Put-in-Bay Island Diary May 2023

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Island Diary May 2023

Mon., May 1st – The Put-in-Bay Police Department resumes enforcing parking regulations in the Village for the season. The South Bass Island State Park officially opens for the 2023 season! Joe’s Bar opens daily.

Tue., May 2nd – The Village Council meets in the morning and votes for an amendment to the parking ordinance that requires parking permits in certain areas in the Village.

Wed., May 3rd – It’s a cool and rainy day. There’s a half-price steak night at the Crew’s Nest that is open to the public. CC Wisniewski is at the yacht club pulling a ticket for the club’s “Rolling Raffle.”

Thu., May 4th – The Fishbowl opens daily!

Fri., May 5th – The Spring Fling Customer Appreciation Party begins at the Island Club. Hooligans, the Boardwalk Upper Deck, and Rita’s Cantina all open for the season. The staff at the Crew’s Nest is busy getting their outside bar ready. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, St. Hazard’s on Middle Bass opens for the season.

Sat., May 6th – The Garlic Mustard Challenge in Cooper’s Woods and in some of the other PIB Twp. Parks is very productive. This year’s top picker is Susan Byrnes with 41 pounds. Close behind her in second place was Carol Cerny. There are nice prizes for everyone who helps pick the invasive species.. It’s Clean Up Day at Put-in-Bay Yacht Club. Lunch is served to all the volunteers. Friends and family attend Bob Smith’s funeral mass, burial at Crown Hill and Celebration of Life at the Town Hall. The Put-in-Bay High School students hold their Prom Night at the Jet Terminal in Port Clinton after taking the Jet Express to the Mainland.

Sun., May 7th – A wonderful Jamaican meal prepared by Lance Saunders is served at Put-in-Bay Yacht Club. Proceeds benefit the Put-In-Bay EMS. There are ten vehicles in the afternoon car parade.

Mon., May 8th – The Fish Waste Disposal Container at the transfer station is full. There will be one more container brought over to the island. The last scheduled day for its use will be Friday the 19th unless it fills up sooner. A worker is running wiring for accent lighting through one of the new sections of the seawall at the Monument. The PIB firemen train with floating pumps out near the ice ramp. They can use floating pumps to draw water directly from the lake into a truck or portable pool. This is a huge help when our fire hydrant water levels are low or they need more access to water.

Tue., May 9th – The annual Blessing of the Fleet takes place at the Jet Dock. In the afternoon there’s a graduation ceremony at the EMS for new EMTs Bree Reynolds, Nate Jones and Lucas Guy!

Wed., May 10th – Nature’s Nursery, a wildlife rehabilitation center in Whitehouse, Ohio, is at the Put-in-Bay Town Hall in the afternoon with a program. The program is sponsored by the Lake Erie Islands Conservancy, Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center, and Miller Boat Line. The Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce is participating in Ohio Tourism Day on the lawn of the Capital Building in Columbus. The PIBHS Cross Country Team is hosting a “Tough Island” competition at Blumensaadt’s stone lot on Meechen Rd.

Thu., May 11th – The mooring buoys are put in the harbor. The Islander Inn officially opens for the season.

Fri., May 12th – The environmental club goes to the Cleveland Botanical Gardens then heads down to Columbus for the State Science Fair awards ceremony. Both the Chicken Patio and Lester’s Taco Shop on Delaware Ave. open. Subway has a soft opening. Crew’s Nest members gather for their opening party, plus the yacht club opens for the season.

Sat., May 13th – A bit after midnight, island firefighters are called to the Bayshore Hotel where a golf cart is on fire parked next to a car that is also burning. The Island Wide Garage Sale takes place. There are about 30 places on the map where you can find a treasure or two.

Sun., May 14th – There’s a delicious Mother’s Day Brunch at the Crew’s Nest. The Forge’s Garden Bar and new Champagne Bar are open.

