Put-in-Bay News

Registration is now open for the 2021 edition of modern-day vintage racing at Ohio’s historic Put-in-Bay. Following the cancelation of the 2020 event due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, a large percentage of entrants carried over their registration to 2021. Since then excitement has continued to mount for this fun-filled and relaxed event according to Put-in-Bay News. On display will be the Put-in-Bay Racing Teams Porsche race car.

Beginning with a small “reunion” in 2009, today’s racing- and non-racing entrants at Put-in-Bay enjoy several days of sports-car enjoyment in a relaxed and nostalgic setting where small-bore sports cars raced through the streets of this island enclave from ‘52 to ‘59 and once more in 1963. For this year’s event (September 21-24 with racing at the Put-in-Bay airport on September 22 and 23) race organizers have built on the enthusiasm for 2019’s “Tin-Top” celebration to invite drivers of vintage Volvos.

VWs and Saabs to come to share the fun as official featured marques. Also, the more-or-less annual Turner Reunion returns their event to “The Bay” as part of the featured marque group. And finally, over the past year, it seems the H-Modified crowd has caught wind of the goings-on at Put-in-Bay, so a contingent of Crosley/similarly powered specials including several Berkeleys are expected to be on hand for the 2021 event. All entrants with featured marque status are
eligible for discounted entry fees and special races.

And, as always, there will be the usual array of entrants racing in multiple classes in four groups plus an exhibition. In addition to the on-track race entries, there are also non-racing participant categories for Heritage Street Cars (qualified pre-’64 cars) and Guest Street Cars (generally post-’63 to ’72). The event is also the third leg of the 2019 “Great Lakes Vintage Challenge” whereby entrants in several production classes and in Formula Vee accumulate race-finishing points at the Waterford Hills Vintage Races, VSCDA’s Au Grattan event, and at Put-in-Bay.

In addition to two full days of racing, the Put-in-Bay Sports Car Races event includes tours of the original island course, several social events, a car show, rocker cover races, guest stories, and more. Spectating at the races and many of the other activities is open and free to the public. For registration and more information visit: www.pibroadrace.com and feel free to click on the Facebook link to join us there where more than 1,400 enthusiasts keep current on all
the latest Put-in-Bay Vintage Sports Car Races buzz. Stayed tuned to Put-in-Bay News for more information.

Put-in-Bay News – 02/01/2021

Fri., Jan. 1st – It rains all day. At The Forge, there’s a steak and eggs brunch, plus champagne toast brunch special. Registration for those wanting to participate in the 2021 Put-in-Bay Road Races Reunion in September opens.

Sat., Jan. 2nd – West Shore resident Marc Burr celebrates his 70th birthday. The weather station, Station SBIO1 – South Bass Island, at the SBI Lighthouse hasn’t been working since just a couple of hours before 2020 became 2021. Sue and Mike Byrnes are out for their first kayak paddle of 2021. During a drive around the island, a lone fisherman in a small boat fishing off the West Shore. Roger Miller out for a walk and four deer are spotted and that is great Put-in-Bay News.

Sun., Jan. 3rd – Mother Mary from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church has her first online service of the new year. After the worship ceremony, Chalking of the Doors takes place in the afternoon.

Mon., Jan. 4th – Miller Boat Line runs two ferry trips in the morning and two in the afternoon. The Village Council holds a committee meeting to discuss options for funding the low-pressure sewer line going down Sybil Blvd. to the water treatment plant. Meredith Snyder from the West Shore is one
of 32 women on the popular television program, “The Bachelor.”

Tue., Jan. 5th – After a snap decision by the Ottawa County Health Department the day before, 50 islanders get Covid vaccine shots. Shots go to the EMS, police, volunteer firefighters, teachers, and a few essential ferry workers get the shots. For island meeting buffs there’s a Village Council workshop at the Town Hall, plus a ZOOM session with visitputinbay.org At the Chamber meeting, they hear about getting students from overseas who need J-1 visas for work on the island this coming season.

