Story Ideas

Put-in-Bay (South Bass Island) and Middle Bass Island, Ohio

  • St. Paul’s Episcopal Church: This historic congregation is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Episcopal Church presence at Put-in-Bay this year. The congregation was established in 1864, and the land was purchased and church built in 1865. The church has been in continuous use for the past 150 years. St. Paul’s offers a History Tour, which talks about the church and development of the island. Visitors may walk the church’s Labyrinth anytime from dawn to dusk. St. Paul’s also offers Labyrinth Workshops to groups and individuals. Appointments for these events are suggested, but not always required during the week. All are welcome at St. Paul’s worship services on Sunday mornings. For details visit stpaulpib.com.
  • Birding: The Lake Erie Islands are centered along a major North American migratory path, making for excellent spring and fall birding. More than 492 bird species have been identified on South Bass Island, including a pair of bald eagles nesting on Middle Bass Island. For information on events and tours contact Lake Erie Islands Black Swamp Conservancy.
  • Freshwater Studies: In the harbor of Put-in-Bay stands sentry the six acre Gibraltar Island, home of Stone Lab. Operated by Ohio State University, this lab is the nation’s oldest freshwater biological field station and each year welcomes hundreds of students and educators for credited biology courses. During summer, the public is invited to tour.
  • Nature & Wildlife Program: The Lake Erie Islands Nature & Wildlife Center works with Ohio State’s Stone Lab and the Lake Erie Islands Chapter of the Black Swamp Conservancy to bring Wild Tuesdays to Put-in-Bay. This is a family-friendly event with hands-on experience with nature and wildlife. It takes place at the Nature & Wildlife Center on Meechen Road on Tuesdays during the summer months. For details visit lakeerieislandswildlife.com.
  • The War of 1812 & Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial: “We have met the enemy and they are ours…” So wrote Commander Oliver H. Perry after his decisive naval victory over Great Britain during the War of 1812. The battle was fought near West Sister Island, about 12 miles northwest of Put-in-Bay, and helped secure the Northwest Territory for the United States. The year 2013 marked the Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial. We commemorated the Bicentennial of the battle with dozens of public events, including: tall ships, military and battle ship reenactments, Perry’s Memorial events, live entertainment, and more. Miller Boat Line was the proud sponsor of the Niagara Tall Ship on its visit to Put-in-Bay during the Bicentennial Celebration.
  • What’s in a Name: The name “Put-in-Bay” is probably derived from our secure harbor, a place where a ship can “put into the bay” for refuge from temperamental Lake Erie storms. Also, a 1700’s map created by the British, names the harbor “Pudding Bay” perhaps because it is shaped like a pudding bag, commonly used in the ship’s galley (kitchen).
  • Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial: The world’s most massive Doric column and the country’s fourth tallest National Monument, stands 352 feet high and weighs about 36,800,000 pounds. Operated by the National Park Service, you can take an elevator to the top for a 360 degree view – on a clear day you can see about 55 miles with views of the islands, Cleveland, Detroit, Toledo and Ontario, Canada. The Monument celebrated 100 years since its construction including a ceremony on July 4, 2013 where the Masons recreated the laying of the cornerstone.
  • The Benson Ford Ship House: When riding Miller Ferry to Middle Bass Island, you will see the Ship House towering over the rocky cliffs of the island and jutting out into the lake. Built in 1924 for use by the Ford Motor Company, the Benson Ford was originally used to transport iron ore and cargo across the Great Lakes by the growing auto company. After more than 50 years of service, the Benson Ford was decommissioned in 1981. Years later, the entire forward superstructure was removed and transported to South Bass Island, where it remains today. The Benson Ford Ship House has been featured on MTV Extreme Cribs, Home & Garden TV’s Extreme Homes, the Travel Channel, The British Daily Mirror, Ohio Magazine, the National Enquirer and in countless local publications.
  • Ohio Craft Beer: Put-in-Bay, Ohio has enthusiastically embraced craft beer. This trend has flowed from a nationwide movement as craft beer sales grow at a record rate. The island’s only microbrewery, The Put-in-Bay Brewing Company, offers a selection of handcrafted, island-brewed beers, ranging from Watermelon Wheat to South Bass Oatmeal Stout. Their neighbor, The Reel Bar, will also be serving a wide range of Ohio local craft beers on tap this season, including: Fat Heads, Catawba Island  and Great Lakes Brewing Companies.
  • More Ideas: Explore ruins of the historic Hotel Victory in the South Bass Island State Park, Put-in-Bay School (currently with 88 students), Lake Erie Islands Historical Museum’s new collection: 1864: Rebels on Lake Erie, Ohio’s oldest family owned winery: Heineman’s, Put-in-Bay Yacht Club home of the annual Inter-Lake Yachting Association sailing races, classes for kids including: art, bible camp, eco camps, Wild Tuesdays, swimming sailing and more. There are over 1,700 shipwrecks in Lake Erie with over 60 being around Ohio’s Lake Erie Islands.
  • Put-in-Bay Events
  • Personalized Media Visits: We’ll be glad to arrange your customized media visit of Put-in-Bay, Middle Bass Island and Gibraltar Island. Contact Julene Market (Owner/Marketing) at lakeeffects@aol.com, Ryan Whaley (Public Relations) at ryan@greendoormediaworks.com, or Katrina Reed (Communications) at katrina@millerferry.com. We can arrange transport, contacts and suggest venues. Ideas include History, Breweries and Wine, Recreation and Outdoors, Caves, Family Fun, Perry’s Monument, Entertainers, Church Tours, Food, Nature and Eco Tours, Arts and Music, Kayaking, Put-in-Bay School, Winter Island Life and more.

