View from atop the observation deck of the Perry Memorial, looking down into the village's downtown area and DeRivera Park (wooded area to the right)
Location of South Bass Island, Ohio
Location of Put-in-Bay in Ottawa County
|• Mayor||Jessica C. Dress|
|• Total||0.62 sq mi (1.59 km2)|
|• Land||0.43 sq mi (1.12 km2)|
|• Water||0.18 sq mi (0.48 km2)|
|Elevation||595 ft (181 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||326.39/sq mi (126.04/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
The bay played a significant role in the War of 1812 as the location of the squadron of U.S. naval commander Oliver Hazard Perry, who sailed from the port on September 10, 1813, to engage a British squadron just north of the island in the Battle of Lake Erie.
Location and area
Put-in-Bay is located 15 miles (24 km) northwest of Sandusky, at (41.653006, -82.817620).
The first known people to use the island were various groups of Native American tribes, including the Ottawas, Miamis, Shawnee, Senecas, Iroquois, and the Eries. The island provided shelter during crossings of Lake Erie. Some remains were discovered when a section of the island was plowed.
In 1679 Robert LaSalle and thirty-two of his men were the first to sail a large vessel in the Great Lakes: the Griffon. They would transport fur and pelts from Queensland, Ontario to Green Bay, Wisconsin. Stopping at Middle Bass Island, they found unique undiscovered flowers. They named the island Isle des Fleurs because of the flowers; this name was used for the next 200 years.
During the War of 1812, Put-in-Bay was an important base of operations for the US Navy fleet commanded by Oliver Hazard Perry. Captain Perry and his fleet arrived at the island on August 16, 1813. They used the island to train and to spy on the British, who were located at Fort Malden, Ontario, Canada. At that point, the war had been going on for 32 months and developments had favored the British: Detroit had surrendered to them, and all American invasions of Canada had been repulsed. On September 10, 1813, Captain Robert H. Barclay, the commander of the British ships, was seen by a lookout on Captain Perry's flagship, the Lawrence. Captain Perry and his fleet hid behind the Bass Islands and waited for the British to unknowingly cross their path. The battle began at 11:45 in the morning about eight miles away from Put-in-Bay, with the British fleet caught by surprise. By around 3:00 of that day Captain Perry and his fleet had defeated the British, who lost control of Lake Erie along with their entire fleet of six ships. This event was a major turning point in the war.
Two iconic American Navy slogans originated from these events: "Don't Give Up The Ship" and "We have met the enemy and they are ours," were both said by Oliver Hazard Perry.
During the years of 1820 and 1830, the island was under the jurisdiction of Huron County, Ohio, but it was later joined to Ottawa County, Ohio. Put-in-Bay Township was finally established after 1830. The island was only very sparsely inhabited and there was no actual village prior to the creation of the township. The first known Caucasian resident of the island was Alexander Ewen, who had about 1,000 hogs roaming the island in 1810.
The abolitionist John Brown's son John Jr. was living in Put-In-Bay in 1882.
Put-in-Bay is the site of Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial commemorating Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's September 10, 1813, naval victory over British ships in the War of 1812. Construction of the monument began in 1912 and it opened to the public on June 13, 1915. It is 352 feet (107 m) tall and made up of 78 layers of pink granite, topped with an eleven ton (10 metric ton) bronze urn. Its height makes it the highest open-air observatory operated by the U.S. National Park Service. The remains of six naval officers, three British and three Americans, were interred beneath the floor of the monument's rotunda.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 138 people, 70 households, and 43 families residing in the village. The population density was 306.7 inhabitants per square mile (118.4/km2). There were 263 housing units at an average density of 584.4 per square mile (225.6/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 100.0% White.
There were 70 households, of which 17.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.9% were married couples living together, 4.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.6% were non-families. 32.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.94 and the average family size was 2.44.
The median age in the village was 54.7 years. 15.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 2.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 15.1% were from 25 to 44; 38.4% were from 45 to 64; and 29% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 52.9% male and 47.1% female.
The village is home to Put-in-Bay High School. Aside from South Bass Island, Put-In-Bay Local School District covers the Lake Erie Islands of Buckeye Island, Gibraltar Island, Green Island, Mouse Island, Rattlesnake Island, and Starve Island, even though most of these islands are uninhabited.
|Climate data for Put-in-Bay|
|Record high °F (°C)||66
|Average high °F (°C)||31.9
|Daily mean °F (°C)||25.8
|Average low °F (°C)||19.6
|Record low °F (°C)||−18
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||1.91
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||6.4
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||9.7||8.5||9.9||11.2||11.0||9.2||8.2||8.0||8.2||8.5||9.6||9.9||113.9|
|Source 1: NOAA (normals 1981-2010)|
|Source 2: Weatherbase |
Ohio state routes
- Put-in-Bay Airport offers a single, unlit, paved 2870-foot runway in addition to a helipad.
