Perry’s Monument and International Peace Memorial underwent $1.86 million in cleaning and repairs during 2017, but the 352-foot tall column has re-opened to visitors and the views across the Bass Islands of Lake Erie continue to impress all who visit the observation deck.
The world’s largest Doric column, made of pink granite from Milford, MA, is also the third tallest memorial in the National Park Service and the country’s highest open air observation deck at 317 feet. Built by a commission of nine states – Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Wisconsin, New York, Kentucky, Massachusetts and Rhode Island – from 1912 to 1915, Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial opened on June 13, 1915 and became a National Park in 1936. Ohio native and U.S. President William Howard Taft signed the legislation creating the Park with the stipulation that his newly-formed Commission of Fine Arts hold a contest and select the best design.
Park Rangers give daily programs on the Battle of Lake Erie, the enduring peace between the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, and the building of the memorial. The Park also hosts many events and special programs throughout the season. The 25-acre Park, Memorial Column and Visitor Center are open from 10 am to 6 pm daily through September 9. Hours are 10 am to 5 pm September 10 through September 30 and weekends in October (Friday through Monday) until October 22.
Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial celebrates peace through music by hosting the second annual Put-in-Bay Music Festival. A collaboration between the National Park, the Perry Group, the Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce, the Lake Erie Islands Historical Society and title sponsor Miller Boat Line, the free concert is also supported with a grant from the Ohio Arts Council. About 3,000 people were entertained in 2017. Attendees will enjoy playing the Battle of Lake Erie Corn Toss, kids music crafts and yard games, music workshops on drumming, and beginner and advanced ukulele, as well as a Guitar Hero competition. Rangers will have a living history display. Food, beer and soft drinks will be available on-site.
Park Rangers and volunteers will demonstrate firing black powder muskets and the Park’s carronade throughout the day. Ranger programs will cover the nuances of the 1812 military uniform, the proper handling of black powder and the steps to firing a musket. The carronade, a small gun like those used on board the US Brig Lawrence and US Brig Niagara, will be fired by the Park’s Gun Crew. The Carronade program will discuss the proper steps in firing the short range gun and its limitation during the Battle of Lake Erie. Musket firing demonstrations will take place at 11 am, 1, 3, and 5 pm. Carronade demonstrations will be given at noon, 2, and 4 pm.
Ranger programs on column construction, restorations and maintenance during the day and an astronomy program at 7 pm by NASA Solar System Ambassador Gene Zajac that includes how the moon and other objects in our atmosphere affect the rising winds at sunset and other phenomenon. The evening Sunset Tour includes a trip to the Observation Deck. There is a $20 fee for the evening program and tickets can be purchased through the NPS Fee Portal in the spring of 2018.
Rangers and volunteers combine Maritime history and science to educate youth on the history of the Lake Erie Islands and how science and the environment affected maritime history, such as the Battle of Lake Erie, in a day camp for explorers. During the camp, youth will learn about Boating Safety from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, learn Sea Chanteys and try their hand at climbing the U.S. Brig Niagara’s “Royal Yard.” Explorers will also learn the time-honored tradition of tying a Turkshead knot, attend a demonstration on making boat oars and rope, and browse displays of vintage vessels, an ice boat and ice fishing equipment. Rangers in 1812 Military uniforms will give black powder programs, firing muskets and the Park’s carronade. A program on invasive species, a collection of small animals, and snakes will also be part of the camp experience. The program is free and teachers and youth organization can enroll their students by calling the Park at 419-285-2184.
Arts on Erie is a free hands-on workshop for youth and the young at heart with a different project being offered each day. Area artists conduct the workshops that in the past have included painting, clay work and print making. The Park supplies art materials and space on the back porch of the Visitor Center for this program that is open to the general public.
New American Citizens take their Citizenship Oath on the lower plaza of Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial in a Naturalization Ceremony on Independence Day. Park friends, The Perry Group, sponsor a music program at 5 pm on the back porch of the Visitor Center and Rangers will assist visitors parking on park property for the annual community fireworks that begin at dark.
