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Island Diary August 2023
Tue., Aug. 1st – About 80 people show up at the Town Hall to attend a public hearing dealing with two variances for the old Crescent property. Many of the comments from the public had nothing to do with the issue at hand. Both variances were granted by zoning officials. Two guys are working on top of the temporary cell tower next to the water tower. Some of the amphicars visiting the islands are spotted at Middle Bass. Rob Hard and Marie Pope are preparing the pig for the Appreciation Pig Roast and Luau at the Sand Bar.
Wed., Aug. 2nd – AmeriCorp intern Adrianna (Anna) Burghardt give a presentation on “The Release of Parasitoid Wasps to Control the Emerald Ash Borer on the Bass Islands” at the Town Hall. Anna has been assisting with the release of wasps at the Put-in-Bay Township Park District Preserves. The ‘Old Guys Bike & Beer Club,’ a group from the mainland, visits the island.
Thu., Aug. 3rd – Rob Hard and Maria Pope from the Black Squirrel boat with friends to North Bass Island where they see the graus, quail and pheasants that Rick Harlan has raised from chicks. Rob familiarizes himself with the reef that extends out from Honey Point. The I-LYA Sailboat Regatta begins. The 20th Annual LEIHS Island Auction is held at Heineman’s Winery. Jackie Mayer Townsend, Miss America in 1963, attends the auction. She donated several items from her 1963 Miss America pageant for the silent auction. On this date in 1873, the American Dental Association was holding a convention at Put-in-Bay.
Fri., Aug. 4th – In the morning workers at the Museum discover someone has thrown a rock at one of the two glass doors at the entrance to the museum and shattered one of the two panes that make up the door. Rob Hard and Maria Pope enjoy two adventurous days in a row as they take a ride in the Ford Trimotor that is offering rides at the PIB Airport.
Sat., Aug. 5th – It is one crowded day at Put-in-Bay. At one point, golf carts are parked along the northside of Bayview Ave. all the way from Topsy Turvey’s to the Crew’s Nest. The Deutsche Musikverein, a German orchestra, is playing at the Biergarten at the Goat. John and Patricia Fisher host Fish Stock 2023 at their home on Lavender Lane.
Sun., Aug. 6th – Intermittent rain cancels Trimotor rides at the PIB Airport.
Mon., Aug. 7th – There’s rain throughout the day. Village Council meets in the morning to discuss a proposed vehicle rental ordinance. Due to windy weather, the Miller Boat Line’s Stargazer cruise takes place at the Crew’s Nest pavilion.
Tue., Aug. 8th – At the Village Council meeting, there’s a discussion about island security issues with Chief Kimble. Island voters head to the Senior Center to vote on Issue 1. PIB Cameo is closed and celebrating their hard-working staff by taking the day off for a little adventure.
Wed., Aug. 9th – It’s a busy Wednesday. Garden Club members enjoy an introduction to Bonsai presentation at Jim and Susan Hildebrandt’s home on the West Shore. It’s the last Lobstermania of the season at the Boardwalk. The 11th Annual Hog Roast to benefit the Nature Center takes place in the Goat’s Biergarden. Pauline Garsteck tells us she made 200 desserts for the event. It’s the first night of the Lake Erie Island Mens League Softball playoffs. The Boardwalk beats the Blue Marlins in the first game and the second game is called because of darkness. Then if that isn’t enough, you can play Euchre at the yacht club (Congrats to Dave Church) and/or Bingo at the PIB Town Hall.
Thu., Aug. 10th – Today is Lake Erie Awareness Day at Put-in-Bay, sponsored by the Ohio Sea Grant, The Stone Lab and The Ohio State University. You can visit the interior and climb the metal spiral staircase to the top of the SBI Lighthouse. There’s a Cabi Party at Kendra Koehler’s in the afternoon. And if you don’t want any women’s clothes, you can play Mahjong at the yacht club. A heavy rain falls in the late afternoon.
Fri., Aug. 11th – The Museum’s fundraiser art auction at the Crew’s Nest is weathered out and postponed until the 13th. The Barbershop quartet groups are performing at Put-in-Bay. The Jet Express stops at Middle Bass to take the MBI men’s club and spouses to Kelleys Island. Several rain squalls go through the island dropping 7.5 inches of rain. Average rainfall for the entire month of August at PIB is 3.43 inches.
Sat., Aug. 12th – There is an informal groundbreaking for the new bar to be built on the Crescent property on Delaware Ave. It’s Poker Kayak Day at Middle Bass, and a volleyball tournament at Put-in-Bay. There Barbershoppers perform in the historic Lonz Winery wine cellar. Dark clouds appear mid-afternoon. Guess what? More rain!
