Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial

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Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
PEVI-from-harbor.jpg
Map showing the location of Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial
Map showing the location of Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial
Location Put-in-Bay, Ohio, U.S.
Nearest city Sandusky, Ohio
Coordinates 41°39′15″N 82°48′41″W / 41.65417°N 82.81139°W / 41.65417; -82.81139Coordinates: 41°39′15″N 82°48′41″W / 41.65417°N 82.81139°W / 41.65417; -82.81139
Area 25.38 acres (10.27 ha)
24.97 acres (10.11 ha) federal
Established June 2, 1936
Visitors 155,689 (in 2005)
Governing body National Park Service
Website Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial
Designated October 15, 1966 (original)
April 28, 2015 (increase)
Reference no. 66000118, 15000185

Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial commemorates the Battle of Lake Erie that took place near Ohio's South Bass Island, in which Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry led a fleet to victory in one of the most significant naval battles to occur in the War of 1812.[1] Located on an isthmus on the island,[2] the memorial also celebrates the lasting peace between Britain, Canada, and the United States that followed the war.

The Memorial Column

Overview[edit]

A 352-foot (107 m) monument — the world's most massive Doric column — was constructed in Put-in-Bay, Ohio by a multi-state commission from 1912 to 1915 "to inculcate the lessons of international peace by arbitration and disarmament."

View from the top of the Column at Perry's Memorial
View from the top of the Column at Perry's Memorial
Inside the rotunda at the base of the column
Inside the rotunda at the base of the column

Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial was established to honor those who fought in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812, and to celebrate the long-lasting peace among Britain, Canada and the U.S. The Memorial column, rising over Lake Erie, is situated five miles from the longest undefended border in the world.

Although the monument bears the name of Oliver Hazard Perry and six officers slain during the battle are buried under its rotunda, Perry is buried in Newport Rhode Island. Beneath the stone floor of the monument lie the remains of those three American officers and three British officers. Carved into the walls inside the rotunda are the names of soldiers and sailors who were killed or injured in the battle.

The Doric Column is the only international peace memorial in the United States National Park System and stands 47 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. The upper deck platform is 12 feet higher than the statue of Liberty’s torch.[3]

To visit the observation deck near the top, visitors must walk up 37 steps, pay the minimal admission cost ($5.00 cash only for adults over the age of 15 in 2016) then a National Park Ranger will transport them by elevator to the top. Rangers are stationed at the observation deck to answer questions and speak about the history and surrounding area. Views span Lake Erie, the islands and mainland of Ohio, and nearby islands in Ontario, including Middle Island, the southernmost point of land in Canada, and part of Point Pelee National Park.

The column is among the tallest monuments in the United States (the Gateway Arch, San Jacinto Monument, and Washington Monument are taller). Although substantially completed in 1915, funding problems prevented the proper completion of a fully realized memorial complex.[4] In 1919 the federal government assumed control of the monument and provided additional funding. The official dedication was celebrated on July 31, 1931. In 2002, 2.4 million dollars was spent on a new visitor center. The memorial is visited by 200,000 people each year.

Administrative history[edit]

Established as Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial National Monument by Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 2, 1936 (Proclamation No. 2182); redesignated a National Memorial and renamed on October 26, 1972. As with all historic areas administered by the National Park Service, the memorial was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966; the listing's boundaries were increased in 2015.

2013 US quarter coin[edit]

The 2013 "Perry's Victory" quarter dollar

Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial were selected to represent Ohio in the multi-year America the Beautiful Quarters series, honoring a national site from every US state, district, or territory. Its design shows Oliver Hazard Perry on the coin's reverse, depicting the site's statue of Perry with the International Peace Memorial in the distance.[5] The design was selected from eleven proposals, none of which included the words "International Peace".[6]

Structural concerns[edit]

Flags of Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. fly next to the memorial at equal height, following protocol

The Memorial had been closed for most of the summer of 2006 after a 500 pound (230 kg) piece of granite broke off the southeast face of the observation deck, falling 315 feet (96 m) and leaving a crater in the plaza in June. No one was injured. Following a structural assessment that deemed it safe for visitors, the memorial reopened on August 26, 2006, with a fence surrounding it.

The monument closed on September 30, 2009 for repairs, and reopened on July 3, 2012.[7][8]

Other Navy memorials[edit]

The memorial column can be seen from the visitor's center through the window behind the statue of Commodore Perry.
The Memorial Plaque on the Floor of the Rotunda
The Memorial Plaque on the Floor of the Rotunda

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]