- North Bass Island Airport located on North Bass Island, offers a 1,804 ft (550 m) (549.9 m) paved airstrip.
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For most of its history, the island's primary industry has been tourism and continues to be today. The tourist season runs roughly between April and October. The most common methods of transportation to and from the island are via ferry boat, propeller-driven aircraft and private boat.
One of the world's largest hotels, the Hotel Victory, opened its 625 rooms to the public in 1892. The four-story hotel featured a one-thousand-seat dining room. However, on August 14, 1919, the giant hotel burned to the ground. Today only parts of the foundations can be seen at the state campground.
Other historical sites include:
- Stonehenge Estate – An estate with 19th-century buildings that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Perry's Cave – Cave discovered by Native Americans. Perry sent men here during the War of 1812 (Battle of Lake Erie). Has an underground lake from which Perry's men obtained drinking water, after previously drinking from the bacteria filled Lake Erie water and getting sick. The water in the cave was clean and thus by drinking it, his men returned to health in order to win the battle.
- Heineman's winery and Crystal Cave – the world's largest geode.
- Lake Erie Islands Historical Society – 6,000 square foot (560 m2) museum that houses artifacts, memorabilia and genealogical data pertinent to the Lake Erie Islands.
There are under 150 full-time (South Bass Island) residents, most of whom remain on the island over the winter. Supplies and perishables are flown to the island during the winter months along with the mail, parcels and bank employees who staff the island's only bank (for one day a week) until the spring. The island has a single school that is used for grades kindergarten through 12 and serves the educational requirements of Middle Bass and North Bass islands. These students arrive by plane, boat or ATV across the frozen lake depending on the season and weather.
Put-in-Bay has one grocery store, one hardware store, one school - which houses the one lending library branch - one gas station, a post office, one bank and two cemeteries. It has one seasonal franchise restaurant, Subway. There is no cinema. The island does not have a hospital, but does have an Emergency Medical Service that can use a Life Flight helicopter to transport critically ill patients to mainland medical facilities.
In 1952–1959, as well as 1963, the island held road races around a 3-mile (4.8 km) course. In 2011, the Put-in-Bay Road Races Reunion returned to the island. The temporary road course set up at the Put-in-Bay Airport during the 2011 event was a key step in pointing the way to the return of real vintage sports car racing to the island for 2012.
The Boy Scouts of America hold an annual camporee at the base of Perry's Monument.
- "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved May 21, 2020.
- Lossing, Benson (1868). The Pictorial Field-Book of the War of 1812. Harper & Brothers, Publishers. p. 517.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 12, 2012. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- "Centuries-old bones of baby, teen and adult found on Put-In-Bay". Fox8 Cleveland. Associated Press. September 9, 2017. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
- "Plaque information: René-Robert Cavelier de La Salle at Cataracoui". Ontario Heritage Trust. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
- Roosevelt, Theodore (1889). The Naval War of 1812 Or The History of the United States Navy during the Last War with Great Britain to Which Is Appended an Account of the Battle of New Orleans (Tenth ed.). New York: G. P. Putnum's Sons. p. 266.
- "Famous Navy Quotes: Who Said Them and When". Naval History and Heritage Command. Archived from the original on September 23, 2007. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
- 1820 and 1830 United States Federal Census, for Danbury Twp. Huron County, Ohio.
- letter from Charles Barnum to Z. Wildman, 1810; Zalmon Wildman papers, at the Ohio Historical Society (and copy held by R.B. Hayes library, Fremont, Oh.)
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- http://www.ottawacountyauditor.org/Map.aspx Ottawa County Auditor, School District Basemap. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
- "Station Name: Put-in-Bay, Ohio". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved March 3, 2013.[permanent dead link]
- "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Put-in-Bay, Ohio". Weatherbase. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
- Airport Data Dot Com accessed June 20, 2012
- "North Bass Island". FAA. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
- Volgenau, Gerry (2005). Islands : Great Lakes stories. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Ann Arbor Media Group LLC. pp. 23–29. ISBN 1-58726-128-6.
- Kozak, Graham (October 30, 2017). "Then & Now". Autoweek. 67 (20): 18–20. ISSN 0192-9674.
- Stinchcomb, Jon. "Boy Scouts descend on Put-in-Bay for Historical Weekend". Port Clinton News Herald. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
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