Wed., Jan. 6th – Miller Ferry runs for their last day, crowded with vehicles coming and going. Doug Wilhelm is shopping at Sam’s Club to get supplies for the spaghetti dinner fundraiser scheduled for the 9th. Dustin Heineman transports a load of vintage pinball machines on the winery’s stake bed

Thu., Jan. 7th – After the events at the Capitol in Washington, DC on Wednesday, Village Administrator Anne Auger reports to Put-in-Bay News there are no plans to beef up security around the Put-in-Bay Town Hall.

Fri., Jan. 8th – Islanders begin to preregister for the Covid vaccine on the Ottawa County Health Dept. website. Susan Byrnes and Lisa Brohl go out kayaking and encounter a bit of ice in the lake. Cliff Fulton has a 4-wheeler accident and is Life Flighted to Toledo. Fortunately, he had no internal bleeding or broken bones, just a big headache.

Sat., Jan. 9th – Susan and Mike Byrnes and Russ and Lisa Brohl kayak to Starve Island and Susan gets some great photos. There’s a carry-out spaghetti dinner fundraiser at the Put-in-Bay Vol. Fire. Dept. station. Islanders pull into the parking lot and are directed how to get their meal just like at a McDonald’s drive-thru. Seven hundred is the magic number for meatballs needed for the event. The first PIBYC 2021 Rolling Raffle Ticket is pulled online, Ben Paselsky is the winner.

Sun., Jan. 10th – It’s a frosty morning with ice forming in the Bay, but it doesn’t last.

Mon., Jan. 11th – Island kids go back to the classroom after Christmas vacation and a week of virtual classes. The last ferry of the season runs from Marblehead to Kelleys Island. For residents of Pelee Island, there’s a drawing for a Mini Key Lime Pie.

Tue., Jan. 12th – Billy Market announces one ferry to the mainland in the morning and a trip back in the afternoon, plus two trips in the morning and two in the afternoon on Tuesday.

Wed., Jan. 13th – Chef Marie Schroeder has creamy Reuben soup with potatoes and rye croutons and diced Swiss for garnish and Mexican chicken chili with black beans and fresh cilantro and crispy tortilla strips as a garnish for $10 a quart available for delivery. She also has chicken pots pies. Yummy! The ferry comes into Put-in-Bay harbor in the late afternoon and sounds its horn, but there are no fireworks. Happy birthday to Sue Thwaite.

Thu., Jan. 14th – A group of volunteers recruited by Sue Cooks is taking down the Christmas decorations in DeRivera Park. Sue and Mike Byrnes and Lisa and Russ Brohl kayak from the yacht club ramp out to Buckeye Island and back.

Fri., Jan. 15th – A wintery mix keeps planes grounded. The virtual Progressive Cleveland Boat Show & Fishing Expo opens with an interview of Agnes Dubbert and Emily Deeks from the Crew’s Nest. As part of the show, Eric Booker is at South Shore Marine in Huron selling lobster bisque from the Boardwalk. If you join the Park Place Boat Club at the Keys, you can join with no initiation fee.

Sat., Jan. 16th – Mother Mary at St. Paul’s wakes up to furnace problems in the church. In spite of “thick” water, the M/V Wm. Market makes a quick passengers-only afternoon trip from the downtown dock to Middle Bass, then to the mainland and back. Across the border, on Pelee Island, they are having a curbside pick-up fundraiser dinner at the Legion. Get a load of this menu: Shepherd’s Pie. Squash Soup. Caesar Salad. Garlic Bread, plus your choice of dessert, pumpkin whoopie pie or cranberry orange cake, for CD15 ($11.70).

Commodore Marcia Ashley draws the second ticket in the PIBYC’s Rolling Raffle. Past Commodore Brian Leonard is the winner. She reminds everyone there are many more raffles to win and tickets are still according to Put-in-Bay News.

