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Cliap;r.„... Copyright No. 












I. F. Mack & Brother^ Publishers. 





:nd Cnry 





A Gem of Historic Setting, ... 7 

Perry's Victory in the Light of Local 

Reminiscence, . . ... 23 

Put-in-Bay in Song and Verse, . . 35 

Visitors from Another World: Story of 

the Battle of Lake Erie, . . 47 

A Notable Conspiracy: Capture of 
Steamers Island Queen and Philo 

Parsons by Confederate Plotters, . 68 

Summertime Saunterings Among Island 

Resorts. ...... 82 

Hotel Victory, . . . . .94 

Tent Life, . . ' . . . . . 100 

Under a Steamer's Headlights: The Ad- 
ventures OF Two Silly Girls, . . iii 

Winter AT an Island Resort, . . . 119 

An Icequake, or the Wreck of Herring- 
town. (Story.) . . . '135 

Romance of the Icy Plains. (Story.) . 146 

Pen Sketches of Historical Characters: 

No. I, Capt. John Brown, Jr., . . 159 

No. 2, Owen Brown, .... 168 

Autumn Etchings, . . . . .174 

Fruit Harvest in the Archipelago, . 181 

"Isle De Fleurs," . . . . . 189 

Middle Bass and Her Attractions, . . 192 

Experiences of an Old Doctor Among the 

Islands, . . . , . . 198 



Perilous Adventure: Trip With the Isl- 
and Mail, ...... 

Kelley Island^and Her Resources, . 

"Echo": The Iroquois Maiden. (Story.) 

Everything Wrong, or the Trials of 
Nicholas Beetlebrow, 

Adventures in Quf.en Victoria's Dominions 
(Point Au Pelee). 

Beautiful Ballast, .... 

"Uncle Jimmy," ..... 

Castled Gibraltar and its Lord, 

Johnson's Island: Burial Ground of the 


"Brown Sugar:" Reminiscence of San- 
dusky Bay. . . . • . 

What the Drift Brought Ashore 


The AovENTURifs of an Island "Family 
Robinson." (Story.) 

Castaway: Romance of Rattlesnake, 

Crusoe Islands of Erie, . , 

An Eventful Night. (Thrilling Story of 
the Burning of Green Island Lighthouse 
in 1864.) 

Some Interesting Geological Features: 
The "Lost Atlantis" of Lake Erie. 

Among the Fisheries, . . . . 

Storm and Darkness, "1 . 
Wreck of the Dean Richmond, 
An Old Steamer's Farewell. (Word 
Etching). . • __• 














As a journalist and general newspaper contrib- 
utor, resident for several years at Put-in-Bay, the 
writer has been afforded ample opportunity of becom- 
ing thoroughly acquainted with each individual island of 
the Lake Erie group; and has frequently expressed sur- 
prise that no literary delver has ever entered the field 
with a view to the systematic working up of resources 
so extensive and varied. 

The object of the work here submitted is, there- 
fore, to present in compact form a collection of inter- 
esting and hitherto unutilized material; historical, rem- 
iniscent, legendary, combined with story and romance, 
tales of adventure and matter descriptive of the pict- 
uresque and striking scenes in which the Islands 

Though appearing in fictitious garniture, most of 
the stories herein transcribed are founded upon fact; 
and are true in detail to life and conditions as they ex- 
ist in the archipelago. 

While the compass of this volume is not sufficient 
to contain all the material of interest and importance 
which might be collected, the aim of the writer has 
been to combine as much thereof as possible, and trusts 
that the work may meet with a favorable reception. 

The Author. 


" O, boatman, row me gently slow, 
Into the golden sunset glow, 
That crowns the dying day; 
Out where the emerald islands lie, 
In the crimson sea of the western sky, 
Row me away, away " 

Environed by an atmosphere of 
poetic fancy and historic lore, the 
Islands of Lake Erie hav-e fur- 
nished from time to time the ba- 
sis of man}' an entertaining sketch, 
story and poem,enibodying the best 
thoughts of some of America's 
'^ gifted writers. The blendings of 
fact and fancy, and the crisply 
i touched word pictures employed 
in the productions show an in- 
spiration which only a meritorious 
subject could infuse. That men 
and women of genius have made 
the locality a field for literarv 
and historical research, coupled 
with the fact that it is annually 
visited by thousands of tourists 
and excursionists, and is constantly 

becoming more widely known and popular, establishes 

its claim as especially worthy of note. 


Since, however, all that has been written concerning 
the archipelago by visiting journalists and literary con- 
tributors, has been of a desultory and fragmentary 
character, the idea of collecting for preservation within 
the compass of a volume some of the loose material 
so abundant, has been carried out by the writer 
in the following sketches and stories. 

Approaching by any of the marine highways mark- 
edon the charts of lake navigators, the voyager, who 
from deck of cruising yacht or steamer first sights the 
archipelago, is charmed by the beauty which encircles 
and pervades it. When the islands are bright with the 
variegated greens of summer foliage, and the tranquil 
waters mirror the deep blue of aerial heights, the 
group seems a veritable emerald cluster in a setting of 
sapphire. Its dreamy groves, its vine embowered 
haunts and ethereal distances kindle the poetic fancy 
and delight the eye. 

Down through time's dim vistas have descended 
traditions many concerning the dusky race which 
formerly inhabited the islands. Thii-se date back as 
far as the 17th century, when the Eries or Eric (wild 
cat) tribe of aborigines still existed. The history of 
these people is broken and imperfect. At the period 
indicated, however, the southern shores of the lake, to- 
gether with the islands, were undoubtedly the favorite 
hunting grounds, and formed the stage where were 
enacted the tragic scenes which closed the drama, and 
ended the career of a fierce and war loving people. The 
Eries were swept out of existence by the powerful "Five 
Nations," forming the Iroquois, but they left their name 
permanently established, the name that now designates 


the waters of Erie, lake of the "Wild Cat." Uncertain 
as are the records of this lost tribe, the antiquarian and 
historian groping amid ruins of the past, finds, never- 
theless, broken bits which fit into their history. No- 
table among these may be mentioned "Inscription Rock" 
at Kelley's Island, said to be the most extensive and 
interesting relic of its kind in America. 

At the opening of the present century, the islands 
were overrun by nomadic tribes which have been 
designated as "sojourners" rather than dwellers, rep- 
resenting the Senecas, Miamis, Ottawas, Shawnees, 
Potowotamies, and Wyandots; the latter being the 
most numerous. Representatives of other tribes, 
among which was that of the Mohawk, sometimes 
visited the archipelago. Though supposed to have 
been a favorite locality, the islands were not so much 
the territory of any one tribe as a common stamping 
ground for all. Thev came and went in a manner 
similar to that of the modern summer excursionists; the 
attractions of Put-in-Bay and her neighboring isles, as 
a summer resort having been known and appreciated, 
evidently, many thousand moons before the pale face 
came to know them. When the waters were fettered 
by ice, and withering blasts swept the island shores, 
the Indians are supposed to have retired into the thick, 
deep wilderness of the mainland; returning however 
with spring flowers and sunshine to their island 

The romantic element — so instinctive to these 
children of nature— must have run rampant amid sur- 
roundings so calculated to inspire sentiment. The 
dim forests, the darkling waters; the shifting clouds 



and night shadows; the gathering storm, the play of 
Hghtning, and roll of thunder; the war of winds, and 
rush of waves - all these things were invested b}^ the 
savage with a wierd mysticism, end looking upon 
Nature and listening to her myriad voices, wild fantasies 
and strange beliefs took shape within his brain. 

His imagination 
peopled with super- 
natural beinifs the 
caverned rocks, and 
witchery dwelt in the 
falling of a leaf, or 
the flash of a sea- 
gull's wing. 

In feudal days such 
as existed in the ar- 
chipelago where 
paths of wandering 
tribes so frequently 
crossed, occasions 
\ ere many which 
gave rise to tales of 
love and jealousy, of 
A ROCK-BOUND SHORE. conqucstand adven- 

ture. Thus touched by the subtle hue of poetry, and 
romance as charming and as real as that which has 
come down to us from the feudal da3's of "mediaeval" 
Europe, was the life of tlie untamed island dweller. 

Antedating the period of Indian supremacy , lived 
and flourished in the archipelago, a people concerning 
whom no scrap of history remains; yet in the earth, — 



defying still the wear and corr osion of time — evidences 
of former occupanc}^ by the " Mound Builders" are 
found. Mingling heterogenously in the same earthy 
treasure vault, these remains are often confounded with 
those of the Indian; the practiced antiquarian alone 
being able to assign each relic a place in the catalogue 
of antiquity. 

Relics both of Indians and "Mound Builders" are 
numerous at Put-in-Bay. Stone implements used by 
the latter are frequently turned up by plow and spade. 
Of these the stone ax is common. It is ground to a 
sharp even edge. Axes have been found of a size so 
small as to suggest their design as children's toys, or 
for purposes of ornament rather than for use. Stone 
pestles supposed to have been used for the pounding of 
grain are abundant, and arrow heads of white and blue 
flint are everywhere found. 

A rude mausoleum of stone slabs, black in color, 
and of a formation unknown on the islands, was dis- 
covered some years ago directly beneath the roots of a 
stump, four feet in diameter. Within the mound thus 
enclosed, were eight human skeletons, one of which 
measured over seven feet in height. Evidently "there 
were giants those days." How long these relics of 
mortality had reposed in their sepulchre of stone before 
the tree became rooted upon it, is a matter of conject- 
ure. Other mounds of a similar character have been 

In the caverns of the island, human remains have 
been found. In one instance a skeleton was discovered 
in a position indicating that the luckless individual rep- 


resented had become wedged between the rocks, and 
had thus succumbed to death by inches. 

On the southern shore of the ishind, near the gov- 
ernment Hirht-house station, is a fissure in the Hmestone 
extendmg to a considerable depth below the earths' 
surface in which was discovered a large quantity of 
human bones. 

Stumbling thus among the sepulchres of van- 
ished races, we are led to conclude that though com- 
paratively new to the modern investigntor, the isles 
of Erie are as ancient in buried history, perhaps, as 
Egypt itself. 

Though ranging as third in size, Put-in-Bay has 
from early daysranked first in importance among her 
sister islands, and is eminently deserving of the term — 
"Gem of Lake Erie." 

In consideration of its position as the most southerly 
island of the Bass group, geographers h?ve in a gen- 
eral way marked it on maps as South Bass. It was 
once known as "Ross Island." As to the origin of its 
present name there is a division of opinion. It is stated 
on the authority of a historian, that Put-in-Bay is a 
corruption of "Pudding Bay," an appellation given it 
by early navigators. A restoration of the old name 
it has been suggested, might be advantageous to the 
many summer hotels there located. Oihers assert that 
the name originated from the fact, that prior to the 
battle of Lake Erie, the ships of the American squadron 
put into the wide and ample bay which indents the 
shore, where they lay for several days. The latter 
theory is the one generally accepted. 




The bay from which the island derives its name is 
a sheet of water enclosed by two projections, "East Point" 
to the eastward, " Peach Point"' to the westward. Its 
shores are encircled by stretches of gravel beach, or 
girt b}^ rugged and picturesque rock; while its crystal 
depths mirror the cloud lights and shadows which 
play above them. Squaw harbor, forming a portion of 
the inner bay, is a beautiful sheet of water. 

In the early history of lake navigation, this bay was 
known as a harbor of refuge; and while yet the savage 
beached his canoe upon its sands, and muttered the 
strange gutteral of his tribe before the camp fire red- 
dening its shores, the white man's bark cut the still 
waters and his anchor grappled the deeply hidden 

The first vessel that ever spread canvas on Lake 
Erie, we are told, was built at Fort Frontiac over 200 
years ago by Robert De La Salle, a Frenchman, as 
the name indicates. She sailed from Green Bay in 


September, 1679, having on board a band ot mission- 
aries, among whom was Father Lewis Hennisin. This 
vessel — tradition informs us — cast anchor off the islands, 
and inspired by its beautiful scenery, the missionaries 
landed upon one of them, and within its green arched 
temple, conducted devotional exercises. These men, 
it is said, were the tirst of the white race to set foot 
upon the archipelago. 

In 1766, four trading vessels which plied the lakes 
frequently cast anchor by its shores. 

Concerning the early settlement of Pat-in-Bay, his- 
torians are divided. Some obscurit}' evidentl}^ exists, 
but the facts, as far as obtainable, date back to a period 
shortlv before the war of 1812. At that date, Put-in- 
Bay together with North and Middle Bass islands 
became the property of Judge Ogden Edwards, for- 
merly of Connecticut; these islands being included in the 
Western Reserve grants to people of that state. 

About the year 1810 two French squatters took 
possession of the island. These adventurers engaged 
mainly in hunting, trapping and fishing. Their tran- 
quility, like that of the solitary exile of Juan Fernan- 
dez, was frequently disturbed by the discovery of 
"footprints on the sand," there indented by the moc- 
casined feet of hostile red men. It is a natural pre- 
sumption that these men felt relieved therefore when 
they were reinforced by several families of French 
Canadians. An individual, Seth Done, agent for the 
Edwards property, also located on this island with a 
view to clearing and improving it. Done employed a 
number of laborers, and the little colony thus formed 
turned attention to civilized pursuits. About 100 acres 


were cleared and sown to wheat, the soil proving un- 
usually fertile, and the first wheat crop grown was 
harvested in 1812. The grain had all been stacked, 
and the colonists were engaged in threshing it, when 
they were surprised by British troops. The crop was 
de^vtroyed, and the colony driven from the island. In 
view of the troublous times, 2,000 bushels of wheat 
had been boated across to the peninsula only two or 
three days previous to the visitation above narrated 
and St red for safe keeping in a commodious log pen. 
This pen and its contents were likewise destroyed by 
British and Indians. Thus disastrously ended the first 
settlement of Put-in-Bay. 

After the war intervened a period in which the 
Bass islands almost relapsed into their former prim- 
itive state. Save the occasional appearance of ad- 
venturers from the mainland, or of sailors from vessels 
anchored in the bay, they were left to solitude. Two 
individuals are recorded as having, in the course of 
time, made brief sojourns there — "Shell" Johnson and 
one Captain Hill. Little thought of making the place 
an abode of civilization seemed to suggest itself, how- 
ever, up to the year 1822. About that time A. P. 
Edwards, brother of Judge Edwards — then deceased — 
came to look after the property, to the control or own- 
ership of which he had succeeded. 

Landing at Put-in-Bay, Mr. Edwards found there 
a single squatter, one Ben Napier, a French Canadian, 
living in a little cabin constructed of red cedar logs 
near where the steamer wharves are now located. Ben 
had taken full possession of the island, and evidently 
considered himself "monarch of all he surveyed." He 


vigorously disputed Edward's right, and the latter 
was forced to visit Norwalk for the purpose of pro- 
curing papers wherewith to establish his claim, the 
islands being under the control of that judicial center. 
Ben was finally ousted, and retired in disgust to look 
for another "squatter's" claim. 

The work of opening up and improving the island 
now be£fan. A numerous band of laborers were trans- 
ported thither, and the first movement was the erec- 
tion of a building to serve as shop and warehouse; to- 
gether with a commodious frame structure intended 
both as a residence for the agent appointed to super- 
intend operations and as a boarding place for the labor- 
ers. These buildings were erected in 1823 upon the 
site known in after years as the Put-in- Bay House. 
This dwelling formed for many years the center of at- 
traction and crowning glory of the island. Its grounds 
were pleasantly laid out, and basking under a virgin 
coat of white-wash, it came to be known as the 
"White House." It was successively occupied by 
agents representing the Edwards estate, chief among 
whom were Pierpont, McGibbons, Scott and Van 
Rassaler. McGibbjns finally rented the island, pay- 
ing ^500 in cash. Cord wood and limestone were 
thence shipped to Cleveland and Erie. No direct line 
of vessels connected with the islands, but b}- special 
agreement with the captains of schooners bound up 
and down the lake they were signalled in by shots 
fired from a cannon planted on shore when shipments 
awaited transportation. These vessels also brought 
supplies to the little maritime populace. 

The only facilities afforded for reaching the main- 



land at that period consisted of a small sloop — the A. 
P. Edwards— and a large boat called a "Zig," rowed 
by ten men, five on a side, something after the fashion 
of an ancient galley. But the island pioneers grew 
amphibious in their habits, and their exploits on ice 
and water were marvelous; the details of which would 
supply material for a whole series of "yellow backs." 


Wishing to dispose of his island possessions as a 
whole, Edwards declined selling a foot of land by par- 
cel, refusing even a location for a government light- 
house on Put-in-Bay, which in consequence was erected 
on Green Island. As a result of Edward's policy, 
the islands developed slowly, and at the end of two de- 
cades were still comparatively wild and unsettled. 




In 1843 Phillip Vroman, the oldest survixdng res- 
ident of the place at the present time, came to Put-in- 
Bay from Cooperstown, N. Y. The "White House" 
above described and a half-dozen log cabins were 
then the only habitations, while Middle and North 
Bass contained each a single cabin. At that time the 
lake waters swarmed with fish. Game, such as water 
fowl, fox and raccoon, was abundant. The squirrel 
in his natural state, however, was never known to 
exist on the Bass islands, and few deer vi^ere then seen 
excepting occasional herds which crossed on the ice from 
Pelee island and the mainland. Rattlesnakes were a 
prolific crop, and gave the inhabitants some anno3'ance. 
The woods became infested by hogs, which for years 
had run wild and multiplied until very numerous. For 



subsistence these brutes depended upon their own 
grubbing. They were savage creatures and the isl- 
anders were some times treed by them. When fresh 
meat was required a squad of mounted men, with dogs 
and guns, set out for the purpose of hunting them 
down, and the sport is said to have been very exciting. 

^ . ". 



In spring and early summer the islands formed — 
as they still do — a veritable Eden of bloom, wild 
flowers of endless variety appearing in overwhelming 
abundance and intermingled with native shrubbery, vines 
and mosses belting and overhanging, in a manner most 
picturesque and charming, the broken shore rocks. This 
prodigality of nature may be more fully understood 
when it is known that the island region forms the meet- 
ing place — according to Prof. G. Frederick Wright — 
of several botanical provinces, so that Canadian, 


Southern, Atlantic and Rocky mountain species are 
found together as nowhere else on the continent. 

The island forests were literally alive with wild 
songsters, and the eagle found here a congenial re- 
treat, making the tall tree tops his home. 

In 1S45 Gibraltar Island was occupied as the camp- 
ing ground of a large party of surveyors and engin- 
eers, employed by the government in making charts 
and maps of ihe lake. In order to secure an unob- 
structed sight, a strip forty feet in widih, running the 
whole length of the island, was cut through the heav}' 
timber of Put-in-Bay. Tliis strip afterwards became 
the main island thoroughfare, and is slill known as the 
"Sight road." Platforms seventy-five feet high were 
also erected at various points on the shore from which 
observations of the lake were taken. 

Long before she had made her debut as a sum.rer 
resort, Put-in-Bay had won many ardent admirers; 
and in 1852 a Fourth of July celebration formed an event 
such as the island had never before witnessed. The 
anniversary coming on Sunday, the principal doings 
were deferred until the following day, but a national 
religious service was held Sunday afternoon at which 
the first sermon ever preached on Put-in-Bay was de- 
Hvered by Rev. Jewett of the M . E. church, San- 
dusky. Monday came with a memorable blow-out. 
The boom of cannon awoke the echoes. The burial 
mound where rest the slain of Perry's victory was 
decorated with the national colors. Military companies 
from various points throughout the state participated, 
and crowds from the lake towns and cities arrived by 
special steamers. Sandusky grocers had erected lunch 


stands and stocked them with bountiful supplies, by 
means of which the hungry multitudes were fed. In- 
spiriting music and eloquent oratory awoke an enthu- 
siasm which reached white heat. 

In 1854 ^'^^ islands, comprising the Edwards prop- 
erty, were sold entire to Riveria De Sanjargo, a Span- 
ish merchant of wealth and distinction then residing in 
New York City. Up to this time, but a single frame 
house had been erected on Put-in-Bay, but with a 
change of proprietors, ils prospects brightened. Con- 
tracts for buildings were issued by Riveria, and Mid- 
dle Bass was disposed of to three purchasers — VVm. 
Rehberg, a German count, Andrew Wehrle, and a 
gentleman of fortune named Caldwell. 

A steamer, the "Islander", began making trips from 
Sandusky to Put-in-Bay. Improvements went rapidly 
forward, and the islands as a body enjoyed that which 
in modern times would be called a "boom." Many 
visitors now began crowding toward Put-in-Bay, 
drawn thither by the natural and historical attractions 
of the place. Among the number was J. W. Gray, 
then editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Realizing: 
the need of suitable hotel accommodations, Gray pur- 
chased the 'White House." Changes and additions 
were made, and ere long a comfortable hotel opened 
its doors. The island was now becoming famous as a 
summer resort, and to meet the ever increasing de- 
mand for accommodation, a grand summer hotel was 
projected, built and christened — "The Put-in-Bay 
House." The structure was 450 feet long. Its veran- 
dahs extended the whole length of the building and 
commanded a magnificent view of the bay near 




which the hotel was located. The Beebe house, 
a commodious structure, was erected on the site of an 
old building known as the "Perry House." The Beebe 
house was owned and is still operated by Henry 
Beebe, the oldest hotel man in the state. Other hotels 
rapidly sprung up, and owners of real estate in sizable 
tracts suddenly found themselves wealthy. Not only 
had the place become an attraction to tourists and 
visitors in general, but the peculiar adaptability of the 
soil rendered grape culture a prolific source of gain; 
and Put-in-Bay and adjacent isles were soon covered 
with thrifty vine3^ards. 

The Put-in-Bay house was subsequently destr03ed 
by fire, but was afterwards rebuili on a smaller scale 
by Valentine Doller. 

In size and magnificence, however, the old Put-in- 
Bay house was finally eclipsed by the erection on Vic- 
tory Bay of Hotel Victor}-, which enjoys the distinc- 
tion of being the largest and most luxuriously appointed 
summer hotel in the United States. 

Such in brief is the history of a summer resort. 


In the Light of Local Reminiscence. 

"As bears the noble consort slowly down, 
Portentous now her teeming cannon frown; 
List to the volleys that incessant break 
The ancient silence of this border lake." 

"While Erie's currents lave her winding shore. 
Or down the crags her rushing torrents pour, 
While floats Columbia's standard to the breeze, 
No blight shall wither laurels such as these." 

— Harpek"s Magazine 

"The chief products of Put-in" 
Bay are fish, fiirlalions, limestone 
md Perry's victory." 

Thus facetiously comments an 
observer after duly siting up the isl- 
oiiver Hazard Perry, aud iu questioH. Thc latter com- 
modity is especially abundant as may be divined from 
the fact that it forms the primary consideration of al- 
most every visitor of intelligence who for the first 
time sets foot upon this historic bit of terra firma. 
Among the crowds which annually visit the resort are 
tourists from New England, from the land of the 
orange and palmetto, from the isles of Britain and from 
Continental Europe. As a rule, the farther traveled, 
the deeper the interest exhibited by travelers in a con- 
templation of the scene where occurred the great naval 
contest which swept from American waters the Cross 


of St. George, and demonstiated the invalidity of Eng- 
land's pretentions to being "mistress of the seas" — a 
supremacy long the boast of this most invincible of 
old world powers. 

On almost any favorable da}' during the "guest 
season" many loiterers mixy be observed near the 
"lone willow" — beneath which lie the slain of Perry's 
victory — leaning over the post and chain fence that 
encircles it, or resting on the lawn adjacent, evi- 
dently lost in retrospective cogitations. They have 
many questions to ask of the islanders whom they 
meet concerning points of history — local and general — 
bearing upon events associated with the spot, and are 
sometimes as easily gulled by the romancist as are 
travelers in the holy land by the relic vender. The 
burial mound, which thus forms a point of general in- 
terest, is located on a level sweep of greensward, a 
few rods from the bay shore, midway between the two 
wharves at which incoming steamers land their pas- 
sengers. This spot was denuded of timber before the 
war of i8[2, and save the old willow contains only a 
few second <;rowth trees. 

In consideration of its isolated position, it became 
known as the "lone willow" — an appellation given it 
by early settlers, and which it still retains. Its 
story as told by these pioneer dwellers runs as follows: 

A few days succeeding the surrender of Barkiey's 
fleet, a vessel hailing from the settlement now marked 
by the town of Vermillion, arrived laden with supplies 
for the American squadron. While anchored offshore, 
the master of this vessel visited the island, where were 
interred the slain officers of both fleets. In his hand 


he carried a walking stick cut from a green willow. 
The earth which rounded the lonely graves was still 
fresh, and into the yielding surface he imbedded the 
shoot. It became rooted and grew into the goodly 
tree which now marks the place. 

This story is well authenticated, many of the old 
residents having seen and conversed with the man who 
planted the willow shoot, and who in subsequent years 
visited the island. Within a comparatively recent 
period the tree was encircled by the above mentioned 
post and chain fence which encloses and renders con- 
spicuous the otherwise neglected spot. The tree has 
grown to stately proportions, but its trunk is becom- 
ing gnarled, and its yellow twigs and clustering leaves 
are oftimes broken by the hands of strangers and 
carried away as mementoes. Two or three round, 
white boulders lie partially imbedded in the sod at its 
roots — the only monumental stones the enclosure con- 
tains; whether originally placed there by Perry and 
his men, is a matter concerning which the present in- 
habitants seem devoid of knowledge. 

There are persons still living on Put-in-Bay who 
remember seeing the remains of an old scaffold cap- 
ping a wall of rugged and precipitous rock near the 
"Needle's Eye," Gibraltar Island, From this com- 
manding station Commodore Perry and his officers 
daily and hourly reconnoitered the lake, sweeping with 
their marine glasses the horizon to west and north- 
west for the first topsail of the British squadron, the 
appearance of which was to be the signal for action. 
A grass-grown path leading to this point of rocks 
from the opposite side of the island off which lay at 


anchor the American fleet, is also remembered by 
early pioneers. The scaffold long since disappeared, 
but the spot upon which it stood is now commonly 
known as "Perry's lookout." It is marked by a flag- 
staff, and the neighboring scenery, as viewed from this 
eminence, is the most rugged, picturesque and ro- 
mantic known in the archipelago. 

Near "Perry's Lookout," on Gibraltar, is placed a 
monument intended to commemorate the battle of 
Lake Erie. It was designed and erected by Jay 
Cooke, the well known Philadelphia financier and 
present owner of the island. 

Within the entrance hall of Mr. Cooke's stately 
summer villa — which occupies a central location on 
Gibraltar — hangs an old painting representing the 
scene of this famous engagement. 

Several years ago a transportation vessel lost her 
anchor, and while grappHng for it, her crew hauled up, 
not that for which they were looking, but an old 
wooden stock anchor, such as were used by navigators 
in early days. The wood had rotted away, and the 
iron was deeply corroded with rust. This anchor is 
said to have been lost from one of the ships of Perry's 
squadron. Other interesting relics of the troublous 
times of i8 12-13, ^"^ of Perry's visit to Put in-Bay, 
have been found at various times and in divers places. 
Arms and military accoutrements bearing the United 
States brand have been picked up, of which the wood 
portions were rotted away and the iron deeply rust- 

On Peach Point, which overlooks the battle scene, 
was found a cannon ball imbedded in a mass of rock 


and debris. The ball corresponded in size and weight 
with those used for the naval cannon of early days. 
This relic came ultimately into the possession of Jay 
Cooke, by whom it is highly prized. 

For an indefinite period of years an old dismounted 
cannon figured conspicuously in the history of Put-in- 
Bay. This piece of ordnance — it is asserted — belonged 
to one of Perry's ships, and was left on the island after 
the fight in a disabled condition. The piece was re- 
cently sold to the town of Port Clinton. The citizens 
of that borough feel proud of their acquisition, fondly 
cherishing the relic and bringing it forth with great 
eclat and profuse decorations whenever a street pa- 
rade or public jollification is given. 

The anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie, Sep- 
tember lOth, is recognized at Put-in -Bay as a holiday 
of an importance as great as that which attaches lo 
the Fourth of July in other portions of the country- 
Whether any pubHc celebration is or is not held on the 
island, the average islander suspends his daily occupa- 
tions with the advent of the "tenth," and donning his 
best, repairs to the "Bay," wliere he aims to get out 
of the occasion all the glory there is in it. The res- 
idents of adjacent islands are accustomed also to gather 
at this common center, crossing in skiffs, yachts and 
sail boats. 

If no special features of interest are afforded, a 
meeting with neighbors and friends in the Bay park, a 
dish of ice cream at the restaurant, a glass of lager or 
perchance of something stronger serves to round out 
the day, and in the evening the islander goes home 
with a serene sense of duty done. 


However, the advent of this anniversary rarely 
fails to bring crowds by every steamer from lakeport 
towns and cities, and often from points far inland. So- 
cieties civic and military frequently parade the thor- 
oughfares, bands discourse martial music, yards of 
bunting stream from public buildings; and inspired by 
the occasion, speeches full of hre and frenzy are pro- 
jected by orators of every degree. Then, too, the 
"lone willow" is wreathed, ribboned, flagged and 
flowered in the most approved manner. On one of 
these occasions a large and handsome portrait of Perry 
garlanded with exquisite floral decorations, and 
knots of red, white and blue ribbon, was suspended 
against the tree. Directly beneath lettered in black on 
a white ground appeared the words of th it brief but 
significent dispatch, penned by the hero to Gen. Har- 
rison — "We have met the enems' and they are ours " 
At the tree roots lay the rusty anchor — that had been 
fished from the bay — twined with evergreen, and its 
chain clasped about the trunk. Upon each post hung 
an evercrreen wreath and fluttered a flag, forming 
about the mound a blight circle of color. 

One of the most notable anniversaries of the battle 
ever held at Put-in-Bay, occurred somewhere back in 
the "fifties."' On this occasion, over 15,000 people were 
in attendance, and so many steamers arrived that 
scarcely room enough was afforded at the wharves to 
land their passengers. In anticipation of the crowd, 
bakers and restaurant keepers from adjacent mainland 
towns had put up temporary lunch counters and eating 
stands, and did a rushing business. 

There were present at this anniversary nearly 


sixty survivors of the battle, among whom was Capt. 
Elliott, who commanded the ship Niagara, which after 
the Lawrence became disabled, was boarded b}^ Perry 
and made flagship of the squadron. 

A thrilling address was delivered by Capt. Elliott 
in the grounds of the "White House." An old resident 
of the island, Phillip V^roman, who was present, des- 
cribes the speaker, as he then appeared, as a grey 
bearded, but well preserved man of medium height, 
slender build, and intelligent countenance. 

Gen. Harrison who figures prominently in history, 
both civic and military, was among the speakers; also 
Gov. Cass of Michigan, together with many other 
noted scholars and statesmen. 

An incident which occurred in connection with this 
particular celebration is related by Mr. Vroman. He 
was standing near the old burial mound when he ob- 
served in the cro^vd about him a man of worn and 
grizzled appearance, with head inclined, and the tears 
coursing slowly down his cheeks. Mr. Vroman kind- 
ly inquired as to the cause of his grief. The man 
lifted his head and, pointing to the mound, said: 

"Here lie my comrades. Forty- five years ago to- 
day we gathered at this spot to perform for them our 
last services. Since then I have not seen the place 
until now. Gazing once more upon it under circum- 
stances so solemn and impressive brings back upon 
me an overpowering flood of recollections." 

In reply to inquiries, the old man gave some per- 
sonal experiences of the battle, as follows: 

"I was with a large detachment of our men on the 
little rock island known as Gibraltar, when Barkley's 


fleet was sighted approaching from the northwest. 
We lost no time in getting back to our vessels which 
were idly swinging at anchor. Orders from command- 
ing ofi^icers were given, quick and sharp. There was 
a bustle of hasty preparation heard; a great straining 
of blocks and cordage, and a flap of canvas as the sails 
were unfurled. Our fleet passed out of the bay be- 
tween Peach Point and Middle Bass Island. The 
morning was as beautiful as any that I have ever seen. 
When about five miles north of Put-in-Bay, we en- 
countered the British squadron." 

After giving a description of the fight, the narrator 
closed with an account of the burial of the dead at 
Put-in-Bay. According to his statement, six officers — 
three Americans and three British, were buried on the 
site marked by the willow; the sailors and marines, on 
a beautiful treeless knoll near "Squaw Harbor." 

