Put-in-Bay 49th Founders Day Celebration Coming Up

Put-in-Bay and neighboring islands celebrate the 49th Founders Day event honoring Joseph de Rivera on Saturday, 10 June 2023.  Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial will display historic weapons, including black powder muskets, rifles, and.a short, smoothbore cast-iron cannon called carronade.  Demonstrations take place at 11am, noon, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, and 5pm.

Between 1820 and 1830, South Bass Island was under the jurisdiction of Huron County, Ohio; it was later joined to Ottawa County, Ohio.  In 1854, sugar and wine merchant Joseph de Rivera moved his family, three daughters and three sons (Josephine, Belle, Annie, Henry, Thomas, John) to Ohio.

Put in Bay map
1863 Ottawa County map courtesy old-maps.com
Joseph de Rivera
Image by Bridgeport, CT, History Center

According historical accounts published by the Historical Marker Database, de Rivera bought South Bass, Middle Bass, Sugar, Gibraltar, Ballast and Starve Islands. He hired a county engineer to survey the area in 10-acre lots and encouraged settlement by helping German immigrants purchase land to plant vineyards.  There was no actual village prior to the creation of the township in 1861.  The portion of South Bass Island known as Village of Put-in-Bay incorporated in 1877.

For additional historical information visit Put-in-Bay History Lives on the Internet Archive and Rare Otto Herbster Put-in-Bay Panoramic Photos Uncovered.

Island Survey Results Presented at PiB Property Owners Association Meeting

PiB Property AssociationOfficial results of the Put-in-Bay Property Association survey, conducted during April and May 2023, were made public at a packed-house meeting on Saturday afternoon in the Put-in-Bay Senior Center.

Put in Bay Property AssociationThe complete set of survey results with all the comments will be available on the Put-in-Bay Property Association Web page next week, as well as in a forthcoming issue of the Put-in-Bay Gazette.  A paper copy will reside in the Put-in-Bay Library.

Peter Huston, from the Great Lakes Alliance, shared the origins of the survey and gave thanks to the Property Owners Association, the Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce, and the Put-in-Bay Gazette for making the process possible.

Betsy McCann, a marketing research professional and resident of South Bass Island, conducted the hour-long presentation.  In her opening remarks, Ms. McCann stated, “This is a general survey, not very deep.  The idea is to go broad during first contact to cast a wide net.”  The number of respondents was 224 out of 356 contacts–a 63% result.

Acquiring information from people who live on the Bass Islands was the first priority; however, others were invited to contact the Property Association if they wished to participate.  217 came from South Bass Island, six from Middle Bass Island, and one from North Bass.  While some data is broken down by location and permanent/seasonal resident, Peter Huston stated, “Focus was on the Township to generate an inclusive spirit of community.”

“How satisfied are you with island life?”

54 respondents live in the Village of Put-in-Bay, 170 in the Township.  103 are permanent residents, 121 are seasonal; 14 of the latter are considering become full-time residents.

Island Survey
“What do we need more of?”

158 respondents own property, 15 rent.  114 are registered to vote on the islands, 103 vote at other locations.  37 respondents are in the 31-29 age range; 32 are in the 50-59 group; 74 are in the 60-69 range; 67 are in the 70+ category.

Put in Bay survey
“What do we need less of?

Comments generated by the survey vary in length, according to Ms. McCann.  “Limited economic development, too many golf carts, lack of medical care, and business owners pushing the party atmosphere too far” are a few of the prominent remarks in the survey results.  Mr. Huston suggested, “In order to have a sustainable community we need to encourage growth of the 31-50 age group.”

Processing the comments for informative conclusions required coding responses to identify priorities.

Island survey
“What are the top five priorities?”
Put in Bay Survey
“How would you rank the top five priorities?”
Put in Bay Survey
Sub-group preferences for government

Another concern the survey investigated is whether respondents prefer single or multiple forms of government.  The question did not identify village or township preferences.  A strong preference for single-form governing is indicated in the results.

Island Survey
Preference for form of government

140 survey respondents offered additional comments.

Put in Bay Survey
Additional comments content

Ms. McCann gave community members several opportunities to ask follow-up questions and closed the meeting by asking for a show of hands of those who would like to see a second survey to determine the answers to more narrowly focused issues.  Peter Huston added, “The point of the survey is to start conversations.  My hope is Village Council and Township Trustees will use the data to move the island forward.  We are a satisfied group which wants to tweak island life.”

Congratulations Put-in-Bay Class of 2023

Put-in-Bay High School Commencement, held at Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial on Thursday evening, brought a successful Class of 2023 to fresh horizons.

Lilian Frederick, Macy Ladd, Alice Lentz, Alec-Zander Sharp, McKenna Stacy, and Doug Steidl relished the closing chapter of their public school experience in front of joyful family members, an enthusiastic community audience, school faculty and staff, and members of the Put-in-Bay Board of Education.

Alice Lentz was the Salutatorian, Macy Ladd the Valedictorian, and Mr. Eric Engel was the keynote speaker.  Ms. Pippert and the Grades 6-8 Choir provided celebratory music.  Photos by Donna Steinbach

Graduation Parade Cadillacs


Yes, school graduation, fun activities, and island sights mark the start of summertime on the Bass Islands in Lake Erie.  Take it all in with regular visits to Put-in-Bay Daily!