Sun., Jan. 17th – There’s a pre-game Browns Backer tailgate party at the home of Carmen and Melissa Fiorilli on Duff Rd. Justine Bianchi celebrates her 99th birthday. She watches the Browns game and enjoys a shrimp cocktail, sirloin steak, avocado/tomato salad, and cake & ice cream for dinner. Amanda Goaziou from the Candy Bar, Ryan Stoiber from Frosty Bar, and Michael McCaffrey from the Roundhouse are at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City for the Browns game.

Mon., Jan. 18th – Light snow on the ground in the morning. Gwena Market (PIBHS Class of 2018) turns 21. There’s a sign-up sheet at the Hardware Store for the island seniors who want to get their Covid vaccinations. The Forge opens in the evening for a pop-up martini Monday and to cheer for Meredith “MJ” Snyder on The Bachelor making Put-in-Bay News.

Tue., Jan. 19th – Jerry Bingham from the Ottawa County Health Dept. tells us there are 167 island seniors who have signed up to get Covid shots. Put-in-Bay is named one of the top Instagram destinations on Lake Erie.

Wed., Jan. 20th – Shawn Dages posts on social media that he’s got his 16th coyote kill on the island in six years.

Thu., Jan. 21st – The Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay leaves the east side of Middle Bass where it spent the last couple of nights. With no ice to break, you have to wonder what the crew does anchored off MiddleBass for two days. Greg Dobos celebrates one year as Put-in-Bay Vol. Fire Dept. chief.

Fri., Jan. 22nd – The Put-in-Bay Village Council meets in the morning to review an audit of its operations, discuss the proposed sewer line for Sybil Blvd. and hire a new full-time police officer. At the Pelee Island Legion post, they’re fixing Chicken Wing Day orders!

Sat., Jan. 23rd – There’s ice in the Bay, but not enough to write home about. COVID testing for islanders experiencing symptoms becomes available at the Put-in-Bay EMS. If you feel you need a test please call the station at (419) 285-2401 to set up a test. All testing done on the island must be approved by the Ohio Department of Health. The Put-in-Bay High School girl’s Panther basketball team played well and beat Harvest Temple Christian Academy 46 to 38. Due to Covid restrictions, there were no fans in stands, but the game was live-streamed from the island gym.

Sun., Jan. 24th – There’s a lot more ice on the lake – ice in the Bay, ice between Put-in-Bay and Middle Bass, and even some off the West Shore. Islanders sadly
learn of the passing of Pam Hughes from the Island General Store and the Bayshore Resort on Saturday. Elora Hubner and Lyla Steidl are delivering
dinners to senior islanders as part of a community service project from school.

Mon., Jan. 25th – There’s ice, but don’t hold your breath. With a wintry mix and wind predicted for the evening, things may change by the morning.

Tue., Jan. 26th – On this date in 1921, 100 years ago, Albert Riedy won the distinction of being the first Kelleys islander to skate to Put-in-Bay that season. Overnight, Shawn Dages bags his 17th coyote according to the Put-in-Bay Facebook Page. The ice between Put-in-Bay harbor and Middle Bass is gone, gone, gone. On the island grapevine, there’s mention of the Ottawa County Health Department might be coming to the island on Feb. 2nd to vaccinate those over 65. We’re not rolling up our sleeves quite yet!

Wed., Jan. 27th – Overnight Shawn Dages bags another coyote, his third coyote of the new year. At lunchtime, there are hundreds of seagulls sitting on the ice in the harbor. Mayor Dress opens the Chief of Police position for new interviews. Island seniors begin getting calls from the Ottawa County Health Dept. to set up appointments to get Covid vaccine shots on Tuesday, February 2nd. Sue Ferguson is at St. Paul’s re-potting some of the plants used for the Garden of Gethsemane each Maundy Thursday.

