Put-In-Bay Maritime Celebration & Mayfly Festival

—- Put-In-Bay Maritime Celebration —-

This is a celebration of the past and present of maritime at Put in Bay Ohio. Plan on bringing Dad to Put-in-Bay to celebrate Fathers Day at the Maritime Celebration’s Kids Day on Sunday, June, 18th! Hands-on educational activites, arts & crafts and live demonstrations. Fun for the entire family! We will welcome the US Brig Niagara to the Jet Express dock in downtown Put-in-Bay. See what makes Put-in-Bay such a fun port of call for the entire family as we welcome the US Brig Niagara for the 3rd Annual Put-in-Bay Maritime Celebration. The Niagara’s visit is sponsored by the Put-in-Bay Jet Express and Put-in-Bay Winery. Program funded by the NPS Foundation brings elementary aged children to Put-in-Bay to learn about boats, sailing and maritime oriented skills.

The Maritime event takes place the third weekend in June each year. This year the Put-in-Bay Maritime Celebration will be held June 16-18 and will encompass the visit of the US Brig Niagara as well as the Mayfly Fest, and educational and public service programs. The Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce is hosting the event in partnership with the Perry Group, the Lake Erie Islands Historical Museum, and Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial. The Niagara is scheduled to arrive on Friday, June 16, weather permitting, and will offer dockside tours on Friday from 11am to 5pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 7pm.

Tickets can be purchased at Fox’s Dock where Niagara is berthed. Tours of the USS Brig Niagara on Saturday and Sunday, $7 Adult and $5 Children. The Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce will be selling tickets for a late afternoon Day Sail aboard Niagara, from 3pm to 8pm. Tickets are $100 per person for the five-hour sailing experience aboard the square-rigger. This is a hands on sail experience for ages 12 yrs and up. Tickets will also be sold for a dockside reception aboard Niagara on Friday evening, June 16. Ticket holders will be treated to appetizers and cold beverages, and will be able to tour Niagara and talk with the brig’s crew.

—- 6th Annual Mayfly Festival —-

History gets a little watery on Saturday, June 17th, at Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial when we turn our attention from the Battle itself to the Lake. The National Park Service site is hosting its 6th annual “Return of the Mayfly” festival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Return of the Mayfly is a free event that gives adults and children alike the opportunity to learn about our fascinating friend, the mayfly and his ecological counterpart in Lake Erie… the fish.

Events and activities will focus on the Lake Erie ecosystem and some of our favorite critters will be here, the mayflies! Our annual Mayfly Fest honors those pesky insects we all love to hate. Yet, mayflies play such an important role in the local ecology and in determining the health of Lake Erie that they deserve our respect and understanding.

This year’s activities will again include a variety of fun science based activities. Visitors will have the opportunity to study mayflies with some student volunteers using viewing scopes provided by Ohio State University Stone Laboratory. Fish, snakes, and mayflies will be in attendance. Children may participate in the ever popular “Build-A-Bug” and “Bug Mask” crafts. Fishing, Ichthyology and Invasive Species Ranger Programs will provide kids with the opportunity to see and understand some interesting critters and plant species. Plus, some of our park rangers will help children discover the effects of pollution using hands-on water quality testing.

Admission is free.

More about the mayfly:

  • Mayflies are insects abundant throughout the world and spend almost their entire lives in lakes or streams.
  • As adults, they survive a short time — anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days.
  • Mayflies primarily become adults to procreate.
  • Mayfly eggs, primarily found in fresh bodies of water, can live underwater for up to five years.
  • The average mayfly’s length ranges anywhere from one-fourth of 1 inch to 1 inch.
  • A mayfly is also known as a dun, fishfly, shadfly and June bug.
  • Mayflies are not harmful nor are they poisonous. There’s no threat of infection with them.
  • Mayflies have neither mouths nor digestive tracks.
  • Mayflies don’t have mouths nor digestive tracks.


Two New Beautiful Rental Homes for Put-in-Bay

There are two BRAND NEW rental homes available this summer in the Island Club community at Put-in-Bay Ohio. These two homes were built in the summer of 2016 and can accommodate 12 or 16 guests respectively. With each house, you have convenient access to the Island Club Big Pool, Island Club Taxi service, and Island Club Golf Cart Rentals for the duration of your stay. They are both perfect for larger family groups looking for a nice, affordable, midweek getaway on a Lake Erie island. Close to home, but an Island away!