Sun., Aug. 13th – Electric goes out at 8:30 a.m. Reports say it won’t come back on until 11 p.m. but Christian Formation at 9 a.m. at St. Paul’s is canceled. Thank the Good Lord, it goes back on at 9 a.m., but regular services take place. Several people from Put-in-Bay are a benefit taking place at Jack and Loraine Zimmerman’s Hopfinger Zimmerman Memorial Park off St. Rte. 53 south of Port Clinton. Among them are PIB School Superintendent Scott Mangas and his wife Jill, Kendra Koehler, Liesl and Cal Jackson, Lisi Faris Puffenberger (PIBHS Class of 1986) and her husband Jeff, Laurie Miller (PIBHS Class of 1980) with her daughter Sonya Niese (PIBHS Class of 2001) and grandkids. Boaters rescue a large white dog swimming between Middle Bass and Put-in-Bay. The Lake Erie Islands Historical Society’s Benefit Art Auction takes place at the Crew’s Nest. The Boardwalk team wins the 2023 Lake Erie Islands Softball League championship after scoring two runs in the bottom of the 7th to defeat the PIB Resort!
Mon., Aug. 14th – A watermain breaks and empties the water tower. A boil alert is posted for businesses on Delaware Ave. affected by the break. Many of the businesses close for the day in that section of the Village. Businesses along Catawba Ave. have water and are open for business. The break is repaired, but late in the day. There’s rain in the evening, and the downtown is like a ghost town except for Topsy Turvey’s Talent Night where Saturday Night Live cast member Molly Kearney is in attendance. On this date in 1919, the Hotel Victory burned to the ground.
Tue., Aug. 15th – The Health Dept. issues a boil alert for the Delaware Ave. businesses affected by the water main break. Members and guests of Sandusky River Watershed Coalition get a close-up look at Lake Erie and a tour of Gibraltar Island, home of Ohio State University’s Stone Lab. Put-in-Bay Brewery and Distillery is closed so they can celebrate a crew day.
Wed., Aug. 16th – The boil advisory for Delaware, Loraine and Hartford Avenues is lifted. Algal bloom covers 360 of the 1600 square miles making up the western basin of Lake Erie. There’s not much of it is around.
Thu., Aug. 17th – This is the last day for public tours of Gibraltar Island this season. Rain sprinkles the islands before dinner time.
Fri., Aug. 18th – Put-in-Bay Village Council meets in the morning to discuss a new ordinance that would regulate procedures for golf cart rentals in the Village.
Sat., Aug. 19th – At the PIB Property Owners Association meeting, Monument Superintendent Barbara Rowles reports Bayview Ave. will be realigned and landscaped by next spring in time for the 2024 season. Lisa Brohl talks about happenings at the LEI Conservancy and Kelly Faris discusses Park District issues, plus Rosann Keiser from the PIB Twp. Port Authority discusses the new terminal at the PIB Airport. The Glass City Pearl, a cruise boat from Toledo, is at PIB for a day of adventure. Round trip from Toledo is $95 per person. Newton, the resident dog on Gibraltar Island, swims across to Put-in-Bay. Newton is microchipped and very well loved and cared for by all of the Stone Lab team. Over on Middle Bass, the Ohio State Parks Foundation is having a fundraising event “Magic of Middle Bass,” where plans for the Lonz mansion renovation are revealed. Among those in attendance from Put-in-Bay are Barb Hunter from Fox’s Den, Danny Drake from the Getaway Inn, Dave and Sheri Murphy from Conlan Rd., and Mike and Anita McCann from the Round House and Park Hotel.
Sun., Aug. 20th – What a nice peaceful, pleasant day. For their 20th anniversary, Roger Rhoad from East Point takes his bride Joan to Vermilion on their boat for dinner at Chez François and a night away from the island. Put-in-Bay to Vermilion is only 30 miles away. Chip Duggan celebrates his 60th birthday being chauffeured around the island by Adam Riley who manages all the Island Bike cart rentals out at the Lime Kiln. Some people are rescued off a sinking boat between PIB and Middle Bass. A team from the Sandusky Fire Department comes over to play a “friendly” game of softball against a team from PIB!
Mon., Aug. 21st – Set up begins for Bash on the Bay at the PIB Airport. A dozen of the foreign workers from the Islander Inn enjoy a fun day kayaking the bay before heading back to their different countries. Someone reportedly gets off the ferry in the morning and hits a water hydrant. That’s a good start for an island visit. The J-1 student workers from the Middle Bass General Store are at Niagara Falls.