Some historians tell us that the latter were sunk in 
the lake by means of a cannon ball attached to the feet 
of each. This, however, must be erroneous, as other 
testimony to the effect that they were buried on the 
island exists besides that of the old marine above 

Had the fleet been sailingr the high seas instead of 
lying in a quiet harbor, a disposition of the dead by 
committal to the waves might appear more reasonable. 
The spot pointed out as the burial ground in question 
was afterwards used by the early settlers as a place 
of interment, and in excavating, human bones were 
unearthed. Nearly all the remains of island settlers 
were subsequently removed to the present island cem- 
etery. Greensward and vineyard sweep cover the 


site of the old burial ground at the present day, and 
nothing is now left upon its surface to suggest that it 
was ever used as such. 

Another point upon which historians differ is in 
reference to the exact location of the battle, its distance 
from Put-in-Bay ranging, according to several accounts, 
all the way from two to ten miles. Since, however, no 
measurements were ever taken by the participants, the 
exact distance in hnear miles will probably never be 

There are aged persons still Hving who remember 
having heard the cannon at the Battle of Lake Erie. 
E, W. Barnum of Cleveland, who attended a recent 
loth of September celebration at Put-in-Bay, saw, 
when a boy of twelve years, the British fleet, before its 
engagement with Perry, lying at King's Quay, Ft. 
Maiden. He was also on board the Queen Charlotte 
before her capture, and saw the identical cannon which 
has frowned for so many years upon passersby in 
Monumental Park, Cleveland. 

At various times for years past, efforts have been 
made to secure the erection of an appropriate Monu- 
ment at Put-in-Bay, intended both to commemorate 
this great naval achievement, and also to mark the 
burial place of the slain, but up to the present time all 
enterprises in this direction have met with signal 

Many years ago a fund for the erection of a monu- 
ment to Oliver Hazard Perry was largely contributed 
to by island residents with the understanding that it 
was to be located at Put-in-Bay. Photographs of the 




"Lone Willow" were circulated and sold in large 
quantities, and the proceeds donated to this fund. In 
due time the monument took shape, and proved a suc- 
cess, being an elaborately designed and exquisitel}' exe- 
cuted piece of sculpture, surmounted by a life-like statue 
of Commodore Perry. Instead of being erected at Put- 
in-Bay, however, it was placed in Monumental Park» 



Cleveland, where beside the old British cannon men- 
tioned in this co::nection it formed for many years an 
object of interest and admiration to the thousands who 
dail ; thronged the paved thoroughfares near which it 
stood. It was afterwards removed to Wade Park, 
where it will no doubt remain till time shall crumble it. 



On September loth, 1891, the Maumee Valley 
Monumental Association, with President Rutherford 
B. Hayes at its head, held a meeting at Put-in-Bay, 
Cassius M. Clay, of Kentucky, and other men of promi- 
nence being present. At this meeting the Perry monu- 
ment question was again agitated. As a result of this, 
and various other movements, a congressional appro- 
priation was solicited; and ever since, the congressional 
body have been considering the expediency of granting 
the same. Meantime, Rhode Island — Commodore 
Perry's native state — has stepped to the front, and pro- 
poses undertaking, on her own account, the building of 
a monument at Put-in-Bay, and the islanders are pray- 
ing that " Little Rhody's " good resolution may not 
fail until her task is accomplished. 





"Did you ever behold a more lovely scene?' 
"Never ! It is superlatively beautiful, 
glorious !" 

The subject of discussion was a brilliant sunset 
viewed from a rocky projection. The interrogator an 
enthusiast who had never travelled far; the individual 
addressed, an enthusiast who had travelled extensively 
and viewed scenes and objects of famed attraction, 
but only to return to his own country, and there to dis- 
cover among the isles of Lake Erie the acme of all 


artistic inspiration and poetic sentiment shown up in 
one grand masterpiece. In its contemplation he grew 
ecstatic, and straightway exhausted the whole vocab- 
ulary of adjectives and terms synonymous expressive 
of highest and mightiest appreciation; but nothing 
could be too extravagant in the way of word garniture 
for such a scene. The Master Painter seemed indeed 
to have thrown into this stupendous effoit the full 
power of creative genius. Such delicate pencillings; 
such exquisite shadings; such clearness of outline in 
the foreground; such films of haze and flecks of cloud 
in the ('istances; such combinations of color; such fan- 
tastic play of lights on wave and sky; such a glorious 
reincarnation of beauty as a whole. 

A breeze with breath of balm, just rippling the 
channel waters. A murmur, just audible, of wavelets 
among caverned rocks. Ledges abrupt and crags 
overhung by riot-running vegetation. Cedar clumps 
abristle and maples thick leaved scumbled with golden 
bronze. To westward, the sun's divergent path; and 
far and near winged sails catching the crimson glow of 
the d3'ing da3^ Such in outline is the sketch of an 
island sunset; and afloat upon a luminous sea of in- 
spiration, poetic f<mcy awakens to "stir of waves and 
dip of oars." 

"O, boatman, row me gently, slow, 
Into the golden sunset glow 
That crowns the dying day; 
Out where the white cloud islands lie, 
In the ciimson sea of the western sky, 
Row me away, away." 


"Purple and carmine and amethyst, 
Waves that touching the sky unkissed, 
Leave aluminous trail; 
Across it floating a graceful thing; 
Is it a bird with a shining wing, 
Or a tiny glistening sail?" 

However, not alone in sunset glories revels the 
poet, the artist and the creator of symphonious meas- 
ures, since throughout the whole panoramic progress 
of the seasons, the shifting views on lake and land, and 

A S'JMMLR SHORE. Geo. Kerry, Put-in-Bay. 

the harmonious blendings of life and color contribute 
to kindle and keep aflame the aesthetic fires. With the 
"month of roses" is attained the climax of inspirational 
fervor; when skies are bluest and nature at her best; 
when dreamer and castle builder are busiest weaving 
garlands of fancy and rearing architectural marvels, 
towered and turretted and aglow with "a light that 
never was on land or sea." 


Had our widely renowned American poets — Long- 
fellow and Whittier — spent as large a share of their 
natural lives at Put-in-Bay as along the New England 
coast, every crook of the island shores, every wave- 
worn rock and mirrored crag that girds them , every 
quiet cove and dimpling bay which indents them 
would have been invested with the charm of romance, 
subtle and irresistable; for the natural beauty and his- 
toric interest attaching thereto would have called 
forth the noblest efforts of those gifted writers. 

Howbeit, the island and its attractions, natural 
and historical, have not been overlooked; since im- 
mediately following the battle of Lake Erie in 1813, 
poets of every degree, from fledgling versifiers to 
hoary-headed bards all over the country, turned their 
attention towards it, eager to immortalize in verse the 
gallantry of Oliver Hazard Perry and the scene that 
witnessed his brilliant achievements. Books published 
shortly after the period above mentioned, containing 
poems describing the event, are still found in old 

Ablaze with fiery patriotism are these quaint ef- 
fusions, though not always true to topographical detail 
— a matter which excites no surprise when it is con- 
sidered that most of them were written at long range, 
imagination supplying material where facts were 

A song, said to have been widely popular eighty 
years ago, is still known and sung by elderly people. 
Though not an example of perfect metrical composi- 
tion, its long survival entitles it to notice in this con- 
nection. The words are as follows: 


"Ye tars of Columbia, give ear to my story, 

Who fought with brave Perry where cannon did roar; 
Your valor has won you an immortal glory, 
A fame that shall last until time is no more. 

"Columbian tars are the true sons of Mars, 

1 hey rake fore and aft when they fight on the deep; 
On the bed of Lake Erie, commanded by Perry, 
They caused many a Briton to take his last sleep. 

"On the tenth of September, let all well remember, 

As long as the world on its axis rolls round. 
Our tars and marines on Lake Erie were seen, 
To make the red flag of proud Britain haul down. 

"The van of our fleet, the British to meet, 

Commanded by Perry, the Lawrence bore down, 
The guns they did roar with such terrible power. 
The savages trembled at the horrible sound. 

"The Lawrence was shattered, her rigging was tattered. 
Her booms and her yards were all shot away; 
And few men on deck, to manage the wreck, 
Our hero on board, could no longer stay. 

"In this situation, the pride of our nation. 

Sure heaven had guarded unhurt all the while; 
While many a hero maintaining his station, 
Fell close by his side and was thrown on the pile. 

"But mark ye and wonder, when the elements thunder. 
And death and destruction are stalking around; 

His flag he did carry, on board the Niagara, 
Such valor on record was never yet found. 

"There was one noble act of our gallant commander, 
While writing my song, I must notice with pride; 
When launched in a smack, which carried his standard, 
A ball whistled through her, just at his side. 

"Says Perry— 'Those villains intend for to drown us, 
Push on my brave boys, you need never fear; ' 
And then with his coat, he plugged up the boat, 
And through sulphur and fire away he did steer. 


"The famous Niagara, now proud of her Perry, 
Displayed all her colors in gallant array; 
And twenty-five guns on her deck she did carry, 
Which soon put an end to the bloody affray. 

"The bold British lion now roared his last thunder, 
While Perry attended him close in the rear; 
Columbia's eagle soon made him crouch under, 
And call out for quarter as you shall soon hear. 

"Brave Elliott —whose valor must now be recorded, — 
On board the Niagara had well played his part; 
His gallant assistance to Perry afforded, 

We place him the second on Lake Erie's chart. 

"In the midst of the battle the guns they did rattle, 
The Lawrence a wreck, and the men mostly slain; 
Away he did steer, and brought up the rear. 
And by this manuever the victory gained. 

"Says Perry — 'Brave Elliott now give me your hand. 
This day you have gained an immortal renown; 
So long as Columbians Lake Erie com.nand. 

Let the brave Captain Elliott with laurels be crowned. 

"Great Britain may boast of her conquering heroes. 
Her Kodneys and Nelsons, and all the whole crew; 
And Rome in her glory ne'er told such a story, 
Nor boasted such feats as Columbians do. 

"Columbians sing and make the woods ring. 

And toast those brave spirits by sea and by land; 
While Britains drink sherry, Columbians drink Perry, 
And toast it about with full glasses in hand." 

As "distance lends enchantment," so with passing 
years looms the historical importance of "Perry's vic- 
tory," and every scion of poesy who visits Put-in-Bay, 
experiences — as did his predecessors — an irrepressible 
desire to pour into rhyme the thoughts thereby awak- 
ened. Thus graphically described is the fray by 
Henry T. Tuckerman of Newport, R. 1.: 



'•Why to one point turns every graceful prow? 
What scares the eagle from his lonely bough? 
A bugle note far through the welkin rings, 
From ship to ship its airy challenge flings. 
Then round each hull the murky war clouds loom, 
Her lightnings glare, her sullen thui-lers boom; 
Peal follows peal with each lurid flash, 
The tall masts shiver and the bulwarks crash. 
The shrouds hang loose, the decks are wet with gore, 
And dying shrieks resound along the shore; 
As fall the bleeding victims one by one. 
Their messmates rally to the smoking gun. 
As the maimed forms are sadly borne away, 
From the fierce carnage of that murderous fray, 
A fitful joy lights up each drooping eye, 
To see ihe starry banner floating high, 
Or mark their unharmed leader's dauntless air, 
His life enfolded in his loved one's prayer. (*) 
Not o'er my head shall that bright flag descend: 
With brief monition from the hulk he springs, 
To a fresh deck his rapid transit wings. 
Back to the strife exultant shapes his way. 
Again to test the fortunes of the day: 
As hears the noble consort slowly down. 
Portentous now her teeming cannon frown; 
List to the volleys that incessant break 
The ancient silence of that border lake ! 
As lifts the smoke, what tongue can fitly tell. 
The transports which those manly bosoms swell. 
When Britain's ensign, down the reeling mast, 
Sinks to proclaim the desperate struggle past." 

One of the most interesting, yet saddest circum- 
stances connected with the Battle of Lake Erie, was 
undoubtedly that recorded in the words of still another 
old song that has com^ down to us, "James Bird." 
To a lady resident of Sandusky is the writer indebted 

* Note:— Perry said after his miraculous escape that he owed his life 
to his wife's prayers. 


for details of incidents from which this son^ took its 
origin, and which contribute to form an additional rem- 
inisence resurrected from a buried past. The story 
which may serve as a prelude to the song, runs thus: 
After the Battle of Lake Erie, in which James 
Bird— -the hero commemorated in this connection — 
distinguished himself, and which virtually ended the 
war, the American fleet sailed for Erie, Upon its 
arrival, Bird immediately set out for his home at 
Kingston, anxious to see the dear ones he had left be- 
hind. That a formal discharge was a necessary con- 
dition of release from his country's service, when that 
service was no longer required, never entered his mind. 
After a happy meeting with his friends, the youthful 
marine hired to a frontiersman and began the work of 
clearing up timber, unconscious of having committed 
any misdemeanor. Bird communicated freely with 
his employer concerning his experiences under Perry's 
command, revealing the fact that he had left the fleet 
W'ithout a discharge. Soon after this the heartless 
employer reported him as a deserter. He was con- 
victed as such, and by the stern rigors of military dis- 
cipline was sentenced to be shot. Perry having learned 
the facts, hastened to the young man with a par- 
don, but reached the place of execution just a moment 
too late. One singular circumstance connected with 
this trajric affair remains to be told. The land which 
the unfortunate Bird had assisted in clearing for his 
treacherous and unfeeling employer, never produced 
aught of vegetable life, but remained a desert tract of 
barren soil. The lady who kindly furnished the above, 
and who is highly estimable and wholly trustworthy, 


verifies the truth of this statement, having frequently 
visited the spot thus strangely branded as with a curse. 
The music which accompanies the song is as quaint 
and as wierdly mournful as the words copied below : 


"Sons of pleasure, listen to me; 

And ye daughters too give ear; 
For a sad, and mournful story, 

As e'er was told you soon shall hear. 

"Hull, you know his troops surrendered. 
And defenceless left the West; 
Then our forces quick assembled, 
The invaders to resist. 

" 'Mongst the troops that marched to Erie, 
Were the Kingston volunteers; 
Captain Thomas them commanded, 
To protect our West frontiers. 

"There was one among the number. 
Tall, and graceful was his mein ; 
Firm his step, his look undaunted. 
Ne'er a nobler youth was seen. 

"One sweet kiss he snatched from Mary, 
Craved his mother's prayer once more ; 
Pressed his father's hand, and left them 
For Lake Erie's distant shore. 

"Soon he came where noble Perry 

Had assembled all his fleet; 

There the gallant Bird enlisted, 

Hoping soon the foe to meet. 

"Now behold the battle rages. 

Is he in the strife or no.'' 
Now the cannons roar tremendous, 
Dare he meet the savage foe ? 


"Yes, behold him — see with Perry, 
On the self same ship he fights; 
Though his comrades fall around him, 
Nothing doth his soul affright. 

"Ah ! behold— a ball has struck him. 
See the crimson current flow; 
'Leave the deck !' exclaimed brave Perry, 
" 'No', cried Bird, 'I will not go.' 

" 'Here on deck I've took my station, 
Here will Bird his colors fly: 
I'll stand by you, galJant captain. 
Till we conquer, or I die.' 

"Still he fought, though faint, and bleeding, 
Till the stars and stripes arose; 
Victory having crowned our efforts 
All triumphant o'er our foes. 

"'Dearest parents, read the letter, 
That will bring sad news to you ; 
Do not mourn your first beloved. 
Though this brings you his adieu.' 

"'I must'suffer for desertion, 

From the brig Niagara; 
Read this letter brother, sister 
T'is the last you'll hear from me.' 

"Dark and gloomy was the morning, 
Bird was ordered out to die ; 
Where the heart not dead to pity, 
But for him would heave a sigh. 

"View him kneeling by his coffin, 

Sure his death can do no good ; 
'Spare him' ! hark— oh God! they've shot him, 
See his bosom stream with blood! 

"Farewell, Bird, farewell forever. 

Friends and home he'll see no more; 
For his mangled corpse lies buried. 
On Lake Erie's distant shore." 


Noteworthy among recent literary productions, was 
a long descriptive poem read at the Cleveland Cen- 
tennial Anniversary on *'Perry Victory Day," September 
loth, 1896. The opening stanzas are as follows: 

"The sparkling waters of Put-in-Bay 
Are resting in placid peace to day; 
But the silvery sheen of their ebbing flood, 
Was once stained red with our grand sires' blood. 

"And the dells and dales of the wooded shore, 
Sent back the wild echo of cannon's roar; 
While the drifting spars, and shattered hulls, 
Formed a resting place for the white winged gulls. 

"In one grave near the beach at Put in-Bay, 
Our friends, and our foes were laid away; 
It is three, and four score years ago, 
Since Oliver Perry met the foe, 
But the deeds heroic done that day, 
Cast a halo of glory 'round Put in-Bay." 

A "Forest City" pilgrim to the burial place of the 
illustrious dead, breaks thus into rhyme: 

"Where the white caverned rocks are reflected, 

On the swell of the long curving billow. 
Near where Perry's dead heroes neglected, 

Lie nameless beneath the gaunt willow, 
I dreamed of our dead and forgotten. 

Marked "unknown" on the tablets of fame, 
And a long line of heroes filed past me. 

Who for us gave a life, and a name " 

Further eulogized in a poem b}^ an unknown author, 
are these old time martyrs; and further deprecated 
the neglect that has thus far been accorded them : 

"Their monument the willow tree, 
Their requiem the waves, 
Of old Lake Erie dashing free. 
Around their nameless graves; 


Their epitaph, the withered grass 

That marks their lowly beds, 
Their eulogy, the moaning winds 

That sigh above their heads. 

"Neglected, and forgotten here. 

Without a line or stone. 
These brave defenders fill one grave, 

Their very names unknown. 
Four scores of springs have brought their bloom, 

To this immortal isle, 
Since friend and foe were buried here, 

In one promiscuous pile. 

"My country, not too late to raise, 
A column to the brave. 
Who brought a glory to the flag, 

A victory to the wave. 
Who drove the liriton from these shores, 

Who gave this isle a name. 
Who brought the country fresh renown, 
To Perry, deathless fame." 

So great an aftermath of Perr}- V^ictory song 
and verse has been gleaned however, that further 
mention of individual effort along this line would be 

Though affording themes most favored, the Put- 
in-Bay muse and musician leave frequently the beaten 
paths of historical record and popular tradition, to re- 
vel in dreams of fanc}', of love, and romance. 

Poems of sentiment contribute a glamour of roman- 
tic interest; and compositions such as the "Put- 
in-Bay March" and "Put-in-Bay Polka" are known to 
the musical world. Even the "Masher" and his ad- 
ventures are not forgotten, since in a very spirited song 
and dance issued by a sheet music publisher, both are 
embalmed in measures rythmical under the title, "The 
Girl of Put-in-Bay." 


A Story of the Battle of Lake Erie. 


The fleet had sailed, and the eight vessels, armed 
and equipped as ships of war, were heading westward 
up Lake Erie in search of the skulking squadron of 
the enemy. 

For some time previously, the red flag of Great 
Britain had carried terror to the inhabitants of new 
settlements along the southern borders of these disputed 
waters, but the eagle of Columbia now spread her 
wings to the breeze, and fluttered upon the pennons of 
the ships which carried the heroic Perry and his 

It was twilight. The western heavens and a wide 
expanse of sea that blended were still aglow. The 
moon had risen, and a few stars bolder and more 
brilliant than their companions looked forth as if im- 
patient at tne day's lingering departure. A freshening 
breeze filled the bellying canvas of the vessels as they 
swept silently onward. Presque Isle, from which the 
squadron had cleared lay far behind, while to the left a 
long, low belt of land marked the souther^ shores with 
their dark interminable forests lit at intervals by Indian 
camp fires. 

On the deck of the flag-ship Lawrence, leaning 
over the bulwarks, appeared a young man attired in 


the uniform of an officer whom we will introduce to 
the reader as Arthur Holmes. 

Though still under twenty-five years, the unmistak- 
able lines of some deep sorrow were already traced 
upon his brow. Near the young officer a group of 
tars and marines were discussing the prospective en- 
gagement and its probable results. At the mast-head 
a man was stationed to watch for the appearance of 
the enemy, and a half suppressed buzz of expectation 
extended to all the vessels of the fleet. The young 
officer appeared too closely occupied b}' his own 
thoughts at this moment, however, to join in specu- 
lation regarding the expedition, and too calm to be 
agitated by anything that might occur in the near future. 
He seemed oblivious to all around, when approached 
by a brother officer of about his own age and rank who 
bore the name of Robert Reade. 

"Don't brood," said Reade, placing his hand on 
Holmes' shoulder. 

The latter turned toward his companion with a 
smile so sad that it failed to illumine even for a moment 
the settled gloom of his features. 

"This will never do, Arthur," said Reade, speaking 
in a kind but decisive manner, "You must get out of 
yourself. You must drown past sorrow, by throwing 
yourself into present activities. Surel}' we have enough 
to occupy our minds at this time without brooding 
over a dead and buried past. We shall soon stand 
shoulder to shoulder in a combat that must result in 
signal victory or defeat, and we should try to forget 
everything except the issues of this glorious under- 


"I cannot drown nor forget the past, but when the 
time comes to fight — I am ready." 

Holmes spoke with quiet firmness, and an expres- 
sion of steady determination shone in his dark eyes. 

Before proceeding, we will further introduce our 
young hero b}' sketching a page or two of his previous 
history. It was six months since a tragic occurrence 
had seemed destined to overshadow all the remaining 
years of his life. 

A 3^ear previous he had become engaged to a 
young and beautiful girl, Nellie Wilder, the daughter 
of Connecticut paren s who had settled upon the lake 
border. Arthur cherished a strong attachment for the 
girl which was fully reciprocated, and forgetting the 
dangers and privations incident to the pioneer, his life 
grew into perfect happiness beneath the sunshine of 
her presence.. 

The parents of Nellie Wilder lived in a cabin near 
the banks of a small river. On the opposite side had 
settled the familv of a hunter, and an intimacy fostered 
by the solitude of the situation sprang up be- 
tween the two families. An Indian canoe served to 
bridge the stream, and one afternoon in the early 
spring, Nellie, wishing to visit the neighboring cabin, 
crossed in the canoe and fastening it to a stake, proceeded 
on foot through a strip of forest that lay between the 
stream and the hunter's home. 

The afternoon wore away. The sun went down^ 
and early twilight shadows gathered darkly in the 
thick forest. Nellie had not returned, and the Wilder 
family grew alarmed. Crossing the river on an impro- 
vised raft, Mr. Wilder repaired to the hunter's cabin. 


To his dismay he found that NelHe had not been there 
and had not been seen. The news of her disappearance 
spread rapidl}^ through the small settlement. When 
it reached the ears of Arthur Holmes he instantly pro- 
ceeded to organize a body of men for the purpose of 
pursuing and overhauling a roving band of Indians 
which had passed that day through the settlement. 
Arthur had felt convinced that the Indians had captured 
the girl and carried her away with them. Full of rest- 
less anxiety, he was soon in hot pursuit at the head of 
twenty armed men. They struck the trail of the fugi- 
tives and pressed forward, but it was not until the 
afternoon of the next day that they were overtaken. 
The Indians were surprised and captured in a ravine 
where they had camped for the purpose of roast- 
ing game; but Nellie was not with them, and 
no trace of her could be found. The Indians professed 
total ignorance concerning her. They represented 
themselves as peaceably disposed, and begged per- 
mission to continue on their way. Arthur was bitterly 
disappointed but persuaded that the statement made by 
the Indians was correct, he allowed them to proceed. 

A new apprehension now took possession of Arthur. 
Perhaps Nellie had wandered into the forest and had 
become the prey of wild beasts. The thought filled 
him with agony, and he cursed his weak judgment 
which had led him so far on this wild chase, when he 
should have scoured the nearer forest. A solution of 
the mystery awaited him when he reached the settle- 
ment, and uncertainty gave place to horrible reality. 

In his absence, search had been made along the 
river bank. At a point where the trees grew thick 


and dark, twenty yards below where the canoe was 
fastened, strips of clothing identical with that worn by 
Nellie, spotted with blood, together with small wisps 
of tangled hair were scattered promisciously about a 
pool of clotted gore. The hair, soft and wav}'^, was of 
a peculiar shade of auburn seldom seen, and all who 
had known Nellie Wilder at once recognized it as hers. 
At this revelation some of the settlers now remembered 
having heard the howl of wolves west of the river on 
the afternoon of the girl's disappearance. Nellie had 
undoubtedly been killed and devoured by wild beasts. 
A curl of the blood-stained hair and a locket containing 
her miniature was all that remained to Arthur of one 
who was dearer to him than life. 

We will briefly pass over the months that followed 
this occurrence. Arthur was at first stupefied and un- 
able to comprehend the truth. When at last the ter- 
rible reality came surging upon him, his brain reeled 
and reason tottered. A violent fit of sickness followed, 
his life hung in the balance, but he recovered and 
w^ent out into the world a changed man, for all the 
music and sunshine had departed from his life. When 
in answer to a call to arms he entered the navy under 
command of Perry, he cherished the secret wish that 

should a sacrifice of life be required, his might be the 

Such was the state of Arthur's mind, when the 
reader first sees him in the person of a handsome, intel- 
ligent, but sad faced young officer on board the man- 

Two days after clearing from Presque Isle, the 

squadron reached the head of Lake Erie without hav- 


ing encountered the enemy; and now lay within a se- 
questered bay formed by the protecting shores of 
clustering islands. Under the mellow light of dreamy 
skies, and lapped by blue waves, these islands appeared 
serenely beautiful, though no sight nor sound of visible 
life disturbed the solitude of their forest covered shores 
save the chattering of birds, or screaming of eagles as 
they wheeled away over the topmasts of the vessels 
at anchor. In this bay, the fleet lay for days and 
weeks watching for that of the British. Meantime, the 
officers and marines pulled ashore in straggling bands 
in quest of amusement. There were recent traces of 
Indians, but they had doubtless fled at the approach 
of the battleships. Two or three indifferent looking 
cabins in cleared spaces indicated that the whites 
had also held a foothold there, but they too had 

One afternoon, weary of life on shipboard, Arthur 
Holmes had landed at one of the larger islands with the 
intention of exploring its shores. He was accompanied by 
Rudolph Gustave, an old marine commonly known as 
"the bull-dog"— so called from his fighting quafities. 
The two had spent the afternoon wandering about ad- 
miring the romantic scenery and remarking the peculiar 
roughness of the limestone upon every side. Numer- 
ous caves and crevices had also attracted their atten- 
tion, but warned at last by approaching night they 
started for the shore where they had left their boat- 
On the way thither Arthur halted to examine a curi- 
ously formed specimen of rock over which he had 
stumbled when attracted by an exclamation of surprise 
from his companion. 


"What have you found ? " queried Arthur stepping 
quickly forward. 

"What say you ? " returned Rudolph. 

"Witches, faries, spirits, or flesh and blood ? " 

"What do you mean ? " exclaimed Arthur, noting 
the look of amazement on the swarthy face of his com- 

"Did'nt you see those two women ? " 

"Women! There are no women on this forsaken 

"Then they were spirits," replied Rudolph. 

"It must have been imagination on your part, or an 
optical delusion." 

"No imagination, no delusion. 1 saw them as 
plainly as I see you." 

"Then where did they go.'^ " 

"That I don't know; they seemed to disappear be- 
hind that clump of cedars, but may be they vanished 
into the air." 

"I see you are inclined to be superstitious." 

"Call it superstition if you will," returned Rudolph 

"Let us see if we can catch another glimpse of 
them;" said Arthur walking toward the clump of cedars 
in question. " What did they look like ? " 

"One was a white woman; the other dark. I 
hardly noticed the dark one, but I should know the 
white face among ten thousand." 

"Was there anything peculiar about the face?" 

"There was everything peculiar. I can't exactly 
explain in what w^ay, only it was the most beautiful 
face that 1 ever saw. Dark curling hair with a glint 


of gold touching it, and blue eyes that looked as if they 
belonged to an angel." 

Arthur was visibly impress-id by this description 
but said nothing. They searched among the thick 
growths of underbrush, but found no trace of any liv- 
ing creature. Arthur thought strange of the affair, 
but inwardly laid it to the superstitious fancy of Rudolph 
and as it was now growing late they hurriedly left the 
spot and returned to the vessel. 

That night when the moon shone brightly overhead, 
Arthur Holmes looked about the deck for Rudolph. 
He found the old soldier reclininij against the truck of 
a cannon. Arthur wished to speak further concerning 
the singular occurrence in the woods, but waited for 
Rudolph to begin. 

After a few common-places, the latter turned sud- 
denly toward his companion. 

"So }'ou don't belie\'e in spirits?" observed he. 

"O yes! in then- places of course, but I should hardly 
imajrine them stalkingr about deserted islands." 

"That might depend upon what their errands 
were," replied Rudolph. 

"Young man," continued the latter after a mo- 
ment's silence, "don't tell me there are no spirits, be- 
cause I have felt their presence. Yes, and they can 
travel between this and the other world just when 
they have a mind to." 

He drew from his pocket a metallic case, one side 
of wl ich was partially shattered, and opened it. 

"Look ! Here is a picture of my mother. She 
died when I was a boy, and now let me tell you how 
that case got shattered." 


"It was the night before the battle of Trafalgar, 
and I lay with my mess mates about me. I was 
pretty tired and dropped into a sound sleep. I don't 
know how long I had slept when I was suddenly 
wakened by a voice close to my ear calling 'Dolphie' 
- — that was what my mother used to call me, and it 
was her voice just as 1 remembered it when a boy. I 
started and looked around. My comrades were all 
asleep and everything quiet. It must have been a 
dream, I said to myself, and though it impressed me 
a good deal, I lay down after a little and was just 
dozing off when 1 felt the touch of a soft hand upon 
my forehead, and heard that same voice again calling 
my name. I was wide awake in an instant. My 
comrades were still sleeping, and the silence around 
made it seem strange and solemn. Then I felt and 
knew that a visitor from another world had come to 
me and that visitor was my mother. 

" 'But why should she come to me now after these 
many years?' thought I. 'Is there anything that dis- 
turbs her rest?' 

"I couldn't sleep, so I got up and took a few turns 
up and down on a short beat, speculating on the 
curious affair and thinking of my mother. After a 
while I sat down and put my hand into my breast 
pocket for this picture — I always carry it there. Then 
I remembered that I had slipped it into my knapsack 
when mending my blouse a few days before, and 
hr.dn't thought to put it back in its place. I looked 
at the picture a long while. My mother as she ap- 
peared in life was a quiet, sad faced woman, but pretty 
looking with mild brown eyes and fair hair. As I 


gazed, old memories came crowding lo my mind, and 
the picture of a church, a graveyard, and a Httle 
marble cross bearing my mother's name — lying under 
the shadow of mountains among which I was born 
away in sunny France — came before me. 

"I had grown up rough-like, but at that moment 
my feelings got the better of me, and I cried like a 
baby. I put the picture back in my pocket, close 
where my heart could beat against it. 

"Well, the next day when the battle was at its 
height and shot and shell were showering about like 
hail, a ball penetrated my clothing and struck the 
miniature that lay over m}^ heart, shattering the case as 
you see. That picture saved my life. Then it oc- 
curred to me why my mother had come to me so 
strangely at dead of night and jogged my memory. 
But for the reminder, I shouldn't have thought to put 
the picture in my pocket before the battle, 

"Another time when the frijjate Marseilles — on 
board of which I served — went to pieces off the Cape 
of Good Hope, all through the storm and darkness of 
that awful night, when the seas were sweeping our 
decks fore and aft and the timbers were wrenching 
apart and everything going by the board — that night 
I could feel my mother's presence about me which 
ever way I turned and when the vessel parted amid- 
ships and went down, I reached land, clinging to a 
broken spar, one of only three men saved from a crew 
of eighty tars and marines." 

At the conclusion of this narration Rudolph re- 
lapsed into silence, while under the brilliant moonlight 
Arthur examined the shattered case and studied the 


picture with interest. The wierdness of the old vet- 
eran's storiCvS had strangely impressed him. 

"You seem to think a great deal of this picture." 

"Yes ! Wouldn't part with it for a kingdom." 

"I too have a picture that I always carry, and that 
I value as highly as you do this," observed Arthur, 
handing back the miniature. 

"Indeed !" exclaimed Rudolph brightening. "Your 



"No !" 

"Sweetheart then, perhaps?" 

Arthur nodded assent, and taking the picture of 
Nellie Wilder from his pocket, passed it to the old 

"1 don't wonder you value it," said Rudolph, hold- 
ing the picture so that the moon's rays could fall full 
upon it. 

"It's the face of a saint and no mistake." 