Island Club House #77

This BRAND NEW Put-in-Bay vacation home has four sizable bedrooms and two full baths. Up to twelve guests can be accommodated in this lovely property. Pull right in to your own driveway, with space for two vehicles. The door has a convenient coded door lock, ending the difficulties with keys. You and your guests can access the unit at your leisure. Inside, guests enter into the dining area. Two sliding glass doors exit the dining room to the brick patio. A picnic table with additional seating and a propane grill complete this space. Back inside the home, the kitchen can handle the desires of the cook of your group. Pans, dishes, utensils and such are provided. The living room has comfortable couches and television with satellite service. Conveniently, there are golf carts that can be rented within the Island Club village. Choose a vacation home during your next Lake Erie getaway. The comforts of home can be yours, while keeping all in your group together. We manage several homes in this section, so your very large groups can stay closely together. Booking early is recommended, as dates fill quite fast. The weekends at Put in Bay Ohio are popular for the nightlife and getting away from the daily work grind without going too far from home. During the week, you can relax and enjoy Put-In-Bay’s slower pace in a family friendly atmosphere. With Island Club Rentals, you can visit Put-in-Bay and enjoy your own home and you can even rent a golf cart onsite to get around. Please let us know how we can make your vacation at Put-in-Bay a great one!

To View this house and check availability – https://www.islandclub.com/booking/island-club-77/1668-104055

Island Club Home #111

The space you need for your large group can be found with this great BRAND NEW Put-in-Bay vacation home. With five bedrooms and two bathrooms, this home can sleep up to sixteen guests. Park in the brick driveway with space for up to two cars, and you are set for a great trip. The front of the home features a large brick patio complete with deck chairs, picnic table and a propane grill. As you step inside, you enter into the combined living and dining areas. There is a flat-screen television with DirecTV service and a comfortable sitting area. The kitchen is off of this area and comes complete with all the necessities to prepare and serve a delicious meal. The center kitchen island is absolutely HUGE and can seat all 16 guests comfortably for a meal, games, or just hanging out. There is a wooded area to the rear of the home for added privacy. The Island Club at Put-in-Bay is ready for you and yours to make your way to the island. We strive to provide the best lodging options during your trip to the Lake Erie Islands. Remember that many dates sellout quickly, so don’t wait before it is too late. We manage several other homes on this street which can be rented to accommodate your large group. The weekends at Put in Bay Ohio are popular for the nightlife and getting away from the daily work grind without going too far from home. During the week, you can relax and enjoy Put-In-Bay’s slower pace in a family friendly atmosphere. With Island Club Rentals, you can visit Put-in-Bay and enjoy your own home and you can even rent a golf cart onsite to get around. Please let us know how we can make your vacation at Put-in-Bay a great one!

To View this house and check availability – https://www.islandclub.com/booking/island-club-111/1668-104053

The Amazing Island Raise

Ottawa County CASA and Joyful Connections are teaming up to host Season 5 of The Amazing Island Raise, Put-in-Bay Style on June 10. This event is based on the television show The Amazing Race and participants will solve clues, complete challenges and win great prizes all while enjoying the fun and sun of Put-in-Bay.

Teams of 4-6 adults will race against one another to see who has what it takes to be the Amazing Raise champion. Teams will ride the Miller Ferry to the island of Put-in-Bay where the clues and challenges will take place. Once the winner has been declared, the teams can remain on the island to enjoy the rest of the day and return on the ferry when they are ready to leave Put in Bay.

The entry fee is $40 per person and will cover the cost of round trip transportation to the island as well as a team t-shirt and food at the finale location. The fun will begin at 11 a.m. and the group will depart from Catawba Island at noon.

To register a team or for more information contact Shelia Powell at joyfuldirector@gmail.com or 567-262-3181. All proceeds from the event will benefit Joyful Connections and Ottawa County CASA.

The 2017 Put-in Bay Music Festival

Put-in-Bay Ohio is bringing some new and exciting musical talent to the island this summer. They include bluegrass, new grass, folk, zydeco and rhythm & blues. Island visitors will get to experience all this for free this summer as the island kicks off 2017 with the first Put-in-Bay Music Festival on Saturday, June 10, at Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial here on South Bass Island.

