Island History

The Lake Erie Islands are rich in local and American history. Our 6,000 square foot museum has displays depicting early life on the islands and many aspects of life at the turn of the 20th century.

Put-in-Bay has prospered as a tourist destination since 1864 and the Victorian era saw literally hundreds of thousands of visitors each summer. That was when the tourist season didn't begin until July 4th and ended promptly on Labor Day.

The History Page Project is currently underway and we hope to fill many pages with stories devoted to the history of Put-in-Bay and the Lake Erie Islands.

You will find stories written by our Director Susie Cooper using documents at the museum, and excerpts from Isolated Splendor by Robert J. Dodge. The Lake Erie Islands Historical Society owns all rights to Mr. Dodge's island history book.

Excerpts of Toledo and Indian Lake-built Dart runabouts romping about the Maumee River near Toledo, and Lake Erie near Put-In-Bay. This 8mm film footage is from the Admiral Webb C. Hayes II family. Hayes was the grandson of President Rutherford B. Hayes and the head of the Dart Boat Company, which built quality mahogany speed boats in Toledo, Ohio until the early 1930's, when they were claimed by the Great Depression.

Posted by RamseyBros

Courtesy of the Admiral Webb C. Hayes II Collection
Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
Spiegel Grove
Fremont, Ohio

For more info on Dart boats see

The Mayors of the Village of Put-in-Bay, including our current Mayor.
  • Andrew Hunker 1877-1878 appointed by the court
  • Dr. C.H.J. Linsky 1878-1880 first elected Mayor
  • Valentine Doller 1880-1889
  • Andrew Hunker 1889-1890
  • F. W. Burggraf 1890-1891
  • J. B. Ward 1891-1892
  • F. W. Burggraf 1892-1894
  • Henry Fox 1894-1898
  • J. C. Oldt 1898-1908
  • J. J. Day 1908-1910
  • T. B. Alexander 1910-1913
  • Dr. P. B. Robinson 1913-1914
  • Thomas Conlen 1914-1918
  • Walter S. Ladd 1918-1919
  • T. B. Alexander 1919-1936
  • Lucas Meyer 1936-1938
  • Henry Fox 1938-1949
  • William B. McCann 1949-1956
  • Earl Parker 1956-1963
  • James A. Poulos 1963-1971
  • Richard Fox 1971-
  • Robert Ladd
  • Steve Z. Urge
  • John W. Blatt 1996-2002
  • Bernard M. McCann 2002-2009
  • John Scarpelli 2009-2009
  • Judy Berry 2009-