Put-in-Bay Things to Do Top 10

Put-in-Bay Ohio has so many great attractions.  High energy fun like parasailing to more relaxing time spent sipping on some island wine.  Regardless, there truly is something for everyone.  We’ve come up with the 10 Best Things to Do on Put in Bay.  Do you have a suggestion for the list?  Feel free to share your thoughts.

Here’s our Top Then Things to Do on Put-in-Bay:

10. Take a Taxi

Island Club Taxi

This may not seem like a thing to do.  Think again! There are countless stories of fun times had on Put-in-Bay Taxis.  Furthermore, sharing the ride with others will make new friends fast!  Furthermore, the Best Taxi Service on Put-in-Bay is Island Club Taxi.  Their drivers are fun, personable and make sure you have fun.  So, look for them in the white vans with palm trees or call 419-285-5466.

9. Rent a Kayak

Put-in-Bay Kayaks

Rent a kayak from Kayak the Bay.  So, take in the incredible vantage point from on top of Lake Erie.  Breath taking views of Perry’s Monument and the downtown Put-in-Bay Harbor are incredible.  Also, see the famous Benson Ford Ship House, once owned by the Henry Ford Family.

8. Take a Hike

Take a Hike on Put-in-Bay

The beautiful natural setting of Put-in-Bay cannot be overlooked.  So, take a leisurely walk at one of the many nature preserves.  The Scheef Point Preserve, pictured above, offers a gorgeous lakefront setting.  Also, groomed trails greet guests with cozy benches along the way.

7. Jet Ski on Lake Erie

Put-in-Bay Jet Ski

Rip across the water on a Jet Ski.  Then, feel the mist of Lake Erie while taking in the scenery.  Put-in-Bay Watercraft Rental has jet skis, power boats and kayaks for rent.  So, find them near South Bass Island State Park for some water filled fun!

6. Eat Local

Boardwalk Put-in-Bay

With so many things to do, an appetite will surely surface.  Put-in-Bay has only one national chain dining option on the island.  Otherwise, the rest are unique to the island.  So, grab a bowl of Lobster Bisque at the Boardwalk Restaurant.  Oh, so good!

5. Go Parasailing

Put-in-Bay Parasailing

Strap in for an unforgettable ride.  Put-in-Bay Parasailing has been providing service to the island since the early 1990’s.  Float among the clouds taking in amazing views of Perry’s Monument.

4. Drink Island Wine

Put-in-Bay Winery

Get a real taste of the islands.  Grape growing and wine making have been a part of Putin Bay since the islands humble beginnings.  Furthermore,  Heineman’s Winery has been doing so since 1888.  So, stop in for their signature selection: Pink Catawba.  Sweet and fruity, the taste is pure Summer!

3. Take a Bi-Plane Ride

Bi-Plane Put-in-Bay

Planes have been a part of the island for generations.  This lifeline provides transportation in the Winter months.  So, see the island from far above with a ride with a Put-in-Bay Bi-Plane.  Take in spectacular views of the Lake Erie Islands.

2. Rent a Golf Cart

Put-in-Bay Golf Cart

One of the most striking things about Put in-Bay is golf carts!  They seem to be everywhere and they are.  So, renting a golf cart is the best way to see all of the island.  Put-in-Bay Golf Cart Depot has you covered downtown, and Island Club Golf Cart Rentals has rentals onsite for guests.

1. Relax


There certainly is something special about the island of Put-in-Bay.  Worries seem to flee and enjoyment ensues when the clock is set to island time.  So, if you haven’t experienced a feeling quite like this, what are you waiting for?  Put your mind at ease and set course for PIB!

Thanks for Reading!

We hope you’ve enjoyed the Put-in-Bay Things to Do Top 10.  Please, stay tuned for more great lists like this!  Also, your suggestions are encouraged.  What do you want to hear more about?  Tell us!  Cheers, see you at the Bay!

Put-in-Bay Hotel Heritage

The crown jewel of the Lake Erie Islands, Put-in-Bay, has been a favorite destination of tourists for over 200 years.  Many are aware of the island’s rich history and its role in the War of 1812 but less know if the rich hotel heritage.  Put-in-Bay, also known as South Bass Island, served as a type of headquarters for Commodore Perry and the American Navy during the war.  From the harbor, Perry was able to defeat the British in the Battle of Lake Erie, which proved to be the pivotal victory in the conflict.  Ever since then, Put-in-Bay hotel heritage has come to stand for freedom, joy, and peace.

In the years following the war, many came to the island to soak up its pleasures.  Some would walk along the lakefront.  Others would attend celebratory commemorations of the Battle of Lake Erie.  Regardless of their reason for arriving, visitors would have to leave the island by nightfall because there were no hotels or lodgings on the island for tourists.