Thu., Jan. 28th – With northwesterly wind and temps in the high teens and low 20s, the wind chill makes it feel like it’s below ten degrees outside. There’s a Coast Guard icebreaker anchored near the entrance to the Lonz Marina on Middle Bass. On this date in 1921, 100 years ago, eight Kelleys Island men walked to Put-in-Bay where they were working on the Catholic church being erected. The rehearsal dinner for Amanda McCann and Bryan “Gilly”
Gilles is held at The Forge according to Put-in-Bay News.

Fri., Jan. 29th – It’s report card day at Put-in-Bay School, plus is the last day of “Spirit Week.” Students are encouraged to wear the school colors, blue and white. Among others, Aaron “Vern” Schroeder ventures onto the ice for a little ice fishing in the harbor. Gilly and Amanda are married at Mother of Sorrows. A reception for the newlyweds is held at the Round House, very elegantly decorated with white tablecloths and red rose centerpieces.

Sat., Jan. 30th – The island kindergarten students attend a birthday party for Teddy Koehler. Marcia Ashley and CC Wisniewski draw lucky winner #4 of the PIB Yacht Club’s Rolling Alfredo. There’s no way we can cross the ice from Put-in-Bay to enjoy this yummy feast.

Sun., Jan. 31st – A brisk wind from the northeast is pushing the ice around on the east shore and leaves open water off the West Shore. Air transportation to and from the island are grounded due to poor visibility and low ceiling. There’s ice between Put-in-Bay and Middle Bass Island.

Put-in-Bay News – Lake Erie Shores & Islands

Lake Erie Islands Nature & Wildlife Center Readies for 2021 Season The Lake Erie Islands Nature and  Wildlife Center is so excited to welcome you to the newly expanded Lake Erie Islands Nature &  Wildlife Center this Spring!! Construction is complete on the remodel and 900-square-foot building addition! The LEIN&WC will be bringing you several new displays including a wildlife viewing window, a geology display, and live animal exhibits!

They hope you will join them this 2021 season for a fun adventure learning about the nature, wildlife, and conservation of the Lake Erie Islands!  The LEIN&WC asks that you consider a donation to the center. The center is one of the many reasons that Put-in-Bay is featured in guides more and more.

Put-in-Bay News -WPIB Goes All Island!

On New Year’s Day, WPIB Radio, Put-in-Bay, started our new music format. WPIB has switched to ALL  ISLAND MUSIC…every song you hear is from one of our many Put-in-Bay Island Artists. It’s like being at Put-in-Bay! Tune in and enjoy Put-in-Bay island songs from Pat Dailey, Bob Gatewood, Allie Market,
The Reese Dailey Band, Ray Fogg, Mike “Mad Dog” Adams, Ben Dover and the Screamers, and Westside  Steve Simmons, just to name a few. WPIB will be adding more of your favorite Island artists as the  2021 Season approaches!

New StoryWalk Book

The Put-in-Bay StoryWalk in Dodge Woods has a new book ready to be enjoyed! This delightful book,  Little Owl’s Snow, by Divya Srinivasan, will be loved by everyone taking a stroll along the trail.  This book is placed in the memory of islander Donna Pugh. Special thanks to Tom Thanasiu for his ingenuity in installing this selection. Dodge Woods and Put-in-Bay are known as one of the best places for birding in Ohio.

Island History Article

The winter, 2021 issue of the “Civil War Navy” has a long and excellent 12-page article “USS  Michigan: Duty on the Lakes” that covers the overall history of the ship as well as the Confederate plan to capture the Michigan and free the prisoners on Johnson’s Island in Sandusky Bay at Lake Erie. It has 13 high-quality photos that fans of Lake Erie history will enjoy. Mike Gora, Middle  Bass Island historian, made a few small contributions to this article and is cited. You can order single copies in the shop section of the website at https://civilwarnavy.com/.

Put-in-Bay Music Festival

If you are planning a trip in February to Key West for the 17th Annual Put-in-Bay Music Festival at  Sloppy Joe’s Bar, you should know it was canceled several months ago due to concerns over  COVID-19. Watch for the event to return in 2022 on Put-in-Bay News.