“The music festival continues Perry’s Victory’s ongoing celebration of peace through music at the National Park,” said Park Superintendent Barbara Fearon. “We’re looking forward to hosting this event annually at the park.”

The Put-in-Bay Music Festival kicks off at 11:00 AM with the final musical act wrapping about 8:00 PM.

Miller Boat Line is one of the sponsors of this event which is a collaboration between many partners, including the Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce, the National Park Service, the Perry Group (Perry’s Victory’s Friends Group), and the Lake Erie Islands Historical Society.

Information about Put-in-Bay, including lodging, dining and live entertainment can be found at the main Put-in-Bay visitor website, www.putinbay.com.

This year’s Put in Bay Music Festival line-up includes such wonderful acts as: Strung Like a Horse, Emily Keener, Mo’Mojo, The Floorwalkers, JP and the Chatfield Boys, The Flyin Jays (an island fave), The Oh Chays and Put-in-Bay Anthem songwriter and singer Bob Gatewood. Each act will perform 45 minutes to an hour or more.

More information can be found here: Put-in-Bay Music Festival (http://pibmusicfest.com/)

Put-in-Bay Days Music Festival in Key West

Sloppy Joe’s 13th Annual Put-In-Bay Music Festival February 9-11, 2017

Do you wish you were down in Key West right now at the Put-in-Bay Days Music Festival? So do we! The island may be cold now for the winter ice fishermen with good ice conditions, but it won’t be long before we reopen our doors for the Spring and Summer where shorts and sandals are always the standard. Here’s a few pics from Put-in-Bay Days last year so you can see what you either missed or can look forward too. Bobby is on stage right now tuning up his acoustic axe (10:00AM Florida time). But don’t worry, you can see all of these great island entertainers back up on the island in a few months!!!


Ray Fogg Sloppy Joes Key West Put in Bay Days
Ray Fogg Sloppy Joes Key West Put in Bay Days


Wednesday, February 8th

5:30 PM – 9:30 PM … PIB Jam Session with Pete, Ray, and Bob

Thursday, February 9th

12:00 PM – 2:30 PM … Bob Gatewood
2:45 PM – 4:30 PM … Ray Fogg
4:45 PM – 6:30 PM … Pete and Wayne
7:30 PM – 9:30 PM … Pat Dailey

Friday, February 10th

12:15 PM – 2:15 PM … Bob Gatewood
2:30 PM – 4:15 PM … Ray Fogg
4:30 PM – 6:30 PM … Pete and Wayne
7:30 PM – 9:30 PM … Pat Dailey

Saturday, February 11th

12:15 PM – 2:15 PM … Bob Gatewood
2:30 PM – 4:15 PM … Ray Fogg
4:30 PM – 6:30 PM … Pete and Wayne
7:30 PM – 9:30 PM … Pat Dailey

Pat Dailey Sloppy Joes Key West Put in Bay Days
Pat Dailey Sloppy Joes Key West Put in Bay Days

Sloppy Joe’s Bar has bottled up a bit of Lake Erie’s summer and will open it up in Key West Florida from February 9th – February 11th to celebrate one island’s culture to the other. Put-in-Bay’s best entertainers perform alongside Key West’s most popular performers. Scheduled to perform again this year are the absolute best performers that Put-in-Bay Ohio has to offer: the infamous Bob Gatewood, Pete and Wayne, Ray Fogg, and island legend Patrick Houston Dailey. Take it from us, if you want to go then book your hotel rooms for next year NOW rather than waiting, because finding last minute accommodations is near impossible (we tried last year)! This event is a great way to put some Put-in-Bay fun into a long winter season and see your island friends that you don’t usually see between seasons.

