DeRivera Park, located in downtown Put-in-Bay along the waterfront, is a stunning green park setting. This well-manicured park provides islanders and guests a spot to picnic, play, and relax the summer away.
DeRivera Park Particulars
The park is adorned with enormous, lush trees delivering plenty of shady places to toss down a picnic blanket. There are also many picnic tables and several BBQ pits for daytime cookouts. Individuals love to assemble here, grill up a few hamburgers and hot dogs, throw a football, and enjoy each other’s company. A more extensive grill is found closer to the commemorative memorial.
Public bathrooms and storage lockers are also onsite in a large bathhouse. The bathrooms include showers for those coming right off the boat. A pretty pavilion is available for public use. You can lease the 19′ diameter pavilion for private parties and marriages for only $50. Simply contact the office to organize the particulars.
A beautiful fountain lies in the park’s center constructed from cement and local rock. Three local businessmen originally built it. It also lights up at night, including happy little goldfish swimming about. Cash thrown into the fountain is all contributed to the local EMS. Make a wish and support this critical island organization.
The playground contains a swing set and dolphins and seal figurines for kids to recreate. The swings are perfect for tiny kids. Older kids enjoy playing on the full playground with slides, fireman’s poles, and walkways to play around on.
DeRivera Park Location
Designated in honor of Jose DeRivera, the park is directly on the banks of Lake Erie. It welcomes tourists arriving on the island on the Jet Express Ferry and the surrounding docks, including DeRivera Park B Dock. Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial can be viewed in the distance.
Many popular local downtown shops and attractions are all steps away. Kimberly’s Carousel and the Put-in-Bay Candy Bar are right across the street. Enjoy a drink and live entertainment at the Boathouse Bar and Grill after a day touring the island.
DeRivera Park History
In 1854 Jose DeRivera, a Spanish merchandiser, purchased South Bass, Middle Bass, Ballast, Sugar, Gibraltar, and Starve Islands for $44,000. He was also vital in assisting in growing the island, first by constructing a stave mill and a sawmill in 1854. He then began to split the area into 10-acre lots with the help of an architect.
DeRivera traded off parcels of Middle And South Bass Islands. His benevolence is no more evident than when he sold the South Bass Board of Education a quarter of an acre to construct Put-In-Bay’s first school for $1. He also traded St. Paul’s Church their land for only $10.
After the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812, three American and three British soldiers were buried on the location of the future DeRivera Park under a willow tree. Once Perry’s Monument was constructed in the early twentieth century, the bodies were transferred there as a symbolic gesture of multinational harmony.