Today, first-rate establishments like the Put-in-Bay Condos or the classic Island Club rentals allow tourists to enjoy more time on the island.  But, this wasn’t always the case. In fact, island-goers had to wait approximately 50 years after the War of 1812 ended before overnight lodgings arrived.

Put-in-Bay Hotels
Put-in-Bay Hotels

The First Hotel on Put-in-Bay

The very first hotel on the island had a humble beginning.  In the early 1860s, a man by the name of Frederick Cooper saw an opportunity for business and added rooms to a house near the boat landing.  As the demand for more guests increased, he built more rooms.

A few years later, in 1867, he found a partner (Andrew Decker), and they officially named their budding enterprise The Island Home.  Over the next few years, The Island Home underwent several expansions.  Builders added stables, a bowling alley, a bar, and a beer garden.  They sold it in 1879, and the new owner, Henry Beebe, re-named the establishment the Perry House.

Under Beebe’s direction, island contractors added a three-story wing, an ice cream parlor, and a ballroom.  The Perry House could accommodate 300 guests at a time, and Mrs. Beebe served as the hostess for fancy dinners every night at 6 p.m.  For about 25 years, the Perry House was the place to be for ballroom dancing, parties, and a lakeside excursion.

In 1910, the Perry House was sold and re-named the Hotel Commodore.  It was sold again to the Schlitz Brewing Company a few years later.

Regrettably, the hotel caught fire and burned to the ground on August 23, 1932.


Put in Bay Hotels
Put in Bay Hotels

The Put-in-Bay House:  Fires, A Colonial, and a New Saloon

The Put-in-Bay House developed almost concurrently with the first hotel on Put-in-Bay.  Once owned by island developer A.P. Edwards, this island “White House” was purchased by Joseph W. Gray, then-editor for The Plain Dealer, in 1861 as a rooming house.  Ownership changed hands a few times over the next several years until Sweeney, West and Company took possession.  Contractors added a new wing, which was accompanied by a 500-foot hall running along the ground floor of the main building.  Builders placed a majestic fountain in front of each wing and expanded the dining room to seat about 1000 people.  Sweeney, West, and Company’s Put-in-Bay House became a vibrant, exciting destination for over a decade.

On August 30, 1878, The Put-in-Bay House was going to host a substantial charity benefit for those affected by yellow fever in the south.   1000 tickets were sold, but, fire struck this island lodging, and the house burned to the ground before the party.

Years later, it was rebuilt it as the famous Colonial Hotel, which stood for over 100 years before also burning down in 1988, leading many to believe the land is cursed.  Today, where the Colonial once existed, stand the Beer Barrel Saloon and Tipper’s Restaurant.  You can read more about the Colonial’s fascinating tale here.

Some Smaller, Classic Put-in-Bay Island Hotels

The Hunker House opened in 1871.  It was located on the eastern edge of the village park and had its own vineyard and orchard.  The Hunker House was famous for its wines, ice cream, and pies—all made from homegrown fruits.  Like many other island properties, the Hunker House endured multiple owners and name changes (i.e. Ward Summer Resort, Detroit House, Crescent Hotel).  At its peak, this establishment housed about 140 guests.  It closed in 1971.

The Gill House was built in the early 1800s and accommodated 40 people.  As time passed, it, too, faced name changes, depending on the owner.  At one time, it was known as Bon Air.  In another period, it became the Smith Hotel.  Then, it morphed into the Hotel Oelschlager.  As the Hotel Oelschlager, it featured a general store where visitors could purchase groceries and souvenirs.  It also boasted an attached restaurant.  Today, the building still stands as the Country House gift shop and antique store—a famous landmark and destination.

Eagle Cottage was once owned and operated as a boarding house until it was purchased in 1946 and renamed the Friendly Inn.  It was sold in 1970 and now stands as the Crew’s Nest—a boat club and resort.

Other buildings, like the Bay View House and the Reibel House, have come and gone, but the Park Hotel (originally known as the Deutsches Hotel) still stands today.  It was built in the 1870s with 26 Victorian-style rooms, right next to the Round House Bar.

Perhaps the most famous, or infamous, of all Put-in-Bay Hotels was Hotel Victory.

Put-in-Bay’s Hotel Victory

Hotel Victory was to be the grandest hotel in America, and, when it opened in 1892 (and was fully completed in 1896), it was, indeed, the largest hotel in the United States.  The majestic establishment featured miles of carpet, a boardwalk to the beach, fountains, a pool, and much, much more before it, too, met an untimely demise.

Hotel Victory
Hotel Victory

Our Hotel Heritage on South Bass Island

Put-in-Bay has a flavorful history, and its hotel heritage is a small part of that legacy.  We’re proud to accompany the memories and are eager to build more.