Then suddenly, with a puzzled expression, Ru- 
dolph bent over, scanning it still more closel}'; his 
hand to his head as if trying to recall something which 
he had forfjotten . 

"I believe that I have seen that face somewhere 
before," he said musingly. 

Arthur shook his head. 

"I think not," he replied. 

"Then I have seen one exactly like it, I swear!" 
replied Rudolph with increasing interest. 

"I would go a long way to see a face like that; 
who, and wheie could it have been?" 


"That's just what I'm trying to get through my 

"I know!" he exchumed, "1 know!" Then drop- 
ping his voice to a low tone, he continued — 

"It was the face that I saw this afternoon, over on 
yonder island." 

Arthur was not superstitious, but his imagination 
had been deeply wrought upon during the afternoon, 
and evening, and the color now left his cheeks and he 
trembled with nervous excitement. 

"You are fanciful," he said turning to Rudolph. 
"May be I am, but what I see, I see." "You know 
I told you that 1 would know that face among ten 

"So you think the face that you saw was like the 
one in this picture." 

"I do," replied Rudolph emphatically. 

"What did you say was the color of the hair?" 

"It was dark with a shade of gold running through 
t, and was wavy and curling like." 

"Then the color must have been auburn," sug- 
gested Arthur with quivering lip. 

"Yes, I believe it was what would be called 

Arthur took the picture from its case; as he did so 
a curl of hair fell at his feet. He picked it up, and 
laid it tenderly within his palm. There were stains of 
blood upon it, but observable only on close examina- 
tion. Catching the moonbeams a glint of light 
mincrled with the darker shade. 

"Was it anything like this?" queried Arthur, 
handing Rudolph the lock of hair. 


"Aye, the very same; where did you get this?" 
"It belonged to the girl in the picture." 
Rudolph gazed at the curl of hair, and the minia- 
ture and was silent. 

"Young man," he said slowly at last. "I don't 
w^ant to say anything to make you uneasy, but I am 
afraid there is something wrong. This appearance 
may be a token to you from your sweetheart. Some- 
thing may have happened her." 

"Something has happened her," replied Arthur, 
choking with emotion. 
"How's that?" 

"She has been dead these six months." 
"Then it was her spirit that I saw." 
"Well, but why should she appear to you, a 
stranger, and not to me?" 

"That is a question which I cannot answer." 
Arthur related the circumstances of Nellie Wilder's 
death, and the two friends remained in close conversa- 
tion until the moon had passed her zenith and was 
climbing down the western skies. The midnight stars 
were looking down into the sleeping bay, and the wild 
notes of the whip-poor-will re-echoed from adjacent 
shores when Arthur turned into his hammock. 

The strange problem presented by the incidents 
narrated, together with other thoughts and emotions, 
so occupied his mind that to sleep was impossible. 
Questions to which he could find no answer recurred 
to him again and again. 

"Did the departed ever return? And had the spirit 
of Nellie Wilder appeared to Rudolph Gustave; or 
was this man the dupe of superstition, weakness and 


ignorance? Superstitious he might be, but he was 
neither weak nor ignorant. 

"Why may not etlierealized beings traverse 
measureless distances and become visible to mortal 

"If this were so, then might not the spirit of his 
loved and lost return to him ajjain? 

"Oh, that she would come back to me now. That 
I might feel the touch of her hand upon my forehead 
and gaze once more upon the sweet face, though it 
were that of spirit." 

A Mystery Unravelled, 

Two days after the events above related occurred 
the battle of Lake Erie, the details of which have 
passed into history and need no rehearsal in this con- 

Arthur received a wound in the left arm, which 
though comparatively slight, was very painful. The 
next day after the battle he witnessed from the deck of 
the Niagara the burial of the officers of both squadrons 
slain in the engagement. The bodies were conveyed 
in boats to the shores ot the larger island and interred 
with fittintj ceremonials. 

"By what strange providence?" questioned Arthur, 

"By what strange providence has my life been 
spared? I who have nothing for which to live, while 


Others bound to existence by ties of love and tenderness 
have fallen victims to the grim destroyer?" 

His wound exempting him from further duty, Ar- 
thur obtamed permission to remain in a small settle- 
ment on the peninsula lying southwest of the islands, 
the squadron having anchored off that place to prepare 
for a transportation of troops to Canada. 

At the expiration of two weeks the wound had so 
far improved as to allow the young soldier freedom to 
move about. He grew restless and finally became 
possessed of a strange desire to return to the islands 
off which the battle was fought, although he could 
not have defined satisfactorily the motive which 
prompted the desire. He felt a morbid longing to see 
the spot where had occurred the singular adventure 
with the old French soldier. The solitary island pos- 
sessed for hi:i a fascination which grew as the days 
went by. There were but a few intervening miles of 
water between it and the peninsula, and yielding to a 
freak of fancy he resolved to again visit the place. 

Under pretext of reviewing the scene of the battle 
and burial place of the slain, he persuaded two young 
men to accompany him. Accordingly on a bright au- 
tumnal morning, when scarlet-leaved sumachs drooped 
over the rocks and were reflected in the calm blue 
of Erie, a light, staunch boat containing the trio pulled 
away toward the lone island in the distance. In less 
than two hours they had reached their destination, and 
finding a level beach landed and drew up the boat. On 
proceeding along a bend of the shore, they discovered 
two Indian canoes lying within a cove. The discovery 
rather intimidated Arthur's companions, but they were 


all well armed and he persuaded them to proceed, 
having first secreted the boat among some bushes. 
They advanced cautiously, Arthur leading the wa}'. 
He remembered the spot where lay the Mecca of his 
pilgrimage and moved eagerly toward it. 

"Hist ! I thought I saw a shadow moving among 
the trees," said one of the men in a low tone. 

"Where?" queried Arthur. 

"Beyond that bunch of cedars." 

It was the very spot upon which Rudolph had 
witnessed the unaccountable appearance. They paused 
a moment, but seeing nothing crept silently forward, 
when they came in view of an Indian camp. 

From a heap of faggots the smoke curled lazily 
upwards through the trees, and near the fire stood a 
wigwam. An old squaw was stirring the contents of 
a kettle suspended over the blaze, while two Indians 
sat upon their haunches conversing in the broken jar- 
gon of their native tongue. 

The three men lay motionless in a thicket that 
screened them, fearing to move lest they should be dis- 
covered. In a few minutes, however, the two unsus- 
pecting Indians arose, and taking their ritles that lay 
across a fallen tree, left the camp. 

"Now's our time," whispered one of the men." The 
squaw will see us if we move and give the alarm." 

"We must be cautious, for there may be Indians 
enough in the vicinitv to outnumber us," observed 

"That's true, but we must get out of this; suppose 
we gag the woman and tie her to a tree." 


The woman stood with her back toward the thicket 
where the men were concealed, and rising they ad- 
vanced steahhily towards her. 

While making his way through a mass of under- 
growth Arthur's feet slipped from beneath him, and 
he sank through an opening in the ground. He felt a 
I'ush of cold air and stifling darkness about him, but 
after descending several feet struck upon the floor of 
a cavern. A torch was burning within, and half dazed 
with his fall, and the discovery to which it had led he 
groped his way toward the light. The cavern appeared 
long and wide, and myriads of stalactites glistened 
overhead. The farther extremity was apparently 
bounded by a wall of abrupt rocks, beneath which a 
crystal lake seemed to lead away into unexplored pas- 
sages through and under the shelving wall. All this 
he took in at a glance, and having recovered himself, 
Arthur hastily retraced his steps toward the spot where 
he had so abruptly descended. He saw a glimmer of 
daylight, and by the aid of a pole let down by his 
companions from above, clambered to the surface. 
Unaware of danger, the squaw still bent over the 
steaming pottage with her back toward the approach- 
ing pale faces. She was seized, securely bound to 
a tree, and a handkerchief tied over her mouth to pre- 
vent an outcry. The men were turning to leave the 
spot, when they saw two more squaws approaching. 
"We'll have to nab them too, observed one of the 
number or they'll make us trouble." 

They crept once more into the bushes. 

"One is a white woman — sure as fate!" he con- 
tinued under his breath, peeping from the covert. 


Arthur looked cautiously over a lo^ behind which 
he lay. 

"Great heavens!" he exclaimed. "The white spirit 
— Nellie Wilder!" and forgetful of danger he sprang 
to his feet. 

Yes, it was indeed, her face and form, just as he had 
known her in life: no change was observable excepting 
in attire, her slight form being clothed in the Indian 

"O, Arthur! Arthur!" she exclaimed, holding out 
both hands while a glad, tumultuous light shone in her 
eyes. "Don't you know me, Arthur?" for he stood 
as if spell-bound. 

He had wished, aye prayed to behold the spirit of 
his lost love; was this the fulfilment of his wish — the 
answer to his prayer? 

But the hands that clasped his were pulsating with 
the swift warm current of life; the form was not that of 
an etherealized being, while a tint of rose touched the 
rounded checks slightly browned by exposure. 

"Nellie, in Heaven's name, tell me, is this you or 
3'our spirit?" 

"It is I, Arthur, I have lived among the Indians 
ever since I was stolen away, and oh, I am so glad that 
you have found me at last." 

Was it reality? Arthur drew his hand across bis 
eyes, his brain whirled and he grew faint. During 
this scene the squaw was secured by the two men who 
now stood refjardinof with astonishment this meeting 
between Arthur and the unknown beautiful girl who 
had so mysteriously appeared amid that scene of wild- 
ness and solitude. 


"But Nellie," insisted Arthur, unable to grasp the 
truth, "I thought you were devoured by wild beasts?" 

"I will tell you all. But come, she said with sud- 
den terror. If the Indians find you here they will kill 
you. They are four times your number. Oh, what 
shall we do?" 

"Come with me." Arthur clasped the girl's hand, 
and the whole party set out for the shore where the 
boat was secured. 

They had just shoved it into the water when a yell 
broke from the forest. Their flight was discovered. 

"Oh, haste ! Haste !" exclaimed Nellie. 

"You will not let them take me, Arthur?" 

"Not until they have first taken my life. 

In a moment they were in the boat, and in answ'er 
to long and vigorous strokes the light craft shot like 
an arrow through the water. A crack of fire-arms 
sounded from shore and several bullets struck the 
water that swept by them. Another vollev soon fol- 
lowed, but the bullets fell short. The boat had passed 
beyond the enemy's line and was speeding toward the 
peninsula. Though greatly disappointed at the loss 
of their game, the savages showed no disposition to 
follow, and the suspense was over. 

"Now, Nellie, tell me how this has come about; I 
cannot understand," said Arthur, holding closely her 
hands, as if he feared that she might yet vanish from 
his sicjht. 

"1 was captured by Indians while on my way to 
the hunter's cabin," said Nellie. "They were travel- 
ling towards the west and took me with them." 

"Well, but we found a pool of blood with tangled 


tresses of hair and shreds of clothing about it, which 
we knew to be yours." 

"Yes, they took away from me my clothing and 
dressed me like an Indian maiden. They had killed a 
deer, and the ground where it had fallen was satu- 
rated with blood. They tore my clothing into strips, 
cut off some of my hair, and trampled them into the 
pool of blood. I saw and knew that it was done to 
make it appear that I had been torn to pieces by wild 

"But, Nellie, we overhauled that band of Indians the 
next day, and you were not to be found among them." 

"Yes," she replied, "but the band separated, part 
going by another way and taking me along. I think 
that it was done to get their white pursuers off the 
track, for the two divisions afterwards came together. 

"We travelled several days, finally camping upon 
the shore of the lake, where we remained three or 
four months, then crossed in canoes to the islands, 
where they have kept me ever since," 

"I tried to escape, but found it impossible, so 
closely watched was I. 

"An old squaw took charge of me, and I grew 
to regard her as a friend and protector. But the 
chief of the band wished me to marry his son Che- 
wipsa, a young warrior. I refused and Chewipsa 
went away to fight the pale faces, but they made me 
understand that when he returned, I was to be forced 
into marriage with him. The time had come for his 
return, and I cried and prayed every day that 1 might 
be delivered from such a fate. 

"One night 1 dreamed that I saw you on board a 


vessel bound up the lake. The next day a fleet bear- 
ing the American colors put into the bay. I tried to 
escape to those vessels, but my captors secreted 
themselves and me in a large cave, near the place 
where you found me — the entrance being concealed so 
as not to be easily discovered. 

"One day there was heavy firing and I knew that 
a battle was being fought on the lake. We remained 
several days in the cave, and when we came out the 
vessels were gone." 

Arthur in turn related his story, to which Nellie 
listened with a look of wonder. 

"Now you will not think it strange that I should 
have regarded you as a visitor from another world 
when I met you in the woods," he added after the nar- 

"And, Nellie, i should never have known the joy 
which I now po::sess, deep and unbounded, if I had not 
suffered so. 

"The same Providence that preserved my life, the 
life that I fain would have cast away as broken and 
useless, has brought us together, Nellie." 

Thus speaking, a silent prayer of thankfulness 
went upwards from the two united hearts to the great 
Father of Mysteries. 

But little more remains to be told. Arthur Holmes 
and Nellie Wilder returned to their respective places 
of abode, and with the dawn of national peace and 
prosperity which followed Perry's victory on Lake 
Erie, they were sealed in a solemn compact of love 
and faith which through the sunshine and shadow of 
their subsequent lives remained unbroken. 


Capture of the Steamers Philo Parsons and Island Queen. 

Lying as they do on the boundary Hne of two 
countries, the Lake Erie islands are destined to figure 
conspicuously on the page of future history, and in 
time may rival in tales of war and romance the cas- 
tled and fortressed shores of Germany's famed Rhine 
river and other renowned frontiers of countries and 
kingdoms. In the event of war with Great Britain 
these islands would fall an easy prey to British and Can- 
adian cruisers, and would also afford convenient skulking 
places for spies and plotters. Already have they be- 
come historic, not only as the scene of Perry's victory 
in I Si 3, but also as the hatching ground of plots and 
conspiracies during the war of the rebellion. 

Old residents of Put-in-Bay and neighboring' isles 
still take interest in an occasional review of remin- 
iscences connected with the notable conspiracy of John 
Yates Beale and his abettors in 1864, the object of 
w^hich was the liberation of rebel officers — -3,000 in 
number — confined as prisoners on Johnson's Island; 
the rading and capture of Sandusky and other lake 
towns, and the devastation of Northern Ohio by armed 
Confederates and their allies.- The plot, its attemped 
fulfillment, its timely discovery and subsequent failure, 


are facts of historic record, a reiteration of which is 
not the object of the following narration, excepting so 
far as concerns their bearing on local incidents and 
reminiscence. From a local point of view, therefore, 
the event will here be considered, thus perhaps bring- 
ing to light matter of interest which has escaped the 
general delineator of history. 

Very quiet for a summer resort was Put-in-Bay at 
the time of which we write — a fact due in part to the 
lateness of the season and consequent withdrawal of 
summer guests, and partly to a deficit in the island's 
male population occasioned by the absence of a large 
proportion of able-bodied men, then doing duty in the 
ranks of the Union army on Southern soil. 

September 19th, 1864, dawned serenely over 
stretches of purpling vineyard and orchards full 
fruited. Old men and boys, women and children were 
early at their work gathering the luscious clusters and 
heaping the measure with orchard fruits. 

The morning steamer cleared from the wharves on 
her usual daily trip to Sandusky, and no suspicion of 
brooding danger threatening the peace of island homes 
or that of the nation entered the minds of island 
dwellers. True, there had been reported among 
visitors to the place, a few days before, individuals 
who had acted strangely and said some queer things 
concerning the war, its prospects and the relations of 
North and South, hinting darkly of what 'might' 
happen. These individuals were spotted as 'rebel 
sympathizers,' if not as genuine rebels. No special 
importance was attached to the circumstance of their 
presence on the island, however, until afterwards. 


Late in the afternoon of the day above specified, 
the steamer Phiio Parsons, of the Detroit, Island & 
Sandusky hne, landed at Wehrle's dock. Middle 
Bass, distant a mile or so from the "Bay." At the 
latter place the usual crowd of interested parties and 
dock loungers awaited the steamer's arrival, but as 
she showed no signs of putting off from Middle Bass 
some debate as to the .cause of her detention was ex- 
cited. A little later the steamer Island Queen, which 
had left Put-in-Bay in the morning, was seen thread- 
ing her way through the channel to Wehrle's, and 
soon the two steamers lay side by side. 

Darkness fell and the crowd on the docks at Put- 
in-Bay increased. Both the Philo Parsons and Island 
Queen were expected to touch, one on her way to De- 
troit, the other bound for Toledo. Both were long 
overdue. No telephone or telegraph cable connected 
the islands as now, and no messages could be ex- 
changed. It was proposed to send a boat across with 
a committee of investigation, but nobody volunteered 
to go. Some were awaiting expected friends, others 
the evening mail or parcels from the city. Weary of 
delay, the less curious and anxious of the crowd 
finally dispersed to their homes and turned in for the 
night. Scarcely had they closed their eyes in slumber, 
however, when each in turn was startled by a 
thundering knock at his door. 

To the query: "Who's there, and what's 
wanted?" came the astounding reply: 

"Get up ! The steamers Island Queen and Philo 
Parsons are in the hands of the rebels ! Secrete your 
money and valuables, and if you have any fire arms 


or ammunition in the house, get them together and 
hurry to the Bay." 

From house to house swiftly sped the messenger, 
and silently stealing through the night from every part of 
the island flitting shadows might have been seen of 
men and often of women and children with frightened 
faces all hurrying toward the bay center. The news 
which had thus aroused the island from center to cir- 
cumference was communicated by Capt. George 
Magle, a passenger of the Island Queen, who, under 
cover of darkness had crossed from Middle Bass. 
Capt. Magle stated that a large force of men, armed 
to the teeth, had taken possession of both steamers, 
and that the officers, crew and passengers were held 
as prisoners, though the latter were finally allowed to 
go ashore at Middle Bass, after a promise had been 
exacted from each to divulge nothing concerning the 
occurrence for twenty-four hours — a promise which 
in numerous instances was quickly broken. 

Certain of the passengers had gathered from 
words let fall by the conspirators, that their object 
was th^ capture of the United States gunboat Mich- 
igan, then lying in Sandusky Bay, and the liberation 
of the prisoners on Johnson's Island. These move- 
ments, together with the uncertainty of their results, 
filled with foreboding the minds of island dwellers. 
By comxon impulse, people gathered to the Bay from 
Middle Bass and Isle St. George, and excitement 
knew no bounds. 

A military company was hastily organized, and 
Capt. John Brown, jr., son of old John Brown, of Har- 
per's Ferry fame, who resided on the island, was chosen 



its commander, and every available man was enrolled 
withm its ranks. The members of this brigade were 

variously a c c o u- 
tered. Captain 
Brown possessed 
in his own right 
quite an arsenal of 
weapons, some of 
which had been 
used by his father 
and other members 
of the Brown fam- 
ily in their raids 
and skirmishes. 
These were dis- 
tributed among 
the men, together 
with a nondescript 
assortment of 
muskets, breech- 
loading rifies, 

U, S. GUNBOAT MICHIGAN. Geo. Kerry. Springtield riflcS, 

shot guns, revolvers and horse pistols. 

The old "Perry victory" cannon — which ever 
since the war of 1812 had kept watch and ward over 
the island — was wheeled into position, commanding 
the wharves and heavily charged with powder, gravel 
and old iron. 

Meantime wagons were driving about like "Jehu," 
conveying goods from stores and private dwellings to 
the thick woodlands of the west shore, where they 
were secreted. Old stumps and hollow logs were 


Utilized as banks of deposit for money, jewels and val- 
uables of all sorts, while the numerous caves which 
perforate the island's sub-strata of limestone afforded 
refuge for the weak-kneed and faint of heart. Into 
these retreats, it is said, crowded the "Copperheads" 
as the southern sympathizers were then called — and 
so demoralized with fright were thev, it is averred, 
that they did not emerge for three days. 

To the inhabitants of Put-in-Bay the night which 
followed the first news of the plot was fraught with 
all the tragedy of war. The air was filled with flying 
and exaggerated rumors; the suspense was painful; 
women grew nervous with apprehension and no 
thought of sleep was entertained. 

As soon as practicable, news of the capture was 
sent to the commanding officer of the guard on John- 
son's island — a deputation selected for the purpose 
bearing the message and proceeding by boat across to 
the peninsula, and thence to the island lying just be- 
yond in Sandusky Bay. 

During the time that Put-in-Bay was under arms, 
two alarms were reported. The first occurred at the 
old "South dock." In the distribution of guards, two 
men had been picketed at that place. One was armed 
with a rifle, the other brandished an old musket. The 
men had been lying under a tree, when they per- 
ceived a squad of men approaching. One of the 
guards grew alarmed and wanted to run, but was 
rallied by his comrade. Together they faced the 
marauders, and in true military style demanded the 
countersign. The strangers couldn't give the coun- 
tersign, but the spokesman of the party reported as 


captain of a small trading vessel anchored off shore, 
accompanied by his crew, and the new-comers were 
allowed to pass without molestation. 

The second alarm occurred in the early dawn of 
morning, when a vessel entered the bay and cast 
anchor under the shadow of Gibraltar Island. Imagi- 
nation had played wild pranks during the night, and 
become highly wrought. By its aid in the dim, uncer- 
tain light, the strange craft was readily resolved into a 
piratical cruiser upon evil intent. The shore battery 
was brought to bear upon her, and other pieparations 
made for a gallant defense. The guards felt shaky, 
but anxious to ascertain the intruder's designs, a i^oat 
was manned and sent out to hail her. The first coun- 
tenance that appeared over the "cruiser's" railing as 
they approached was that of a well known sailor and 
fisherman — Meachem by name — a resident of the is- 
land. By this sign they knew that their fears were 
groundless, and that the vessel was an unoffending fre- 
quenter of the island waters. 

With the approach of day, all eyes were turned 
expectantly in the direction of Johnson's Island and 
Sandusky, and at 6 a. m. a report gained circulation 
that during the night the steamer Parsons had been 
sighted heading for the Detroit river; and from the 
way that her chimneys threw smoke it was evident 
that steam was being crowded. From this circum- 
stance the islanders judged that the plot had failed, and 
the conspirators were trying to make good their escape. 

The island military now grew very brave, and dis- 
banding, went home to breakfast, which was dis- 
patched with a relish. Later in the day a tug arrived 


from Sandusky, bringing definite news of the plot and 
its failure, and bearing dispatches stating that the 
officers of the Island Queen, who had been carried 
away as prisoners on the Parsons, were safe landed 
and on their way home. 

Concerning the capture of the boats, Capt, Geo. W. 
Orr, master of the Island Queen, tells an interesting 
story. Captain Orr is now a man of about eighty 
years, though apparently younger, and still exhibits 
the fire and energy which characterized his spirited re- 
sistance of his captors, to whom at the muzzle of a 
revolver he was forced to yield. Captain Orr is a 
summer resident of Put-in-Bay at the present time, 
owning and occupying with his family a pretty cottage 
environed with shrubbery, orchard and vineyard. 
Following is his account, as furnished the writer : 

"I had no personal knowledge of the capture of the 
steamer Philo Parsons by the same men a few hours 
before the taking of the Queen, but according to the 
statement made me by Captain Atwood, master of the 
Parsons, the latter left Detroit on the morning of 
September 19th. On her way down she stopped at 
Sandwich, on the Canadian side, when some ten or 
twelve men got on board as passengers for Sandusky. 
Leaving there she touched at Amherstburg on the 
same side, and there twelve or fifteen more men got on 
board, also as passengers for Sandusky. Amongst the 
baggage here taken on was a large, old fashioned 
trunk covered with sole leather, which afterwards 
proved to contain a quantity of revolvers, hatchets, 
pistols and bowie knives. Leaving Amherstburg the 
steamer came direct to Put-in-Bay, then to Middle 


Bass, where Captain Atwood got off, leaving the boat 
in charge of the mate, his son-in-law. Continuing the 
trip to Sandusky, the Parsons stopped at Kelley's 
Island. Leaving Kelley's she had got about three- 
fourths of the distance between that place and Cedar 
Point when the men who came as passengers from 
Canada opened the leather trunk and arming them- 
selves at once took possession of the steamer, made 
prisoners of the crew, and compelled them to navigate 
the boat as their captors directed. Under their orders 
the Parsons passed into Sandusky bay a little beyond 
Cedar Point to where a fair view could be had of 
Johnson's Island. A short stoppage was made, then 
without proceeding further, for some reason, they put 
about, and returned to Middle Bass. Before reaching 
there they threw overboard several tons of pig iron 
which had been consigned to Sandusky. At Middle 
Bass, when wooding, the steamer Island Queen came 
alongside on her way from Sandusky to Put-in-Bay 
and Toledo. Forty or fifty soldiers— loo day men — 
who were going to Toledo to be mustered out, were 
on board the Queen, together with a large number of 
island people, making nearly lOO passengers. Here 
the Queen was taken possession of by the armed con- 
spirators, who leaped aboard from the Parson's upper 
decks. The men comprising crew and passengers of 
the Queen were compelled to go into the Parson's 
hold, while the ladies and children were all ordered 
into her upper cabins. 

Engineer Henry Haines was ordered out of the 
engine room, and told that if he did not come they 
would shoot him. He refused and they shot him in 


the face, causing a flesh wound and filling his face with 

A few minutes later I was ordered up from the 
hold and taken on board the Queen, where the leader 
of the gang demanded the boat's papers. 

'Whom am I giving them to?" I enquired. 

"I am Lieutenant Beale of the Confederate Navy." 

"What do you want with the papers.'^" 

"We want to send them as trophies to Jeff Davis." 

"You can't run the boat without the papers," I 
then said. 

"The boat isn't going to run much longer," was 
the reply. 

"I told him that the papers were in the office, 
which, when we reached, we found had been broken 
open, the papers scattered about the floor and the 
money drawer rifled." 

"I asked him what he was going to do with the 
women and children who were up in the Parsons 
cabin. He said that they would be put ashore on 
Middle Bass, and that he should require of them an 
obligation not to divulge an3'thing in regard to the 
matter for twenty-four hours. I told him that I had 
three children in the cabin, that I knew most of the 
others, and would like to go up and see them, and he 
went with me. , 

" He then placed the clerk, William Hamilton, En- 
gineer Haines and myself under guard, and calling 
together all the prisoners, made them promise to say 
nothing of the affair until after the time specified. I 
wanted to go ashore with the others, but the guard 
would not let me off. 


" The leader then ordered the Parsons to get under 
way the Queen lashed to her side. When about half 
a mile southeast of Ballast island the boats came to a 
stop. Lieut. Beale thin ordered the Queen's yawl- 
boat lowered and taken in charge of the Parsons; this 
done, he ordered the former scuttled. 

"I askt'd permission to go and get the Queen's ' 
books, as they would be of use to the owners. 

" 'The books are all right where they are,' was the 

"'They are going to destroy the boat,' 1 insisted 
" 'I guess not,' answered the guard. 
'•'•h. man then came up out of the hold and said that 
he had cut the steamtr's feed pipe, and that the water 
was coming in fast. Then the} cast off her lines and 
let her go adrift in the darkness, and the Parsons was 
headed for Sandusky. When within a mile of the 
outside channel buoy, at the mouth of the bay, we 
hove to. I was called out of the cabin, and Lieut. 
Beale asked me whether I had heard of any report 
that a raid from Canada was going to be made on 
Johnson's Island. I told him I had not. 

"It was then about lo p. m. The U. S. gunboat 
Michigan lay off Johnson's Island, her black hull gloom- 
ing through the night. The plotters were awaiting 
signals evidently which failed to appear. Three or 
four of the leaders went aside and held a consultation, 
and I overheard Lieut. Beale say to the men : 

" 'I have a notion to make the attempt, anyhow.' 
"They waited about a half an hour longer, and 
then headed back up the lake, and the Parsons was 
put under crowded steam. There were lots of old 



coal oil barrels aboard, and the boiler was kept in a 
tremendous heat. The first halt was made in the 
Detroit river just above Amherstburg; off that place 
a number of men got into the Queen's yawl and went 
ashore. The next stop was made about daylight at 
"Fighting Island," a marshy strip of land about four 
or five miles long, uninhabited at the time. There they 
put us asho.e. 


"I told them we had rather be landed on the main 
shore. They said they had rather we wouldn't." 

"Leaving us, they continued on up the river to 
Sandwich, where, after removing the piano and other 
valuables, the Parsons was set adrift, but was afterward 
picked up by a lug. The raiders then scattered into 
Canada as fast as possible. 

"Hamilton, Haines, and myself remained on Fight- 
ing Island about two hours, when a fisherman passed 


in a boat. We signaled him in, and got him to set us 
across upon the American side, where we took the cars 
for Sandusky, going by the way of Monroeville, at 
which place I learned on arriving thct the Island Queen 
had grounded upon 'Chickanola reef.' I at once tele- 
graphed to Detroit for a tug and steam pump, 

"When we reached Sandusky, we found the place 
wild with excitement. While waiting there, I had a 
plug made three feet long, four inches in diameter, and 
tapering to a point. Next morning we boarded the 
tug Louise and started for 'Chickanola' reef, where we 
found the Queen sunk in abut ten feet of water, which 
just covered her lower decks. Had the steamer gone 
down in deep water her whereabouts would never 
have been known. The tug and pump arrived from 
Detroit, and at once they began to lower the water. 
When loA^ enough so that I could get under the deck, 
I went with the .plug — knowing just where to find the 
pipe — and driving it in, stopped the leak. After that 
we soon had her pumped out and towed to Kelley 
Island, and none too soon, for in an hour after reach- 
ing there it began blowing a living gale from the 

As described by Capt. Orr, John Yates Beale — 
who was afterward captured at Toronto, sentenced 
and shot as a spy on Governor's Island, New York — 
was a youth of courageous and courteous bearing, 
aged at the time of his execution twenty-two years. 

A piece of paper — accidentally or intentionally drop- 
ped — containing plans of the conspirators, putting on 
their guard the officers of the gunboat Michigan and 
the guards at Johnson's Island, were the agencies, it 

CAPT GEO. W. ORR, of Steamer Island Queen. 



is said, which arrested in its incipient stages and 
frustrated one of the deepest-laid plots of the civil 
war — a plot, the success of which would undoubt- 
edly have caused devastation to Northern homes, and 
turned perhaps the chances of war in favor of the 
Southern Confederacy. 

,^ ^ 


Among Island Resorts. • 


Photo hy Geo. Kerry. 

As viewed during the guest and excursion season, 
a livelier place would be hard to find than the little 
center locally and generally known as the " Bay," 
which, notwithstanding its original incorporation as 
"Put-in-Bay village," is never so called excepting in 
connection with matters legal or municipal. 

At the " Bay," on almost any day of the seven, 
are vividly presented panoramic views of life as it ap- 
pears at a summer resort — interesting alike to lovers 
of gaiety, to sight-seekers, to observers of fashion's 
fads, and to philosophical students of human nature. 




The simultaneous arrival from the big cities of the 
large excursion steamers, representing the D. & C. 
and C. & B. lines, furnishes occasion for an animated 
scene. The gigantic black hulls of each, from lower 
to hurricane decks, swarm with passengers, and the 
mingling streams of humanity w hich pour upon the piers 


from respective cities, the waiting throng of interested 
spectators, the flutter of flags and handkerchiefs, the 
flash of bright badges and gilded uniforms, the shouts 
and hurrahs, mingled with the vociferations of hotel 
criers, seen and heard amidst a flourish of whistles, 
bursts of band music, and pouring clouds of smoke 
from the great steamers, combine to form a Bedlamic, 
yet inspiriting spectacle. The onsurging crowds set 
the observer thinking, and Tennyson's "Brook" and 
the stream of humanity get confusedly jumbled. 


"For men may come, and men may go. 
But I go on forever," 

The song sings itself over and over, until you hardly 
know whether it is the brook or the people that go on 
in such an unetiding babble and rush. 

Hailing as do these excursions from various por- 
tions of the country, each representative party has its 
special characteristics, its peculiarities of dress, man- 
ners and general makeup. Cleveland and Detroit 
crowds, for instance, bear with them an atmosphere 
redolent of teeming streets and busy marts; of dim 
courts and gilded palaces. Blank, /-'/('/■5^, individuals; 
women with inartistic touches of powder on their 
cheeks, and a proclivity for loudness; merchants, office 
clerks, and salesmen; mechanics and artisans, and the 
representatives of organizations civic, military, social, 
and religious, are a part of the big city excursion — for 
a glance over the throng reveals unmistakably the half- 
concealed secret of individual character, origin, oc- 
cupation, and belonging. 

