Put-in-Bay Days-This past month there was a wonderful winter party on the shoreline by the Boardwalk. A pig was roasted, there was plenty to eat and drink, the ATVs and snowmobiles were out in force, and everyone had a great time. Now, step back to Put-in-Bays gone past 100 years. We weren’t there, but we can’t imagine the islanders of years ago were partying on the ice. They were probably ice fishing to put food on the table, cutting ice into blocks for refrigeration or hauling mail and passengers between the Lime Kiln and Catawba in the ironclads.

We read recently there will be an ice block- cutting demonstration in Sandusky. The idea was to bring history alive and show how workers harvested blocks of ice from the lake which were used back then for “ice boxes” for the entire year. We thought the idea
was intriguing. The idea came to mind Put-in-Bay could do something similar. Not wanting to be copycats, the thought turned to the ironclads, those small boats filled with mail, freight and passengers, a group of men would push and pull over the ice and row in the water to get back and forth to the mainland. So how about a re-enactment of an ironclad trip of Put-in-Days past from the Lime Kiln to Catawba and back?

The event would be just like one hundred years ago – no sissy ATVs and snowmobiles to do the pulling, no motor on the boat, no survival gear, no airboats, no nothing – just brute force provided by islanders who think they’re up to the challenge of making one little ironclad trip from North Bass to the mainland and back. Okay, how about just from the Lime Kiln to the mainland and back?
We can just see it now….Billy Market, Brit Schroeder, David Dress and other Put-in-Bay Ferry crew providing the muscle, a few
island ladies like Anne Auger, Marsha Parker, and Dee Dee Duggan dressed in period costume as passengers, a bag or two of U.S. Mail donated by PIB Postmaster JR Domer, and a load of UPS freight and boxes of groceries from Basset’s for the load back to the island.

Best of all, there would be front page coverage of the re-enactment in the Put-in-Bay Gazette, and if lucky, coverage by other media from the mainland, too. Is anyone here who will forgo another one of those “wimpy” ice parties and step up for the challenge of real Put-in-Bay days gone by island adventure?