The Ohio State Stone Laboratory on Lake Erie has been conducting freshwater research for over 100 years. Thanks to the students, faculty, and staff, the health of Lake Erie has vastly improved. The Aquatic Visitors Center on Put-in-Bay is also run by Ohio State. Put-in-Bay is lucky to have the Ohio State Stone Laboratory.

Visiting Stone Labs

The main campus lies on Gibraltar Island. This small island is located north of the downtown harbors. Guided tours of Gibraltar are offered throughout the summer via water taxi. The taxis leave from the downtown docks right next to the Boardwalk. 

Kayak the Bay offers tours of the island as well. Guests paddle to the island and learn about the important research at Stone Labs. It is a worthwhile, and beautiful trip.

The History of Ohio State Stone Laboratory

The facility first opened in 1895. The Ohio State University took over the freshwater field station in 1925 and they have manned it ever since.

Jay Cooke, the famous Civil War financier, built the impressive building in 1864. He was also responsible for the construction of Cooke Castle, made using local limestone. The original carpentry work in the library still remains today. The National Register of Historic Landmarks placed Cooke Castle on its list in 1966.

The Ohio Sea Grant, which also supports the Ohio State Stone Laboratory and the Aquatic Visitors Center, is working with other groups to renovate the castle for special events.

Freshwater Research

The Ohio State Stone Laboratory is an unparalleled experience for students at Ohio State. They spend the summers learning about conservation, taking classes, and also conducting research.

Researchers from all over the country use this lab to conduct important research. Topics include algae blooms and invasive species. These can really harm freshwater basins like Lake Erie. Thanks to these professionals and the thousands of passionate students, Lake Erie continues to thrive.


878 Bayview Ave, Put-in-Bay, OH 43456, USA