There’s no shortage of historic sites to explore at Put-in-Bay, but the South Bass Island Lighthouse stands out as particularly fantastic. Not only can you explore a piece of history, you also get to enjoy perhaps the finest views of Lake Erie that any of the Bass Islands have to offer! And if you’re fortunate enough to be visiting the island on the date of a guided tour, you’ll get to learn more than you could ever imagine about Lake Erie and the Bass Islands.
South Bass Island Lighthouse is a somewhat unique structure for the time period. Most lighthouses of the era consisted of the tall lighthouse tower and a detached home in which the lighthouse keeper lived. The South Bass Island Lighthouse combined the two, with the tower itself being built into the home. The Lighthouse is located at the southernmost point of South Bass Island. On the property you will also find a barn built in 1899 and an oil house built in 1897. The NOAA maintains a meteorological station on the site, sending South Bass Island weather statistics to the National Weather Service. The Lighthouse is also on the National Register of Historic Places.
The grounds of the Lighthouse are maintained by The Ohio State University, and they host occasional tours of the grounds. It is believed that this is the only lighthouse in the United States owned by a university. The tour dates for 2018 are June 9th, July 18th, August 11th, September 8th and October 13th, from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Additionally, if you have a group of 10 or more, you can call ahead to schedule a private tour. Click here to enquire. Public access is not limited to these tours however. The grounds are open to the public most days, save for the infrequent private event.