South Bass Island Lighthouse
South Bass Island Lighthouse
The South Bass Island Lighthouse has been greeting visitors on the southern point of the island for many years and was first illuminated in 1897. An essential part of Lake Erie Navigation and Put-in-Bay’s history, the lighthouse is much the same as when it was first constructed.
South Bass Island Lighthouse Particulars
Managed by the Ohio Sea Grant, the South Bass Lighthouse is available for tours on choice dates from June thru October. Larger group excursions can be planned from April – November by reaching the Stone Lab Bayview headquarters.
Before exploring the top, tourists are lectured about the area’s history and demanding issues confronting Lake Erie.
The Ohio Sea Grant also operates the Aquatic Visitors Center, Cooke’s Castle, and Gibraltar Island. Maybe most notably, they perform comprehensive research at Stone Laboratory with pupils from Ohio University.
Travelers then ascend the steps of the lighthouse to take in stunning vistas of Put-in-Bay and Lake Erie. Recorded on the National Register of Historic Locations, the area is open to the populace from dawn to dusk, with periodic closure for private occasions.
South Bass Island Lighthouse Steeped In History
The United States Lighthouse Board solicited funds for a lighthouse in 1890, but raising the expected amount of $8600 for its building took some time.
Initially designed for placement on the northern point, Lieutenant Charles T. Platt determined the furthest southern end would be much more suitable for a brand new lighthouse. So sure was Lt. Platt. He even carved “LH” into a tree on the spot.
Unlike the more standard configurations of the day, the lighthouse consists of a significant, two-and-a-half story, red brick residence with a connected, twelve-foot-square watchtower. The watchtower stands forty-five feet tall and is crowned with a fourth-order L. Sautter & Cie Fresnel lens that delivers a fixed red light using a ruby chimney in its light.
Fresnel lenses have been dubbed the innovation that preserved a million vessels.
The watchtower was illuminated for the first stint in 1897 by keeper Harry H. Riley. Mrs. Riley took charge of the lighthouse after her husband’s untimely death.
The lighthouse was now prepared to execute its daily responsibilities from March to late December during the shipping season.
The history of the lighthouse is wide and varied. The next keeper, Charles Duggan, farmed the surrounding grounds with an eight-acre vineyard. He plunged to his death in 1925. A fascinating monument on Put-in-Bay indeed.
South Bass Island Lighthouse currently houses OSU study and academic staff. The lighthouse and surrounding areas opened to the public in 2007 when the college started offering summer tours.
Besides the lighthouse and a modern substitute light tower, an 1899 barn and an 1897 oil house remain on the parcel.
Things To See And Do Near The South Bass Island Lighthouse
A nice day on Put-in-Bay may consist of a visit to the lighthouse along with a round of golf at Saunders Golf Course and a swim at South Bass Island State Park, all within relative walking distance to each other. The lighthouse is somewhat far afield, occupying the island’s southern end. As you return from The South Bass Island Lighthouse, you will pass the Put-in-Bay Airport, where you can experience Helicopter Tours and Bi-Plane Rides and watch aircraft take off and land up close. Downtown Put-in-Bay Parasailing is a hit with virtually everyone!
If you are in the mood for a bit to eat, the Frosty Family Pizza is located on the main strip in downtown Put-in-Bay. The Boathouse Biergarten serves up some of the north’s finest German Foods and sweets. Pick the Subway located downtown for fast food, which is the island’s only franchise restaurant. Just about everywhere you go, you’ll have a great dining option nearby!