Mon., May 15th – The second Spring Road Scholar Program begins. The PIB Chamber of Commerce holds its Spring Member Meeting at the PIB Yacht Club. As a token of appreciation to all its members, there are “Every Day Island Getaway” branded boxes given away to the attendees. Each swag box has logo stickers, window clings and a 3×5 PIB flag. There’s a discussion about some of the new and changed events like Pride Day and the Island Hops & Vine Festival. Danny Drake turns 50.

Tue., May 16th – Workers are busy striping the Village streets. Someone from a school group leaves a backpack in the downtown park. In the evening, the students at school are showing off their artistic skills, plus the younger students are presenting their Spring Concert. El Kostura’s solo on drums was impressive. At the Put-in-Bay Volunteer Fire Department there’s a meet and greet with the island’s firemen, EMS personnel, and police, the Ottawa County Sheriff Deputies, the county EMA and the USCG Marblehead.

Wed., May 17th – PIB High School’s freshman class is doing a virtual popcorn fundraiser. They’re selling Double Good’s gourmet popcorn to help support the Put-in-Bay Class of 2026 senior class trip. The students from Kelleys Island School enjoy a field trip to Put-in-Bay. They hike the East Point and Massie Preserves, tour the Wildlife Center, visit the Candy Bar and have Frosty’s pizza for lunch. They also tour Put-in-Bay School and get a special tour of the Benson Ford Shiphouse.

Thu., May 18th – Bayview Ave. is down to a single lane as workers pour concrete in the northeast section of our seawall. In the morning there’s an award ceremony at the school.

Fri., May 19th – The Goat and its popular Biergarten open. Downtown, the Forge with its remodeled interior opens. Tom Thanasiu finishes putting the Scarpelli docks in at Squaw Harbor.

Sat., May 20th – Wondering what to do today? The Sonny-S made its first run between Middle Bass and Put-in-Bay. The Perry Group meets at the Perry Monument Visitor Center to discuss this season’s menu of its events. The Put-in-Bay Property Owners Association meets at the Senior Center. Bill Slough, the new president of the group, introduces speakers Village Council member Craig Cox who discusses the Village’s new parking permits, Wendy Chamber from the PIB Chamber of Commerce who discusses this season’s sponsored events, and Shea McGrew from the Ottawa County Community Fund who gives an overview of the organization. You can get items sharpened at the Hardware Store. At the Goat’s Biergarten, Das Lokal, the Lake Erie Islands Conservancy (LEIC) is holding a fundraiser to raise the last $25,000 needed to purchase the Duff Homestead & Bayfront Preserve. Thanks to Scott and Caroline Jackson for donating 100% of everything sold in the Biergarten to the purchase. There’s a Cabi party for ladies at Pam Rudolph’s home on the West Shore. There’s a celebration of Danny Drake’s reaching the half century mark at Heineman Winery. There’s a best soup competition at the yacht club. Kevin Noon is at the Island Hardware & Market sharpening things like knives, scissors, garden, sewing and wood working tools, paper cutters and more.

Sun., May 21st – After church services, the parishioners of Mother of Sorrows and St. Paul’s gather together for Sunday Hospitality and then enjoy a private tour train trip around the island with conductor Chip Duggan. The Antique Car Parade is sponsored by Joe’s Bar. The Inaugural ILYA Bay Days Cocktail Party is held in the afternoon at the yacht club.

Mon., May 22nd – Police officers Adam Chellis and Ali Sabri Uthumalebbe are called to Bayview Ave. in the morning where they open Jeff Koehler’s van after the keys got locked inside.

Tue., May 23rd – Joan and Roger Rhoad are the first from Put-in-Bay, that we know of, to boat to Pelee Island. The crews and staff at Miller Boat Line’s Lime Kiln Dock enjoy several delicious sandwich and cookie platters compliments of Subway. The Brig Niagara arrives at Put-in-Bay. The island Daisy Girl Scouts Troop 1314 holds a bridging ceremony for the girls who become Brownies.