In excursions from the extensive farming districts 
of Ohio and Michigan figures conspicuously the knight 
of the plow and pruning hook. Bronzed hands and a 
countenance ruddy and honest are his. Hints of live 
stock, of stables and country mud may be gathered 
from his appearance. There is a lingering suspicion of 
hayseed upon his coat collar, and a suggestion of horse 
hair clings to his Kentucky jeans. At his side, in 
fluffy lawn and bright-ribboned hat, appears the rustic 
belle, with eyes like dew spangles, cheeks that suggest 
the pinks and peonies of country gardens, and an 
atmosphere about her of shyness and sweet simplicity 
born of country seclusion. 


Arrivals from the Dominion of her Majesty, Queen 
Victoria, across the lake, are occasional. The "Ka- 
nucks" have a style of their own. Wliile not exactly 
foreign in appearance, their manners and speech are 
somewhat Frenchified, and they are generally distin- 
guishable from citizens of Uncle Sam's territorial 

Excursions from central and southern Ohio, Ken- 
tucky and points south arrive via Toledo and Port 
Clinton steamers, by the Frank E. Kirby, or by the Ar- 
row from Sandusk3\ Figuring distinctively as the 
island steamer, the Arrow is an especial favorite. The 
islanders particularly dote upon her and with reason, 
since she is a model of beauty and strength, and a tri- 
umph of marine architecture. She is built for speed, 
and glides with yacht-like grace. Her cabins are 
finished in mahogany, artistically decorated with paint- 
ings, frescoes and gildings, and luxuriously furnished. 



The steamer Kirby, known 
as "the flyer of the lakes," 
operating on the Detroit, Isl- 
and and Sandusky line, is 
also magnificently appointed, 
and is highly favored of the 
island people and traveling 
public generally. Her fleet- 
ness makes her true to the 
popular title the public has 
given her. 

Whether as season guests 
or as sojourners for a wt-ek, 
or only for a da}', summer 
visitors all come for pleasure, 
and many are fortunate in 
finding this widely sought 
treasure. The observer 
nevertheless wonders wheth- 
er all the apparent mirth and 
gaiety are real, or only as- 
sumed for the purpose of dis- 
guising inward grief and 
corroding care. 
On a corner poses a sad-faced man. Above him a 
suspended card bears the words: "Who will help the 
blind ?" He has manipulated the keys of an accordeon 
until tired of his own melodies, and now listens atten- 
tively to other sounds which tell of a busy world that 
he cannot see, while with head inclined he analyzes 
them as they strike his ear — the hearty guffaw, the 
gay repartee, the rumble of passing hacks, and the 




buzz of the "merry-go-round." A lady bends over 
him with a kindly word. A pleased expression illu- 
mines the blind man's countenance, and we wonder 
that anything so akin to light as a smile could animate 
a gloom so settled. The lady drops into his hand a 
dime, and receives a little yellow book, entitled "The 
Blind Man's Robbery," detailing some adventures of 


the vender's life. Even here among the pleasure 
seekers we find them — '-the lame, the halt, and the 
blind." The}' give no sign, but as they pass you can 
read their unspoken history. 

Along the crowded thoroughfares, and among 
groups of park picnickers, an Italian laden with toy 
balloons and brilliant-dyed Pampas plumes hawks his 
wares, and a Jap, esconsed with Oriental merchandise 
in a wav-side booth attracts a share of attention. 


The man with the camera presides in his tented 
studio and smiles a welcome upon the spoony young 
couples and newly made mashes that wait upon him, 
eager to be tin-typed together. In response to "a 
nickel in the slot," Edison's automatic phonograph 
reels off some touching performances. Nor is there 
lacking the professor of ps3'chological mysteries who 
for a consideration lifts the veil of futurity and reveals 
to anticipative youth approaching successes in love and 
matrimony. Rows of wry-faced rag babies wait to be 
knocked from their perches by successful cracksmen; 
and the "wild man of Borneo" sits grinning in his 

To the museum threads a numerous crowd, some to 
see the large and diversified collection there displayed, 
others to sample the "bottled goods" on exhibit. 
Curio lovers experience also a drawing toward the 
out-of-door novelty stands laden with exquisitely tinted 
shells and corals, island specimens, birchen canoes 
and articles of Indian manufacture, together with 
glass and chinaware, artistically decorated with pic- 
tured scenes from Perry's victor}-. Souvenirs and 
novel bric-a-brac, such as toy alligators carven from 
alligator's teeth, shell necklaces and brooches of agate, 
moonstone, "catseye" pearl and scarlet sea beans. 
Delicate fancies and pretty trifles of every description 
are here seen, and any desired novelty may be pro- 
cured, from a wire and worsted rooster, all complete 
except the crow, to a patent squawker. Street-side 
soda fountains beguile and ice creams and lemonades 
are plentiful. Stands freighted with ham and cheese 
sandwiches, fresh pastry and confections, offer seduc- 



tive delights, and the Bay restaurants are crowded oft 
to an overflow by hungry excursionists. 

The attractive grounds and breezy verandahs of 
the Beebe House, Put-in-Bay and other hotels are filled 
with guests, and strolling about the grove and along 
the shore, drifting idly in gayly decked pleasure boats^ 
lingering over wine and card tables, one may see the 


votaries of pleasure flitting about like bevies of summer 
butterflies. Yachting, camping and canoeing suits of 
taking designs appear on the promenades and filmy 
laces float by, with jewel flashes and a shimmer 
of satin. Glimpses of rose and violet, embroideries of 
gold and tracings of silver appear and disappear like 
visions of fairy land. 

Flirting is freely indulged and mashers of both sexes 
go about seeking whom they may entangle. Hotel 
orchestras fill the air with music and waltzers gather 


in hotel parlors or on open air platforms to join in the 
mazy whirl, 

A ride over the electric railway to Victory Park 
and a visit to Hotel Victory on the west shore, are 
treats which no excursionist can afford to lose, even 
though his stay on the island be limited to two or three 
hours, and the cars going thither are frequently over- 
crowded. Midway on the electric line in the edge of 
a little grove where the cars pass each other, is located 
a little station house at which passengers for "Perry's 
Cave" alight. Perry's Cave is the property of Geo. 
E. Gascoyne. As a natural curiosity it is widely 
famed, and is annually visited by thousands of people. 
"Crystal Cave" recently opened is also attracting much 

Ferry line steamers connecting hourly with the 
Middle Bass club house and grounds, "Wehrle's 
Landing," and Ballast Island afford opportunities for 
delightful excursions. A trip to Kelley's Island, clas- 
sic Lakeside or a yachting cruise to the "Hen and 
Chickens," the "Sisters," or to other outlying islands 
of the archipellachian group — when the day is fav- 
orable and the breeze propitious — are experiences 
fraught with pleasurable adventure. 

Visits to the United States Fish^ Hatchery on 
"Peach" Point, and to the governrAent lighthouse 
station on "Parker's Point" are included among island 

On afternoons when the mercury crowds close 
upon 90 and the air quivers with heat, the bathing 
beach affords a larger amount of live amusement, 
probably, than any other specialty. Heading toward 




this Mecca of aqueous delights on such afternoons, 
may be observed a gay procession formed of hotel 
guests and excursionists. In the throng appear coupled 
youths and maidens, buxom matrons and pater families 
of portly presence. There are romping misses and 
children with sand pails and carriages; pugs with the 
most approved wrinkle of nose and curl of tail, and 
canine pets of every degree, silver collared and 

The bathing beach is a semi-circle of sand, bor- 
dered with clumps of willow and basswood. Its wide 



reaches are strewn with wreckaoe and afford a lovely 
outlook toward Kelley island and the peninsula. 

Two rival bathing establishments are here located. 
The situations of both are delightfully cool and 
breezy. Tree-sheltered porches and platforms are 

crowded with 
1 amused specta- 
tors, while the 
water is full of 
frisky, flopping 

m e r ni e n a n k\ 
maids in pictui- 
esque attire. 

platform and 
the steam t o 
boggan are im- 
portant ad- 
juncts. Watching the antics of bathers forms a diver- 
sion of which the spectator seldom tires. Swimming, 
splashing and plunging are indulged, and screams and 
laughter alternate, when a spanking breeze sends 
tumbling ashore line after line of breakers. 

Flirtations are carried on as successfully in the 
water as upon land. Flirting is possible even on the 
toboggan slide where patrons must hold their breath 
to prevent losing it altogether. Descending with its 
passengers, the toboggan increases in speed until 
striking the water it rebounds, and leaping three or 

d 1 VI n \i *J: , 


Geo. Kerry, 





four times its length again strikes and glides away 
amid spray showers, to stop when its momentum is 

On the beach from time to time are seen many 
well known and popular society women of our lake 
and inland cities. Most of these fair patrons provide 
pretty and expensive bathing suits of their own, and 
wear them as gracefully as nymphs. 

Such, in sunny summer time, is life at gay, giddy 
Put-in- Ba3\ 



A famed attraction of Put-in-Bay, toward which 
visitors from all portions of the United States turn at- 
tention, is Hotel Victory; and in contemplation ol this 
architectural marvel — its size, design and magnificence 
— are they lost in wonder. 

The hotel, which is said to be the largest summer 
hostelry in America, occupies the highest site of land 
on the island overlooking Victory park and the 
waters of Victory bay and commanding a scene of un- 
rivalled beauty. 

The main building is in the form of a square and is 600 
feet long, by 300 feet deep; the main portion surround- 
ing a court 300 feet square. 

On one side forming a wing and connected with 
the main building by a lobby are the main dining hall, 


ordinary and kitchen, and back of these the servant's 

The main dining hall is 155 feet long, 85 feet wide 
and 52 feet high, wide galleries encompassing the 
entire hall. 

The ordinary is 50x100 feet, and the combined 
dining capacity, including private banqueting halls and 



children's and nurses' dining hall, is 1,200 guests at 
one sitting. The guest chambers are 625 in number, 
large, light, airy and elegantly furnished, including 80 
suites with baths. Every room fronts upon some 
lake view or toward the interior court, rendered 
charming with luxurious floral adornment, gravelled 
walks and other attractions. 

There are three elevators, bell boy stations on 
every floor, electric call bells, 6,000 incandescent elec- 


trie lights, steam heating throughout the entire struc- 
ture, and the most modern ec[uipped hotel kitchen, it is 
said, in the world. 

A ramble through the big hotel is almost equal to 
that taken throuefh a small town 

FOX'S DOCK — Landing of D. & C. Steanners and Steamer Metropolis. 

Luxurious appointments are everywhere seen. 
The parlors of the Victory are numerous. Showing 
varied styles of furniture and embellishment, each a 
model of elegance, comfort and luxury. Especially rich 
in upholstering are the ladies' grand parlors. 

The office, halls, lobbies and corridors are corres- 
pondingly magnificent, and in extent the place seems 
interminable, the combined lengtii of the corridors 
alone being one mile, all handsomely carpeted. 

The main lobby — having a seating capacity of 
i,ooo persons —is a favored resort for hotel visitors. 
Here the orchestra daily and nightly assembles, and 


music, mirth and festivity rule the hour. However, 
it is in the great ball room — by myriads of electric 
lights arcaded, and rendered brilliant as noonday — that 
representatives of social gaieties are more frequently 
found, joining in the grand promenade and mazy 

Others, again, seek the grand piazza, which extends 
the whole length of the main structure, where by day, 
or at night when illumined with electricity, is found a 
breezy and most delightful place in which to doze and 
dream, or to hold social converse. From this outlook 
is afforded a scene upon which the eye may linger 
long without becoming weary, so charmingly pic- 
turesque, so restful and delightful, its environments. 

The grounds adjoining the hotel form a landscape 
garden which nature and art combine to beautify. Pro- 
fuse but tasteful and exquisite floral decorations appear. 
Foliage plants and blooms of torrid richness blend 
with paler hues; while climbing the white walls and 
stone-pillared steps, masses of maderia, morning glory, 
nasturtium and woodbine spread a mantle of blossom- 
starred greenery. Care is taken to preserve natural 
effects, and in the park, consisting of twenty-one acres, 
extending to and along the shores of Victory bay, 
revels a profusion of flowers, both wild and cultivated. 

A rustic bridge of artistic design spans the park 
ravine; rough ledges of lime rock outcrop, and hollow 
stumps form receptacles for tender, blossoming plants 
and vines. An electric fountain sends aloft its jetting 
spray, and a cascaded board walk descends by gentle 
slope to the shore five hundred feet distant. 

The greatest charm of the park is its freedom, for 



the shore upon which it opens is as picturesque as ever 
conspired to woo the lover of Nature. Masses of beet- 
hng rock, of rock cleft and riven as by volcanic action, 
gird its broken line, while in the caverns indenting their 


base echoes the sound of waves. As if to screen their 
roughness, vines and mosses cover and shrubber}' and 
cedar clumps edge and overdroop them. 

Boat and bathing houses occupy an eligible site, 
commanding a bet:ch of smooth sand reached by a 
flight of steps. All the facilities for bathing are here 
afforded. In addition to these, a newly constructed 
Natatorium, or swimming pool, with canopied cover- 
ing, wide platform, and comfortable seats for specta- 


tors, is afforded. The place is lighted at night by 

The hotel is connected with the bay and boat land- 
ings by the Put-in-Bay Electric Railway. 



such as envi- 
rons the archi- 
pelago with 
balm and 
beauty, rend- 
ers life under 
can vas half 
dream, half 
romance — so 
say the many 
who have test- 
ed this happy- 
go-lucky mode of existence and know its charms. 

When vineyard and orchard lands are thrifty with 
tender foliage and fair with promise, and every shore 
stretch and creviced rock is exhuberant with wild 
vegetation; then, too, the deep, cool shadow of grove 
and forest belt invite the summer nomad, and tent and 
pavilion whitens among the trees. 

Reclining in a luxurious hammock among the 
wood's arcaded aisles, gazing dreamily upward through 
its green net work into ethereal depths, watching airy 
cloud temples and palaces adrift, or the shifting sails of 
vessels afar on the blue lake; listening to the notes of 
birds, the chirp of crickets, the subdued splash of waves ; 




feeling the zephyr's breath soft upon the cheek, tis 
heaven to swing and doze. 

There is lots of romance, too, in a camp by moon- 
light when a soft splendor bathes lake and land, and 
silver pencils penetrate the dim forest. From out the 
twinkling firmament the gazer may then single his star 
of destiny, and the vocalist afloat upon the waters 
pour forth his soul to the click of row-locks. All 
this the average camper duly assimilates. 

Life in camp brings the individual into close com- 
munion with nature, enlarges his ideas and makes him 
healthy and happy. Bugs, ants, spiders and ]une flies 
dismay him not, and when fairly rilled up on poetry 
and romance he may have recourse to other amuse- 
ments, such as rowing, wrestling, bathing, foot-balling, 
love-making and yarn spinning. That the crew of 
every pas.sing craft may know how extravagantly 
happy he feels, the summer nomad explodes, by way of 
salutation, gun powder and torpedoes in endless quan- 
tities, and ehouts himself hoarse, forcibly expressing 
thereby his irrepressible jollity. 

The denizens of summer camps hail mainly from 
lake and inland town and city, and the change from 
interminable walls and crowded streets with their in- 
evitable heat, dust, dirt an.l discomfort, to the breezy 
haunts of island shores is novel. 

The first installment of campers puts in an appear- 
ance about the latter part of June, others coming and 
going from this date until the first of September. 
Representing all classes, they arrive in parties of all 
sizes. Romantic young couples sighing for "a lodge in 
some vast wilderness," spend the honeymoon in tented 


seclusion, and family parties are common. Cliques of 
college students, sporting clubs, social clubs and clubs 
of divers sorts variously costumed and equipped are 
numerous, and military organizations occasional. Each 
encampment is rendered conspicuous by flag and other 
diicorations, and to each is attached some strikingly 
novel or romantically suggestive name usually blazoned 
in black letters on a strip of white canvas stretched 
from tree to tree. Exceedingly picturesque are the 
scenes sketched from life in the woods. That it is not all 
poetry and romance, however, and that its experiences 
are not all of a dreamy, indolent nature, is frequently 
demonstrated; the term "roughing it," having oftimes 
a literal and unwonted signification. 

"Taking it all through, you have a good deal to 
contend with?" was asked of a tent dweller. 

"Oh, yes indeed," he replied wearily, "We have 
our ups and downs of course. For instance, last night 
after we had got nicely settled in our straw mattress 
beds, the rain was pattering soft upon the canvas roof 
and we were just going off on an excursion to the poetic 
nooks and crannies of Dreamland, when zip! down 
came the tent, collapsed you know quicker'n a man 
could say Jack Robinson, and there it lay fiat as a pan- 
cake with us squirming under it, and the rain a pour- 
ing. The worst feature of the whole business, though, 
was the laughter that greeted us from the boys in an 
adjoining tent, but that serves to illustrate the cruelty 
of human nature and the readiness of its representatives 
to laugh at misfortune." 

"A speedy retribution awaited the game makers, 
however, for the roars of merriment to which they 


gave utterance had not yet subsided, when down came 
their tent amid the rain and darkness. Suppressed 
groans were heard beneath the writhing heap of can- 
vas, but we felt that for us the tables had turned and 
naturally looked upon the last collapse as a just judg- 
ment sent upon the unregenerate doers. 
Investigations were continued in another direction, 

"How do you make out in the culinary department ? 
Suppose you are all good cooks?" 

"Well, I don't know," he replied, slowly. "I sup- 
pose there are just as good cooks to be found. The 
fact is, we never have had very extensive experience in 
that line." 

"You ought to have a cook book." 

"Oh, we liave a cook book and medical adviser 
combined; but somehow we get Jenny Lind's cream 
cake and Victoria fritters all mixed up with catarrh 
remedies and rheumatic balsams. I don't see how 
it is, but I believe that a woman can conjure from 
her head in half an hour a better meal than we can 
study out of a cook book in a week. We don't have 
our meals regularly," he continued, plaintively, "be- 
cause we can never decide who is to cook them. We 
get up at 7 o'clock with sharp appetites, expecting to 
sit down to a breakfast of French rolls, fricandelles 
and omelet soiiffle, but instead we have to hold a council 
of war to decide who is to be the projector of the enter- 
prise. Every fellow wants his breakfast, but none of 
'em wants to cook it. As a result, we don't get ready 
to serve up till about 1 1 :3o, and that makes a late din- 
ner, you know ; and then sometimes we don't get any 
supper till the next day." 


Initiation to camp life is frequently made interesting 
by the elements which arise to welcome the novice, 
summoning for this occasion the whole fantastic band 
of buglers, harpists and pipers at command; yEolius 
and Boreas leading, with prelude and plaint, whoop and 
howl, an extravaganza the weirdest and most magnifi- 
cent in all Nature's collection. 

On one occasion the arrival of a veteran military 
organization at "Gamp Bowler," on East Point, was 
thus notably greeted. All the tents having been staked 
in position by an advance guard, the main body reached 
the grounds just in time to render themselves "useful, 
as well as ornamental," in holding them down. The 
wind howled, trees were twisted into hard knots, spray 
spouted up the rocks, and tent canvas flapped like the 
sails of a frigate in a 13'phoon. For a time brawn and 
muscle prevailed over the elements; then, with a sud- 
denness appalling to onlookers, the steel ribs of the 
dining hall tent gave way, and the whole concern 
snapped togethei' like a rat-trap- Two or three men 
narrowly escaped being caught in the wreck; dishes 
innumerable were broken, and the quartermaster — so 
mad w-as he, it is affirmed, that you could have heard 
him swear from Put-in- Bay to Sandusky. The tent 
was an elaborate affair, and had kept a dozen men 
busy two days putting it up. 

While all this was transpiring, old Neptune was 
busily engaged in administering rites initiatory to other 
members of the camp on their way thither in row 
boats. The first boat, containing a party of ladies and 
an oarsman, narrowly escaped swamping. They made 
land after a hard struggle, but were drenched by rain 


and driving surf. The wreck of dry goods and milli- 
nery was simply awful, and the half- drowned party 
presented a pitiable but picturesque appearance. A 
second boat went ashore upon the rocks and capsized; 
its occupants were picked up, sustaining no damage 
beyond a thorough wetting. While the storm was 
making things lively at "Camp Bowler," the occupants 
of an adjacent encampment were routed. They, too, 
had arrived that day, and had just got their tents 
fairly anchored when the gale struck, capsized and 
tore them from their moorings. Descending floods of 
rain quickly submerged the ladies and gentlemen of the 
party, together with bedding, provisions and camp 
equipment generally. Two immense trees close at 
hand were blown down, the air was filled with flying 
leaves and limbs, and the terrified party beat a hast}'" 
retreat to the nearest house, the hospitalities of which 
they were forced to solicit until the following day. 

Within the past few years Put-in- Bay and adjacent 
isles have formed the scenes of many notable encamp- 
ments. Of the numerous military organizations which 
have made the former place a rendezvous, the most 
brilliant, as well as the largest and most rollicking, was 
undoubtedly the First Regiment O. N. G., under com- 
mand of Col. W. B. Smith of Cincinnati. From early 
morning reveille until cannon thundered forth a parting 
salute at sunset, the drum beat and bugle call, the sharp 
word of command, the prolonged cheer, and bursts of 
music from the grand military band resounded from 
shore to shore, filling the day with a continued round 
of excitement. The camp was thronged with visitors, 
ladies and gentlemen, and the band, containing over 



fort}' performers, furnished an abundance of inspiriting 
music for the edification of hsteners. The arrival in 
the bay of the U. S. gunboat Michigan was honored 
by a salute of several guns from the First Regiment 
camp and a storm of martial music by the regimental 
band. The soldiers and marines and the officers of the 
army and navy visited each otlier in camp and on board 
the man-of-war. 


Fewer in numbers but hardly less brilliant was the 
camp of the Duquesne Grays, pitched on the shores of 
"East Point," and a pleasant recollection here recalled 
was an evening spent at their camp. As our party 
approached the grounds, we were greeted by a brilliant 
flood of light, which, bursting through the wood, pen- 
etrated its dimmest recesses. A massive stand occupy- 
ing a central position was encircled by flaming torches, 
many more of which, fastened to trees, were inter- 


spersed through the grove. The tents were lighted 
by swinging lamps and chandeliers, and the rays fall- 
ing upon gnarly tree trunks, and flashing upward into 
the leafy vaults overarching, produced an effect which 
was both novel and beautiful. The tent floors were 
tastefully carpeted and each was furnished according 
to the tastes of the occupants, decorations of flags and 
flowers appearing. Near the tent occupied by Col. 
Campbell of the Mexican Veterans drooped the torn 
and tattered folds of an old standard which had been 
carried through the battles of Vera Cruz, Cerro Gordo 
and on other noted fields at the head of the Colonel's 
command. Col. Campbell appeared hale and hearty, 
though advanced in years, and on this occasion was 
busy receiving and entertaining the man}' visitors who 
thronged the camp. 

At 8 o'clock the band, consisting of twenty-one 
performers, took their positions, and the evening con- 
cert began. Visitors to the number of 300 or there- 
about crowded around the stand, many selections were 
rendered in a brilliant manner, and for an hour the 
audience was held under the witching power of music. 
When the echoes of the last notes had died away, a 
shrill whoop was heard resounding from a remote 
part of the forest, it was speedily answered by other 
whoops, and a band of Indians appeared leading by 
the foretop a white man. They were hideous in war 
paint, red blankets, feathers and fantastic ornaments. 
"Big Injuns" were the}^ in every sense of the word, 
besides whose gigantic proportions the unfortunate 
pale face seemed a mere Lilliputian. With guttural 
howl and broken jargon the man was lashed to a 


tree. His face was painted, and a pile of faggots 
lighted about him. Midst ascending smoke and the 
glare of flames, the savages circled 'round the tree in 
a wild war dance, brandishing knives, guns and toma- 
hawks. "Buffalo Bill" in bear skin suite, belt and 
revolvers figured conspicuously in the scene, and a 
rescue party and a horse appearing, the captive was 
released and smuggled into the saddle. The horse, 
after plunging and kicking at everybody in a manner 
most extraordinary, escaped with his rider through 
the wood. 

Scalping bees and "neck-tie parties" were amuse- 
ments also indulged to th'e delight of spectators. 

The Duquesne Greys, or "Pittsburgh Heavy s" 
form an old military organization originally named in 
honor of Old Fort ])uquesne. 

"We're Tenting Tonight On the Old Camp- 
Ground" is the song which more than any other finds 
an echo in the hearts of comrades of the Seventh O. 
V. 1. when gathered around their annual "campfire" 
they note the absence of once familiar faces and the 
changes which time has wrought; while in stor}^ and 
reminiscence they live over again those memorable 
events which so closely connect their history with 
that of the nation. 

"Banner regiment of Ohio," honored alike for past 
deeds of heroism, as for the present staunch patriot- 
ism and worthy citizenship of its members. For nearly 
twenty five years East Point, Pul-in-Bay, has formed 
the annual rendezvous of this famous regmient, and 
its members entertain a natural and strong attachment 
for the old camping ground which has witnessed all 



these meetincTs. Its location is most charming. "Far 
from the maddening crowd's ignoble strife" — it forms 
a secluded retreat where naught is heard but wild 
bird notes, and the swash and wear of waves. The 
shores are clothed with natural forest, and girt by 
picturesque rocks fantasticall}^ carven and covered 


with mosses rare, embroidered by wild blossoms and 
festooned with drooping vines and Cedars. Detached 
rocks, overhung by native vegetation, form tiny islets 
in the blue water, and many other romantic bits of 
natural scenery appear. From the camp grounds a 
long pier projects into the lake, at which land the 
dashing little steamers of the island ferry lines. 


Few veteran members now are left, but the fam- 
ilies and friends of those who have passed away and 
of those who survive fill the vacant places at yearly 
gatherings, and the organization is commonly known 
as the "Seventh Regiment association." 

The old battle flags carried by this regiment 
throutjrh a blaze of shot and shell at Lookout moun- 
tain, at Winchester, at Port Republic and upon many 
other noted fields, were formerly exhibited at these 
encampments — blackened by smoke and so shredded 
as to scarcel}^ bear unrolling. The "white banner" of 
sheeny silk, elegantly wrought and bearing upon its 
center the words: "First in valor; first in achieve- 
ment," is also treasured with the regimental colors. 
This trophy was presented the regiment by Ohio 
ladies as a mark of highest appreciation for gallant 
services rendered during the war. For safe keeping 
these flags were recently placed in the rooms of the 
Northern Ohio Historical society at Cleveland. 


Two Silly Girls and Their Adventures. 

To begin, I may state incidental!}' tl at I was born 
and bred in a section of countr}' ly'"& ^^'*^^^ inland, and 
until a few weeks previous to the occurrence which I 
am about to relate, had never seen a boat, save the 
tiny models in toy shops, nor a body of water bigger 
than "Taggart's mill pond." I experienced then a rap- 
ture inexpressible when first I sighted Lake Erie, wide 
rolling in all the reflected blue and golden glory of 
summer skies. And when in amongst the sleeping 
islands, emerald dotting her broad bosom, I was borne 
and sighted the shifting sails, grey and white, of cruis- 
ing vessels, and the pretty painted pleasure craft gently 
rocking on the bay, the scene impressed me like a 
dream. 1 questioned my reason as to whether the 
pictures were real, and wondered whether the "Isles of 
Greece," where "burning Sappho loved and sung," 
were lovelier than these. The bulk of my knowledge 
concerning great waters had been gleaned from poetry 
and fiction and I was proportionately susceptible to 
romantic impressions. The depth and mystery of the 
blue expanse where it met and blended with the horizon 
was to me awe-inspiring, and when the skies darkened 
and the waters turned green and black with storm, 
and turbulent waves thundered among caverned rocks, 


I was fascinated by the sublimity of a scene so new 
and novel. 

I loved, feared and venerated the JVeptune of the 
inl'ind seas and felt anxious to be on a friendly footing 
with this particular deity, hoping thereby to gain the 
freedom of his wide domain. Sailing and rowing 
afforded attractions irresistable which I was eager to 
enjoy, but was afraid of the water. A thought of its 
depth and the thinness of the boat's sides between it 
it and me caused a choking sensation in my throat. 
With a trusty oarsman 1 felt no especial timidity? 
though still there remained an aching void which 
could only be filled by a personal and practical knowl- 
edge of boats and oars. To obtain complete satisfac- 
tion I must learn to row. Once formed, the idea grew 
and strengthened, and one afternoon 1 found myself on 
a little wharf that projected into the waters of a quiet 
cove. The spot was romantic. The surface dimples 
were flashing gold and crimson from the westering sun 
and the faintest of zephyrs stirred the shore trees. 
Moored to the cribbmg was a skiff, blue and white 
painted, in which lay a pair of oars. 

"Now's your time," something whispered. I obedi- 
ently loosened the chain which held it and slipped 
down the cribbing into the boat. The water, as seen 
by the pebbled bottom, was but two or three feet in 

"Should 1 fall in or the boat capsize I can't very 
well drown, because there isn't water enough." The 
thought gave me courage. 

Cautiously adjusting row-locks and oars, I was 
soon in the midst of my experiment. I kept the boat 


for a time in water shallow enough to wade, in case of 
wreckage. Having studied the movement of oarsmen 
I now endeavored to imitate, but sometimes my right 
oar struck bottom in a most provoking manner, while 
the left barely skimmed the surface, and vice versa. 
Still the boat moved and I was exultant, for I could 
row. Little or nothing knew I, it is true, abouc feath- 
ering, backing and curvetting, and having lived on a 
farm, might have turned a two horse wagon in far less 
tirre and space than I should have required to turn a 
boat; still I got along amazingly — so I thought — diffi- 
dence began evaporating and boldness grew apace. I re- 
solved to pull into deep water, a daring venture, but the 
boat showed no signs of treachery or insubordination. 
Confidence in myself, and it became stronger, my 
strokes bolder, if not more dextrous, and I ventured 
still farther until the boat w^as lifted by the gentle roll 
of undulating swells from the westward. How delight- 
ful! The motion was like swinging, with space illimit- 
able above and below. Read and his exquisite Neapol- 
itan song came to mind, and a stanza went jingling 
through my brain. I sang "Rocking on the Billows," 
"Song of the Sea," and "Life on the Ocean Wave," 
and thought of Grace Darling and in my soul emulated 
her daring spirit. Thus I found myself luxuriating in 
a heaven of my own creation, when a young woman, 
an acquaintance, appeared on the shore. I invited her 
to join me, and nothing loth, she accepted. With some 
difficulty I got the boat headed landward, and later, we 
together quaffed nectar to the fresh water Neptune. 

Arra evinced a slight distrust of my abilities, when 
she learned that I was handlinor the oars for the first 


time. However, I was the better of the two, since 
she had never pulled an oar, and never had indulged 
aspirations along the oar pulling line. There was no 
danger, obviously, of Arra usurping my place, so I 
laughed at her fears, sang "Bounding Billows," and 
she became more courageous. 

I was growing heroic to a painful degree, and 
having like Alexander conquered the world, yearned 
for more worlds to conquer, when an idea flashed 
upon me dazzling with its brilliancy. I had long 
wanted to visit an adjacent island lying in the dis- 
tance; "why not now?" 

My companion thought it a risky undertaking and 
objected, but I overruled her objections and we 

"We can easily get there and back again before 
dark," I observed, and so thought, but had miscalcu- 
lated both the distance and my ability as an oars wo- 
man. Had our course been direct, we might have 
progressed favorably, but I knew nothing about fixing 
a point on shore by which to. keep the boat in line, so 
Arra kept constantly bothering me with — 

"You're too far to the right," or "You're too far 
to the left" — until I ardently longed to box her ears, 
but contented myself with the demand: "Who is row- 
ing this boat?" 

We thus described a course which might have 
suggested the "worm" fence seen in rural districts. 

Outside we encountered a passing steamer. 1 was 
somewhat alarmed, having heard of small boats being 
run down by larger craft; but we got by without dif- 


ficulty, and my fear of steamers was at once dis- 

The sun went down under a cloud which rose to 
meet it, and we missed the sunset scene which we had 
previously anticipated. Other clouds came up and 
overspread the sky. Twilight shades were gathering,, 
and still we had not reached our destination. 

"It seems as though we should never get there," 
observed Arra. 