Miller Boat Line and Islands – Quick Facts

  • Of Ohio’s 262 miles of Lake Erie Shoreline, 43.2 miles are island shoreline. (Source; “Resources of the Lake Eire island Region. Cooper / Herdendorf).
  • Miller Boat Line is the only scheduled means of transporting freight, cars and commercial vehicles to the islands of Put-in-Bay and Middle Bass. It is the only scheduled service to Middle Bass Island.
  • Since its beginning, Miller Boat Line has been family owned. Started in 1905 as a fishing charter, water taxi and ice harvesting business, the company has grown to become the largest ferry service on Lake Erie.
  • William (Bill) and MaryAnn Market bought the boat line from Mary Miller in 1978. As a tribute to the founders and the company’s long standing reputation in the ferry service, the name “Miller” remains today.
  • Put-in-Bay and Middle Bass Island, Ohio are located halfway between Cleveland and Toledo in the western basin of Lake Erie.
  • Miller Boat Line employs 95 people during peak season. Several employees have been working for the company for more than twenty years.
  • In 2010 the Miller Boat Line began using a more environmentally friendly biofuel in its passenger vessel, the William Market. They are one of the only passenger ferry services in the nation using this type of alternative fuel.
  • Put-in-Bay is three and a half miles long, about a mile and a half wide.
  • Year round Put-in-Bay population is about 450 and Middle Bass is 45.
  • Approximately 750,000 people visit the islands of Put-in-Bay and Middle Bass Island, Ohio each year.
  • Put-in-Bay School on Catawba Avenue is home to 70 students (2014-2015) with fourteen full time and two part time teachers. Students from Middle Bass Island commute via motorboat or plane daily to Put-in-Bay for classes. The Senior class consists of two students that will be graduating in 2015.

For all press inquiries, please contact

Julene Market
Miller Boat Line
Email: lakeeffects@aol.com

Katrina M. Reed
Miller Boat Line
P.O. Box 239
Put-in-Bay, Ohio 43456
Email: katrina@millerferry.com
Telephone: 440-823-1230

Ryan Whaley
Greendoor Mediaworks
316 E. Water Street
Sandusky, Ohio 44870
Email: ryan@greendoormediaworks.com
Telephone: 419-871-0742

If you would like to added to our media list, please email your contact information to lakeeffects@aol.com