Booker’s 32 Points Leads Oak Harbor to Win Islander Blake Booker who chose to attend high school off-island so he could play basketball led the Oak Harbor High School Rockets to a big win over the Port Clinton High School Redskins in  January. The Rockets were down 11 points at halftime but stormed back to win the game 55  to 50 with Blake scoring a total of 32 points which  included four 3-pointers and 8-of-11 points from the free-throw line. Blake is the youngest son of Eric and Jen Booker from the Boardwalk.

2021 Bash on the Bay!

The wait is over! The dates for the 2021 “Put-in-Bay Bash On The Bay 5” will be Wednesday, August  25th, and Thursday the 26th at the Put-in-Bay Airport. Eagle-eyed observers will note that there are two days listed above, that’s because, in 2021, Put-in-Bay Bash On The Bay is becoming a  two-day event! The entertainers are signed, but the promoters are holding off with an announcement until a more aggressive distribution of the Covid-19 vaccination rolls out. Changes both big and small are being made to the 2021 event based on the guest feedback received. If the Bash gets canceled for a Covid-19 related reason refunds will be issued.

If you’re wondering about all the open water this winter, you’re not alone. According to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, the Great Lakes just set a record for lack of ice at only 3.9% coverage. The previous record low as 5% back in 2002. The average cover is 53%. According to the three-month weather outlook from NOAA for the islands in February, March, and April, we can expect above-average precipitation and above-average temperatures.

We hope you got your Girl Scout cookie order in when the girls were taking orders in January. This month’s Birthday of the Month is Sue Zura Moxley (PIBHS Class of 1968). Her special birthday is February 27th. We will leave it to the reader to figure out her age. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, there are 707 eagle nests in Ohio, 90 of them are in Ottawa County stated Put-in-Bay News.

We know several are on the Bass Islands. Terry Jenkins reports he spotted at least two bucks and a few does strolling through his backyard where he lives in
Victory Woods. He spotted one buck with a huge rack that he’s seen several times. Did you know that the family of U.S. Representative Anthony Gonzalez, one of the Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump in January, has had a summer home on Put-in-Bay for several years, and he can be seen jogging on
East Point occasionally?

It sounds from postings on social media that campsites at the South Bass Island State Park are already booked up for the Put-in-Bay Road Race Union in September (9/19 – 9/24). Judy Berry is the new President of the Council, which means she is the vice mayor of Put-in-Bay. Teddy McCann paid a visit to Don and Tami Dress in the Florida Keys in January with Put-in-Bay News.

Sisters Anna and Meredith Engel visited the Grand Canyon in January. Does anyone have an idea of how many people are living on the islands this winter?
You can still get your 2021 Lake Erie Islands Conservancy calendar at the Hardware Store or Freshwater Remedies. You can also text Lisa Brohl at (419) 366-2087. The calendars are $12. Jordan Market was sworn into the army last September and will be head to basic training in March. He was also selected
to go to Officer Candidate School at Ft. Benning, GA.

Heineman Winery finalized the purchase of Stonehenge recently. Dustin Heineman and his family are moving to the home there. Corey Cadez was spotted on the shoreline by the North Bass dock trying to find a signal that would allow him to get on the internet so he could do his school work. There are four village of Put-in-Bay Council seats coming up for election in November. Someone asked on social media why there was either a French or Italian flag flying from the Crew’s Nest’s office docks. FYI – it’s the flag of Ireland.

The Crew’s Nest announced that now through the end of February its initiation fee is waived for all new members! Visit their website to fill out an application. This is great news for those planning a vacation to Put-in-Bay.
FYI – Annie Parker’s one and only phone number is 419-341-1496. Annie is officially a “No More 285er!” A little note to our subscribers…..Some of you get the
paper in the mail the day after it is mailed from the Sandusky post office. Some get it several days and weeks after it is mailed, but the post office set a delivery record recently.