"We're bound to get there," I replied, buckling in 
energetically. It was beginning to get dark when we 
reached the island, 

"Let's not land," pleaded Arra nervously. "No- 
body lives there but an old hermit, and I'm afraid," 

Now, on this bit of terra firma was an old tree 
with a big eagle's nest. The nest was the nearest ap- 
proach to an eagle I had ever known, and I could ill 
brook the disappointment of not seeing it. Once more, 
then, I overruled Arra's objections, and we quietly 
beached the boat. 

"We'll arm ourselves with sticks, and if the hermit 
comes out of his hut yonder we'll go for him." 

I seized a fragment of ship timber that had washed 
ashore. Arra picked up a broken lath, also tossed up 
by the waves, and we quietly stole along a gravelly 
stretch, and were soon beneath the eagle tree. The 
big nest in its top, outlined against the sky, was built 
of twigs and small limbs of trees. After a moment's 
contemplation thereof, we hastened back to our boat. 

"Dear me, how dark it is getting, but never mind, 
we're homeward bound." 


I adjusted the oars and we were off. There was 
no moon, and only an occasional star appeared 
through cloud rifts. The zephyr had freshened to a 
breeze, a strong current was setting through the chan- 
nel, and we made even slower progress than when 

"I'd like to know what ails this old boat, I can't 
keep it straight !'.' It did behav^e very badly with the 
current against it. M}- hands, too, were blistered, and 
I was getting very tired, but I steeied as well as I 
could by a light gleaming from a cottage window in 
the cove from which we had started. To while the 
tedium, we began telling stories. I was in the midst 
of a narration, when Arra interrupted me. 

"Say, we had better hurry and get out of the way, 
the Jay Cooke is coming." 

"I don't care anything about the Jay Cooke," I re- 
plied and resumed my story. 

A few minutes passed, and i\rra again poked me 
up with the remark : 

"I think you'd belter keep the boat straight and row 
faster; ihe steamer is not far off, and coming right this 

"Do let her come; we're here first." 

I would not deign a look, and so persistently re- 
turned to my stor}'. I did not finish it, however, for 
Arra again broke in : 

"If vou don't row faster we'll be run down, just as 
sure as the world ! It's so dark they can't see us, and 
she's coming straight toward us." 

The churning of the steamer's big wheels did sound 
ominously near, and for the first time I turned and 


looked. She was indeed but a short distance away, 
and 1 saw that we were directly in her course, her port 
and starboard lights glaring full upon us, I felt a sud- 
den alarm, but confident of being able to clear her, 
began pulling with all my might. At that place, how- 
ever, the channel curved visibly to avoid hidden rocks» 
and veering to starboard, the steamer appeared to fol- 
low us. My alarm grew, while strength began 
failing. My hands trembled, and despite every ex- 
ertion the progress of the boat was scarcely percep- 
tible. The steamer was now but a few yards distant, 
and coming at full speed. The thunder of her great 
wheels sounded frightful, and her red and green eyes 
blazed down upon us like those of a monster. 

I spoke not a word, but my thoughts were all 

"She is following us; we must turn and row the 
opposite way !" flashed through my mind. 

"No, there's but a moment left; before I can turn 
the boat she will have passed over us !" flashed back- 
I made another effort to send the boat forward, but 
my hands were nerveless. 

" 'Tis useless; we are lost ! Another instant and 
we shall be under her wheels ! In the darkness her 
crew will never know, and we shall be left to our 

These were some of the thoughts that spun through 
my brain while the red and green eyes of the monster 
loomed above us, holding mine by the spell of their 
fascination. Already life and consciousness seemed 
slipping away. She was upon us. We were directly 
under her bow and awaiting the final shock when — 


was it luck or Providence ? — she suddenly veered. 
Whether by accident or whether the pilot sighted the 
struggHng boat 1 will probably never know, but an 
instant turn of the helm "hard a-port" saved us as by 
a hair's breadth. The steamer passed us close; our 
boat trembled and was nearly swamped by the great 
waves from her wheels. It was some moments before 
we fully recovered our senses. The steamer was then 
far past, and taking the oars, which had fallen from 
my hands, I headed the aimlessly drifting boat toward 
our destination. 

"I hope after this experience you'll know better 
than to toy with steamers." 

Arra spoke wrathfulh' and reproachfully, but thor- 
Qughly humiliated 1 answered never a word. I heard, 
nevertheless, and heeded her wise counsel, and will 
continue to heed it lo the end of my days. 



One may travel the country over without striking a 
locaHty in which the contrast between winter and sum- 
mer is so strongly marked as at an island resort, so 
complete is the revolution from scenes of exuberant 
life as witnessed during the gay season — to silence 
and desertion entailed by the rigors of winter, that the 
place seems almost to lose its identity. Such at least 
is the impression received by individuals having occasion 
to visit Put-in-Bay at both seasons of the year. Shut 
in by icy fetters which interlock bay and channel, 
communication by steamer with all lake towns and 
cities, excepting that of Sandusky, is entirel}^ cut off, 
and though comparatively near, even this place occas 
ionally proves as inaccessible to island dwellers as the 
north pole to Arctic navigators. 

So uncertain are the chances of the journey that 
but few of the class known as "land lubbers" seek the 
island shores during the ice blockade. Those who ven- 
ture across have experiences sometimes which intimi- 
date them from future enterprises of the kind. The few 
visitors seen at the island during the winter are mostly 
those who come on urgent business, or are Jured to the 
place by curiosity, both to see how its isolated inhabi- 
tants live and how the place appears en dishabille. In 
looking tor accommodations the stranger finds the 
hotels deserted by guests not only, but frequently by 


the proprietors as well. Only the watchmen keep 
daily and nightly vigil under the massive walls of Hotel 
Victory, but a side door entrance may sometimes be 
found into some of the smaller hostelries and a board- 
ing house or two keep open doors for the benefit of 

The tramp never seeks the winter attractions of 
Put-in-Bay and peddlers, book agents and solicitors for 
patents seldom show up to vex the islander's soul. 

The pretty cottages and club resorts are all 
vacant; the v, indows closely shuttered, the gates locked, 
while the snow on the gravel walks lies unbroken save 
by footprints of sparrows and of vagrant cats which 
rendezvous about them. 

At the ''Bay" dancing paviUions, bowling alleys, 
boat houses, bathing houses, groves and gardens are 
empty now as were "Tara's Hall," whence the soul of 
music had fled. 

During the day when the island denizens are busy 
at their homes, or engaged in amusements and occupa- 
tions on the ice, the observer may walk from end to end 
of the main village street without meeting a person. 
The distant ring of an ax or hammer, the barking of 
some perturbed canine, the voice of chanticleer, or pos- 
sibly the rattle of a wagon are about the only sounds 
which break the otherwise oppressive silence. The 
visitor, accustomed to the rush and roar of the cit}', is 
especially struck by the absence of sound indicative of 
life and enterprise, and wonder how people keep alive 
in a place so dead. The inhabitant, grown accustomed 
to quiet surroundings, however, assumes the winter to 
be the gayest season of the year. After a busy sum- 


mer he rests contentedly, and if the ice closes in early 
and remains solid until spring, his happiness is com- 
plete. An iceless winter is to him an abommation and 
little wonder, since upon good ice depend so largely 
both his winter recreations and employments. The 
inhabitants represent mixed classes and nationalities. 
They are constitutionally and practically independent, 
with other strongly marked characteristics. 

In the wa}" of amusements on shore an amateur 
theatrical, concert, dance or masquerade occasionally 
varies the monotony. 

The island church, St. Paul's Reformed Episcopal, 
built and donated by Jay Cooke, the noted Philadelphia 
banker, affords a school for religion and morals. 

The provident islander always lays in ample supplies 
for winter while the lake is unfrozen. His less wise 
neighbor provisioned less bountifully, sometimes runs 
short of the comforts and necessities of life at a time 
when they are most difficult to procure. The most 
calamitous thing that can happen during the season of 
broken and dangerous ice, however, is when the beer 
runs dry, with no way to obtain a fresh supply. 

The island dweller is a great observer of the 
weather. He always notes from which quarter the 
wind blows, and by the depth of water in the ice open- 
ing, from which he gets his household supply, marks the 
daily rise and fall of the lake. When the more distant 
islands loom up, and appear as if hung in space, with a 
strip of sky under them, he predicts a nor'easter, which 
rarely fails to materialize. He makes a daily study of 
the weather map and watches the storm signals. The 
central idea, however, around which revolve all other 


ideas, and which dominates during the winter season 
the island dweller is comprehended in the three lettered 
word, ice. The idea is omnipresent. It is obtrusive, 
confronting him at every turn. It is a cold, hard fact 
which deprecate as he may, he cannot ignore. It 
thwarts or favors his purposes, and enters into nearly 
everything that concerns his occupations and amuse- 
ments, and with an interest unflagging he watches its 
making and shifting, its coming and going. Ice in 
quantities illimitable shuts him in on every side; ice 
sufficient to swamp whole empires in cooling drinks and 
iced creams, expands its trackless plains to the horizon 
where ice and sk\' blend into one. 

The resident islander is a sort of amphibian, and 
excepting under extraordinary circumstances, to drown 
him is among impossibilities. There are few enter- 
prises on ice, apparently, too hazardous for him to 
undertake, and during a single season he tempts Provi- 
dence oftener than he has fingers and toes. He breaks 
in frequently, but by some "hook or crook" usually 
gets out again; while his associates treat the affair as 
a good joke rather than as a mishap that might have 
ended his earthly career. Occasionally, however, there 
is a body to be fished from under the ice, if not car- 
ried away by undercurrents, and a funeral varies the 

By means of the "ice bridge" connection is made 
with neighboring islands and the mainland, the inhabit- 
ants passing to and fro on foot and with teams when 
the ice is solid; with boats set upon sled runners when 
it is broken and running. Under stress of circum. 
stances may be seen imitators of "Eliza," "Uncle Tom's 


Cabin" celebrity, performing the somewhat stagey feat 
of making both speed and distance on foot over the 
floating ice. 

Port Clinton, distant fourteen miles, is an objective 
mainland point for islanders. Fish, wine and other 
island products are conveyed thither by teams, which 
on returning bring loads of farm produce, lumber and 
supplies of various kinds. When the ice bridge is un- 
certain, these teams travel near each other, so as to 
render mutual assistance in case of accident. They 
frequently break in with drivers and conveyances, but 
by means of a hoisting apparatus, ropes and pike-poles, 
always carried along, the luckless animals are extri- 
cated. Sometimes the poor creatures refuse to make 
an effort, and are drawn under and drift away beneath 
the ice. The only way to induce a horse to help him- 
self w^hen chilled and stupefied is by choking him with 
a rope fastened tightly around the neck. He then 
begins to struggle violently, and assisted by men and 
ropes regains solid ice. In some instances teamsters 
carry with them strong brandy or bourbon wherewith 
to warm and encourage their horses in case of immer- 
sion. If not required by equine representatives of the 
party, said cordial is apt to find other ways of disposal. 

As notable examples of native hardihood, sagacity 
and experience in ice travel may be cited the U. S. mail 
representatives of the island route. In accordance with 
the present existing postal regulations, mails cross the 
lake twice daily between Put-in-Bay and the peninsula, 
with tri-weekly trips to and from Middle Bass and Isle 
St. George. The individual selected for this task must 
be a live man in every sense of the word. He must be 




possessed of agility and alertness, unflinching courage 
and physical endurance. He must thoroughly under- 
stand the ice, its foibles and weaknesses; must know 
where the undercurrents, which wear it, are strongest, 
and be able to locate shoals and sunken reefs — danger- 
ous to the ice navigator as to the mariner. With a 
Hght horse and cutter, or with iron-sheeted boat made 
expressly for the purpose, he daily traverses miles of 
ice, precarious and uncertain, sometimes dragging the 
boat, but often forcing it through by means of oars and 
pike-poles; and he must work his cards well at times 
to prevent being caught and crushed in the grinding 
drifts that sweep down upon him. 

The most dangerous period of travel is when violent 
gales have extensively broken the ice and piled it in 




slushy gorges many feet in depth. On days when even 
the hardiest knots among island denizens hug closely 
the stove and incessantly smoke their pipes to keep 
warm, the mail earner and his assistants are abroad 
on the lake. On one occasion, when a terrific storm 
of wind and snow swept Lake Erie, the mail cutter, 
accompanied by that of an islander, was returning 
home. Storm coats and collars notwithstanding, the 
snow and sleet cut the men's faces until it seemed un- 
bearable. They accordingly took turns in leading the 
way, the slight protection afforded by the advance team 
proving a relief to the one following. The greatest 
danger lay in the snow, which covered alike the good 
ice and the bad. Unable to choose their path, they 
went hap-hazard, trusting to luck for solid footing. As 
frequently happens, luck failed them; for when off 
Green Island down went the carrier's horse, and in a 


moment it was floundering in the water. Aided by 
the horse attached to the cutter following, the men 
succeeded in dragging out of the water the unfortunate 
leader. In consequence of hard tugging the animal 
had been in a perspiration, and its sudden immersion 
so benumbed the poor creature that it was at first 
unable to stand. The horse was given a thorough 
rubbing, and by the help of its equine friend, to which 
it was fastened, was enabled at last to proceed, the 
party finally reaching Put-in-Bay. 

On another occasion a part}' had made the trip to 
Port Clinton and were returninir laden with mer- 
chandize, having left that place early in the afternoon. 
The snow was deep and very compact, and the travel- 
ling hard. When a mile or two on their way, the 
horse having become jaded by its previous fourteen 
miles of travel, succumbed to weariness and refused to 
proceed farther. No other alternative presenting they 
were obliged to unhitch the animal, and leaving the 
sled and its unprotected wares, proceeded on foot. 
Owinfj to the difficult walking the men soon became 
very tired, and varied the tedium of the way by 
mounting and riding the horse, each in turn. Even 
with this help the journey grew more and more ex- 
haustive, and before they were near their destination a 
rising wind and a howling snow storm swept down, 
blotting from view the point toward which they were 
heading. Night came on, and a reahzation that they 
were lost on the ice dawned upon them with uncom- 
fortable suggestions, considering the fact that Lake 
Erie is a big place for waifs and strays to get aboard 
on a night of storm and darkness. In one place they 


Struck slush ice into which the horse sank to its sjirth 
and the men to their waists. After serious difficuhy 
they succeeded in floundering out of this unpleas- 
ant predicament to solid footincr. Wet and bedrag- 
crled and chilled to the marrow, man and beast 
were obliged to keep moving to prevent being frozen 
to death, even at the risk of their unguided course 
It ading them out toward the open lake. Fortunately 
as night advanced, the snow storm cleared sufficiently 
so that a light became visible. Guided thereby they 
finally reached home at a late hour. Meantime, friends 
on the island becoming alarmed, had started out with 
teams and lanterns to look for the missing party, but 
finding no trace thereof returned with the intention of 
enlisting other assistance and extending the search. 
On arrival they found the party safely ashore, though 
nenrlv dead with fatigue. 

Probably one of the most hazardous experiences 
ever endured on the island mail route, however, was 
during the winter of '97 and '98 by the Hitchcock broth- 
ers — U. S. mail representatives. Caught in a storm 
and running ice, they were carried down the lake by 
the resistless force of a drift in which they became 
wedged. The boys were given up for lost by the 
excited islanders who at various points thronged the 
shores. A cablegram wired to Kelley Island read: 
"Look out for the carriers; they are fast in the ice 
and drifting that way." 

How^beit, to the intense relief of all, the carriers 
succeeded in escaping from the drift, and after a des- 
perate struggle reached shore. 

They were in an exhausted condition and so com- 



pletely covered and weighed down with ice as to be 
perfectly helpless. Their caps were frozen fast to 
their heads and their garments so loaded with ice 
from the showering spray that the wearers were un- 
able to bend. 

On arrival at home their friends were obliged to 
cut and tear from them their ice-armored clothing 


which they exchanged for warm, dry garments. After 
changing more than a bushel of ice that had fallen off 
in the process was swept from the floor. 

The above serve as fair samples of adventures on 
the ice plains annually taken by island dwellers. Space 
permitting, scores of blood curdling, hair lifting ex- 
periences of this kind might here be narrated, which 
would afford material for a whole series of sensational 
novels. In winter the steamer American Eagle may 



be justly termed "Queen of the Islands." Seen be- 
side the magnificent steamers of the Cleveland and 
Detroit lines when the excursion season is at its 
height, the Eagle shrinks by comparison, but when 
ice twelve to eighteen inches in thickness extends from 
island to mainland, the superior prowess of this ice 
battering monitor becomes apparent. The Eagle is a 
craft of medium size, heavily clad in steel armor and is 
built and ballasted in a manner which enables her to 
keep her nose well out of water. Running thus upon 
the ice, she cruslus it by her weight. The steamer is 
sailed by Capt. Fied Magle, of Put-in-Bay, whose 
skill is equalled only by his courage. Though cap- 
able of breaking twenty-two inches of solid ice, the 
running expenses are heavv, and as the winter freight 
and passenger traffic is dull, the steamer, runs but a 
part of the winter. 

Line fishinjr through the ice has become an in- 
dustry of no small importance among the islands. 
Villages of tiny but comfortable fish houses dot the 
lake surface at a distance of a mile or two from shore, 
and during a sinole season fish from seventy-five to a 
hundred tons are annually caught with hook and line 
at Put-in-Bay alone. These are shipped over the ice 
to mainland market towns where they bring a good 

Occasionally when the ice weakens and becomes 
precarious, these venturesome fishermen allow their 
aquatic houses to remain a little too long exposed, and 
an unlooked for parting of the ice carries some of 
them away. The winter of 1S97 and '98 witnessed a 
notable disaster of this kind. Following an extended 



period of mild weather, a gale struck suddenl}^ and 
with great violence. The wind which was off shore 
quickly seamed and parted the ice and sent adrift a 
great fioe containing a whole village— nearly lOO 
houses and about seventy-five people, among whom 
were a number of women. Some of the airy domiciles 
were blown over. White caps began surging around 


the frail ice raft and fast the big fioe began drifting 
down the lake. So liard blew the gale that the be- 
leaguered villagers could scarcely keep their feet, and 
were in imminent danger of b.iing blown into the 

Consternation reigned not only on the drifting floe 
but on shore, which was soon thronged with specta- 
tors. As soon as boats could be procured and 
launched, a rescue party pulled after the fugitive fish- 



ing village. After serious difficulty, some lively work 
and many narrow escapes, the castaways were all 
rescued, but many of the houses were caught and 
crushed in the breaking ice or carried away bodily 
with all their belongings. 

The cutting and storing of ice affords extended oc- 
cupation to day laborers. Immense quantities of this 
commodity are stored annuall}' in the houses of the 
Forest City company. 

Winter recreations of the island young people are 
mainly on the ice. They skate, sail and sleighride on 
the ice and hold afternoon matinees and torch light 
parties thereon. Skating is greatly in favor, but chief 
among amusements is ice yachting. At one time 
Put-in-Bay claimed the finest 
fleet of ice yachts on the 
whole chain of lakes, rank- 
ing as second in the country^ 
being ortrivalled only by those 
on the Hudson river. A com- 
modore and other officers are 
appointed to direct the fleet and 
pretty and suggestive names, 
such as "icicle," "Frost Fairy," 
"Winter King," and "North 
Wind," are bestowed upon these 
swift flyers. A large fleet of 
ice yachts in motion is an inter- 
A SAIL SKATER. estiug spectaclc, and with a 

crisp breeze on smooth, solid ice, the speed of a mile a 
minute is attained. Moving, as they do, swifter 
than the wind, they sometimes sail away from it, 




and come almost to a dead stop for a second until 
the wind "catches up." Strange as it may appear, the 
yacht makes better speed with a quartering wind, than 
when running directly before it. The sport is very ex- 
citing, though not without its dangers, as yachtsmen are 
venturesome, often sailing over ice so thin that only 
the great speed at which they go prevents breaking 
in. Accidents likewise occur on rough ice from 
"bucking" yachts. "Bucking" is occasioned by the 
yacht striking an obstruction, which causes an em- 
phatic pause on its part, while the crew and passengers 
travel on quite a distance in advance, and if they escape 
without serious injury they may consider themselves 
favored by the gods. Ladies of the courageous sort 
enjoy ice yachting, but the timid ones prefer looking on. 



The breaking up 
of the ice after a hard 
winter and long 
freeze involves chaos, 
such, we imagine, as 
must have brooded 
over "the great void" 
before the spirit of 
creative power mov- 
ed upon the face of 
the waters. An in- 
land sea seeking es- 
cRYSTALLiEo 1 , cape from thralldom 

presents ^ spectacle of grandeur, embod^'ing as it does 
the warring elements. Advances and retreats are 
mcde to the flourish of wind trumpets. Vast plains of 
ice drive down with the weight of an avalanche; and 
on- rushing waves, a force of equal power, meet the 
icy foe and shatter and channel its solid line, send- 
ing adrift towering masses, solitary burgs and crystal 
islets, cragged and castellated. The waters foam and 
spout and surging floes crash against each other, filling 
the air with a roar like the thunder of battle. 

On windless days when the waters rest the million 
shaped ice fragments floating upon the surface show a 
variety of beautiful tintings in neutral tones of grey and 
white, steely blue and pearl, which, touched by the 
sun's rays, flash with iridescent splendor, each glisten- 
ing point a prism. With its pointed rays the sun 
drills the ice through and through with tubular pores 
until each solid mass becomes a veritable honey- 
comb, which a slight blow shatters into hundreds of 



long icicle-like fragments. Thus, what the wind does 
by force, the sun accomplishes by strategy; for when the 
ice is once in this condition, the end is near and like a 
wraith of mist at sunrise, it vanishes so suddenly that 
observers wonder what became of it. 





Or, The Wreck of Herringtown, 

A novel place was Herringtown. Other villages 
might boast greater wealth, finer architecture, and im- 
provements of a more extensive and substantial char- 
acter; but for location and the peculiarity of its general 
get-up, this little burg took the medal. 

Herringtown was an aquatic village, containing 
about sixty houses. Like the proverbial mushroom, it 
had sprung up in an incredibly brief period, and had 
become a commercial center of no small importance. 
It was situated on the frozen plains of Erie, two miles 
from the nearest point of land, with a coldly desolate 
yet magnificent prospect unrolling upon every side. 
Ice, ice everywhere, stretching afar, forming rough 
broken plains, apparently illimitable in extent. The 
lake had frozen during a heavy blow, and the mottled 
grey and white of shattered floe and crowded drift 
flecking wide its surface merged into the grey and white 
of bending skies which curved low at the horizon line 
to meet it. The only breaks in this icy vastness were 
the haze-scumbled dots and elongations outlining shapes 
of islands, large and small, and a narrow strip of water, 
black-blue, a few miles to eastward, where the lake 
had opened. 

Herringtown was the exclusive resort of fisher- 
men, who made a living during the winter by catching 


fish through the ice. Contrary to the usual method of 
building, the houses which they occupied were first 
constructed, tlien moved to the locations selected, upon 
runners, which formed the foundation of each. These 
houses were necessarily small. Some were rudely fin- 
ished; others triumplis, in their way, of the builder's art. 
The framework of each was of wood; but while some 
were boarded up in the conventional manner, others 
appeared in exterior coverings of heavy canvas securely 
tacked, and made impervious to wind and rain by coat- 
ings of oil and paint. Each householder exhibited a 
pardonable pride in his own individual domicile, and 
vied with his neiijhbor in embellishin<r both interior 
and exterior. Some of these structures vividly blushed 
under liberal applications of Indian red and vermillion; 
some basked in lemon and strawberry tints and sun- 
flower yellow. A few wore unpretentious wood colors, 
and one or two reveled in cream. Tiny windows with 
real glass looked from the gable ends of each, and a 
stovepipe chimney protruding from the roof sent up- 
ward soft ringlets of smoke, telling of cosy warmth 

True, there were no clearly defined plans as to the 
laying out of Herringtown. Its streets were slightly 
erratic as to course, and some of the houses turned 
their backs upon these thoroughfares in the most un- 
conventional manner. Pavings of good, solid ice did 
away with every suggestion of mud; but as the inhab- 
itants were too metropolitan in notions and too aris- 
tocratic in tastes to tolerate fenced-m houses, there 
were no restrictions as to dooryards. Since none of 
the inhabitants engaged in gardening or poultry rais- 


ing, however, there was no clashing of interests along 
these lines, and peace and harmony reigned throughout 
the village. 

Here, as in other boroughs, was developed an ear 
for poetical euphony, and Herringtown fairly reveled 
in poetical appliances as to names of streets, avenues 
and parks. Besides "Herringtown" proper, there were 
"Herring Center," "Pickerel Station," "Catfish Cross- 
ing," "Perchville," "Saugersville," and "Piketown" — 
all suburban annexes. 

In big letters done in white chalk across a brown 
front at the corner of the principal street appeared a 
sign which read : 

BS ® 


Wholesale and Retail Dealers in 


fe: ts 

To this emporium fish buyers from the surround- 
ing islands came with teams each morning, and hav- 
ing struck satisfactory bargains, loaded their sleds with 
the commodity and set out for the market towns of 
the mainland. 

Such, in brief, was Herringtown in its palmiest 
days; but at the period wherein opens our story, 
rumors of gradually weakening ice came with a dis- 
turbing effect to its inhabitants, the mild south winds 
and beating sunshine having honeycombed it in many 
places. Captain Dubb's mare and cutter and himself 
and old woman broke in off shore, and would all 
have been drowned but for other teams with their 



drivers going that way. They were safely fished 
out, but the mare and the old woman got severely 
chilled, and the latter had her fur fascinator and alliga- 
tor skin satchel carried away under the ice. 

Such was one of the many reports brought to Her- 
ringtown concerning the treacherous condition of the 
ice. Even skaters had broken in, and an ice ^^acht with 
a party on board had narrowly escaped being engulfed. 
Prophecies of an early break-up were rife, and some 
of the Herringtown inhabitants began moving in nearer 
shore their portable houses. But with the character- 
istic recklessness and perverseness common to the 
islanders, many of these denizens refused to budge, 
insisting that the ice was "all right," and would be for 
two weeks to come. They were having a good run 
of pickerel and sauger, and receiving good prices for 
the same, and disliked to abandon their excellent 


grounds; and so, after a thinning-out had taken place 
in the fishing village, quite a district was still left of 
this "hub" of the archipelago. 

Among those who remained was an islander known 
as "The Shad," but whose real name was Tom Ste- 
vens. Tom was tall and shadowy as to substance, but 
an excellent man. He had run for mayor of Her- 
ringtown, but was beaten by "Fishy" Finafiopper, a 
solid citizen who tipped the scales at 280 pounds avoir- 
dupois, and was likewise a manipulator of ponderous 
and progressive fish stories. Tom had retired to pri- 
vate life and his own domicile, known as "Shadburrow 
Cottage," which stood in a side street, and to whom we 
will now introduce the reader. The interior was com- 
fortably furnished. From a tiny soft coal burner that 
stood in one corner radiated a genial warmth. On 
the stove steamed a coffee pot, and . the atmos- 
phere was redolent of baked fish. A window six by 
eight inches commanded a view of Mayor Finaflopper's 
premises across the way. A colored chromo represent- 
ing the battle of Lake Erie, together with some flam- 
ing newspaper pictures, a storm signal card and an 
Ayer's almanac adorned the walls. Ranged along a 
rude shelf were a few dishes and cooking utensils, and 
above it hung a cracked looking-glass. A locker and 
three stools comprised the furniture. In the center of 
the wooden floor was a large square hole, with a corre- 
sponding aperture cut through the ice beneath it. On 
opposite sides of this opening were seated the "Shad," 
otherwise Tom Stevens, and his hired man Jack, en- 
gaged in operating the minnow-baited fines. A tin 
pail containing minnows and a box filled with fishing 

140 .4.V ICEQUAKE. 

tackle stood near, while a litter of fish, comprising all 
soits and sizts, flopped lustily on the floor. 

Both fishermen looked down-in- the-mouth. Tom 
had had very indifferent luck all day and was* just 
then wrestiincr with a huge water lizard that had 
caught the hook and woefully tangled his line. 

He had "goldarned" the "pesky critter" until it 
was nearly paral3'zed. Having finally disposed of the 
nuisance he arose in disjxust. 

"Guess I'll go home. MaA^ wants the stove pipe 
cleaned, and the chickens want their feed before dark, 
and other chores want doinof." 

All afternoon there had been a whipping breeze. 
Sharp cracks and nollow rumbles under the ice were 
heard, with reverberations like distant thunder, and 
the sky was gra}^ with clouds which thickened as 
evening drew on. 

"The wagons are coming across from Canada," 
muttered Tom, referring to a local legend, as he 
listened to the hollow rumblings beneath his feet. He 
adjusted to his feet a pair of "creepers" to prevent 
slipping on the ice and loading a handsled with fish, 
set out for shore. 

"You can brin(j the <iirls home and the rest of the 
fish," he called, looking back at Jack. 

Jack muttered something in reply, which was not 
quite intelligible, and Tom went his way. The girls 
to whom he referred were his daughter Randa and 
Dolly Finaflopper, who hiad come out to fish — as the 
wives and daughters of Herringtovvn fishermen were 
accustomed sometimes to do. 

Now Jack and Randa were keeping "steady com- 


pany," but Jack had caught his sweetheart in a fancied 
flirtation that afternoon with Moses Horner and was 
howling mad. He had spoken some hasty words, 
and Randa had gone off in a pout to Mayor Finaflop- 
per's estabhshment, accompanied by Dolly. 

At any other time Jack would have jumped for 
joy at the prospect of seeing the girls home and would 
have made an early offer of his escort, but in his pres- 
ent frame of mind he wrathfully repudiated the idea. 
To himself he muttered, and jerked as savagely upon 
the line as if he had got Moses Horner at the end 
of it 

"They can see themselves home or get Mose 
Horner to, I'll be blamed if I do. If they wait for i:.e 
they'll wait till midnight." 

Randa was too angry and too independent to ask 
any favors of Jack, but still she watched and waited, 
hoping that he might yet relent and come for them. 
Twilight brought deepening shadows, but no Jack. 
The rumbling sounds under the ice had increased, 
when suddenly there was a roar and a jar that shook 
Herringtown. The girls screamed. 

It's nothing," said Mayor Finaflopper, hastening 
to allay their fears. 

"One of the wagons broke in coming across from 
Canada, I reckon," he said, smiling at his little joke, but 
he warned the girls that they must be off at once. The 
wind was blowing strong and steady, the skies were 
lowering and the night would be dark. 

Mayor Finaflopper took Dolly and Randa under his 
escort. They had not gone far when they were 
startled by shouts of the fishermen, who had preceded 


them homeward and who were now some distance 

"What's the matter?" yelled Finaflopper. 

In a moment came back the answer: "The ice has 
parted and we are adrift." 

"Great Scott!" ejaculated the Mayor. 

Consternation was depicted in the girls' faces. 
"Oh, where is Jack?" moaned Randa: but Jack crouch- 
ing like a great bear in the gathering gloom of "Shad- 
burrow cottage," hugged himself and gloated over the 
sweetness of revenge, all unconscious of impending 
danger. He had resolved not to stir therefrom until 
the girls were safely home and out of his way. True, 
he heard the shouts of the fishermen who had gone on 
ahead, but supposing it only "tomfoolery" on the part 
of his comrades paid no attention. 

A vast field of unknown extent had parted from the 
shore ice. When discovered the breach was already 
fifty yards wide. Under the irresistable force of a 
strong wind this great floe was slowly, but perceptibly 
moving eastward, gradually gaining a momentum that 
threatened destruction to itself and to all other objects 
within its power. The lake was in fact breaking up. 
In the teeth of such a wind the floe could not long hold 
togetlv^rand might in a short time break into a thousand 
sections. There was every prospect of a violent storm, 
and within an hour or two the solid foundation upon 
which they now stood might be ground into powder. 
The awful possibilities of the night were such in fact 
as to cause a creeping at the hearts of even these hardy 
fishermen, brave to recklessness as they were. It was 
now too dark for friends on shore to perceive the danger 


which threatened the castaways. All that remained 
for them was to shout for help, but the wind was off 
shore and the shore a mile distant, and though they 
shouted themselves hoarse, no answer came back. 

"Where is Jack?" again repeated Miranda. 

The fishermen had niw gathered in a huddle, but 
he was not with them. 

"Ashore, I suppose," replied a grizzled fisherman. 

"But how could he get ashore?" 

"Went before the ice broke up, of course." 

Randa wrung her hands. 

"Oh, Jack! Jack! how could you be so cruel." 

Another crack and a booming jar attracted the 

"The floe has split somewhere," observed one. 

Peering anxiously through the gloom they per- 
ceived less than twenty yards away a long, dark rift, 
which momentarily grew wider. The field had broken 
in two. 

