An ecological phenomenon, the Crystal Cave is not to be overlooked on your next journey to Put-in-Bay. Discovered at the Heineman Winery, this remarkable gem complements a trip to Put-in-Bay’s local family Winery and lovely wine garden.
The Crystal Cave Particulars
Crystal Cave is home to the biggest geode on the earth. The walls are covered in strontium sulfate, a bluish mineral called celestite. The Crystal Cave contains beautiful celestine crystals up to 3 feet wide. These crystals can increase in size from 8 to 18 inches in size.
Excursions of the cavern and Heineman Winery are offered for $10 for adults and $5 for youths ages 6 to 11. Tours can be enjoyed seven days a week from May until late September.
Monday through Saturday, cave tours start at 11 a.m. and continue until 5 p.m. On Sunday, tours begin at 12 p.m. and continue until 5 p.m. Be sure to bring a lite sweater or jacket as the temperature in the cavern is consistently cooler than outdoors.
The Chronology of the Crystal Cave
They accidentally came upon the Crystal Cave. Uncovered in 1897 by miners drilling a well for the Winery, the cavern was rather a big discovery. Initially, the cave was utilized to gather crystals marketed for producing fireworks.
Before Prohibition, Put-in-Bay was home to many wineries making their own wines. Prohibition and the path of the Volstead Act hit the island hard, and all 17 other wineries closed down.
The Crystal Cave also played an essential part in preserving the Heineman Winery during Prohibition. This harvesting expanded the cave to its current size.
Heineman Winery was fortunate to have the entrepreneurial brain of Norman Heineman, son of creator Gustav, guiding the way. Norman opened the Crystal Cave to tourists, selling access and unfermented grape juice.
When other local wineries closed on the island, Norman Heineman, son of the founder Gustav, had the clever idea to open the cavern to the people. He sold access to the cave along with unfermented grape juice.
The Crystal Cave is situated about a mile from downtown Put-in-Bay. Nearby draws include Saunders Golf Course, Perry’s Cave and Family Fun Center, and the Chocolate Cafe and Museum.
Gustav Heineman, an immigrant from Baden, Germany, opened Heineman Winery in 1888. Baden is the grape-growing territory of Germany, and Heineman came prepared with expert winemaking knowledge.
The Lake Erie Islands are excellent for winemaking. It is its own winemaking heaven! The grapes are exceptional thanks to excellent dirt conditions and a prolonged growing season due to the tempering effect of Lake Erie.
Heineman Winery produces all types of wine from native grapes on the island, such as the Labrusca grape. They produce all types of wines, from red to white, and their most famous wine, Pink Catawba.
The Heineman Winery parcel consists of a gorgeous wine garden and the Crystal Cave Gift Shop, which are both open at the same hours as the Crystal Cave. Appreciate some fine wine along with cheese plates, and bring home bottles of wine and gifts after your summer vacation on Put-in-Bay