Subscriber Janis Wilhelm Allard didn’t get her December issue delivered until January 26th. The paper was mailed to on December 2nd. We just want to know that the post office is responsible for that kind of service and it is completely out of the hands of the Gazette.

The Put-in-Bay Yacht Club Ladies Auxiliary is excitedto share the availability of their new PIBYC merchandise, available online! A year-round addition to the seasonal Ship’s Store at the Club, the PIBYC Online Shop has a variety of PIBYC merchandise available 24/7, with options to customize with your family/boat names and ship directly to your home.


Put-in-Bay News – The Long Winter Ahead

The 2020 season is officially over, and there’s a long winter ahead for the business people and residents of the island thanks to Covid-19. Usually, when the season ends, the post-season holiday get-togethers begin, but as of now, the Heineman Winery Closedown Party, the Harvest Dinner at Tipper’s Restaurant, the Veterans Dinner at the Senior Center, and the Feather Party events have been canceled along with the Recreation Committee-sponsored and holiday favorite, Brunch with Santa, where the jolly man hands out gifts to all the islands’ good little boys and girls.

Islanders usually like to enjoy a little time away from the island in the winter vacationing in some exotic paradise or cruising on a big ocean liner. This year, many are having second thoughts about what to do since the election is upon us, and there is still no vaccine for the Coronavirus. Some islanders are in a quandary as far as what to do…find somewhere different and relatively safe to go or simply hunker down in the relative safety of our island isolation.

Put-in-Bay’s students are among those who are attending classes as normal so far this school year. Although precautions are in place, there are still concerns that one infected child or family returning from a trip to the mainland could play havoc at the school and shut down the classrooms. Put-in-Bay’s seniors are an especially active group, and with the Senior Center still closed, many of them will miss socializing with each other unless they find alternative ways to get together in a safe environment.

Put-in-Bay News – After The Holidays The Preparation Begins

After the holidays, island businesses start preparing for the upcoming season. Put-in-Bay Restaurants don’t just fling open their doors in the spring and start raking in cash. It may seem like that to the visitor, but the winter months are used for hiring summer employees, preparing menus, setting calendars, working on events, going to gift and/or food shows, fixing remodeling, cleaning, and more. Does the winter present a question: plan for another season dealing with the restrictions of Covid or plan for one that is Covid free?

Fortunately, all the island businesses now have the experience of going through one Covid season and hopefully learned some valuable lessons when it comes to dealing with a second one. Will 2021 return to normal or be another season of facemasks for Put-in-Bay? In either scenario, the planning for one is quite a bit different from the other, and preparing for the wrong one will be costly and time-consuming. It won’t be long now until the phone calls start rolling in, asking what’s open at Put-in-Bay!

For the Village of Put-in-Bay, the financial predicament is not a pretty picture, according to Put-in-Bay News reports. Revenue from the public docks, the bed tax, and the gross receipt tax are all down for 2020, yet the expenses are ongoing. Village officials, with the help of local business people, are looking into ways of finding additional revenue. In any case, you can see how this coming winter will be quite a bit different than any winter the islanders have experienced before, but fortunately, those of us who are used to the isolation of winter may be a bit more accustomed to it than our mainland counterparts.

Villages Financial Situation Makes Put-in-Bay News

In October, the Put-in-Bay Village Council’s Finance Committee met to discuss revenue-raising options to combat what could be a dire budget deficit this coming year. Thanks to the pandemic, the Village’s main income sources, the gross receipt tax on business, the fees from its public docks, and the bed tax are all down. Officials are trying to cut expenses where they can, but it is clear other sources of revenue will definitely be needed to keep the books in the black for
the next couple of years.