Tue., Aug. 22nd – The Park Hotel is fully reopened and operating as normal after the water main break flooded their basement and disrupted operations. Preparations continue at the concert site for Bash on the Bay. Every piece of the puzzle must come across Lake Erie aboard the Miller Ferry and be put into place to handle the fans. The stage, tents, lights, speakers, barriers, food trucks, workers and much, much more amount to a logistical challenge of major proportions! At dinner time there’s a sound check going on that can be heard loud and clear. Up on Pelee Island’s Fish Point, the beach flies are out for blood. Walk on the beach and you’ll soon have dozens of them on you.
Wed., Aug. 23rd – The Nature Center is closed for the day for Bash at the Bay. Fees from other parking areas at the corner of Meechen and Langram also benefit island charities. The good news is that the center benefits from the $10 parking fee at the south end of the runway. Entertainer Pitbull is videoed with security on the office dock at the Crew’s Nest. The mid-afternoon rain doesn’t stop the lineup for Bash on the Bay 6, Pitbull, Elle King, Filmore, Ashland Craft and Kaylyn Pace, from putting on a great show. The show ends as rain begins. On this date in 1932, the Beebe House Hotel at the corner of Hartford and Bayview is destroyed by a massive blaze. North on Pelee Island, Rick Ouellette and Sherri Smith host the Artworks Community Potluck at their home.
Thu., Aug. 24th – The severe storm that started the night before finally ends about 9 a.m. Emergency forces answer about 20 calls as wind, lightning and rain continue through the night. Record amounts of rain flood parts of the island like never before. The second day of Bash of the Bay is canceled due to unprecedented storm damage and flooding at the PIB Airport. Besides the rain, the big excitement on Pelee Island is those with tractors meet for a “tractor cruise” at the island co-op in Scudder. Part of the fun is wearing Hawaiian shirts. On this date in 1963, there was an International Queen of Peace contest as part of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie. Beauties from the U.S, and Canada met on South Bass Island, for the judging. Yup, there’s nothing like a beauty contest to celebrate an important naval victory.
Fri., Aug. 25th – Insult is added to injury as a relatively short but very severe squall goes through the island area at night with winds peaking at 76 mph at Bob Bahney’s on Peach Point. Dale Burris on North Bass says they were 100 mph on North Bass. This many trees and limbs down in DeRivera Park hasn’t been seen since the storm in 1988 when the old wooden water tower blew down. Islanders awake to no electricity, but Ohio Edison’s Terry Jenkins who has been up all night for two nights saves the day again and has most places back on before most people have to be at work. Joey Wolf and Bill Burger leave Put-in-Bay for their retirement in Florida. The couple’s combined service with the PIB EMS totaled nearly 40 years. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church welcomed The Rt. Rev. Anne B. Jolly, The Bishop of Ohio to PIB.
Sat., Aug. 26th – Chris Cooper watches a twin-outboard boat find the reef between Starve and PIB. Darwin is challenged again. There’s a wonderful seafood boil ala Chef Ken at the yacht club. More than 20 Island kids help Rocco Scarpelli celebrate his birthday.
Sun., Aug. 27th – The Benson Ford Ship House opens its doors one final time in 2023 for tours. A group is at the school painting stripes and handicapped spots in the parking lot there.
Mon., Aug. 28th – A crew is working on all the downed trees and limbs in DeRivera Park by the playground. PIB High School senior Hope Cooks is painting her personal parking spot at school. Each senior gets their own spot and gets to paint it as they please.
Tue., Aug. 29th – The last week for summer hours begins at Put-in-Bay Yacht Club. Some of the island kids are at Perry’s Cave enjoying everything there is to do there before the first day of school. At 7 p.m. workers are hard at work cleaning downed limbs up in the downtown park.
Wed., Aug. 30th – It’s the first day of school. There’s a 40th anniversary memorial at Mother of Sorrows for the four brave men, Duane Dress, Bruce Mettler, pilot Bob Rigoni and Michael Sweeney, who perished on December 9th in 1983 while on a flight to Kelleys Island to provide medical help for a heart attack victim. The new flagpole in the carillon yard is blessed and a lunch follows in the Cornerstone annex. It’s the last night of the summer for the weekly Euchre tournament at PIBYC.
Thu., Aug. 31st – As usual, it’s hard to believe the season is almost over.
Putinbay.com is proud to present the Put-in-Bay Gazette’s Island Diary for August 2023, in the September 2023 issue of the Gazette.
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