Seated before the dying firelight of "Shadburrow 
cottage," meditating profoundly upon his grievances. 
Jack became dimly conscious of a lifting motion beneath 
the floor like that of a smooth but irresistable swell. 
At the same time he heard the coffee pot dance on the 
stove. The warning was significant and an inkling of 
the situation suddenly flashed upon him. With a 
spring he darted from the place. At last he knew the 
meaning of the shouts he had heard. In a few minutes 
he was with the waiting group, arriving at the spot 
where they had gathered, excited and breathless. 

Terrified beyond measure, both the girls were on 
the verge of hysterics. In a fatherly way Mayor 


Finaflopper was trying to pacify one, while the other 
was clasped protectingly in the arms of Moses Horner. 
The "green-eyed monster again took possession of 
Jack. He doubled his fist and was about to let drive 
at Horner's nose, when he discovered his mistake — it 
wasn't Randa at all that Moses held so lovingly; for 
the next instant Randa pounced upon him with 

"Oh Jack! Oh Jack; I'm so glad, I'm so glad." 

Well, there was of course the usual scene, better 
imagined than described, over which we will let fall 
the curtain. 

The high pitched voice of Mayor Finaflopper now 
broke in with its inspiriting strain. 

"Don't any of you be skeered and don't give up; 
the folks on shore aint a goin' to let us go by the board. 
They'll miss us, and as soon as they find out what's 
happened, they'll be out after us with boats." 

The mayor was right. The absent ones not re- 
turning, investigations were made, the situation dis- 
covered and the alarm given. In a short time a rescue 
party with boats, lanterns, ropes, pike poles, and 
whatever was deemed necessary for the undertaking, 
was on its way to the scene of distress. 

Along the line of shore ice which still held intact, 
twinkled a host of moving lights and the imperiled 
fishermen knew that their friends were coming, 

Once more a shout went up, and this time came 
back an answer. A number of boats, which were 
launched and manned, pulled after the fugitive floe with 
long and rapid strokes, and within an hour the casta- 
ways were all rescued. Quantities of fish and articles 
of value from the fishing village were also removed and 


several of the light, portable houses were towed 
across the now widely open lake by means of ropes 
and thus saved, but a number of these structures which 
could not be reached were carried away in the general 
break up. Among them was "Shadburrow" cottage 
and all its belongings. Engrossed by his solicitude for 
Randa, Jack never even thought of it. With its wreck 
he lost a pair of new skates, his second best overcoat, 
a hand sled and a lot of fish, but he didn't care for "the 
whole durned outfit," as long as Randa was safe — so 
at least he declared. 

Not a vestige of Herringtow-n was visible the next 
morning. As if by magic had it vanished in a night, 
and over the spot where it had flourisned rolled a tur- 
bulent sea, bearing upon its crested waves masses of 
ice drift, which, shattered into a million shapes, pre- 
sented a spectacle seeming the very personification of 


A young country girl of poetic temperament and 
romantic ideas was Nettie Blake. Anything real or 
imaginary, combining in its make-up a semblance of 
novelty or variety, appealed to her sensibility. With 
these natural tendencies, she was fond, intensely fondj 
of sight-seeing and adventure; but her poor little life 
had been narrowed down to the limits of a very common- 
place neighborhood, burrowed like a partridge nest in 
the midst of an extensive farming district. 

A little brown house on her father's little farm was 
the only home that Nettie had ever known, and al- 
though very conr.fortable, and she loved in a general 
way its surroundings, the girl longed for a change — the 
more ardently longed when the family newspaper made 
its weekly visitations to inform her concerning the great 
world and its doings; of its stir and enterprise, its 
strange sights, its wide prospects, and its panoramic 
scenes of beauty and magnificence. In novels, too, she 
had read— while her mother softly chided — about the 
great world's heroes and heroines; of its storied beauty 
and bravery, bold adventure and tragic situation, chiv- 
alrous deeds and daring — until two worlds instead of 
one grew upon her consciousness: the one apparent to 
outer sense, the other to an inner perception; the one 
real, the other ideal. 


The people of the neighborhood were old-fashioned, 
slow, plodding rustics, prosaic in ideas, uncultured in 
manners. They read little, and thought and cared less 
concerning matters beyond the affairs of everyday life, 
farm duties and neighborhood gossip. 

Two or three little villages were within reach of 
Nettie's home, but they were dull, poky places. Even 
the largest and liveliest seemed half asleep. Only twice 
could she remember having seen the place fully awake — 
once when "Barnum's Greatest Show on Earth" 
chanced to strike it like the tail of a great comet, driv- 
ing the inhabitants nearly frantic with excitement; then 
again when the governor of the state, an ex-member 
of the legislature and the town mayor addressed a 
political gathering on the square, and a brass band 
played "Hail Columbia" and "Marching Through 
Georgia." On these important occasions, as she re- 
membered, all the farmers for miles around had flocked 
to town with wives, children and sweethearts, and all 
the roads approaching were lined with "buck-boards," 
piano box buggies and big grain wagons drawn by 
heavy farm horses, and the country had virtually taken 
possession of the town. People congregated upon the 
streets, crowding densely the narrow pavements, and 
forming a wondrous conglomeration, with rustic hu- 
manity largely in preponderance. Country youths 
appeared in every style of apparel, from blue drilling 
overalls and cowhide boots to more pretentious suits, 
showy neckwear and abundant jewelry. Lanky, wide- 
mouthed specimens of the genus homo were there, with 
frowsy locks and ha3'seed clinging to their coat collars. 
They rolled from cheek to cheek prodigious quids and 


expectorated freely — now and then sending up a vocif- 
erous "hip, hip, hurrah." 

"Look at the gosHngs!" 

Nettie was in the crowd and her attention was 
attracted by this uncomplimentary observation. The 
"'goslings" indicated proved to be a neighbor's son?, 
and she mentalh' compared them with her ideal heroes, 
was disgusted at the contrast and went home more di^s- 
satisfied than ever. How she detested these common 
place "clodhoppers." True, they were good, ho. est 
fellows, but she ached to see a real hero— one who 
could achieve something gallant besides steering a cul- 
tivator, hoeing corn and cracking a whip behind a team 
of plow horses. For relief, Nettie turned to mother 
Nature, but this usually beneficent dame had provided 
but sparingly for hungry-eyed Nettie Blake, as the 
scener}' about her home was tame and uninteresting. 
Still there were a few redeeming traits in the landscape. 
"Walnut Ridge" lay a mile to eastward, which, with 
the morning sun touching its forests, and tinging its 
vapors, formed to her a sort of inspiration. It over- 
looked vast stretches of country upon the other side, 
and she often climbed its summit to catch, as it were, 
glimpses of the Beulah of her dreams. Beyond it swept 
the waters of "Eagle Creek," a very quiet stream at its 
ordinary level, but somewhat boisterous when on the 
rampage. Nettie took as kindly to water as does the 
wild duck, and "Eagle Creek" was to her a source of 
solace in the summer season. With her girl compan- 
ions she fished and bathed in its waters, and loitered 
along its banks of pebble and shale, watching the swift 
current and wishing that upon it she might drift, with 


the sticks and leaves, out to the great ocean and the 
^reat world which is encompassed. Poor little Nettie! 

In winter when the stream was frozen and the trees 
on "Walnut Ridge" were bare and colorless, her dis- 
satisfaction grew apace. A meager suppl}^ of litera- 
ture afforded some relief, and she liked to talk of what 
she read, but Mistress Blake was too busy with house- 
hold cares to listen, and old man Blake would, only 
wrinkle his forehead, and say as how "gals ought to let 
such rubbish alone an' 'tend to their work." 

To her most intimate friend and associate, Mandy 
Johns, who was several years older than she, Nettie 
ventured to introduce a book of travels, but Mandy 
was piecing a quilt of the "wild goose chase" pattern, 
and lost all connection of what her companion was 

Amanda had been piecing quilts for the last ten 
years. Quilt-piecing was her especial fad, her one ac- 
complishment, and she pursued it with astonishing 
pertinacity — never so marked as since Ben Peters had 
begun paying her attention. She was evidently in- 
dulging hopes matrimonial — which if not realized 
would be no fault of hers — and all that she could find 
of any earthly interest to talk about was her quilts 
and Ben Peters. 

A vision of Ben's red hair, coarse hands, long legs 
and number thirteen boots rose before Nettie, and in 
disgust she turned to "old Gregory," the cat. He was 
the only created being that showed her any apprecia- 
tion. This patriarchal feline always listened to her 
with at least respectful attention. 

It was under these trying circumstances that Nettie 


longed for "the wings of a dove that she miglu fly away 
to some secluded isle where Mandy's quilts and Ben 
Peters' big feet might never intrude," and, as if in re- 
sponse to her wish, there came a letter from some dis- 
tant relatives containing an invitation to visit them. 
They lived on an island of the lake archipelago, and 
now that the backbone of winter was nearly broken 
and the steamer beginning to run, Nettie must come 
and make them a visit- — so the letter read. After 
some demur on the part of her parents, the girl 
secured permission to go. She had never been over 
fifteen miles from home and her heart was all aflutter 
with expectation, though the undertaking seemed 
formidable. "Two hundred miles to Lake Erie and a 
trip by steamer. Just think of it !" Now she should 
see something of the big world, its big waters and big 
enterprises, and perhaps meet some of its big heroes. 
Nettie required no very elaborate preparations for 
her visit, and so after a fifteen miles' drive to the 
nearest railway station, and a few hours' ride on the 
through express, she found herself boarding a small 
iron-clad steamer at Sandusky. She gazed in won- 
der at this, the first object of the kind her e^'es 
had ever beheld, and had she been informed that the 
craft was a first-class ocean liner, never a suspicion of 
the difference would have suggested itself, so impressed 
was she with its size and dignity. Imagine her 
astonishment, however, to find the lake a vast out- 
reaching plain of ice with no apparent boundar}-. All 
the ice that had ever formed on "Eagle Creek" was 
not a circumstance compared with this gigantic sweep. 
She had no idea that Lake Erie was so big — so un- 


comfortably big — and yet it formed but a small part of 
the big world. Then as the staunch cfaft under a full 
head of steam drove into the great floes, and the cabin 
windows rattled, and the strong timbers quivered 
from bow to stern, and the chandeliers overhead 
swung to and fro, Nettie became frightened. "What 
if the steamer should stick fast or go down in this aw- 
ful crush?" 

Poor little Nettie! So this was seeing the world. 
Already a dreadful homesick feeling was creeping over 
her. Had the gull's parents known the condition of 
the lake they would not have permitted her to come — 
of this she felt assured — and now she should probably 
never see home again, nor parents, nor Eagle Creek, 
nor "old Gregory." Even Mandy's quilts and Ben 
Peters' ungainly presence would have been a solace to 
Nettie in this awful crisis — poor little girl. She would 
have cried had she not been too frightened to shed tears; 
and how she lived through those long hours of sus- 
pense she hardly knew, while heavy clouds of smoke 
and rushing steam poured from the chimneys, blacken- 
ing all the sky, and the powerful engines groaned with 
their enforced labor, and the steamer's armored prow 
butted heavily into masses of drift many feet in thick- 
ness. Sometimes the steamer struck with such force, 
and came to a stop with such a shock as to throw the 
passengers from their seats. Then with reversed en- 
gines she would back for some distance, and again 
drive headlong into the obstruction, while the great 
floes seamed and bulged and the water churned into 
foam by her wheel spouted up the sides. At such 
times Nettie would thrust her fingers into her ears to 


shut out the horrible, crushing, grinding noises. They 
touched at one of the islands where it was found neces- 
sary to repair some slight damage sustained by the 
steamer in her scrimmage with the ice. This done, 
they continued on their way. 

Nettie was approaching her destination, but when 
still a half mile from shore, the steamer blew her 
whistle and came to a sudden stop. The captain en- 
tered the cabin. Said he: 

"We shall not be able to make port, owing to the 
heavy ice drifts, and will be obliged to put off passen- 
gers and freight where we are." 

A new and greater terror seized Nettie. 

How dreadful to be put off on the treacherous ice 
so far from shore ! 

What was to become of her? With palpitating 
heart she followed the cabin passengers down a flight 
of stairs to the lower deck. On reaching the gangway 
she saw groups of islanders coming out over the ice to 
meet the steamer, forming what seemed to her a strange 
procession, some walking, others upon skates with 
large triangular sails in their hands, by the aid of 
which they moved very rapidly. There were objects 
too that looked like great V shaped sleds, having masts 
all aflap ivith white canvas and aflutter with bright 
flags and streamers, the upper portion resembling the 
boats she had seen in pictures; these were coming 
towards them with astonishing swiftness. There were 
sleighs too, and cutters with horses attached and men 
and boys with large hand sleds. This spectacle was 
reassuring and, assisted by one of the deck hands, Net- 


tie passed down the wide plank to the frozen channel 

"Are you Nettie Blake?" queried a young lady." 

"I am, and you are — " 

"Alice Benton, your cousin." 

"Oh, I am so glad, I've had such an awful time! " 
exclaimed Nettie cr3'ing for joy. 

"This last cold snap has made the ice pretty 
tough again; we meant to have written you to wait 
until the ice broke up a little, but you got through all 
right, so it don't make any difference. We thought 
that you might come today, so we drove out to meet 
you — here is the cutter." 

On the front seat holding the reins was seated a 
young man whom Alice introduced as her adopted 
brother Fred. He had dark haii, fine dark eyes, an 
intelligent countenance and pleasing manners, but so 
queerl}' dressed. His attire was of pale yellow canvas, 
with wide flapping trousers, loose, bagging blouse, and 
a hat termed a "sou'wester." All sailors and fisher- 
men wore them — Alice informed her — -and as Fred 
had figured as mate on an upper lake transportation 
vessel, his dress only signified his calling. 

The "bold sailor boy" of the girl's romantic 
dreams had become a living reality, and the ugly, yel- 
low oil suit was proportionately transfigured. 

What a refreshing change from plowmen in blue 
drilling, wood choppers with brawny fists and farm 
boys generally. 

Nettie drew a sigh of relief when once again her 
feet touched terra firma, but the thought of being so 


far from home and upon a remote island caused a 
queer sensation, and yet how romantic it all seemed. 
She saw many objects which were new and novel to an 
inland dweller, but being very tired was glad of the 
rest afforded at the pleasant fireside and hospitable 
board of her relatives. 

During the evening Fred put aside his yellow over- 
dress and appeared in a neat, well fitting suit of dark 
grey. A very good looking young man he was, and 
interesting withall, but to Nettie he seemed shorn of 
his glor}'. She could think of him no longer as a "bold 
sailor bo3\" He was like a soldier without his regi- 
mentals, and she felt disappointed. 

The next da}' Fred proposed taking the girls for a 
ride upon his ice yacht, and the party set out for the 
bay. Nettie had confidently expected to see Fred in 
his oil suit and sou'wester on this momentous occasion, 
but strangely enough, he had put these things aside, 
and there was absolutely nothing in his make-up to in- 
dicate that he had ever sailed the blue, except that he 
let fall iwo or three sailor-like expressions, such as Net- 
tie had heard only in sea stories. She was now intro- 
duced to one of those queer looking objects — half sled, 
half boat — which had so perplexed her the evening be- 
fore. The lower part was painted a bright vermillion 
with the name "Blizzard" emblazoned in big letters on 
the bowsprit. The sails and jib were new and of 
snowy whiteness. From the peak waved a handsome 
edition of the stars and stripes and a long blue pen- 
nant, star spangled, and edged with white whipped 
from the mast-head. 

"So this is an ice yacht," observed Nettie, regard- 


ing with intense interest this strange but very pretty 

"Yes, did vou never see one?" 

"No, not until yesterday, and then I did not know 
what they were, and they went so fast it made me 
afraid of them." 

Fred smiled. 

"They are quite frisky, but perfectly harmless," he 

With slight hesitation Nettie seated herself beside 
Alice on the deck of the "Blizzard." 

"Now look out for your heads and hold tight," ex- 
claimed Fred. 

A haul of the sheet and the boom swung around. 
The canvas flapped and with a sudden bound the yacht 
was in motion. How like a winged creature she flew. 
The speed of the through express was nothing in com- 
parison. It took one's breath. 

"Hold tight," again repeated Fred as he spied a 
stretch of rough ice ahead. A shift of the helm, a 
swing of the boom, a swift curve, a slight jar, all as 
quick as a flash, and the yacht was again speeding away 
faster, f^r faster than the wind before which she flew. 

The first shock of alarm at being shot over the lake 
at such a rate soon subsided, and Nettie felt her nerves 
beginning to thrill with the excitement. 

Fred noted her animated face and shining eyes. 

"You enjoy the sport?" 

"O, it is glorious," she replied. 

Fred was an ardent lover of ice and water and a 
skilled navigator of both, and from Nettie he at once 
caught a new enthusiasm. Moreover, he was anxious 


that the '-Bh'zzard" should do her very prettiest for 
Nettie's sake, so he put the yacht upon a course calru- 
lated to give her every possible advantage of the stiff 
breeze. He ought to have known better. He did 
know better in fact than to allow the swift flyer to ven- 
ture so far upon the course selected, being aware of the 
unsafe cond.tion of the ice, but his sympathy and inter- 
est in Nettie's enjoyment made him forgetful and even 

"Fred, I don't think we had b( tter go any farther 
out," said Alice anxiously. 

But Fred was v atching the play of pleasurable 
emotion over Nettie's fine features and heeded not, nor 
scarcely heard indeed. 

With eyes fixed upon the line where lake and sky 
merged into a single seeming stretch of infinity, Nettie 
felt as if borne forward upon the wings of a great bird 
and wished that thus they might go on forever. 

A scream from Alice awakened both these dream- 
ers. She motioned toward a spot of open water several 
feet across and edged around with thin white ice. In- 
stantly Fred put the helm hard a-port, but it was too 
late. Into the opening leaped the "Blizzard," capsiz- 
ing, and crushing the ice for quite a distance around. 
Fred and Alice maintained their hold upon the yacht, 
which lay with the tip of her tall mast upon a rim of 
the unbroken ice, but the concussion loosened Nettie's 
grasp and into the water she went, disappearing be- 
neath it. Fred jerked off his overcoat, threw it over 
the mast and sprang in after her. He caught the girl 
as she was going down under the ice and drew her to 
the surface. It was the work of an instant. Climbing 


with his burden to the mast he wrapped the drenched 
and shivering form in the coat which he had just 
thrown aside, though sadly needing it himself. He cut 
a rope from the rigging and lashed her to the yacht, 
while his wet garments clung to him, and his teeth 
chattered with cold. They were safe from immediate 
danger, but how were they to get out?^ How long 
could they survive the cold and exposure.^ Was there' 
any likelihood of being seen from shore and relieved? 
These were questions with which Fred now wrestled. 
He thought of trying to reach solid footing by means 
of the mast which lay with its tip upon a projecting 
point of thin ice, but the yacht was delicately poised, 
and the slightest movement might disturb its equili- 
brum and perhaps engulf both his sister and Nettie. 
Had he been alone he would have had no hesitation as 
to his plan of procedure, but under existing circum- 
stances he knew not what to do. While his thoughts 
were busy planning means of escape, he endeavored to 
sooth the terrified girls, though the chill of his wet 
clothing struck to his very heart. 

Meantime, parties on shore, apprehensive that the 
"Blizzard" was venturing too far, had been watching 
her movements with a glass and saw the accident, and 
another yacht with a rescue party was immediately 
sent to her assistance. After some difficult and hazar- 
dous work, the crew of the "Blizzard" were fished out 
and brought ashore. Closely muffled in Fred's big 
overcoat Nettie felt no ill effects from her involuntary 
bath, but for the want of it Fred got badly chilled and 
was sick for a week. 

Nettie felt dreadfully, knowing that she was the 


direct cause of his illness, but Fred only smiled and 
assured the girl that ii was "only a sweet pleasure to 
suffer for her sake." At last Nettie had found a real 

However, after her experience on board the 
steamer and her ice yachting exploit, she became very 
distrustful of Lake Erie and of the world in general, 
and was glad when the ice all broke up and the time 
came for her to go home. She departed, how-be-it» 
with the assurance of a visit from Fred at a very early 
date, and now — so it is creditably affirmed — "bold, 
sailor boy" Fred is going to seUle down to the com- 
mon place life of a farmer, and Nettie is to be his 






No. I. 

Among interesting characters who at different 
periods of its history have made the archipelago a 
temporary place of sojourn or a permanent home, is one 
well remembered both for personal traits and for the 
bearing upon national events which his name sug- 
gests. This individual to whom attention is directed 
in the following sketch, was Capt. John Brown, jr., 
the eldest of a family whose records have become a 
thrilling and important part of the nation's history 
The details of the Kansas troubles and the Harper's 
Ferry tragedy in which they so conspicuously figured 
are too well known to be touched upon in this con- 
nection, but a few glimpses of the every-day life^ 
character and environments of one of its chief actors 
will undoubtedly prove of interest. 

For a number of years the writer lived in the im- 
mediate vicinity of Capt. John Brown's home, and 
knew him personally and well. 

It was in 1862, about three years after the execu- 
tion of his father, that Capt. Brown located on Put-in- 
Bay. This was before the island had become widely 



known as a summer resort. It was then sparsely 
settled, and quite out of the way of ordinary travel 
and traffic, and its comparative issolation was prob- 
ably one object which induced him to seek its shores, 
for at that time public feeling North and South was at 
flood-tide. The Browns had been hunted and hnunted^ 
and many rabid Southerners and Southern sympa- 

rhnfo by Rev. W. Fred Allen. 

thizers still thirsted for the blood of the sons and 
allies of the martyred abolitionist, and their lives were 

At the outbreak of the war Capt. Brown entered 
the Federal service, but after twelve months' active 
duty became disabled and was forced to retire. 

In a beautiful, sequestered nook on the South 
shore of Put-in-Bay, Capt. Brown made him a home. 


He had never sought notoriety; such a quest would 
have been foreign to his nature. He had nevertheless 
won it through unflinching adherence to that which he 
believed right, and through strenuous defense of the 
principles of liberty and humanity. Not only had he 
gained notoriety, but he had also gained the warm 
friendship, admiration and esteem of some of Amer- 
ica's trusted and best men, many of whom sought and 
found him in his solitude. '-Hero worshipers" of all 
grades visited him, anxious to see and accord to him 
due honor. Among thtse were scholars, statesmen 
and philanthropists of national repute. On numerous 
occasions he was visited by individual representatives 
of the colored race, who in the old slave days had 
been aided by the Brown family in escaping from 

All this might have inflated with lofty conceit an 
individual of less mental expansion, but Capt. Brown 
cared not for flattery. Less of relf and more of 
humanity seemed the rule and purpose of his life. He 
was modest and unpretentious, never boasting of his 
exploits and seldom indeed referring to them. He 
revered honest toil, and though a man of education, 
culture and fine sensibility, a close student and admirer 
of nature, with a decided literary and scientific trend, 
he chose to become a tiller of the soil and a grower of 
fruits. He labored early and late, spending leisure 
hours with his books, or in the society of congenial 
friends. He was especially Interested in Geology, 
Phrenology and Metaphysical science. Geometry 
was also a hobby, and he taught at one time the 
science to a class of island young people. His 


views were broad, his opinions liberal. His only creed 
was — "The fatherhood ot God; the brotherhood of 
man." Though possessing no clearly defined religious 
belief, his tendency was toward Spiritualism, and for a 
number of years he was accustomed to meet with a few 
spiritualistic investigators — residents of the island — 
to discuss with them the problems and possibilities of 
the life hereafter. 

A thorough humanitarian in every respect, he took 
a lively interest in philanthropic movements and re- 
forms of every kind. He was fearless and unflinch- 
ing in whatever he knew to be just and right, and 
having once taken a position could not be swayed 

In his neighbors he evinced a friendly interest, 
sharing their joys, S3'mpathizing with their griefs — 
and had for all whom he met in his daily walks a 
kindly word. 

He entertained a sincere appreciation of true worth 
— whether existing in the higher walks of life or 
struggling alone with poverty and obscurity. 

He was open as day — so free indeed was he from 
everything which flavored of hypocrisy that the petty 
deceits and conceits of little minds excited more than 
anything else his contempt. Such in brief was the 
character of Capt.'John Brown, "who was the son of 
John Brown" — as has been significantly observed — or 
in other words, who inherited from his parent traits 
which made the former a martyr and hero. 

The wife of Capt. Brown was his congenial 
companion and helper; a thrifty housekeeper, a sue- 


cessful homemaker, and an intelligent and cultured 

Together they worked and in a few years were 
surrounded by all that combines to make a cheerful 
and a happy home. 

Active was he in every worthy work until heart 
disease began sapping the vigor of life, and for several 
3'ears he was subject to attacks of great severity. On 
the day preceding his demise he had worked in his 
garden and was feeling better than usual, but when 
seated for the evening meal experienced a sudden at- 
tack. His wife led him to a rocking chair, where, 
after two hours of suffering his spirit took its flight 
into the great unknown. 

He was buried in accordance with the rites of the 
Masonic order, of which he was an honored repre- 
sentative, May 5th, 1895, and a poem from the pen of 
Prof. Coler, of Sanduskv, commemorates the impres- 
sive occasion in lines as follows: 

"Yonder on Erie's peaceful isle 
Amid the scenes he loved so well, 
Was laid to rest the hero of a cause 
Of which all ages shall delight to tell." 

"Great he was in his simplicity, 
Great in his love for humanity, 
Great, because for nature's laws he stood. 

And dared to do, 
What others only dared to think." 

"Great, because his name we justly link 
Forever with the world's reformers, 
Great he was because for other's good 

He dared to be 
John the Baptist of Liberty." 


"Bright was the 'day, 

And sweet the breath of May, 
With opening buds and flowers; 

Maple and oak 

In tender accents spoke 
Of him who slept beneath their bowers." 

"Cedar and pine, 

With voices soft and fine. 
Joined in the requiem of the dead; 

The birds drew near. 

As if they wished to hear 
Every word that might be said." 

"Humbly he lived and earned his daily bread. 
By honest toil and with a cheerful heart, 
He sought tor all things good and tru • ; content 
Whate'er his lot might be, to do his part." 

"Approach that silent mound, 
No monument is there. 
But nature whispers low, 
This epitaph in air." 

"Here rests beneath this sod 
Till resurrection's dawn, 
John Brown — the son of him 
Whose soul goes marching on." 

Those who participated in the funeral services of 
its late owner will call to mind the roomy, hospitable 
dwelling, as it then appeared, with its open verandahs 
nestled deep amid native red cedars and orchard trees 
all in a glory of pink and white bloom; the fenceless 
lawn, green stretching to the lake, and edging a beach 
of white sand and flat rock against which beat the 
south cl annel waters; the fertile garden, with vine- 
yard lands, and a thick foliaged grove of natural forest 
trees; an old black horse, which for many years had 


served faithfully his dead master and friend, cropping 
leisurely the Maytime grasses; and Arbutus. Sweet 
William, and other delicate wood blossoms every- 
where besprinkling the sod. From environments 
such as these, John Brown, Jr., was carried to his 
last resting place. 

In the grove, a short distance from the Brown 
dwelling, is located "Brown's cave." Its mouth is wide 
and high enough to admit a person entering it in an 
erect position, but narrows away into mysterious pas- 
sages unexplored, save by cats of the neighborhood. 
During summer heats the grove forms a favorite ground 
for campers and white tents spreading beneath dark 
foliaged trees add romantic interest -to the scene. The 
dwelling is approached from the main road by a drive 
way deep bordered with red cedars. It is an ideal spot, 
such as a man like its late owner would naturally choose 
in which to live and die. 

Everything which can add to the attraction and 
comfort of home is found within the dwelling —books, 
music, pictures and a tine collection of geological speci- 
mens and other curiosities. In one room hangs an old 
family picture — portrait of John Brown, sr. In an- 
other apartment — a memorial presented the family 
representing scenes from the life and adventures of John 
Brown all the way from Kansas and Harper's Ferry to 
his burial place among the picturesque hills of North 
Elba, New York. 

In a little building used by him as an office, 
which he called his "den," John Brown, Jr., kept some 
interesting family relics. The most interesting relic of 
the Brown family ever brought to Put-in-Bay, how- 




ever, was the mammified remains of Watson Brown, 
who was killed at Harper's Ferry. Many years they 
had been preserved in a medical college, but were finally 
recovered by a friend of the Browns and sent to Put- 
in-Bay, where they were viewed with great curiosity 
by many persons, and afterwards forwardad to North 
Elba and buried b}- the side of old John Brown. 

Among the friends who honored John Brown, Jr., 
by their visits to his island home were the members of 
his old command — Co. A, Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, 
who met in a general reunion with their gallant captain 
about eight 3'ears ago. 

In local relations Captain Brown was recognized as 
a leader, and was frequently called upon to head enter- 
prises of various kinds. 



Captain and Mrs. Brown had two children — a son 
and daughter — the son bearing his father's name. The 
daughter, Edith, is an accomplished musician. She is 
the wife of T. B. Alexander. 

Eloquent and beautiful words were spoken over 
Captain Brown's grave in the little island cemetery, but 
the most tender and touching eulogy pronounced was 
perhaps that of his wife, as with tears in he.r eyes she 
bent over his inanimate form, and gently stroking his 
hair, observed: 

"John was alwa3's a kind and loving husband." 
Put-in-Bay is notably honored in that she holds the 
grave of such a man— having yielded for that purpose 
one of the loveliest spots along the whole extent of her 
lovely shores. 

(Photo by Rev. W. Fred Allen.) 


No. 2. 


Under the heading of historical characters may be 
fittingly placed the name of Owen Brown, a partici- 
pator in the Harper's Ferry tragedy, son of its chief 
hero and a brother of Capt. John Brown, Jr. 

Owen Brown came to Put-in-Bay shortly after the 
execution of his father. His object in seeking the 
retirement here afforded at that time was owing partly 
to his love of seclusion, but more ostensibly to 
escape the intense animosity which the conspiracy to 
liberate the southern bondsmen had engendered against 
the Brown family and their allies in pro-slavery circles. 

For over twenty years Owen made his home among 
the islands. He was unmarried, and being much of a 
recluse lived alone; at one time in a small house on the 
premises of his brother, Capt. John Brown, near the 
south shore of Put-in-Bay. At another time he was 
owner and occupant of a house and vineyard lands on 
the same island. His winters were sometimes spent 
at the deserted summer villa of Jay Cooke, on Gibral- 
tar, of which he had been left in charge by the owner. 

The writer cherishes a vivid remembrance of Owen 
Brown — as he appeared from time to time on the 
streets of the Bay village — and was once privileged to 
take him by the hand; and on this occasion noted his 
kindliness and geniality of manner and the thought- 
ful and intelligent expression of his countenance. He 
was tall and slender, having blue eyes and a full sandy 
beard, tinged with grey. He dressed plainly, his every- 
day wear being similar often to that worn by w^orking- 



O WEN BRO WN. 169 

men; but however rough his attire, it was always 
clean and neat, and the quiet courtesy and native re- 
finement of the wearer stamped him unmistakably as 
a gentleman. 

In his inquiries for the health and welfare of neigh- 
bors he evinced the most friendly interest, while the 
details of their afflictions or misfortunes elicited his 
warmest sympathy. The islanders, all of whom knew 
him well, remember him with tender regard and recall 
his many virtues; especially remarking his modesty, 
scrupulous honesty and generosity, the last mentioned 
amounting almost to a fault. 

Accustomed as he was to frugality and economy, 
he yet saved little, because he could not resist the impulse 
of giving. At the island stores he was frequently 
known to purchase sugar, tea, coffee or other substan- 
tials, which he distributed among families known to be 
in need, while Indian meal made into bread formed the 
staple article of his own hard and homely fare. 
These small acts of kindness were but the outcroppings 
of sympathies, which in breadth and depth were 
measured only by the magnitude of human want 
and distress. The spirit of self-sacrifice that prompted 
the father to his death in behalf of an oppressed people 
survived in the son and the life of Owen Brown, 
dating from the thrilling events of Harper's Ferry and 
the Kansas border to its closing struggle, was one long 
round of self denial, which he practiced not as a pain- 
ful penance, but as a means of the highest happiness. 
Though the friendliest of men, who would not harm a 
living creature for his own gratification, he was fearless 
and aggressive where the wrongs and grievances of 


others claimed redress. He aided his fatlier in con- 
veyin<^ fuj^itive skives from the southern states to 
Canada, and m 1857 accompanied him to Harper's 

Owen never talked much of his personal adven- 
tures unless urged, or when drawn out by skillful ques- 
tioning. When he did consent to a repetition of his 
history, and became interested himself in a retrospec- 
tion of past experiences, he talked readily, and was 
very precise in his descriptions and minute to the 
smallest details. The account of his escape from Har- 
per's Ferry after the capture of his father forms one of 
the most thrilling narrations of danger, hardship and 
privation ever recorded. Though lengthy, the narra. 
tive is unflagging throughout in inteiest, and would 
furnish material for a drama. The touching pathos of 
many of its scenes grapples irresistibly the heart 
chords and forces tears to the eyes. At other points 
there are touches of quaint, dry *humor, which even 
the rehearsal of reminiscences so painful could not sup- 
press. This story, and the calm deliberation with 
which it was told, is said to have impressed the listener 
with the conviction that Owen was a man of such 
make as old John Brown told the Massachusetts legis- 
lature he wanted with him, namely: "Men who fear 
God too much to fear anything human." 