At the meeting, Reel Bar owner Ray Fogg discussed the budget situation with committee members. He went into detail regarding the current situation as well as possible solutions. The big problem is quickly raising money that will be available for next year, not just two or three years from now. Here are some of the major suggestions that have been thrown around at a variety of recent meetings to raise revenue as reported to Put-in-Bay News :

• Put a real estate tax levy on the ballot to raise money for the police department operations.
• Increase the current gross receipt tax from 1.5% to 2%, 2.5% or 3%.
• Charge a head tax for those coming to the island and staying at Put-in-Bay Home Rentals & Put-in-Bay Hotels
• Put in parking meters downtown or find another way to charge for parking.
• Sell off a portion of the Frederick property on Erie St. to DeRivera Park or the school.
• Have the Township prepay its share of police expenses next year.
• Pursue better collection of the gross receipt tax.
• Pursue collection of the vehicle for hire and Put-in-Bay Golf Car Rental fees that have not been paid.
• Borrow money from the school.

All of these would help raise more revenue, but there are pros and cons to them all. Officials will be making some difficult decisions as they come up with and implement solutions that can handle the budget crisis. We will be sure to report these findings in the Put-in-Bay News.

Put-in-Bay News Reports Benjamin Woods Acquisition

On September 29th, 2020, Put-in-Bay Township Park District acquired 2.53 acres of wooded land from the Kenneth and Katherine Benjamin Family. The parcel will be called the “Benjamin Woods Preserve.” The preserve has an entrance and parking area off Langram Road, and the parcel abuts the east perimeter of Cooper’s Woods. A trail will eventually be developed from the Benjamin Woods Preserve to the Cooper’s Woods Preserve.

Put-in-Bay News learned The Benjamin Woods is being acquired, in part, by funding and technical assistance made available as a voluntary mitigation process for habitat impacts that resulted from the construction of the Nexus Pipeline project in partnership with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Conservation Fund.

Additional funds for the purchase of the preserve came from an anonymous donor and the Lake Erie Island Conservancy. The Land and Water Conservation
Fund through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources may reimburse Put-in-Bay Township Park District for a portion of the purchase price.

Funds were allocated to remove invasive plants and restore areas as a migratory bird habitat. The site will also be used for passive outdoor recreation, walking, photography, and bird watching. The Benjamin Woods Preserve will be opened in the spring of 2021.

Put-in-Bay Township Park District is pleased to announce that with the acquisition of the Benjamin parcel, over more than 116 acres of land have been preserved and protected. We are thankful to the Benjamin family, Hartung Title, Reitz Engineering, and legal advisor Marsha Collett for assistance with the purchase.

“Put-in-Bay Township Park District has been privileged to work with The Conservation Fund to acquire environmentally sensitive areas,” stated Kelly Faris, Chair of Put-in-Bay Township Park District, in a recent Put-in-Bay News interview. “These lands are now protected for this and future generations. The Park District is dedicated to protecting unique areas that sustain the heritage of the Lake Erie Islands. The Conservation Fund is an extremely valuable partner in this effort.”

“The support from The Conservation Fund has allowed the Park District to add additional acreage to our Cooper’s Woods Preserve that is now over 21 contiguous acres of island forest and karst topography providing habitat for migratory and nesting birds, lead morph of the red-backed salamander, eastern fox snake, and other wildlife,” said Lisa Brohl, CEO of Put-in-Bay Township Park District and Chair of the Lake Erie Islands Conservancy in a Put-in-Bay News interview. “Future residents and visitors will be so appreciative of the Fund’s assistance to preserve this unique forest.”

About Put-in-Bay Township Park District

In 2006, the Common Pleas Court of Ottawa County, Ohio, approved a petition to create the Put-in-Bay Township Park District as a local government entity. It was reaffirmed by the voters of the Bass Islands in 2008. Three Commissioners serve to manage and protect unique island habitats for the public to enjoy. About Lake Erie Islands Conservancy The Lake Erie Islands Conservancy was founded as part of the Black Swamp Conservancy in 2000, receiving its own non-profit status in 2015.

