounds throughout 2011, including an Earth Day celebration & Junior Ranger Jamboree, Commodore Perry Education Days, Fourth of July celebrations with music and fireworks, Historical Weekend and more. For additional information, please call 419.285.2184.