Pete and Wayne Sloppy Joes Key West Put in Bay Days
Pete and Wayne Sloppy Joes Key West Put in Bay Days

You have missed Put-in-Bay enough over the Winter, and the time has come to put an island back in your life. Flock to the southernmost place in the USA for the annual Put-in-Bay Days in Key West. At the World Renowned Sloppy Joe Bar island entertainers descend for 3 days of music that has echoed the Lake Erie region for years. The likes of Patrick Houston Dailey and Mike “Mad Dog” Adams are known to frequent this annual event. Many of the Put-in-Bay faithful attend this fun filled event each and every year. This awesome event has no cover charge, no tickets and no reservations will be taken. Just come as you are to Sloppy Joes and get ready for another memorable season on Putinbay. Cure your PIB Blues with this off-season must attend event. If you have never driven the majestic bridges leading to Key West, this is an excellent opportunity to do so. Fly in to Miami, rent a car and set your compass south.

Top 5 Attractions at Put-in-Bay Ohio for Summer 2017

Although it is on a small island, Put-in-Bay is Lake Erie’s largest resort destination. Once primarily a day trip mecca, Putinbay has now grown to include a huge variety of activities and tours with guests staying a week or more in our luxurious hotels & resorts and vacation home rentals. Along with excellent prices, Put-in-Bay also offers their exclusive Bay Bucks Fun Discount Coupons which provides discounts on activities and tours around the island. The discount coupons feature savings of over $400 on restaurants and shopping around the island. Of course, despite all the new attractions, the # 1 draw to Put-in-Bay is still its historic Perry’s Monument and International Peace Memorial.

So many things to do in Put-in-Bay, Ohio… still haven’t found what you’re looking for? Try something different – relax with a massage or learn some adventurous Lake Erie watersports. Put-in-Bay attractions, tours and activities. There is something here on Put in Bay for people of all ages.

Perry’s Victory And International Peace Memorial

93 Delaware Avenue, Put-in-Bay, OH 43456

The Perry Peace Memorial and Visitors Center on Put in bay was built in honor of Oliver Hazard Perry, who defeated the British in a huge naval battle on Lake Erie that played a key role in the American victory in the War of 1812. Today visitors to Put-in-Bay can travel 317 feet up to the top of the monument to take in a spectacular view of the Lake Erie Islands and the shores of Ohio, Michigan and Ontario. At the base of the monument, Put in Bay park rangers give living history demonstrations. Admission is $3.00; 15 years and under are free.

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.” Beneath the stone floor of the monument lie the remains of three American officers and three British officers. It is among the tallest monuments in the United States (the Gateway Arch, San Jacinto Monument, and the Washington Monument are taller). Although substantially completed in 1915, funding problems prevented the proper completion of a fully realized memorial complex. 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.

Put-In-Bay Winery

392 Bayview Avenue, Put-in-Bay, OH 43456

Situated on the historic Doller Estate, come enjoy our majestic views of Put-in-Bays downtown harbor while sampling our world-class wines. We offer a tasting tour of the estate, individual samples, flights, glasses and bottles of wine and juice! Our staff prides ourselves in putting together the perfect flight to please any palate! Whether relaxing on our Victorian front porch or wine garden, our friendly, knowledgeable staff is here to make your experience one to remember!

Perry’s Cave At Put-In-Bay

979 Catawba Avenue, Put-in-Bay, OH 43456

Perry’s Cave, located 50 feet below Put in Bay, is open to island visitors for 20-minute tours. South Bass Island’s secret limestone cave is 208 feet long and 165 feet wide and has its own freshwater lake underneath Lake Erie. We suggest bringing a sweatshirt and comfortable walking shoes, as the temperature underground drops to about 50 degrees.

Ohio State University Stone Labs At Put-In-Bay

878 Bayview Avenue, Put-in-Bay, OH 43456

Created in 1895 and located on the 6.5-acre Gibraltar Island at Put in Bay, Frantz Theodore Stone Laboratory is Ohio’s Lake Erie laboratory. It is the nation’s oldest freshwater biological field station and the Island Campus of The Ohio State University. The Laboratory offers college-level courses each summer with faculty and students coming from all over the country. Since 1990, students from 40 Ohio colleges, 27 out-of-state colleges, and 257 high schools have taken these courses for college credit. The Laboratory also provides a facility for year-round research, offers special conference facilities and speakers, and develops and offers custom-designed Aquatic Workshop programs for grades 4 through adult with over 5,000 participants annually.