The mission statement of the Conservancy is to encourage conservation and protection of natural and agricultural lands in the Lake Erie Islands for the benefit of this and future generations.

The Conservation Fund

The Conservation Fund makes conservation work for America. By creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense, the Conservation Fund is redefining conservation to demonstrate its essential role in our future prosperity. Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, the Fund has worked in all 50 states since 1985 to protect more than eight million acres of land, including nearly 66,000 acres in Ohio.

Put-in-Bay News Making Headlines

Readers of Put-in-Bay News have come across several news articles highlighting Put-in-Bay Ohio and the Lake Erie Islands. Recently a feature story appeared about How to Avoid Common Travel Mistakes that mentioned Put-in-Bay! Another reader came across an article about how to get the best hotel deals. It’s great to see Put-in-Bay getting national attention!

Put-in-Bay News On The Rock

Congratulations to Barb Chrysler, who was awarded the Inter-Lake Yachting Association’s 2020  Commodore Award for her years of commitment and hard work she put into the organization’s success.  Barb retired this fall from the Put-in-Bay Yacht Club after several years of being a manager there. The Lake Erie Islands Conservancy loves their volunteers! This past month, Joe Byrnes and Jacob  King cleared the trail at the Massie Cliffside Preserve of downed trees, and Joe and Mike Byrnes removed downed trees at the Coopers Woods Preserve.

Talii and Doug Steidl continued to mulch the  Jane Coates Wildlife Trail. Julene Market wrote thank you notes, and Linda and Joe Shull prepared membership box holders!! What a great team!!

It’s hard to believe, but the Perry Holiday, one of the Put-in-Bay Hotels turned 35 years old this year, the Kruegers bought the old fire station building 25 years ago, Bay Lodging was built 25 years ago, and the Put-in-Bay News Gazette is finishing up its 40th year of publishing. It’s also hard to believe that St. Hazard’s on Middle Bass is 25 years old. ATVs on the Road Again On November 1st, islanders were allowed back on the island roads with their ATVs. They can be used on the roads for the next six months.

We’re sad to have to say goodbye to Judy Ruggiero from Mike’s Drive on East Point. She has sold her home on East Point and is moving to Girard, Ohio. Bill and Jennifer Reinheimer sold  their cottage on West Shore o Brian and Lynn Kezur and departed after many years as summer

Town Hall Use Nixed – Several island groups, have approached Village officials to allow some of their group activities to be held at the Town Hall. Officials have been reluctant to allow the groups to do so because of sanitation issues associated with Covid. The Village Council and the Zoning Board still have their meetings there, plus some offices are still being used out of necessity.

State Ponders Tear Down on Middle Bass ODNR officials are contemplating tearing down the My Aunt Irma’s building at the Middle Bass Island  State Park. The Gazette has learned feelers have been put out by park officials about tearing down the building that is located on the east side of Fox Rd. just north of J.F. Walleye. The relatively new and well-built building has not been used in the last few years.

Running for a Cause Emily Beal and Jackie Taylor have decided to run 10 miles on Saturday morning, November  14th, on Kelleys Island, to raise money to sustain the island’s Pollinator Habitats. Help them reach their goal with a donation! You can call Jackie at 419-279-3199. They will start and finish their run at the Kelleys Island State Park!

Nice Grape Crop and Jam Making Put-in-Bay news reposted a number of years ago; Mother Mary Staley planted some grapes in the backyard of St. Paul’s to see what would happen. This year was the best grape harvest yet, maybe be- cause Pinky Batt helped her do the trimming last winter. She decided to make a batch of jelly, which she’d never done before in her life. She says it came out much better than she thought it would and added she learned a lot. Although it tasted pretty good, it was a little more work than she anticipated, and she doubts she’ll try it again.

Steve Alexander completed his first year as the new owner of the Bay Lodging Resort after the record-setting $4.6 million dollar acquisition from former owner Mark Mathys.