Take it Easy on Island Time

If you or your family is in need of an island getaway, why not try the village of Put-in-Bay (putinbay.com). It is just a short 20-minute ride by ferry (millerferry.com) from the mainland and about an hour west of Cleveland. There are plenty of vacation homes and upscale Waterfront Condos available for rent (putinbayreservations.com).

Whether it’s just for a day trip or an overnight adventure on a long weekend, there’s plenty to do in Put-in-Bay. You can rent a golf cart, moped, bicycle, or just go about it the old-fashioned way and take a walk. It doesn’t matter how you get around because the island is only about two miles long.

Water sports and fun activities including personal watercrafts and parasailing are popular here, as you’d expect on an island. New this summer is the inclusion of paddleboards! The island offers watercraft rentals (pibjetski.com) if you’re eager to go out on your own and even has guided boat tours.

If your getaway itinerary includes shopping, there are more than 15 stores and an array of knick knack opportunities. Restaurants and bars abound and you would hard pressed to visit each of them on one day stay.

Must-sees include the Put-in-Bay Winery (putinbaywinery.com) which has beautiful views of the Bay, and the Chocolate Café & Museum (chocolateohio.com) where you can enjoy the confections and see the antique chocolate collectibles. For kids, there is a Bar on the island just for them called The Candy Bar, located right next to Kimberly’s Carousel, a circa-1916 restored carousel.

Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center (perryscave.com) is a family-friendly complex centered on a natural limestone cave with an underground lake. It also includes the Butterfly House at Put-In-Bay, with more than 50 types of exotic butterflies, and a free antique car museum. Dandees Snack Shack offers something for the sweet tooth.

You can learn about the lake’s crucial role in the War of 1812 at the 352-feet-tall Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial (nps.gov/pevi). It’s named for Oliver Hazard Perry, the American Navy commander who played a key role in that conflict. He uttered the famous phrase, “We have met the enemy and they are ours…”. From this tower, all Lake Erie Islands can be seen, as well as the shores of Ohio, Michigan and even Ontario on a very clear day.

For reservations and to plan your weekend or midweek getaway, contact Island Club Home Rentals (islandclub.com or 216-898-9951) or the brand new Put-in-Bay Waterfront Condos (putinbaycondos.com or 216-898-1105) to check on availability and pricing!

Put in Bay Nature Center – Wild Tuesdays!

The Wild Tuesdays event is a family favorite! My nieces cannot go to Put in Bay without visiting the Nature Center. This is usually the first attraction they request. Their love for animals and desire to always learn something new inspires this visit.

On our most recent visit, they saw and touched the hides of many different animals. The staff members at the Nature Center are always very knowledgeable about the variety of embalmed animals ranging from skunks to redhead birds. Visitors can see and touch many kinds of animals!

The Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center is continuing one of the family-favorite events again this year canned WILD Tuesdays! This event takes place Tuesday, June 13, from 1:00pm – 3:00pm and continues every Tuesday through August 15th. Each week a different animal is featured. One of the best parts about this event – it’s FREE! Bring the entire family and enjoy one of the gems of Put in Bay Island, WILD Tuesdays at the Nature and Wildlife Center!

The mission of the Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center is to promote conservation and education of the flora, fauna, and lands of the Lake Erie Islands ecosystem. It is located at 255 Meechen Road in Put-in-Bay Ohio, between Catawba Rd. and Put-in-Bay Rd. The rate for Adults is $3/pp, Children 6 – 11 and Seniors is $2, Children 5 and under free if accompanied by an adult, and the Family Rate is just $8. Please call 419-285-3037 with any questions!

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

Although it is on a small island, Put-in-Bay is Lake Erie’s largest resort destination with many attractions. 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 Put-in-Bay OH Summer 2017

Scuba dive, jet ski, snorkel, try other water sports, golf carts, beaches, parks, museums, monuments, massage, mini-golf and more Put-in-Bay water activities. 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.

Have You Ever Been Under Put-in-Bay?!?

For all of the attention paid to Put-in-Bay’s night life and attractions like Perry’s Monument, the underground caves still draw huge crowds… about 80,000 people a year to the Crystal Cave and its neighbor across the street – Perry’s Cave – also brings in up to 1,000 people a day.

It’s 42 steps down a winding, stone staircase from Heineman’s Winery to Crystal Cave, home of the world’s largest geode – almost 40 feet in diameter – and a natural marvel of bluish-white crystals bursting forth from a sodium sulfate wall. The cave is a big reason the winery still exists. Cave tours are an enduring part of Put-in-Bay’s history, and the village’s two caves that remain open to the public continue to draw big crowds.

The family-owned Heineman’s Winery was one of 17 operating on South Bass Island before Prohibition. When Prohibition shut down the wineries, Heineman’s survived in part because of the crowds drawn to the cave’s crystals and the money raised from tours. Workers digging a well at the winery discovered Crystal Cave in 1897.