With a reward of $25,000 upon his head, and 
minute descriptions of his person circulated over all 
the land; with the whole country on the alert, and 
bands of armed men and bloodhounds scouring in 
every direction, Owen with a small company of follow- 
ers made his exit from Harper's Ferry, through Mary- 


land and Pennsylvania, traversing mountain ranges, 
hiding in thickets by day and traveling at night, guided 
by the north star. Many times his pursuers were close 
upon him, but by some trifling circumstance were 
thrown off the track. Twice was he identified, but^ 
as it chanced, by friendly eyes. During the three 
weeks which occupied their escape, Owen and his 
men were frequently chilled by the cold November 
rains and snows which fell. They forded and swam 
swollen creeks and rivers; climbed rugged mountain 
sides; endured fatigues the most exhaustive, and slept 
in wet clothing under the open sky. 

They subsisted for the most part on hard, dry 
corn and raw potatoes, gathered from fields through 
which they passed. They had deemed it imprudent 
to visit any human habitation, but on one occasion, 
when driven to extreme measures, one of the number, 
Cook by name, ventured to a farm house to buy pro- 
visions for the nearly famished party, and was cap- 
tured. The next day, when on the outskirts of Cham- 
bersburg, lying among some bushes which concealed 
them, they heard the sound of mr.rtial music played 
by a band, as they afterward learned, which escorted 
Cook to the depot, and saw the train move away that 
bore him back to Harper's Ferry and the gallows. 
That Owen should have succeeded in eluding his pur- 
suers seems almost miraculous, a feat which he never- 
theless accomplished with the loss of but one man, as 
recorded. Physically disabled by the arduous cam- 
paigns through which he had already passed, Owen 
Brown was not eligible for military service at the out- 
break of the rebellion. Being of a literary cast, much 


of his time in later years was spent in readin^T^ writing 
and in the study of nature. His eccentricities, mode 
of life and habits of thought were remarked as corre- 
sponding to those of Henry D. Thoreau. Though 
lacking the scholarly attainments of this gifted stu- 
dent and philosopher, Owen's delight in the most 
trivial objects in nature was parallel. 

Subsequently, Owen Brown removed from Pnt-in- 
Bay to Pasadena, California, where, with his brother 
Jason, he took up his abode on a mountain of the 
Sierra Madre range, a lonely summit afterward named 
"Brown's Peak," where he spent the remainder of his 
eventful life. 

Previous to Owen's death, Jason had written to 
John Brown, Jr., at Pui-in Bay, concerning the oddities 
and eccentricities of the former, complaining thereof 
somewhat, but m the letter, which (]r;ive a touchingf 
account of his brother's last hours, Jason says: 

"When I spoke of Owen's faults, I never once 
thought of my own, nor did I think of his good qual- 
ities, which so far outbalanced mine." 

Having occasion to visit a sister, Mrs. Ruth Thomp- 
son, who lived in the valley below, and expecting to 
be absent some weeks, Owen had said "Good-bye" at 
starting. As Jason w itched him down the precipitous 
path the thought strangely occurred : 

"What if he never comes back alive ?" 

Owen had often expressed a wish that at his death 
he might be buried on the peak, and as if following 
some unaccountable intuition, Jason cleared up a beau- 
tiful retiied nook which he thought might at some 
time be used as a burial site. He broke the ground 




and sowed it to grass, which, watered by rains and 
mountain dews, sprung up and in a short time covered 
the spot with a carpet of tender green. 

Ow^en never came back alive, but was carried up 
the steep mountain side in his casket, followed by a 
large concourse of mourners, among whom were men 
of the first rank as scholars and statesmen. Owen 
had died from an attack of pneumonia at the home of 
his sister; and though the city of Pasadena offered an 
eligible lot in her well-kept and exclusive cemetery for 
his burial, the wish of the departed was remembered, 
and Jason made the grave beneath a mountain tree in 
the quiet, green nook which he had prepared. Said he: 

"I never could have gone back to my lonely claim 
upon the mountain had Owen been buried elsewhere; 
but since it holds his grave, I am content." 

As if the lower earth were too cold and damp, too 
densely permeated with the malaria of human wrong 
and wretchedness, Owen sought a place in the upper 
atmosphere, nearer Heaven, where amidst freedom 
untrammeled he found a Pisgah top upon which he 
lived, and at death was buried, like Moses, within its 
solemn and impressive environments. 



Now throuijh the smoky atmosphere, 
Fantastic lights and shades appear, 
And vibrant echoes far and near. 
The island shores awake. 

By wayside path and thorny hedge, 
Along the copse's tangled edge; 
And midst the miry marshland's sedge, 
Dieth the Golden Rod. 


By fences rude, and cottage gates, 
The noxious burdock grimly waits 
With bold intent and sinister hate, 
The passer-by to seize; 

And "beggar Jice," and "pitchforks" brown. 
Bedeck the garb of fop and clown, 
And ornament the maiden's gown, 
In novel style and gay. 


Where erst the campers' tents were seen, 
Beneath the woodland's glossy green, 
And forest giants intervene 
Their wide extended arms; 

Now broken stakes, and trampled earth. 
Which relics of the camp begirth, 
A vanished season's festive mirth, 
Alone is left to tell. 

Here leafy showers, with gentle pour, 
Have covered all the woodland o'er, 
Frcm mossy glade to pebbled shore 
With russet orown and gold. 

Nestled within their earthy bed, 
The leaflets rustle to my tread. 
Or by the wind are briskly sped. 
Over the channel wide. 

Gone is the piquant summer girl. 
With laughing eye and teeth of pearl, 
And glowing cheek and glossy curl. 
For summertime is o'er. 

Dead are its myriad blossoms rare. 
Vanished its day-dreams, bright and fair, 
Faded the hopes that budded where 
Dead leaves lie withering. 

But why in tearful grief beside 

The place where leaves and flowers have died; 

And rest in common burial wide, 

Thus sadly linger now ? 

For leaves and flowers will come again 
And joy spring forth from bitter pain. 
And nothing shall have lived in vain, 
That we have fondly known. 

And cruel loss, and fruitless toil. 
And grief that made our hearts recoil. 
Shall in a more congenial soil, 
Prove but the goodly seed; 



To germinate, and grow and thrive, 
Till hope and. happiness revive, 
For that fhey too shall e'er survive 
Is universal law. 

So turn we then from pensive themes 
To where the wavelet brightly gleams. 
And genial sunlight golden streams, 
The vistaed groves among. 


Still brightly mid the trees which crown 
Yon rugged bluffs that lakeward frown. 
The tall oaks touched with reddish brown 
A softened splendor shed; 

And maple boughs, and cedars old, 
Display a weHltliof green and gold, 
While sumach flaunts in crimson bold. 
Beside the naked thorn. 

Full of its own deep mystery. 
The sky soft blending with the sea, 
A portion of eternity 
• Vaguely suggestive seems. 

Along its blue line pencilled black, 
\ smoke trail marks the steamer's track) 
And cruising vessels slowly tack 
Against the channel breeze. 

White sails upon our vision grow 
And loom against the Western glow. 
Then fading wraith-like from us go. 
Into the distant haze. 

A filmy veil enwraps the isles. 

And each through gauze of purple smiles, 

With all the captivating wiles 

That youthful maidens know. 

Fair "Middle Tlass" her greeting sends, 
And "Rattlesnake" its length extends, 
And rocky Gibraltar blends 
To form a picture rare. 


Now rests in dreamy solitude, 
The lonely isle where Perry stood, 
While ballast from its surlace rude 
Was taken for his ships. 

But in Lake Erie's diadem, 
And on her jewelled garment's hem, 
The fairest and the brightest gem 
Is storied Put-in-Bay. 

Here resting in their earthy bed, 
Where willow branches thickly spread. 
And yellow leaflets freely shed. 
Perry's dead heroes sleep. 

Encircled wide by belting beach, 
Inland the tranquil waters reach, 
And bay and inlet mirror each, 
The cragged, carven rocks. 

Now freely run the gamy bass, 
And in their light skiffs sportsmen pass, 
With hooks of steel, and spoons of brass, 
These finnys to beguile. 






Anon their voices blithely ring, 
And wooded cliffs the echoes fling, 
As outward bound they gayly sing. 
The theme to them most dear. 


O, jolly are we. 

And happy and free, 

As the guhs that flap overhead, 

We're lighter than air, 

Since for worry and care, 

We've taken our tackle instead 

The feathery dash, 

And musical plash. 

Of the bending, pliable oar. 

Our voices attune 

To the song of the loon. 

And our spirits ecstaticly soar. 

We're pulling away 

Toward far l^oint au Pelee, 

Where thickly the bass fishes swim; 

Though Lake Erie's pest. 

O'er her sun lighted breast 

Patrols the Canadian rim. 

Now boatmen have care; 

Of the Petrel beware. 

For she's crammed with powder and lead, 

But the line will we hug, 

Persistently snug, 

In spite of our natural dread. 

For to tickle the nose. 

While lapped in repose, 

Of the lion rampaciously bold, 

Is fun all alive, 

From which we derive, 

Diversion in measure untold. 


On Italy's soil, in sunny France, 
Nor yet where Rhenish waters dance. 
And golden sunbeams warmly glance, 
Through skies of deepest blue, 

Is found no spot more brightly fair, 
With vintage grown so richly rare. 
Sweet scenting all the dreamy air — 
Than on Lake Erie's isles. 

There witching views the sight commands, 
Unbroken stretch the vineyard lands, 
Enclosing with their purple bands, 
The lovely pictured shores. 

There interspersed with rows between. 
And picturesquely clad are seen, 
Athwart the mild October sheen, 
The island maidens fair; 

And blithely 'mid the foliage dun, 
They gather grapes and have their fun, 
And into mellow-rhymelets run, 
With careless grace and free. 


From early morn, 
With ringers light, 
And spirits gay. 
And faces bright— 

The clusters rare. 
We deftly cull. 
And heap with care 
The baskets full. 

But when at eve, 
A crescent moon, 
The shadows cleave. 
And zephyrs croon; 


We haste away, 
Where torches glance, 
To join the gay 
"Grape picker's dance." 

And midst the din 
And festive mirth, 
P'orget therein 
All else on earth. 

Serenely fair, the Autumn day, 
Now softly melts from gold to grey, 
And lengthened shadows thickly lay, 
The vineyard rows among. 

Slowly the evening steamer threads 
Her course by "Ballast reef" and heads 
Bayward, while sunset golden sheds 
A brilliance over all. 

So when for me life's sunset glow 
Shall o'er my path its radiance throw. 
Thus may I pass from all below, 
And bid the world "Good Night." 



In the Archipelag:©. 


(Pboloby Rev. W. F. Allen.) PRUNING THE VINES, 

— we read of 
them in po- 
etry and i n 
history, i n 
story and in 

ly spreading 
beneath the 
genial skies 
of Sunny 

France are they found, and westward stretching toward 
the fartherest outlying coasts of Brittany, They cover 
the Castillian slopes and Andalusian valleys of Spain, 
and run riot about the ivied castles and moss-grown 
ruins of the historic Rhine. In the warm, sheltered 
valleys of the Apennines and along the classic shores 
of the Mediterranean they grow and thrive, and the 
ripening clusters scent the dreamy air, while the red> 
white, purple and gold of the many varieties paint the 
landscape with diversified color. 

Probably no spot within the Northern States east 
of the Rockies more resembles these storied lands of 


poetry, sunshine and grapes than do the islands of 
Lake Erie — a feature often remarked by foreign 
tourists. However, not alone in grapes do they lux- 
uriate, but in every variety of fruit native to the soil 
and climate, and a never ceasing wonder to autumn 
visitors are the overwhelming crops produced. Wher- 
ever the steamer touches at any of the numerous land- 
ings, and especially at the principal steamboat wharves 
where cargoes of fruit are taken on board, the observer 
is strongly impressed with the extent and importance of 
the horticultural interests of the locality. Business 
along the fruit line is seen to overshadow every other 
concern including pound fishing which ranks second as 
an island industr3\ 

The rich and bountiful exhibit of Pomona's treas- 
ures becomes less of a marvel, however, when it is 
known that the whole extent of available surface 
on Put-in-Bay, Middle Bass and Isle St. George com- 
prises each a magnificent sweep of vineyard and or- 
chard lands without a solitary wheat, corn, oat or hay 
field intervening, and only occasional small pasture lots, 
gardens and truck patches appearing. 

A grain reaper, mower or threshing machine are 
things never seen among the Bass islands, and the 
resident small boy would undoubtedly open his eyes as 
widely at sight of one of these objects as a youthful 
landlubber might open his at sight of a big lake 

While the farmer's busy season is in mid-summer 
when the grain is golden and the meadows are sweet 
with new mown grasses, the island dweller begins his 
harvest of vine and orchard products in early September, 



continuing it 
through crisp 
October, and 
on frequently 
until bleak No- 
vember blasts 
smite his 
cheeks, and the 
f r ost-bl ight 
sears leaf and 
blade. During 

(PhoiobyRev.W. F.Allen.) DRIVl N'G GRAPE POSTS. all thcSC WCCks 

of fruit gathering, hauling and shipping, so busy is he 
that the proverbial busy bee is left behind in the com- 

Not only is the lord of the vineyard kept constantly 
at work, but likewise all his help, male and female, 
and his good wife, if she wills, and his sons and daugh- 
ters and relatives near and distant, with goodness 
knows how manv outsiders, are marshalled into ser- 
vice. Housekeeping affairs must languish to a con- 
siderable extent, of course. The bread gets away, 
pies and cookies mysteriously disappear, carpets and 
furniture get dusty, and the clothes basket becomes 
piled with soiled clothes. The thrifty housewife chafes 
and sometimes scolds over existing conditions, but is 
powerless to cope successfully against such fearful 
odds of dirt and disorder, and still do her part in fur- 
thering the fruit gathering. 

Callers who come unexpectedly are apt to find the 
lady of the house in the vineyard arrayed in a ging- 


ham sunbonnet, her husband's cast off coat and pos- 
sibly his shoes. She looks ruddy and picturesque, 
and though slightly mortified and very profuse in apol- 
ogies, laughs jocosely at being caught in "such an out- 
rageous plight." 

Agents and peddlars bitterly complain of finding 
"everybody in the vineyard and nobody at home," and 
though affording them excellent opportunit}^ for 
munching rich clusters, and flirting with the pretty 
young girls who gather them, the vineyard is a bad 
place to talk business, and their trade corresponding!}- 

At the islands grape picking is regarded as an ex- 
ceptionally genteel occupation, and young ladies who 
scorn kitchen accomplishments, who eschew dining 
room service and chamber work, take as kindly to 
grape picking as fish take to water. Among the 
pickers are found shop girls, dressmakers, salesladies 
and book-keepers, and they sometimes go to work in 
dainty sailor hats and beaver jackets; but most of them 
don more picturesque attire. Though sickly and sal- 
low at the beginning, the bracing breezes, the sun, the 
live fun, and the luscious grapes contribute to give 
tone, fiesh and color; and the picker soon begins con- 
sulting the grocer's scales and to mark her rapidly in- 
creasing weight. The girls who pick grapes are 
usually witty and wise, as well as gay and piquant. 
They are out for a good time and have it, and why 
not? when the sunshine is so golden and sk}' and water 
such a lovely tint, and the beauty, poetry and music of 
nature are everywhere felt as well as seen and heard. 
So through mellow afternoons while lights and shadows 




play among 
the vines and 
he aroma of 
ripened clus- 
ters scents the 
a i r — w h i 1 e 
sea gulls dip 
and fish i n g 
boats come 
and go, the 

grape pickers are busy, and blithe and song, shout 
and gay repartee are heard on every side. They 
meet many pleasant acquaintances, form lasting friend- 
ships and make some interesting "mashes" among 
susceptible island youths. Many who come to 
the island looking thin, pale and melancholy, go away 
jolly, romping girls, a trifle sunbrowned and a bit 
flreckled, of course, but healthy and happy. 

"Anybody can pick grapes." So they can, but 
know ye that it is an art to be studied, and to do the 
work speedily and well requires extended practice. 
There's quite a knack, for instance, in rounding up a 
basket of grapes, and to do it perfectly requires almost 
as much constructive skill and artistic ability as the 
planning and execution of an elaborate floral piece. 

Now, the grape shipper is very fastidious concern- 
ing his baskets. They must be heaped to the handles, 
yet so nicely rounded at the ends as to allow them to 
be stacked up in tiers one upon the other without 
bruising the contents. They must show to advantage 
the delicate bloom of the beauty bunches nestling under 


coverings of pink tarletan. They must look smooth 
and even, and all imperfect fruit must be eliminated. 

There's lots of character in basket building, so 
much, indeed, that the local phrenologist can tell there- 
from the general character of the builder. If the 
basket has a mussy, topsy-turvy appearance; the 
picker is dead sure to be slovenly and disorderly in 
habits; if lop-sided and ill proportioned, generally the 
individual lacks form, calculation, etc. If bad grapes 
are found at the bottom with good ones on top, the 
picker is disposed to be tricky. An honest basket in- 
dicates an honest builder, and one symmetrically topped 
proclaims a S3^mmetrical taste. Thus it transpires that 
if a young man with an eye to business wants to learn 
what kind of a housekeeper the girl who has been his 
late vineyard partner will make, he examines the 
basket she has tilled. In like manner the damsel in- 
spects his, and reads as in a magic mirror as to 
whether he will make a model husband or is likely to 
enter the house without cleaning his boots, to spit 
tobacco juice against the kitchen siove and to scratch 
matches on the wall. 

The results of a day's picking are a surprise to the 
uninitiated. There are baskets and baskets by scores, 
and hundreds brimming with sweetness, and it is quite 
a trick to get the labels in place and the tarletan 
corners pinioned down smooth and tight. This done, 
they are loaded upon a fruit rack made to lit the 
wagon and conveyed to the wharves. 

In the height of the fruit season a novel spectacle 
is presented at the Put-in-Bay docks. The ware- 
houses everywhere are jam full of basketed products 


— peaches, plums and grapes — the latter largely pre- 
dominating. Loads are still being discharged and 
billed, while a long line of fruit-laden wagons stand 
waiting one upon another for opportunity to deposit 
their contents. The observer wonders at the patience 
of the drivers, for no matter how great his hurry, each 
bides his time with stoical grace. 

Nearly every wagon met on the island roads is 
laden with grapes and other fruit for the steamer 
wharves. Grapes for wine purposes are enclosed in 
heavy wooden boxes. Fruit speculators abound, and 
many a sharp dicker takes place between buyer and 

Outgoing steamers of all the island lines carr}'- 
cargoes of fruit, but the larger bulk is sent up the lakes 
via Detroit, and the signal for a general rush at the 
landing is the arrival of the Detroit steamer bound up, 
which on account of taking fruit at other island points 
does not reach the bay until late. 

By the brilliant light of lamps and lanterns her 
decks appear already heaped with the spoils of vine- 
yard and orchard, but under the direction of their 
superior officers the deck hands hustle on board the 
large consignments still awaiting them. The scene is 
a busy one. There are many spectators, and it is 
sometimes quite late when the steamer whistles "off 
lines" and heads away for Detroit. 

A day spent in the island vineyards when conditions 
are favorable is a day to be remembered, for the 
sunny climes of foreign lands can furnish no fairer or 
more enchanting scenes. 


From a time obscure and olden, 
Linked by chain of legends golden, 

To the present day, 
Comes to us a pleasing story, 
Full of reminiscence hoary, 

Down the ages grey. 

'Tis about a lonely islet, 
Stretching under skies of violet, 

In the hazy west; 
Brightly fair among the number 
That together calmly slumber 

On Lake Erie's breast. 

Near it one propitious June day, 
Anchored fast, a wave-worn brig lay. 

After voyage long; 
Over leagues of untried waters, 
Where the dusky warrior's daughters 

Sang their chieftain's song; 

While upon the wavelets lightly, 
Touched by silver moonbeams nightly, 

Sped their bark canoes: 
But the white-winged vessel lying 
With her tattered pennon flying, 

Resting from her cruise; 

*NOTE. — 'According,' to historical account, the first sail craft that ever 
cruised the island waters anchored off what is now known as Middle Bass, 
in the latter part of the 17th century. The vessel, bound up the lake, carried 
a party of French missionaries, aniong^ whom was Father Louis Hennesin. 
Upon this island the missionaries landed, and there conducted the first 
relif?ious service supposed ever to have been held in the archipelago by rep- 
resentatives of the Christian faith. So delifrhted with the island and its 
rich display of floral wealth were these early navig-ators, that they named 
it Jsle de J^'/eurs—^^lsle of Flowers'.' 


Was the first sail of the white man 
Ever risk of rock and reef ran, 

On Lake Erie's wave; 
And the painted island savage, 
Used alone to war and ravage, 

Fearful grew, and grave. 

On the beach they quickly gathered, 
Youthful brtave and warrior feathered, 

At a sight so new, 
And in silence there awaited 
Small boats with intruders freighted. 

From "the winged canoe." 

Facino then the vessel's captain. 
Quoth an aged, dusky chieftain: 

"Wherefore art thou here ? 
Pale-face, tell us: Cam'st thou hither 
All the red man's hopes to wither, 

By the breath of fear?" 

"Cam'st thou to despoil our treasure, 
Basely to enslave at pleasure 

Youthful maidens fair.-" 
Cam'st for bloody war and pillage. 
Ruthlessly to burn our village. 

And our braves ensnare V 

Then a man of stately bearing, 
Symbols sacred meekly wearing 

On his priestly gown, 
Rose to greet each dusky native. 
While a heartfelt hymn oblative 

Softly floated round. 

Spake the priest — a Bible holding, 
And its precepts there unfolding — 

"Came we that strife may cease ! 
Fear not these, thy stranger brothers; 
This our motto— 'Love toothers,' 

And our mission — peace." 



Then he told the olden story, 
Which, transcendent in its glory, 

Gilds the sacred Word, 
And the painted island savage, 
Used alone to war and ravage, 

Marveled as he heard. 


All the green isle overspreading, 
Widely iragrance r chly sheading 

Through the balmy air ; 
Bloomed in wild, unkempt profusion, 
'Mid the tangled wood's seclusion, 

Flow'rets brightly fair. 

With the lovely shores delighted, 
Which these voyagers had sighted, 

And had early hailed — 
Isle de Fleurs—'-'l^Xt of Flowers" — 
Named they thus its pristine bowers 

Ere again they sailed- 



Cent'ries now, with movement solemn, 
Every trace has swept before them 

Of these voyagers : 
Yet this isle of pleasing story 
Bears the name and blossomed glory 

Which of old were hers. 



And Her Attractions. 


As one of the trip- 
lets which comprise 
the "Bass" group, 
Middle Bass island 
i s a section o f the 
same emerald, so to 
speak, as that from 
which Put-in-Bay 
was cut. Its coves 
and shore lines are 
pretty and pictur-- 
esque, and the place as a whole forms a natural 
garden spot. The primitive name, "Isle de Fleurs," is 
significant, and the blooms of field and forest not only; 
but fruits, and foliage, and vegetation, both wild and 
cultivated, unite in rendering it a perfect dream of 

Middle Bass is shaped something like a duck — 
minus the legs — the neck forming East Point, a long, 
narrow projection luxuriant with tangles of wild 
growths and picturescjue with rough rocks, and a 
tumbled beach over which ranting storms rush and roar. 
A sort of "John O'Groat's house" occupies the ex- 
treme point, rising boldly over creviced shore and 
dashing sea. 













lis * 


' '^^^^E 1 


The tail of the duck is formed by the bobbed off 
western portion of the island. Upon this caudle ap- 
pendage is located the grounds of the Middle Bass club 
with its buildings and improvements. That Middle 
Bass holds, as a summer resort, an important place, is 
due to its charminij location and convenience of access 
not only, but also to the enterprise of this association, 
which has expended a large amount of money in fitting 
up for the use of its members and invited guests during 
summer heats a most delightful rendezvous. 

The approach thereto from the main landing at 
Wehrlt^'s is by an angling road which cuts through rich 
tracts of vineyard and orchard lands, while to left and 
right appear the neat dwellings of islanders, with their 
prttty yards and gardens. 

The grounds are sheltered by natural forest trees 
and the situ.itiofi is refreshingly cool and breezy. In 
addition to the magnificent club house with massive 
tower and wide, cool verandahs, . they also contain a 
handsome pavilion and boat house, a Gothic chapel in 
which religious services are conducted, and a large and 
elegant hall, at which are held club parties and enter- 
tainments. These attractions, together with a collec- 
tion of artistically built cottages, shaded avenues and 
carefull}^ kept lawns, form in themselves a village of un- 
rivalled beauty and elegance. There are no fences to 
give to the place an air of littleness or exclusiveness and 
the lawns and grass plots reach unbroken to the gutter 
and are miracles each of the gardener's skill. Every 
beautiful and artistic effect is studied in the arranjje- 
ment of vines, vases, plants and shrubbery, and every 


detail is looked after with the most scrupulous neatness 
and care. 

Pavements of smooth, white stone, sawed into 
blocks of uniform size and thickness, edge the main 
avenues and connect the club grounds with the steam- 
boat wharves and piers. 

During the summer season a ferry line steamer — 
Le Roy Brooks — runs between the club ground and 
Put-in-Bay, and viewed from the steamer's decks as she 
approaches the former place, presents an exceedingly 
attractive appearance. Club resorters crowd the wide 
pier, idly promenade the avenues, or recline in the 
deep, cool shadows of spreading trees. Cots, ca.r.p 
chairs, rockers and tete-a-tetes stand ready for occu- 
pation, iind luxurious hammocks swing invitingly. 

Thi club consists of 200 members, having been 
limited to that number, and represents some of the 
wealthiest and most influential families of Toledo, 
Cleveland, Cincinnati, Springfield, Dayton, Chicago 
and other cities. 

In the club membership, or on the list of invited 
guests, annually appear names of prominent men such 
as Governor Asa Bushnell and representatives of his 
staff; Senator Foraker, General J. Warren Keiffer, 
Judge Haynes, ex-Secretary of the Treasury Charles 
Foster, and Senator Hanna. These, and other dis- 
tinguished public men, with their families, are members 
or guests at this resort. Among society people of 
prominence entertained there from time to time may be 
mentioned the Misses Clay of Lexington, Kentucky; 
Miss Rusk, daughter of Jeremiah Rusk, Mrs. Reese, 
sister of Senator Sherman, and ladies of like prominence. 


The cottage of John Berdan has won distinction as 
the home, for two or three weeks during his pres- 
idential campaign, of Benjamin Harrison and family, 
who were then guests of the club. 

Life at the club is delightful, and rest, recreation 
and happiness are found in measure unrestricted. 
Lawn tennis, bicycle riding, bathing, boating and other 
pastimes occupy old and young. Music by the hotel or- 
chestra, piano or mandolin may be heard during the 
afternoon and evening. Singing by select solo and 
quartette performers till the air with a medley of sweet 
sounds, Rehberg's hall echoes to the feet of dancers, 
gaily painted boats and swift winged yachts put out 
from shore laden with pleasure parties. Prooellers, 
cargo laden, and strings of barges bound up and down 
the great highways of commerce, come and go, and 
shadowy sails appear, to vanish again in the blending 
haze of sea and sky. Such is life at this little earthly 

Among resorts there is none which so strongly at- 
tracts the ga3'er portion of visiting crowds than that 
known as "Wenrle's Hall" where: 

'•Youth and pleasure meet 

To chase the glowing hours with flying feet." 

For by day and night from the opening of the sea- 
son to its close are heard the sounds of music and the 
dance, and thousands come and go, as many as a 
thousand persons having been on some occasions rep- 
resented in the hall, the assemblage consisting of hotel 
guests from Put-in-Bay, island dwellers and parties from 
Sandusky and other points who arrive on moonlight 




excursions. On such occasions the hall is a blaze of 
light, the orchestra plays, the whistle of busy ferry 
boats is heard — the ///«, a well known and favored 
Httle steamer and other boats being represented — and 
red and green lights twinkle across the channel 

At a late hour when the entertainment is over, and 
the steamers with their crowds move away, the band 
strikes up a lively selection, a cannon mouths forth a 
parting salute and shouts and cheers resound. 

Wehrle's hall occupies the upper portion of an ex- 


tensive building fronting the steamboat wharves, and 
is reached from the outside by flights of stairs. A 
wide balcony projects over the entire front and across 
the end overlooking the residence and private grounds 
of the late Andrew Wehrle. The hall is wainscotted 
with Hght oak or maple. At one end is the music 
platform, at the other end billiard and other tables. 
From a side counter customers order refreshments of 
all sorts, which may be had, from a dish of ice cream 
to wines of every brand, and the tempting goblet with 
its color and sparkle and seductive sweets goes round. 
Under the hall are the vaults of the Wehrle Wine 
company, which contains, it is said, some of the largest 
casks in the world. 



Among the Islands of Erie. 

Thouorh small in area, North Bass— otherwise 
known as "Isle St. George" — is great in importance; 
so rendered by the man}^ heroes of adventure there 
produced. This island lies four miles to the north of 
Put-in-Bay. Isolated as they were, its early inhabit- 
ants were prone to all sorts of ditficulties and discom- 
forts which overtook them whenever they made an 
attempt to get somewhere. Following is an old doc- 
tor's description of his first visit to this remote isle and 
subsequent adventures in the archipelago: 

"I was practicing medicine in the city of Rochester, 
N. Y., and having business in Sandusk}^, the owner of 
Isle St. George, Henry Champion, presented me a power 
of attorney to procure a lease of Roswell Nichols. He 
occupied the island as a squatter. To get to the place 
was a quandary — no steamboat. I got set over on 
the peninsula in a row boat; from there I hired an 
Indian to take me to Put-in-Bay in his canoe. Thence 
I got passage to Isle St. George. I found the said 
Nichols, his wife and two Scotts, brothers of Mrs. 
Nichols, sole occupants. At a later date, however, I 
became myself a resident of the island. 

"A mail carrier and a doctor doing a traveling 
business among these islands frequently have some 
pretty tough experiences, and no mistake." 


The speaker spread his hands over the big base 
burner, by the aid of which he was trying to warm 

"The fact is," continued the doctor, after a moment's 
reflection, "I .don't believe there is any class or condition 
of men upon this terrestrial ball that see more of rough- 
and-tumble experience than they, unless it be a Rocky 
mountain stage coach driver or an Arctic explorer. 

"I have roughed it on old Erie for years — not as a 
sailor, but as a doctor, traveHng by steamer, skiff, sail, 
team and on foot. Like the Flying Dutchman, I am 
forever on the wing, beating about in all weathers, over 
all creation and a part of Canada." 

"Indeed ! So your practice extends to the Cana- 
dian shores ?" 

"Oh, yes; I have had practice in Leamington, 
Kingsville and other places along the Canada main, as 
well as at Point au Pelee Island, Kelley Island, the 
three Bass Islands and the peninsula. 

"I have traveled back and forth so much as to have 
nearly lost my identity, and hardly know whether I 
belong to the United States or Canada. When I'm 
here Uncle Sam claims me, and when I go over the 
lake they try to annex me to the Queen's dominions." 

"I suppose you find it risky business, sometimes, 
traveling over the ice ?" 

"Oh yes, indeed ! It's all solid enough this winter, 
but I have been called from one island to another, in 
the pursuit of my avocation, when it wasn't fit for any 
human being to cross. I have traveled for miles, from 
one point to another, when I had to bridge the whole 
distance, the ice being all broken up." 


"How did you do that ?" 