Kimberly’s Carousel

50 Delaware Avenue, Put-in-Bay, OH 43456

For only $1.50, you can take a ride on Put-in-Bay’s original 1917 Herschel carousel, one of the last merry-go-rounds in the country that’s still up and running. Kids love riding the cow, chicken, rooster, horse and pig, but any islander will tell you that Put-in-Bay’s favorite animal on the carousel is Pete the Perch. You can buy tickets next door at the Carriage House.

Top 5 Water Activities at Put-in-Bay Ohio for Summer 2017

Scuba dive, jet ski, snorkel, try other water sports, golf carts, beaches, parks, museums, monuments, massage, mini-golf and more. Tours and excursions on South Bass Island! From day trips for ferry boat passengers to longer tours in the historic buildings and monuments of Put in Bay. Beaches! Check out the island’s many miles of beautiful shoreline and scenic Lake Erie views.

Put-in-Bay, Ohio… it’s a fun place to be; not far off either and convenient and happening. It has lots of options to do and spend some quality time. Water sports like any shoreline town, kayak, canoe, jet ski, rent a boat, parasail, and on and on. Or just lie in the parks and have a beautiful view of the mighty lake erie. Pool parties, sunday classic car parades, biplane rides… So much to do. Rent a golf cart for the day and you are set to explore the island. There is also a good variety of shops, pubs, and bars to grab a beer.

Put-In-Bay Watercraft Rentals

1523 Catawba Avenue, Put-in-Bay, OH 43456

Put-in-Bay Watercraft Rentals located at the South Bass Island State Park, offers a variety of things to do. Fully equipped with kayaks, wave runners, dinghys, and power boats, Put in Bay Watercraft Rentals allows you to further explore the island and its waters.

Jet Ski At The Bay

14 Bath Street, Put-in-Bay, OH 43456

Jet Ski at The Bay is your only downtown jet ski rental option. As you get to know the island, you will discover that there are two ways in which you can ride a jet ski in Put in Bay; the first is to rent the equipment yourself and enjoy your own excursions, the second, bring your own. They are located in downtown Put-in-Bay on the waterfront adjacent to Toledo avenue. Jet skis rent by the half hour and can be reserved online.

Kayak At The Bay

760 Bayview Avenue, Put-in-Bay, OH 43456

Kayak at the Bay is located on Bayview Avenue down from the Doller Mansion and offers single and double sit-on-top and sit-in kayaks for cruising the Lake Erie islands. Whether you choose to stay in the harbor or go on an adventure around the island, you’re guaranteed to have a good time. Floats, water bikes, and ski tubes are also available for rent. Located one block from the Jet Express.

Put-In-Bay Parasail

341 Bayview Avenue, Put-in-Bay, OH 43456

Put-in-Bay Parasail is located one block from the Jet Express. Parasailing is a great way to see Put in Bay. The parasailing headquarters is conveniently located by the Boardwalk on the docks. Enjoy the windy breeze as you tour the island’s beautiful terrace. By sailing from a 600 foot towline, taking off and landing on boats with flight decks allows you to remain dry. Parasailing is safe and fun for ages 3 and up, and no experience or athletic ability is necessary.

Jet Express Ferry Boat

3 N Monroe St, Port Clinton, OH 43452

Ferry service to Put in Bay Ohio… where the Jet Express Ferry ride can be half the fun of getting to South Bass Island Put-in-Bay. Relax and ride while enjoying a narrated tour of the history of the island. All-aluminum ocean-approved catamarans, the Jet Express are built in the USA. Traveling at speeds in excess of 40 mph the catamarans are among the fastest ferries in the world, yet the sleek twin hull design glides through all weather conditions with unmatched smoothness. Triple deck design provides beautiful viewing from an open air observation deck or from two stylishly appointed passenger lounges with tinted windows, carpeted decks and cushioned seats. Providing Early Morning/Late Night Service to downtown Put-in-Bay, board the Jet Express for the most convenient and most comfortable transportation to the island.

Put-in-Bay’s Top 10 Places to Dine

Everyone always asks us the same question… where is the best place to eat at Put-in-Bay? With over 2 dozen different dining options, we decided to come up with our Top 10. What do you think?!?

Mr. Ed’s Bar And Grille

Mr. Ed’s is definitely the place to be for lunch, dinner or late night on the island. The happy hour prices are unbeatable – some of the best on Putinbay – as are the bands (always crowd pleasers) and the rooftop bar upstairs (the view of downtown Put in Bay is amazing). The sports bar feel of the afternoon, where you can eat wings and watch the big game on one of 15 plasma TVs, segues into an all-night indoor and outdoor party after dark.

