Put In Bay
South Bass Island

Lake Erie off Ohio

May 25th, 2000

Not far from Sandusky Oh, reaching out into Lake Erie, stands a group of islands. One of these land masses, but by far not the biggest, is South Bass Island, and here you can find a most famous port of call. The small community of Put-In-Bay. It's name rumored to have derived from frequent visits from ship as they held up for one of the lake's infamous storms. The Islands are several miles off shore and access is by ferry. We decided to use Miller Boat Line and the trip across was quite pleasant. Vehicles are taken sparingly as there is a limited amount of roadway, and most of the community is within walking distance. We had elected to take our somewhat new electric bikes across with us and it was a delight to peddle around, going hither and yon, seeing this and that, and avoiding strenuous exercise by simply hitting the power demand switch. Having ridden the mile or so into town, from the ferry stop, our first adventure was to visit the Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial. This is a 352 foot obelisk standing in a 25 acre National Park, honoring Admiral Perry's victory over the British fleet during the war of 1812. The Peace Memorial recognizes that the end of hostilities on Lake Erie ushered in a peace which has lasted ever since, with Canada and the U.S. now enjoying the longest unguarded border between countries anywhere in the world. On the platform at the top of the monument, etched in metal, are pointers to the various positions of the ships in the great Naval battle which unfolded just off shore on September 10th, Admiral Perry, having had his own flagship, the Lawrence, shot out from under him, took a row boat and transferred to the second biggest ship in his fleet, the Niagara, and sailed into the midst of the British fleet will all guns ablaze. The British were unprepared for such tenacity, and with most of their officers either killed or injured in the first 15 minutes, the British struck their colors and surrendered. The panoramic view from the top is breath taking, and quite windy at times. Fortunately there are only 37 steps to the elevator that took us to the top. The monument was built between 1912 and 1915 and is made up of 78 courses (or rows) of pink granite and is topped with an eleven ton bronze urn. Although by far the most obvious, the monument is not the only attraction available.

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