Perry’s Cave‘s origins go back almost a century earlier, when Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry is credited with discovering the cave and using clean water from the cave’s underground lake to nurse some of his sick, thirsty men back to good health.

There used to be four caves open to the public, on an island where it’s estimated there are 25 to 30 caves on private property or obscured by wooded areas. Now it’s just Crystal Cave and Perry’s Cave across the street, both still drawing full tours of people interested in what’s going on below Put-In-Bay.
Crystal Cave

For a first-time visitor to Crystal Cave, the staircase is steep and it’s not a bad idea to watch your steps as you descend 40 feet into the cave and a world where it’s 54 degrees all the time. The original cave was much smaller. People have removed some of the crystals so they could bring tours below ground.

The crystals found in Crystal Cave are known as celestite, composed of the compound known as strontium sulfate. It’s a bluish-white translucent crystal, soft and brittle, and it’s extremely hard to polish and use for jewelry. The hardness of celestite is 3 on the Mohs scale. By comparison, a diamond rates a 10 on the scale.

Each crystal in the cave has 10 exposed faces and the angles are the same on each crystal. Celestite is not used for anything in particular, though large crystals and geodes are prized by collectors. Geodes usually range in size from a softball to a basketball. Crystal Cave is 30 to 35 feet across at its widest point. None of the other caves contain the large celestite crystals found in this cave, but small pockets of the material are known to exist in the area.

There are no particular uses for the crystals, although they were mined and used in fireworks at one time. Some people come to the cave to meditate and be near the crystals due to their perceived healing properties. No one knows how old the crystals or how they formed.
Perry’s Cave

Where Crystal Cave’s focus is centered on the geode, Perry’s Cave offers the slow drip of natural rain water from its ceiling and the pointy landscape of stalactites, stalagmites and cave pearls in every direction.

The cave is 208 feet long by 165 feet wide. All of the stalactites and stalagmites on the cave’s walls, ceiling and floor were created by heavily encrusted calcium carbonate deposits. These deposits formed from centuries of water dripping from the ceiling. Perry’s Cave is a naturally formed limestone cave that emerged about 20,000 years ago. Water from glaciers pushed two layers of limestone up from the ground. One of the layers collapsed and the other stayed up, forming the cave.

In 1813, Commodore Perry used water from the cave to save some of his men from dysentery. The original owner of the cave cut off the cave’s stalagmites at their base and sold them. A subterranean tunnel in the cave goes 60 feet down and turns 100 feet to the left. The cave’s owner sent divers down in 1993 to explore the tunnel. The cave’s water level rises and falls with that of Lake Erie, indicating subterranean connections.
Caves’ Popularity

Perry’s Cave, as an attraction, draws between 800 to 1,000 visitors daily when it’s busy, with 30 to 35 people on a given tour. An arch out front of Heineman’s was built with celestite taken from Crystal Cave.

In the lobby of Heineman’s, near the cave entrance, there are black-and-white photos showcasing the village’s history. One of those photos features Daussa’s Cave (which later became known as Mammoth Cave). Dausssa’s Cave held an underground cave big enough that visitors could boat into the cave’s water.

The village’s caves and wineries sometimes get overlooked by tourists when they think about Put-in-Bay’s history. In Put-in-Bay’s heyday around the turn of the 20th century, the Hotel Victory was considered at that time the world’s largest summer resort with roughly 800 rooms. Hotel Victory had trolleys that ran to the caves. It also used water taken from Perry’s Cave to supply its guests with drinking water.

When people think of Put-in-Bay, they think of it as a place to party. But it is so much more than that!

Hunting for History

PUT IN BAY, Ohio — The rich lore of Lake Erie contains a very colorful chapter on the extensive history of waterfowl hunting in the Sandusky Bay and along the lake’s shoreline.

Ducks and geese by the hundreds of thousands would pour into the lush marshes and wetlands along the lake. This abundance of game attracted both market hunters, who would harvest waterfowl as their primary source of income, and some of the wealthiest people in the country who formed very exclusive hunting clubs in the region.

These hunters used many creative and lifelike decoys and powerful firearms. Many decades ago, most of these vintage decoys were lost, destroyed, or even used to heat hunting cabins, and the few that remain are highly-prized pieces of American folk art.

The Lake Erie Islands Historical Society at Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island has assembled a collection of these antiquities, some of which date back to the mid-1800s, along with photos, paintings, and other waterfowl hunting items. The “Classic Decoys of Western Lake Erie” exhibition features this bygone era when the skies above the lake would fill with ducks.

To read more, please visit http://www.toledoblade.com/Toledo-Magazine/2016/06/26/Toledo-Magazine-Hunting-for-history.html