The Boardwalk

A lakefront restaurant serving some of the freshest seafood on the Ohio islands, including its world-famous Lobster Bisque – what’s not to love? The menu for this casual family dining restaurant includes choices from a seafood lover’s dream, like perch, Alaskan King Crab, and shrimp, as well as burgers, fries, and pizza. A great mix of live bands can also be found at The Boardwalk. Getting to Put-in-Bay by your own personal boat? The Boardwalk has 80 mooring buoys and a harbor taxi for diners.

Chicken Patio

The Chicken Patio, located in downtown Put in Bay next to the Roundhouse, has been an island staple since 1952. It is not high class. It is not fancy dining. It is just incredibly good food! There is one thing on the menu and that’s it… the Half-Chicken Dinner. The chicken is grilled over a 21-ft. open pit and is slathered with Chicken Patio’s own famous wine-based barbeque sauce. Dinners also come with a roll, potato salad, and sweet corn on the cob. Bon appetit!

Frosty’s Family Pizza And Bar

Enjoy a crisp and refreshing ice cold island beer in one of Frosty’s frosted beer mugs! Combine that with a slice of pizza and a game of pool with your pals, and you’re in Put-in-Bay heaven. If you’re up before the middle of the afternoon the next day, stop by for a delicious breakfast.

Press House Joe’s Bar and Restaurant?

With a motto of “Beer is Food. Eat at Joe’s,” how can you go wrong? Stop by Joe’s Bar to get a personal vibe and some local color – you’ll swear you’re in old Key West. Joe’s also serves surprisingly affordable sandwiches and dogs and has a carryout beverage store onsite. Did we mention that Joe himself is a pretty cool guy with lots of good stories?

Put-In-Bay Brewing Company

We have one brewery on Put-in-Bay island, and this is it. The Brewing Co. is home to a secretly great pizza, late nights (open until 2:30 a.m. daily), live entertainment and at least three different beers brewed right here: Ole Cotton Top Irish Red, Summer Brew and Fat Man’s Friend. If you are lucky, you may visit while the Watermelon Wheat or Christmas Ale is on tap… it goes fast! Kids and adult menu offer wide variety of appetizers, pizzas, wings, sandwiches, ribs, steak, perch, South of the Border menu and Putinbay’s only Beer Cheese Soup. Dine in or takeout.

Blu Luna

Situated within the Harbor Village complex, Blu Luna has a variety of options for all tastes. Wood fired pizzas and fabulous martinis are a few examples of the great offerings this eatery offers. Enjoy views of Perry’s Monument from their outdoor patio. Stop by and check out one of Put-in-Bay’s newest offerings!

Put-In-Bay Winery

Situated on the historic Doller Estate, come enjoy our majestic views of Put-in-Bays downtown harbor while sampling our world-class wines. We offer a tasting tour of the estate, individual samples, flights, glasses and bottles of wine and juice! Our staff prides ourselves in putting together the perfect flight to please any palate! Whether relaxing on our Victorian front porch or wine garden, our friendly, knowledgeable staff is here to make your experience one to remember!

Put In Bay Pizza Company

Located within the Put in Bay Resort complex, the Put-in-Bay Pizza Company caters to the entire island and specializes in free delivery to guests of the Put-in-Bay Resort and Bay Lodging Resort. An extensive Italian restaurant features thin and thick-crust pizza, strombolis, grinders, and larger-than-life salads. Open late every night and until 3am on weekends. Don’t miss out on this PIB favorite!

Chocolate Cafe

The name alone will get your mouth watering. The Chocolate Cafe and Chocolate Museum at Put-in-Bay has a multitude of items relating to this favorite snack of many. The gift shop has trinkets, t-shirts and unique gifts for all of your chocolate lovers. Decadent chocolate and ice cream is also available for your delight. Open for breakfast!

History – The Battle of Lake Erie

The United States Brig Niagara in Erie, Pennsylvania is a reconstruction of an early 19th century warship of the United States Navy. On September 10, 1813, nine small ships defeated a British squadron of six vessels in the Battle of Lake Erie. This pivotal event in the War of 1812 secured the Northwest Territory, opened supply lines and lifted the nation’s morale.

