PUT-IN-BAY, Ohio– The Bones & skeletal remains of three people who died on Put-in-Bay more than 100 years ago were laid to rest on Sunday, October 22nd, in Maple Leaf Cemetery. Their shallow grave was unearthed on September 1st during a construction project at the home of Toby and Stephanie Landreth at the end of Conlan Lane.
After securing the area, The Put-in-Bay Police Department turned the discovery over to the Ottawa County Coroner’s Office. It was determined after examination that the bones belonging to an infant, teen, and adult were from 100 to 200 years old. A funeral procession began at the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at 1 p.m. and went through the village of Put-in-Bay in a procession behind a police vehicle just like those that are done for current island residents.
People of Put-in-Bay were welcome to attend the services, which included prayers from the time period when the three victims were alive. Burr Funeral Home and local residents paid the expenses for the burial. The coroner’s office said there is not enough information to determine a cause of death, but foul play is not suspected. “In the time period between the Battle of Lake Erie and the late turn of the century. many residents died from the effects of cold weather, various diseases and drowning,” Put-in-Bay police said in a recent news release.
The skeletal remains were determined not to be Native American. The earliest inhabitants of South Bass Island were squatters before the War of 1812. The first island cemetery is only about 160 years old, so there is definitely a mystery as to who these people were and the circumstances surrounding their demise and final burial.