Kelleys Island in the winter & in the 1800's

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Visit Kelleys Island in the winter and it's not hard to imagine island life in the 1800's. Let this slide show advance automatically to coincide with the music and enjoy your visit to Kelleys Island.

Visit Kelleys Island in the winter and it's not hard to imagine island life in the 1800's. Let this slide show advance automatically to coincide with the music and enjoy your visit to Kelleys Island.

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    Discover an island few get to see.
  • 2. Step back in time and see the island as it was in pioneer times:
    wild & unsettled,
    isolated, dangerous.
    It was Ohio’s frontier in the 1830’s and it was about to be civilized.
  • 3. Kelleys Island is located in Lake Erie, 5 miles from the Marblehead Peninsula, barely visible from the ferry boat dock.
  • 4. The island is 2 x 3 miles in size, just 2800 acres.
  • 5. When people think about Kelleys Island, most picture
  • 6. The beach …
  • 7. Golf carts …
  • 8. Fishing …
  • 9. boating …
  • 10. and family fun.
  • 11.
  • 12.
  • 13. But there is another side to life on the island
  • 14.
  • 15. The pace slows
    as the tourists leave.
  • 16.
  • 17. Porches are bare of comfortable chairs
    and the lake empties of boats.
  • 18.
  • 19. Summer residents migrate to warmer climates and their houses are boarded up
    as winter comes to the island.
  • 20.
  • 21. Stores are open
    a few hours a day.
    Gift shops, restaurants and taverns close until spring.
  • 22.
  • 23. The streets empty of all but winter cars.
  • 24. Even the ferry dock can be a eerie place.
  • 25. The only sound you hear
    is the wind …
  • 26.
  • 27. While deer, squirrels and birds forage in the woods and create small sounds …
  • 28.
  • 29. Only an occasional car
    travels along seldom used roads.
  • 30.
  • 31. Winter has come to the Island.
  • 32.
  • 33. This is the season summer visitors
    rarely get to see.
  • 34.
  • 35.
  • 36. If you were a visitor in the 1800’s, your first view of the island would not be much different than it is today.
  • 37.
  • 38. You would have come on a steamboat from Sandusky, or even Cleveland or Toledo.
  • 39. A short walk up the hill and you were in the center of activity on the island.
  • 40. And if you visited in the winter,you would have come over in the iron-clad mail boat or sled.
  • 41. This is life as it was in pioneer times.
    It is not difficult to imagine.
  • 42.
  • 43. The accommodations were plentiful and elegant.You could choose from large hotels as well as small homes. They rented by the week, month or even the whole season.
  • 44. The Himmelein House, now a private home, was once an elegant hotel.
  • 45. Upp’s Hotel was very popular,
  • 46. as was the Schardt House.
  • 47. The Inn, now a Bed & Breakfast,still welcomes guests.
  • 48. But the largest, and best known, was The Island House, just up the hill from the steamboat dock.
  • 49. Originally the Kelley family home, the house was remodeled into this 100+ room hotel which was destroyed by fire in 1877.
  • 50. There was plenty to do once you arrived.
  • 51. While on the island, you might visit the Glacial Grooves …
  • 52. Inscription Rock …
  • 53. or explore the rocks along Long Point.
  • 54. There was shopping at the Store on the Corner …
  • 55. and you could replenish your spirit at one of the 5 Island churches. This is the German Reformed Church.
  • 56. After a quick drink with the guys at Coutcher’s Saloon …
  • 57. you were ready to enjoy the lake’s healthful breezes.
  • 58. And, of course, there was fishing.
  • 59. After a day of touring the island, there would be dinner or a dance at Kelley’s Hall.
  • 60. Certainly, you would have sampled the island wines, which were becoming more popular each year.
  • 61. The Kelleys Island Wine Co. built this formidable wine cellar in 1866.
  • 62. The Sweet Valley Wine Co. later became the Monarch Wine Co.
  • 63. Of course, travel around the island was by horse and buggy.
  • 64. Division St. looked a bit different,
  • 65. as did the Lakeshore road.
  • 66. On Kelleys Island
    not much changes, and
    everything changes.
  • 67.
  • 68. Come home to Kelleys Island and discover another side of Island life.
    It is peaceful and intimate,
    It is historic and beautiful.
    It is home.
  • 69. If you are interested in the history of Kelleys Island, you will enjoy reading:
    Kelleys Island-The courageous, poignant & often quirky lives of island pioneers 1810-1861
    by Leslie Korenko
    Credits: All pictures were either taken by the author, are in the public domain, or were used with permission. This lovely music is entitled Musette in D Major from the Sherwood Forest, Dance of the Nobles album, 1998 North Sound Music Group.
    Layout and design by Leslie Korenko using Microsoft Office Power Point.
    For more information about Kelleys Island or the Kelleys Island book, go to