Six vessels in Perry’s Fleet, including Niagara were constructed in Erie. Building of the American squadron was a remarkable feat, given Erie’s mere five hundred inhabitants and remote location. Shipwrights, blockmakers, blacksmiths, caulkers, boat builders, and laborers were recruited from Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and elsewhere. Materials to construct the vessels were imported from other regions of Pennsylvania including iron from Meadville and Pittsburgh; canvas for sails from Philadelphia; rigging, cannon shot and anchors crafted in Pittsburgh. The cannon were brought from Washington, D.C. and Sacketts Harbor N.Y. Because there were no sawmills, the lumber had to be cut, hewed, and squared by hand.

Daniel Dobbins, a Great Lakes shipmaster living in Erie, was assigned by the Navy to direct construction until experienced builders arrived. In February 1813, Commodore Isaac Chauncey, Great Lakes Naval Commander, hired Noah Brown, a New York shipbuilder to complete the six vessels. Brown also designed two of the four schooners and the two brigs, Lawrence and Niagara.

In March 1813, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry took command. By late July, Perry completed the vessels and raised volunteers to augment his sailors.

A significant number of the skilled sailors were free blacks, many landsmen and soldiers were also enlisted due to a shortage of men.

On August 1, the British squadron withdrew its blockade and the American ships emerged from Erie harbor. For the next month Perry trained his crews and watched the British squadron at Fort Malden, Ontario (Amherstburg, near the mouth of the Detroit River).

On September 10, the British under Commodore Robert Heriot Barclay and the Americans under Perry met in battle near Put-in-Bay, Ohio. Perry’s flagship Lawrence engaged her counterpart, while Niagara, for unknown reasons, did not close the enemy. Nevertheless, the Lawrence held fast and continued a heavy bombardment. After she was completely disabled, with most of her crew wounded or killed, Perry transferred by boat to the undamaged Niagara, sailed her into close action, broke the British battle line, and forced Barclay to surrender. In the aftermath, Commodore Perry wrote his famous report to General William Henry Harrison: ” We have met the enemy and they are ours: two ships, two brigs, one schooner, and one sloop.”

After the war, Niagara served as a station ship in Erie until 1820, then was scuttled there in Misery Bay. To celebrate the centennial of the battle in 1913, Erie citizens raised the hulk and rebuilt her, using many of the old timbers. Niagara, towed by the USS Wolverine, visited Great Lakes ports and participated in ceremonies at Put-in-Bay on September 10, 1913.

Following the commemoration, Niagara returned to Erie. In 1931, the state took custody of her and began a major restoration that was delayed by the Great Depression. Her hull was completed in 1943; masts and rigging were finally installed in 1963.

By the early 1980s the Niagara was again severely decayed. International Historic Watercraft Society was contracted to design and build a reconstruction of the Niagara. The present ship is a new vessel, incorporating both known and conjectural design features. Some original timber is installed in non-structural places.

On September 10, 1988, the Niagara was launched in Erie ceremonies marking 175th anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie and the ensuing peace between the United Kingdom and the United States.

Why I Love Put-in-Bay

Recently, we asked our guests what they liked most about Put-in-Bay. Answers ranged from short to long and covered just about every attraction and event at Put-in-Bay. Some loved the ferry rides, some loved Christmas in July, and some just enjoyed thinking about youthful summer island vacations. Here are three of our favorite Put-in-Bay stories that we think you will enjoy.

1 – People Watching

The wondrous island of Put-in-Bay is teeming with attractions. Those with historical significance like Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial commemorating the Battle of Lake Erie, to those with nearly mythical auras like the Roundhouse Bar. Still, there is something that I enjoy the most while spending time on intriguing PIB.

