May 29-31, 2012 – Lake Erie, OH

Tuesday morning Rex gave Cody and Camille baths and haircuts while Nancy helped Rex’s mom clean up her house.  We had a really nice visit with Rex’s mom and his aunts, uncles and cousins; but it is time to move on.  After lunch we headed north toward Lake Erie.


We stayed at Tall Timbers Campground near Port Clinton, OH – a nice campground with lots of grass and a small lake.


Lake Erie is the twelfth largest freshwater lake in the world and the shallowest of the five Great Lakes.  It is about 210 miles long and 57 miles wide with approximately 871 miles of shoreline.  It has a maximum depth of 210 feet.  We visited Marblehead Lighthouse State Park and toured Marblehead Lighthouse.    


Marblehead Lighthouse was built in 1819 from native limestone on the tip of Marblehead Peninsula. The tower was 50 ft tall with another 15 feet added around 1900.  The base of the tower is 25 ft in diameter, with walls five feet thick.  It narrows to twelve feet at the top with two feet thick walls.  The Park Ranger told us that the base was built so thick because some times in the winter as much as 13 feet of ice is shoved up against the lighthouse.


We were able to go inside the tower and climb to the catwalk just below the light.  The views were great from that high up.  This Lighthouse Keepers house sat next to the lighthouse and is now a museum.  The museum had really nice displays about the lighthouse, the area and the lake.  They had a restored life saving boat and have plans to restore a Lifesaving Station.


On Thursday, we took the ferry “Jet Express II” to the town of Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island. 


We spent the day touring around the island.  We toured the Doller House and Winery, a mansion built in 1867 by Valentine Doller who was an entrepreneur, postmaster and the mayor of Put-in-Bay.  The mansion was beautiful and they still had some of the original furniture.  We also bought a couple of bottles of wine – a great blackberry wine and a yummy chocolate wine.


In the winter when the lake is frozen over the only way to get to the mainland is by airplane or by an airboat.  This airboat is designed to go over snow, ice or water.


We also visited Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, the only international peace memorial in the National Park System.  The memorial commemorates the lasting peace between nations once at war: the United States, Great Britain, and Canada. It also honors all who fought and died in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812.  During the Battle of Lake Erie, Master Commander Oliver Hazard Perry defeated British naval forces on Lake Erie in one of the most important military victories in US history.  


The scenery along the shoreline is beautiful.


Someone converted the bow of a freighter into a vacation retreat.  We would have loved to see the inside of this house.  It looks like it would be fun to live here.

 We enjoyed our visit to South Bass Island and this part of Lake Erie.


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