12 Things You Didn’t Know About Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands

1.) Thomas Alva Edison, inventor of the phonograph, the incandescent light bulb, and many other devices that make our lives fuller and simpler, was born in Milan, Ohio, in 1847. Marblehead Lighthouse

2.) The Huron Playhouse is Ohio’s oldest continuing summer theatre.

3.) Heineman’s Winery on South Bass Island is the oldest family owned and operated winery in Ohio.

4.) Johnson’s Island Confederate Officers Prison, in nearby Marblehead, was home to nearly 9,000 Confederate prisoners during the Civil War.

5.) Quarry Hill Winery, in Berlin Heights, is located at the highest point in Erie County.

6.) Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” is set, in part, in Sandusky.

7.) The Marblehead Lighthouse is the longest continuously operating lighthouse on all the Great Lakes.

8.) Genoa is the only community in America with an outhouse listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

9.) The Hotel Victory on South Bass Island featured the first co-ed natatorium, or swimming pool, when it opened in 1898.

10.) Betsy Mo-John was the last Ottawa Indian to reside in Ottawa County. The cabin where she lived still sits next to Mon-Ami Winery.

11.) Kelleys Island is the largest U.S. Island in the western basin of Lake Erie.

12.) The area is historically known as “the Firelands” which is reflected in many business names today (Firelands Winery, Firelands Regional Medical Center, Firelands Area Credit Union). The name Firelands comes from the literal “fire lands,” or the lands granted western settlers whose Connecticut homes were burned by the British during the American Revolutionary War. Many of our town names mirror those in New England.

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