The attraction that I like most at Put-in-Bay is the World-Class people watching. Folks from all walks, regions and nationalities descend upon PIB each Summer. From guests to employees, there are many interesting people to meet and watch. There is an endless supply of entertainment sitting on a bench in DeRivera Park on any given day. Multiply the previous statement by a thousand if that day happens to fall on a Friday or Saturday. The overwhelming joy and elation from the thousands of revelers creates an environment that is truly electric. This energy, this force, is the very factor that keeps many guests and workers coming back year after year to basque in this crazy, enigmatic place called Put-in-Bay. I love to meet people who have never been to the island. I love to plant the seed in their minds that they will most certainly return at some point, likely sooner than they could have even imagined to this beautiful island! The draw to PIB is certainly magnetic, with some of the groups touting ten and even twenty years plus of annual trips to the rock. This remarkable attraction extends beyond the downtown area. Hop on a golf cart, the preferred mode of travel on Put-in-Bay, and continue your exploration of the people watching capital of the Midwest. As you leave your bench in the park, head West down Delaware Ave. A string of eclectic watering holes, shops and restaurants flank the street, beckoning revelers to come and seize the day. Turing left on Catawba Road will bring you by Put-in-Bay Town Hall where the PIB Police are stationed. Heading south, you may witness a loving couple completing their nuptials at one of two churches. Stop by South Bass Island State Park and witness a kid skipping rocks off the beautiful Lake Erie shore or a group heading out on Jet Skis in the Summer sun. Continue down Meechen Road towards the airport. Gaze in amazement as planes and helicopters take off and land at 3Whiskey2, the aptly given moniker for the Put-in-Bay Airport. Turning left onto Langram Road, you can peer to the right and see the stunning new Put-in-Bay Condos. Expansive, panoramic views await at the premier vacation rentals on the island on prime Lake Erie waterfront property. The people watching continues as one heads due North down Langram, heading towards the fabled downtown Put-in-Bay area.

Although it may sound strange to pick people watching as my favorite attraction, once you experience it for yourself, you too will understand my choice. There are few places on this planet that harness the power to immediately put people in such a carefree, relaxed state just by merely stepping foot on its soil.

2 – Butterfly House

The attraction I most enjoy on the island is the Butterfly House. The Butterfly House imports thousands of exotic butterflies each year from South America. You walk through an enclosed habitat that houses these butterflies and as you walk, the butterflies land on your arms and hands. My nieces enjoy this attraction because they love seeing the beautiful butterflies of all different colors, sizes, and species. When you leave the butterfly house, there is a reasonably priced gift shop that features anything and everything butterfly related. You can’t visit the island without also exploring the Butterfly House!

3 – The Whole Island Experience

Just about an hour from my home, lies what I believe to be one of the best kept secrets in the USA, Put-in-Bay. I’m not the only one who thinks this small town located on South Bass Island off the Ohio shoreline is pretty great. This Lake Erie island town was recently nominated as one of America’s Coolest Small Towns by Budget Travel magazine.

I could tell you everything that I think is great about Put-in-Bay, but it would be as long as a book! Here are some quick snippets which help sum up the island experience.

Put-in-Bay is known for its wineries and many festivals that it holds throughout the year. Three years ago, it was confirmed that Johnny Depp even made an appearance for the annual Put-in-Bay Pirate Fest, though that wasn’t public information until after the event was over. Does anyone want to venture a guess as to which pirate he decided to impersonate? Yep. None other than Jack Sparrow. I’m sure there was more than one person who said to him, “Wow! Has anyone ever said you look just like…”.

Don’t let the parties scare you off. Some festivals create an adult atmosphere and if you’re looking for a family friendly weekend, you may not want to visit during that time. But most of the time, you’ll find the island is big enough for everyone and makes the perfect spot for a quick getaway, romantic escape, family reunion, corporate event or family friendly vacation. My tip, visit during the week in early September and stay in a waterfront condo, bed and breakfast or cottage away from downtown. It’s not at all crowded, it’s quiet, the weather is perfect, and most importantly… rates drop after Labor Day.

Downtown Put-in-Bay is dotted with charming buildings and some of them even have a pretty colorful history, which you’ll enjoy learning about during your visit. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll definitely want to stop at the Original Bay Fudge shop (aka The Candy Bar). We even bought a chocolate covered Twinkie. Yum.

There are wonderful places to relax and grab a bite to eat both in town and on the water. If you try the Conch Fritters at The Keys while taking in a gorgeous Lake Erie view, you just may forget that you’re still in Ohio.

Do YOU have a favorite island experience or memory to share? We would love to hear from you! Send us an email via the contact form and tell us all about it!