Park Rangers and volunteers will demonstrate firing black powder muskets and the Park’s carronade throughout the day. Ranger programs will cover the nuances of the 1812 military uniform, the proper handling of black powder and the steps to firing a musket. The carronade, a small gun like those used on board the US Brig Lawrence and US Brig Niagara, will be fired by the Park’s Gun Crew. The Carronade program will discuss the proper steps in firing the short-range gun and its limitation during the Battle of Lake Erie. Musket firing demonstrations will take place at 11 am, 1, 3, and 5 pm. Carronade demonstrations will be given at noon, 2, and 4 pm.
A global observance of Rangers across the world who died in the line of duty over the past 12 months. Many of these Rangers are from Africa, India and Southeast Asia. More than half of these deaths are at the hands of poachers and illegal miners and timber harvesters. Many more are killed by animals such as elephants, lions and bears. Rangers will show “The Thin Green Line” about the Rangers protecting natural resources in their countries and paying the ultimate price.The film will be shown at 1 pm in the Visitor Center Theater. Flags from each country affected will be flown on the Park grounds.
For more than seven decades hundreds of people have gathered to hear the Barbershop Singers perform a free concert at Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial. Harmony and peace are perfect companions and the concert takes place on the back porch of the National Park’s Visitor Center. Some seating is provided but people are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket to accommodate the large crowds that attend each year. Another event in the Park’s “peace through music” legacy.
AUGUST SKY TOUR
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
View the night sky from the Observation Deck at Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial and learn how mariners navigated using the constellations and stars. NASA Ambassador Gene Zajac will present an astronomy program at the Park’s Visitor Center before heading to the 317-foot tall open air Observation Deck. There is a fee for the evening program and tickets can be purchased through the NPS Fee Portal in the spring of 2018. The program is open to the general public.
Weekend celebration of the 233rdAnniversary of Oliver Hazard Perry’s birth on August 23, 1785 and the 199th Anniversary of his death at 34 on August 23, 1819. Listen to the Hero of Lake Erie as he discussed his life from the time he became a midshipman at age 13 to his victory over the British in the Battle of Lake Erie at age 28. Musket firing demonstrations will take place at 11 am, 1, 3, and 5 pm. Carronade demonstrations will be given at noon, 2, and 4 pm.
Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial celebrates the 102nd Anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service with a Fee Free Day. Visitors will be able to ride the elevator to the 317-foot Observation Deck for free. Kids can also visit the “See Yourself as a Park Ranger” display where they can try on different Ranger uniforms and equipment and learn about the many different jobs Park Rangers can choose from.
Friday, September 7, 2018 – Sunday, September 9, 2018
Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial celebrates the 205th Anniversary of Oliver Hazard Perry’s defeat of the British fleet in The Battle of Lake Erie, September 10, 1813, and the enduring peace that has bound the United States, Great Britain and Canada in peace and as allies for more than 200 years. A Flag Retirement Ceremony is held Friday evening at 7pm with Park Rangers, American Legion members and Boy Scouts retiring a flag from each country. Saturday begins with an 11 am Memorial Service for the men who fought and died during the naval battle. The Grand Parade steps off at 2:15 pm and ends at the Park’s flag poles where four high school marching bands will play the National Anthems from each country before Rangers and volunteers fire a musket and carronade salute. A Living History 1812 Military Encampment is open 11 am to 4 pm each day and Rangers will give black powder musket demonstrations and carronade firing demonstrations throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday. The Perry Group will host a concert Saturday evening and the annual “Lights of Peace” Harbor Illumination at dusk. About 1,200 Boy Scouts will camp on the east lawn at Port Clinton Troop #360’s annual Camporee.
World Peace Day was established in 1981 by unanimous UN resolution. Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial wants to challenge the current 5,600-person “World’s Largest Peace Symbol” on Park property. Interested groups should contact the Park at 419-285-2184 for more information.