Discover Lake Erie Science and History on Ohio State’s Gibraltar Island Tours | Ohio Sea Grant

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Discover Lake Erie Science and History on Ohio State’s Gibraltar Island Tours

12:00 pm, Mon May 14, 2012 –

Put-in-Bay, OH Tourists at Put-in-Bay can learn about Ohio history and the important Lake Erie research conducted at Ohio State’s Stone Laboratory by taking a tour of Lake Erie’s Gibraltar Island this summer. Science and History Tours of the 6.5- acre island in Put-in-Bay harbor are held each Wednesday, June 20 through August 15 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“Families can tour Ohio State’s island while they visit Put-in-Bay and learn about Ohio Sea Grant’s efforts to protect Lake Erie as well as the summer classes offered at Stone Lab”? says Kristin Stanford, Stone Lab Outreach and Education Coordinator. “History lovers will have the great opportunity to see Cooke Castle and stand where Commodore Perry stood at Perry’s Lookout.”?

Groups will take guided tours of the island, including Perry’s Lookout, the glacial grooves, Stone Lab buildings, and the outside of Cooke Castle. The second part of the tour will focus on the Lake Erie research currently underway at Stone Lab.

A tour fee of $10 ($5 for children 6 — 12) supports Stone Lab student scholarships. To reach Gibraltar, arrive at the Boardwalk Restaurant Harbor Taxi Landing on South Bass Island by 10:45 a.m. to catch a water taxi at a cost of $6 round-trip. Tours are provided on a first-come, first-served basis, with a maximum of 75 people.

The history of Gibraltar Island stretches back more than 10,000 years ago when the last huge glaciers moved across North America, cutting deep grooves on the island’s western shore. During the War of 1812, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry used a rock outcropping on the island as a lookout point to spot the approaching British fleet before the Battle of Lake Erie. Years later, Civil War financier Jay Cooke purchased the island in 1864 and built the 15-room Cooke Castel as his family’s summer home. He hosted hundreds of guests, including President Rutherford B. Hayes, and General William Tecumseh Sherman. In 1925, Ohio State University Board of Trustees member Julius Stone purchased and gave the island to the university as a permanent home for the Lake Laboratory.

Ohio State University’s Ohio Sea Grant program is part of NOAA Sea Grant, a network of 32 Sea Grant programs dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of marine and Great Lakes resources. For information on Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab, visit 


Stone Laboratory’s Bayview Office at 419.285.1800.

ARTICLE TITLE: Discover Lake Erie Science and History on Ohio State’s Gibraltar Island Tours PUBLISHED: 12:00 pm, Mon May 14, 2012 | MODIFIED: 1:12 pm, Tue April 28, 2015
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Matthew Forte
Authored By: Matthew Forte
Associate Editor, Ohio Sea Grant College Program

Matthew Forte is a lifelong fan of U.S. history. When he isn’t renovating his house or playing with his two infant sons, he is reading history books or substitute teaching.