Wed., May 24th – A group from the PIB Senior Center are off to a Mud Hens baseball game in Toledo. Wade Wertenbach, Cal Jackson, Moxie Spatafore and Leila Koch graduate from Put-in-Bay pre-school and will move on to kindergarten this fall. A stiff north wind with a temperature just above 60 degrees kicks up after lunch makes for a cool afternoon. At the Boathouse Bar there’s a Codigo Tequila party.

Thu., May 25th – Very windy this morning on the island. One of the Crew’s Nest’s long floating docks in Squaw Harbor twists, turns and tips into the water due the NE winds during the night. Luckily there were no boats on it. The PIB High School graduation ceremony takes place at the Monument. Lilian Frederick, Macy Ladd, Alice Lentz, Alec Sharp, McKenna Stacy and Doug Steidl make up the graduating class. Alice is the Salutatorian, Macy the Valedictorian, and Mr. Eric Engel is the guest speaker. A reception is held afterwards at the yacht club. The most popular couple on Chapman Rd., Bill and Lisa Kehoe, celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. If you drive by Parker’s Park at the end of Trenton Ave. (aka Dump Rd.) you’ll see the fencing with all the locks is gone.

Fri., May 26th – There’s great news for the Lake Erie Islands Conservancy as it learns the goal to purchase the Duff Homestead & Bayfront Preserve has been reached. Sheryl Patry is at the Senior Center with her dog Harmony giving a first ukulele lesson to a group of seniors. Please let us know when and where the concert will be taking place. The Bathing Beach is turned back over to the Village as construction on the Monument seawall in that area is complete. Susan Thwaite is celebrating. Forty-five years ago on this date she first arrived on Put-in-Bay to begin her first island summer job at the Crew’s Nest.

Sat., May 27th – The wind has nearly died and it looks to be a perfect-weather Saturday for the Memorial Day weekend. A low-flying jet aircraft flies over the Village at exactly 11 a.m. Where it came from and where it’s going no one on the ground knows. The Candy Bar opens its new ice cream window. Two of PIB High School’s Class of 2023 graduates, Doug Steidl and Macy Ladd, are working at the Boardwalk gas dock. The Sheriff Department does golf cart inspections in the field next to Middle Bass Town Hall in the afternoon.

Sun., May 28th – A Past Commodores Reception, a Memorial Day Service, and the Eye Opener Brunch are going on at the PIB Yacht Club. The antique car parade is the biggest one so far this season. In 1901, there was much excitement generated by news that oil has been discovered on Middle Bass Island.

Mon., May 29th – Before lunch there’s a Memorial Day Service on the steps at Perry’s Monument. A low-flying fighter jet flies over the island just east of the Monument just before the ceremony. Jon Scarpelli and Kristin Stanford host a pool party for the island kids and their parents. As one guest said, “There was enough food to feed half the island.” A large black dog is hit by a golf cart on Bayview Ave. The dog runs off and the golf cart drives away. A woman’s purse falls into the water off the Crew’s Nest’s B-Dock. Efforts to recover it prove fruitless.

Tue., May 30th – After more fruitless much-of-the-day efforts to find the drowned purse, scuba diver Allison Dawson is brought over from Middle Bass and retrieves the purse that contains a fist full of credit cards, cash and car keys among other items. The Reel Bar hosts another of its Fine Wine Tasting Dinners. Chef and Sommelier Robby Lucas, PIBHS Class of 1999, presents five French wines inspired by the wine collection of the late Ray Fogg, Sr. Featured wine is a 30-year-old Chateauneuf du Pape.

Wed., May 31st – On this date in 1914, the fish hatchery at the west end of Put-in-Bay was destroyed by fire. The new brick fish hatchery which was built to replace it is now the Aquatic Visitors Center.


Putinbay.com is proud to present the Put-in-Bay Gazette’s Island Diary for May 2023, in the June 2023 issue of the Gazette.

To subscribe to the Put-in-Bay Gazette please visit their website by clicking here.

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