"By means of two boards, one laid in front of tl e 
other. When 1 stepped from one board, 1 pulled up the 
board 1 stepped off and put it down in front, and so on 
across. Once 1 remember I came pretty near going 
down, boards and all. I tell you I had to lay my bridge 
and get over it just about as lively as anything you 
ever saw." 

"I am not a church member, and j-et I have been 
immersed in Lake Erie often enough to have made me 
one several times over." 

"I crossed the lake once when the ice was very 
treacherous. I carried in my hand a long pike-pole, 
and picked my way carefully for a time. At last, 
I got careless, and being in a hurry did not 
watch my footing, when all at once the ice gave way 
beneath my feet and in I went. The long ends of the 
pole saved me, catching on the ice and holding me waist 
deep in the water. With the energy of desperation I 
grasped the pike-pole and threw myself right over it, 
landing upon the ice. The weather was intensely cold, 
and when I reached shore my clothes were frozen stiff 
and covered with ice like a coat of mail." 

" 'You look as if you had been in the lake,' ob- 
served a man whom I happened to meet." 

" 'Maybe I have,' 1 replied, and hurried on to the 
nearest house." 

At this point the departure of the mail cutter for 
Port Clinton caused a break in the narrative, and but- 
toning up his overcoat the doctor hurried away to visit 
a patient upon an adjacent island. 


Trip With the Island Mail. 

Most persons who read the newspapers take a 
lively interest in exciting tales of dangers and escapes 
told by adventurers in remote western wilds, in moun- 
tain fastnesses, among Alaskan glaciers, or mayhap 
with train robbers on the night express, with floods^ 
earthquakes, blow-ups and blow-outs of all descrip- 

As "distance lends enchantment," so a glamour of 
romance is thrown upon these distant occurrences, 
investing each detail with an abnormal interest, 
while oft-times within one's immediate neighbor- 
hood perilous ventures and hair-breadth escapes 
from danofer and death are made but never recorded. 
No better illustration along this line could be cited 
than is furnished by the United States mail service in 
operation between the Lake Erie islands and points on 
the mainland during the winter season. Few occupa- 
tions, indeed, could be fraught with more real hard- 
ship and precarious undertaking, and only the hardiest 
of that hardy race of amphibians who inhabit 
the archipelago, will incur the risk and respons- 
ibility attaching to the position of mail carrier, despite 
the very liberal pecuniar}- inducements offered by 
Uncle Sam. 

The experience of a "landlubber" who once got 


stranded upon the islands, is one among scores of 
stories which might be related in connection with the 
island mail service. The adventurer who lived in a 
thriving inland city, had been necessitated by urgent 
business to visit Isle St. George — the most northerly 
of the Bass group. 

Fresh from the noise and enterprise of busy streets 
the little lone isle wrapped in its wintry environments 
appeared to the stranger most desolate and forlorn. 
He had intended remaining over night only, but in two 
hours after his arrival a nor'easter, one of the heaviest 
that ever struck the islands, swooped down with a 
fury that sent people flying to their houses, birds and 
animals to coverts wherever afforded, and made the 
fisherman's cot, wherein the visitor had taken refuge, 
rock upon its foundations. The wind blew a sixty 
miles an hour gale, and the lake, which had been frozen 
over, was broken up by the mighty sweep of the hur- 
ricane. The sea was tremendous. By its force, 
masses of ice w^re lifted and flung high upon the 
shores to weatherward, when drenched by surf and 
frozen together, they formed vast solid ridges and 
ranges of ice hills, arched, pillared and corniced 
like the facade of a northern iceberg, and rising in 
places to a height of forty feet. Spray swept in 
showers across adjacent lands, coating heavily with 
ice rocks, trees, shrubbery and all objects within a 
hundred yards of shore. Snow blew in horizontal 
lines. The roar of the wind and crash of the ice were 
terrific, and the scene presented was one of sub- 

For three days the stranger was storm-bound upon 


the island. Anxious ones at home awaited his return, 
wondering at his long absence. Damaged by ice, the 
wires of the telegraph cable would not work and he 
could send them no message, and so on the third night 
the storm having abated, he resolved to seize the first 
opportunity of escape from his forced exile. 

The carrier left on the following morning with the 
mail— long delayed — and our adventurer was duly on 
hand ready to accompany him as a "passenger" to the 
mainland. The mail-boat, gotten up to order, was a 
solidly built yawl with an exterior covering of sheet 
iron, and furnished with short, narrow runners. 

A motley crowd gathered at the island postofRce 
to see the carrier off with his party, and down the 
frozen ice banks they were soon plunging to the lake. 
The passenger, U. S. mail pouch and expressage were 
stowed in the stern, while the carrier and his as- 
sistants attired in water-tight suits and rubber boots 
managed the boat. 

The entire network of inlets, bays and channels 
was packed throughout with heavy ice drift. The 
surface was frozen, but not sufficiently to bear a man, 
so that a passage for the boat had to be broken and 
cleared with pike poles. It was hard work and tedi- 
ous and the distance between Isle St. George and 
Middle Bass seemed interminable. Lines of drift four 
or five feet deep barred the way at some points across 
which — it being impossible to force a channel — the 
boat was drawn and pushed, all the men disembarking 
for the purpose, save the passenger, who being unused 
to the situation was ordered to keep his seat as the 
surest means of keeping out of the way. 


The ice was most treacherous. The waves had 
broken, pulverized and rolled it into perfectly round 
balls of all sizes from a lemon to immense spherical 
bodies many feet in diameter. These ball-like masses 
were liable to crumble beneath the feet at any mo- 
ment. There were deep holes and fissures where 
water appeared and crumbliiig ice obliged the men to 
hastily grasp and climb into the boat. The surface, 
too, was broken with icy knobs and sharp spines 
rising high in places, and here even the passenger was 
required to land that the boat might be gotten over 
with less exertion. The experience was new and 
novel to the stranger. It was likewise depressing and 
made him wonder vaguely whether he would ever 
see hom^ again. In fact he would have parted with a 
snug sum to have been safe once more on the mainland. 

Middle Bass was reached; two men and a team 
were waiting to convey the party to the postoflice, 
where another mail pouch and more expressage were 
shipped. They were soon again on their way toward 
the eastern extremity of Put-in-Bay. The channel 
between these islands was even more difficult of pass- 
age. The ice had been wildly tossed and deeply 
drifted. Contorted images of mottled marble menaced, 
and berg-like masses confronted them. Approaching 
shore, the drift rose several feet above the lake 
surface. It was full of seams and cavernous hollows, 
and a mass giving way the boat suddenly reared and 
plunged bow foremost into the opening. The pass- 
enger, mailbags and express matter were as suddenly 
shot from stern to stem, where they lay in a confused 
mass. Two men went into the water to the girdle. 


the other to his neck. Then and there was a squirm- 
ing time, but men and boat subsequently fished each 
other out, and got righted, and wet, cold and hungry, 
they reached shore about noon. Here the mail boat, 
by which they had crossed, was left for the return 
trip. At this place a second iron-sheeted boat like the 
first had been left on the beach, which ihe carrier had 
purposed transporting to the opposite ^^ide of the isl- 
and to connect between Put-in-Bay and the peninsula; 
but the boat had disappeared, having been buried ten 
feet deep under the drift ice which ridged the shore. 
Fortunately the exact spot where it lay was known? 
and although the men protested against the long, 
laborious task the carrier insisted upon digging it out- 
Axes, picks and shovels were procured from adjacent 
houses, and after two hours' hard work the boat was 
dragged forth. With mail bags, pike poles and pass- 
enger, it was loaded upon an islander's wagon and con- 
veyed to its destination. 

At the Bay village the man who had taken an in- 
voluntary bath exchanged some of his wet garments 
for others furnished, and dinner with hot coffee was 
partaken of with a relish. Here the third and heaviest 
mail bag was received with more expressage. Two 
more "passengers" anxious to reach the main shore 
wished to join the carrier, but were intimidated by re- 
ports of the bad going and gave it up. A crowd saw 
them off. The day was wearing along and the carrier 
hastened, realizing something of the difficulty yet 
ahead. Several miles of lake were still to be gotten 
over, with the prospect of having to break and force a 
passage the most of the way. 


The ice was found to be in a most precarious con- 
dition, In many places it was loo tough to break 
without great effort, yet not solid enough to bear men 
and boat, and was constantl}^ crumbling beneath their 

To make matters worse, the wind freshened and 
began blowing a strong gale from the west. Clouds 
which had skurried about early in the day thickened, 
and snow began flying with prospects of more to fol- 
low. The passenger grew seriously alarmed; he was 
also benumbed with cold, and to keep from freezing 
begged to be allowed a part in wielding the pike poles 
and propelling the boat. The wind continued and the 
ice broke and began running heavily before it. Angu- 
lar masses ground their sharp points against the boat's 
sides with a force, which, but for its iron mailing, 
would have shattered it. Midway of the channel they 
got fast in a running drift and were carried eastward 
several miles before they could extricate themselves. 
One of the men had broken in and was wet to the 
shoulders, while the others were nearly exhausted. To 
intensify the unpleasantness snow began falling so 
thickly as to entirely blot from view the land. The 
carrier felt in all his pockets for the compass which he 
usually carried, but found that he had forgotten to 
bring it. Twilight was then falling and darkness came 
on apace. Lights were invisible from shore and the 
party realized that they were lost on the running ice, 
in the night and whirling snow. They were nearly 
dead from fatigue but struggled on, not knowing 
whether they headed shoreward or out into the open 
lake. While assisting in working the boat through a 


tough gorge our hero, the landlubber, got into the 
water over head and ears, and being less dexterous 
than his companions narrowly escaped being carried 
away under the ice. He was badly frightened and 
more dead than alive, but a heavy dose ot brandy from 
a pocket flask served to restore him. There was no 
moon. Clouds shut out the starlight and wind and 
snow cut painfully. In this sad dilemma an idea struck 
the carrier. The wind had been blowing from the 
west and was probably in the same direction. 

"Why not steer by the wind.^ " This suggestion 
was acted upon. Another hour passed when to their 
intense relief the snow ceased falling and a light became 
visible. Shouts were sent up and soon an answer came 
back and lanterns twinkled close by. The carrier and 
his party were helped ashore by men who came out to 
meet them. They did not know their whereabouts, 
but found that they had landed a few miles beyond the 
point for which they had aimed. 

A steaming hot supper served before a rolhcking 
fire in a shore dweller's kitchen reanimated the ex- 
hausted party, and an hour later they were whirled 
away to the nearest depot, arriving just in time to 
catch the outgoing express. 

Our landlubber was undoubtedly the happiest and 
most thankful man on the train, but the island mail 
reached Sandusky too late that night for delivery. 


And Her Resources. 

A condensed yet comprehensive history of Kelley 
Island, once given by an old resident of the Bass 
group, runs as follows: 

"In the beginning Kelley Island was eaten up by 
rattlesnakes. You could harvest them by the wagon 
load, and the varmints held high carnival. Then came 
old Ben Napier, the pioneer of the archipelago. Old 
Ben turned loose a drove of hogs on the island, and 
the hogs ate up the rattlesnakes. Next, the Kelley 
family alighted on the spot, and the Kelleys ate up the 
hogs. Then came the Dutch, and the Dutch ate up 
the Kelleys." 

This, according to the narrator, completed the 
history of Kelley Island. It is sincerely hoped that 
this bit of pleasantry, or unpleasantry, on the part of 
a cynical punster may not be laid up against the per- 
petrator, as he is now dead and gone to his reward. 

The above historical representation is in reality a 
compliment in disguise, marking, as it does, the varied 
stages through which the island has passed, and indi- 
cating like a steam gauge the irrepressible energy and 
enterprise which has distinguished from early days its 
inhabitants. A more detailed account of the island, 
its history and progress, will be interesting neverthe- 
less in this connection, for like her sister isles, much of 


reminiscent interest and pleasing romance attaches 

Kelley Island enjoys the distinction of being the 
largest of the lake group belonging to Uncle Sam. It 
lies in a southeasterly direction about eight miles from 
Put-in-Bay, and almost directl}^ north of Sandusky- 
The bay-indented shores and rock-ribbed surface' 
diversified by vineyards, orchards and natural forest, 
as seen at Kelley Island, afford ample stretches of 
strikingly picturesque and beautiful scenery. Her re- 
sources are varied and profitable, and her population 
intelligent and thrifty. 

Several separate series of early settlers are recorded 
as having made at various times the island their home- 
competing with the dusky aborigines for its possession, 
each in turn yielding to its prioi claimants or succumb- 
ing to other incidental difficulties, and retiring to give 
place to new batcnes of adventurers. This, it seems, 
continued up to the war of '12, when the few white 
settlers then represented were driven away by the 
menacing attitude of hostile Indians, During the war 
the island, it is recorded, was made a military rendez- 
vous, Gen. Harrison, then commanding the Army of 
the Northwest, having stationed on the west shore a 
guard for the purpose of reconnoitering the move- 
ments of the British and Indians on the lake. As late 
as 1828 the cedar tent-stakes marking the encampment 
of this guard were still standing. 

According to historians, the squadron of Commo- 
dore Perry lay for a time in the harbor south of the 
island previous to its engagement with the British. 
While there. Perry received on board his flagship Gen. 


Harrison and Gens. Cass and McArthur, who came to 
consult the naval commander concerning his plan of 
action. The battle of Lake Erie in 1813 practically 
ended the war, and permanently settled at the same 
time both the British and hidians. The red-skins 
skulked away in alarm after the defeat of their allies, 
and as far as authentic records show never ajxain re- 
turned on sinister motives bent. 

With tiie passing of the red man and his supremacy 
in the archipelago came more adventurers. 

The pretentions of modern aristocracy were then 
unknown to the Kelley islander; his dwelling, never- 
theless, was solidly and entirely constructed of red 
cedar, and the cutting and shipping of this rare and 
valuable wood formed an industry of no mean import- 

In the interests of Kelley Island prominently figured 
about that time a primitively constructed steamer, the 
"Walk-in-the-Water." This steamer, built in 1818, 
was the first that ever plowed the waters of the lake, 
and not only as a marvel of inventive genius, but as a 
most important adjunct of his commercial interests, 
was she regarded by the Kelley Island denizen. There 
were no docks to facilitate the landing of vessels, and 
the then reigning prince of the isle — Killam by name — 
carried in his sailboat loads of red cedar to the Walk- 
in-the-Water as she lay at anchor. Some of this 
timber, cut into suitable lengths, was used to fire the 
steamer's engine, for in those days there was cedar "to 

The career of the Walk-in-the-Water was, how- 
ever, brief. After two vears' service she was wrecked 




and lost off Point Albino. This destroyed the cedar 
trade at Kelley Island and disheartened Killam, who 
soon after left with all his belongings. After Killam's 
departure followed a period cf six 3'ears in which the 
island, as far as known, was destitute of any perma- 
nent inhabitants, though adventurers occasionally vis- 
ited it. 

Notwithstanding its almost complete desertion, the 
island became productiv^e cif a tragedy during this period, 
a review of which caused to contract with horror the 
spinal vertebree of occupants who came after. The 
parties to this affair were Grummets and Barnum. 
These companions in solitude quarreled. Barnum shot 
and killed Grummets, and disposed of the mangled 
body by placing it in a leaky skiff and setting it adrift. 
The wind carried the boat out into the open lake, where 
it sank with its ghastly freight. 

Ante-dating this occurrence, according to local tra- 


dition, an adventurer lived on the island with his wife 
and boy, the only inhabitants, but in mid winter, wife 
and child were suddenly stricken by death. The solitary 
mourner performed for them unaided the last sad rites, 
rounding with his own hands their graves; after which, 
unable in his grief and loneliness to endure the spot, he 
left it, never to return. 

In 1826 Elisha Ellis and his wife effected a settle- 
ment on the island. A little later they were joined by 
Samuel Beardsley and wife. They occupied one house, 
and were the sole inhabitants up to 1828, when Mrs. 
Beardsley died. She was buried on the shore, but her 
grave was afterward washed away by the rising waters 
of the lake, with that of a young woman — -one Mary 
Kellogg — who came to the island in 1829, died soon 
after and was buried beside Mrs. Beardsley. 

During the winter of 1829 and '30 Mr. and Mrs. 
Ellis, Henry Elithorpe and an individual known as 
"Tinker Smith" formed, it is said, the total population 
of the island. It was therefore a decided boom for the 
place when in the summer of 1S30 three additional 
families moved thereon. 

Somewhere about the 3'ear 1833 a mimic lord, in 
the person of a French trapper named Ben Napier, 
tried to appropriate the archipelago, or that portion at 
least included in Put-in-Bay and Kelley Islands. By 
what fancied right this pioneer squatter sought to assert 
and maintain his monarchical reign does not now ap- 
pear; suffice to say that he made himself very much 
at home and very numerous in both places, and gave 
the individuals who afterward came into possession of 
these islands a lot of trouble. 


According to local legend, old Ben lived on the 
flesh of swine, fowls of the air and fish. The fowls 
and fish were supplied by the woods and waters, while 
the swine were bred in large droves by the squatter, 
and led a "root-hog^or-die" existence, fattening upon 
acorns and other forage, or growing lean, hungry and 
savage when the desired grub was lacking. When- 
ever Ben wanted meat he climbed a tree, taking with 
him his gun, and ensconced among the branches awaited 
the appearance of these wild porkers, and when a drove 
came within range he blazed away at the largest and 
plumpest. He thus kept his table supplied with fresh 
pork cutlets, ham and spare ribs, and grew corre- 
spondingly fat and saucy, and neither by threats nor 
coaxing could he be induced to relinquish his luxurious 
mode of life, nor to depart from the island. Like the 
hogs which he ate, he became very pugnacious. He 
appropriated to himself in high-handed style the prop- 
erty of his neighbors, and only by legal measures was 
he finally ousted. 

For the first time since its occupation by whites 
the island was then permanently settled, having become 
after some litigation the property of Irad Kelley, of 
Cleveland, and Datus Kelley, of Rockport. 

With the days of primitive savagery and lawless 
piracy at an end, dawned a new era of individual but 
legalized prosperity. Up to this date the island had 
been known as "Cunningham Island," so called after 
its first occupant, an Indian trader who flourished there 
before the war of 1812; but vvith its survey and final 
transfer, it was rechristened and placed upon the record 
books as Kelley Island — a name which has become as 




widely known and as permanently established as that 
of the famil}' from which it was derived. 

Impressed with the belief that the place was destined 
to figure as a prominent commercial center, the Kelley 
brothers began at once making improvements in the 
way of dock building, in order to facilitate the landing 
of vessels and the shipment of building stone, lime and 
red cedar- — the island being rich in these natural prod- 
ucts. They sought also to encourage an extension of 
its population by settlement of lands, and with this 
object in view placed on sale at fair prices, lots and 
parcels of their possessions. Many purchases of homes 
were made, and the island speedily became settled by a 
class of people whose chief characteristics were saga- 
city, industry, and thrift. 

The ample bay on the south shore afforded a safe 


anchorage for vessels passing up and down the lake, 
and the docks and warehouses were filled with mer- 
chandise of divers sorts. Cosy cottages appeared 
which in time gave place to more pretentious dwell- 
ings; and churches, school houses, hotels and other 
buildings, both public and private, arose to attest the 
growing prosperity. 

The forests of cedar long siwce disappeared before 
the woodman's ax. With them the trade in cedar 
wood became a reminiscence, but not until it had' 
materially contributed to the wealth of the island 
inhabitants. However, ihe stone and lime interests 
have since developed into large proportions. Derricks 
are numerous, large forces of men are employed in the 
quarries, and the Kelley Island Lime & Transport 
Company carries on' extensive operations along these 
lines. After a glance at the vast areas of quarried and 
corded stone, and the outcropping ledges remaining, 
the island as a whole suggests itself as a single big 
lime rock, with a layer of earth spread over it. 

The culture of grapes and manufacture of wine are 
carried on extensively. Among horticulturists of prom- 
inence are mentioned the names of the Kelleys, Charles 
Carpenter and others. 

Like adjacent members of the group, Kelley Island 
has latterly become prominent as a summer reeort, 
which is shown by her summer hotels and cottages 
for the entertainment of summer people. 

The island is likewise noted for its important geo- 
logical formations, as well as for its Indian antiquities, 
either of which would be sufficient in itself to render 
the island famous. A description of the former is 



elsewhere given 
in this volume 
under the head- 
in<j: " Some In- 
teresting Geolog- 
ical Features." 

Concerning the 
latter, the re- 
searches of anti- 
quarians have 
BAYSiDE COTTAGE. resultcd in some 

important discoveries. That the island formed a fav- 
ored haunt o f the red tribes i s evidenced by the 
ancient mounds, fortifications and other remains. 

The grounds now occupied by the residence of 
Addison Kelley are supposed to have formed anciently 
the site of an extensive Indian village; pottery, pipes 
and other articles, and implements of Indian manufac 
ture, such as ancient grindstones, tomahawks and 
hatchets, being there found in abundance. 

Remains of earthworks are numerous, the most 
extensive being found on the Huntington property, 
inclosing an area of nearly seven acres. 

The most interesting relics of this vanished race, 
however, take shape in what are known as "Inscrip- 
tion Rocks" — two in number — one of which, located 
on the north shore, contains sculptured pipe-smoking 
figures. The second and most famous lies in the 
water's edge, near the steamboat wharves. The rock 
is 32 feet long, 21 wide, and rises about 11 feet above 
the water. It was originally discovered in 1833 by 
Charles Olmstead of Connecticut, while studying the 





glacial grooves. Concerning this rock we copy an 
authority as follows: 

"It is a part of the same stratification as the island 
from which it has been separated by lake action. The 
top presents a smooth and polished surface, like all the 
Hmestone of this section when the soil is removed, sug- 
gesting the idea of glacial action. Upon this the in- 
scriptions are cut. The figures and devices are deeply 
sunk in the rock. Schoolcraft's Indian ^Antiquities says 
of it: 




" 'It is b}' far the most extensive, best sculptured and 
best preserved inscription of tlie antiquarian period 
ever found in America. It is in the picture-<jraphic 
character of the natives. Its leading symbols are 
readil}^ interpreted. The human figures, the pipe- 
smoking groups and other figures denote tribes, nego- 
tiations, crimes and turmoils which tell a story of 
thrilling interest connected with the occupation of this 
section by the Eries, of the coming of the VVyandots, 
of the final triumph of the Iroquois and flight of the 
people who have left their name on the lake. In 1851 
drawings of these inscriptions were made by Col. 
Eastman, U. S. Army, who was detailed by the gov- 
ernment at Washington to examine them, on the rep- 
resentation of Gen. Meigs, who had previously ex- 
amined them. Copies of the inscriptions were made 
and submitted to Sliuwvauh, an Indian learned in 


Indian picturegrapby, and who had interpreted prior 
inscriptions submitted to him.' " 

Through the aid of a chart kindly furnished the 
writer of this sketch by a lady resident of the island, 
many characters on the great rock were plainly de- 
ciphered, but the action of the elements and footsteps 
of the many adventurers and curio hunters who for 
years have made it the Mecca of their pilgrimages 
have worn its pictured surface; and unless some means 
are taken for their restoration and preservation, these 
inscriptions will in time be obliterated. 



The Untutored Savage and His Haunts. 

At that period of American history when all the 
vast country to the South, North and West of Lake 
Erie formed a wilderness almost untrodden by the 
white man, opens our story. Where busy marts of 
trade and thriving villages now stand, then appeared 
the wigwa ::s of tribal chiefs and burned their council 
fires. Where fertile farming lands and orchards 
stretch, and cosy cots and pretentious dwellings are 
seen, slept undisturbed by echoes of civilized life 
forests primeval. 

The wind's solemn roar in the mighty woods, 
the howl and bark, the snap and snarl of wild beasts, 
and the savage warrior's whoop were sounds then 
most familiar. Reptiles swarmed in the dark swamps. 
Tall grasses and underbrush formed a rendezvous for 
crouching panthers, and strange Ijirds, congregated in 
flocks innumerable amongst thickly crowding branches, 
set everything agog with their shrieking notes. 

Painted, feathered and picturesquely attired in the 
barbaric costume of his race, the red savage watched 

from his accustomed hilltops year by year the sun rise 
and set, and the moons come and go, still holding in 
undisputed possession his title as "Monarch of the 



About this time there lived a chieftain named 
Tawapsett, a representative of the Seneca tribe, and a 
branch of the once powerful Iroquois. 

Tawapsett was skilled in war, and so true his aim 
that a bird on the wing could he cleave with his feath- 
ered arrow. For many years on the banks of a stream 
he had pitched his wigwam; he was honored by his 
followers and many braves of other tribes smoked by 
his campfire the pipe of peace, and listened with interest 
and admiration to the thrilling stories of adventure told 
by him of his ancestors. 

Tawapsett had an only daughter, of whom he was 
very proud, who bore the name Wineska. In that rare 
type of beauty peculiar to her race, the maiden was per- 
fect. None among all the women of the tribe were 
deemed as beautiful as she. Black as night, her long 
hair fell in shining masses over shapely shoulders. 
Faultless were her features, with a complexion bright 
and glowing, and a flash in her dark eyes like that of 
an eagle. A lithe form and a step light as a fawn's were 
hers. A robe of scarlet covered with beaded decora- 
tions fell in folds about her, and a necklace and brace- 
lets richly wrought encircled neck and arms. The 
maiden possessed various accomplishments. She was 
skillful at beadwork, embroidery, and the forming of 
strange and novel designs in colored quills of the por- 
cupine. She was gifted also with a clear and richly 
modulated voice and the songs which she sang entranced 
the listener and awoke among the hills the fc//*?. Thus 
it transpired that her father, the chieftain, resolved to 
change her name, and henceforth she was known as 


Among the many admirers of this lovely maiden 
was a youthful chief — an Algonquin — named MoI<ego. 
Having once been subjugated by the Iroquois, the two 
tribes were on no very amicable footing, and Mokego^ 
the young Algonquin, was strictly prohibited from 
making advances toward the daughter of Tawapsett. 
To mak^ matters worse, "Echo" manifested a positive 
dislike for Mokego, and in a fit of rage and despair the 
chieftain resolved by fair means or foul to possess the 

With a body of warriors he stealthily approached 
the camp of the Iroquois chief, near which they secreted 
themselves in a dense thicket. Here Mokego recon- 
noitered, awaiting a favorable opportunity of making a 
descent, or still better, of kidnapping the daughter of 
Tawapsett and bearing her away to his tribe. 

Tawapsett and his sons, together with the warriors 
by whom he was surrounded, combined so much of 
courage and strength, however, that the heart of 
Mokego failed. He dared not attack the Iroquois and 
so he lay m ambush watching when and how he might 
carry out his designs. On the second day, accompanied 
by a number of squaws, Echo was seen wending her 
way along the banks of the stream. Its course led near 
the ambuscade. They were at some distance from the 
camp of Tawapsett, and wholly ignorant of danger, 
were conversing in their native tongue, when a rustle 
of leaves startled them. Several Algonquins sprang 
from among the trees and seizing Echo bore her away. 
The outcry of the frightened women aroused the camp, 
and immediately the war cry of Tawapsett and his men 
resounded through the forest. It was answered defi- 


antly by the band of Mokego, as mounted on swift 
ponies they dashed away with their prize. For several 
hours they rode at the highest rate of speed possible 
over the rough ground and through the thick under- 
brush. Discerning no signs of pursuit and believing 
themselves entirely out of the enemy's way, they finally 
halted to rest their ponies. They secured Echo by 
fastening her with cords to a tree, built a fire of dry 
limbs and prep ired to roast a deer slain by their arrows. 

With characteristic cunning Tawapsett had fol- 
lowed them stealthily but closely. So guarded were 
his movements that not a suspicion thereof was enter- 
tained by the pursued party. 

The latter had finished their repast of venison and 
were about to retake themselves to their ponies when 
a terrific yell burst from the forest. They were sur- 
rounded upon all sides, and a shower of leaden bullets 
and arrows began pouring upon them. A desperate 
fight ensued, in which nearly all of Mokego's band 
were killed and scalped; himself and two or three war- 
riors only escaping. Echo was borne back to her 
father's wigwam, while the vanquished Mokego vowed 
vengeance upon the Iroquois, resolving to have at 
sometime the chieftain's scalp and to secure at any cost 
the beautiful maiden. In this manner began a feud 
between the Iroquois and Algonquins which had lasted 
for more than seventy moons and was still bitter, when 
through that portion of the Indian country began cir- 
culating rumors that the aggressive "pale faces" had 
appeared; that hordes of them were coming from be- 
yond the Alleghenies of the east and were settling 
almost in their midst, that they were levelling the 


forests, dispersing the game and encroaching in various 
ways. At campfire and council meetings these move- 
ments were fully discussed and many of the older and 
more sagacious received the intelligence with many 
grimaces and dubious shakes of the head. 

Time passed, and still the ax of the pioneer continued 
its ravages. Small villages and trading posts sprang up 
as if by magic, and the red man trembled for his title of 
supremacy held by him through unnumbered centuries. 
Then came additional rumors of war and commotion, 
penetrating the dim wilderness and awakening new 
wonder and appiehension. A powerful nation, it was 
said, on the further side of the Atlantic had sent over 
its fleets and armies for the purpose of conquering the 
white nation on this side. Soon from end to end of the 
lake came news of muslerings. Regiments and brigades 
of armed whites — British and American — were on the . 
march, and great ships swarming with men and laden 
with terrible munitions of war were seen on the lake. 
Regarding as the red man's natural enemy the whites, 
whose customs so differed from their own, and whose 
interests were so antagonistic, Tawapsett cherished for 
them only jealousy and hatred, and gathering about 
him his braves he thus addressed them : 

"Sons of the Storm Cloud and Tempest: — You 
have heard of the great chiefs who command the two 
nations of pale faces now at war. One has come eagle- 
winged over the waters of the rising sun. He is soar- 
ing in the sky and soon will swoop down upon the vul- 
ture chief who>e subjects overrun our lands and spoil 
our hunting grounds." 

"While they mangle and destroy each other let the 


Sons of the Storm Cloud and Tempest swear by our 
own great chieftains whose spirits have flown to the 
happy hunting grounds, to stand ready when the time 
comes to kill, burn and disperse from among us the 
carrion fiends of the vulture chief." 

"The Great Spirit, source of life, will provide for 
the squaw and papoose of the red man and will charm 
away the evil spirit of Defeat. Let us follow the war 
path wherever it leads, and with us carry death and 
confusion to the pale faces." 

At the conclusion of this harangue there arose a 
general murmur of approbation, followed by the bran- 
dishing of war clubs and tomahawks, as with pro- 
longed yells they joined in a war dance around the 
campfire. While thus excited and occupied, Tawapsett 
had unconsciously relaxed the vigilance with which he 
had been accustomed to guard his daughter from the 
designing Algonquin. 

*"Fire water," then a new and favored beverage, was 
freely dealt, and thereby stimulated, the dance became 
wild and weird. It was brought to an abrupt close, 
however, by the discovery that Echo was missing from 
the camp — for the maiden still lived in the wig^vam of 
her father, though the hand and heart of many a brave 
had been offered her. 

"The vile Algonquin has stolen her away," mut- 
lered Tawapsett. "Let us pursue !" 

It was not long before the cunning Iroquois and 
his followers struck the trail of Mokego. Through 
stretches of tall prairie grasses and wild rice, forest 
and swamp land, northward they traced him to the 
shores of Lake Erie. While his followers dispersed 


in different directions, Mokego had placed the captive 
in a canoe there waiting and was ah-eady far out on the 
waters, swiftly paddling toward a long blue stretch that 
outlined a distant island. 

Life in the Log Cabin of an Island Pioneer. 

Amidst dense, dark thickets of red cedar, which 
intermingled with (ther native forest growths covered 
from end to end the lonely island, appeared a small 
clearing. Surrounded by stumps, log-heaps and 
brush piles, were two or three rude but newly built 
cabins forming the homes of French squatters who 
had worked their way thither from Canada. The 
representatives of this tiny colony were hunters 
and traders, and at that period comprised the entire 
white population of the island, although its shores 
were made the rendezvous from time to time of In- 
dians bearing half a dozen different tribal names, who 
came and went in their bark canoes on fishing and 
hunting excursions. From the clearing with its log 
habitations led a path to a niche in the shore, belted at 
its base by sand and gravel and edged with wild 
shrubbery forming a thick covert into which were 
drawn up and secreted boats belonging to the settlers. 

The cabin of an individual who earned a livelihood 
by trading with the Indians formed a shelter for his 
family not only, but a storehouse in a small way for 


articles and commodities of Indian commerce, as well 
as for those of the white man's production, the former 
consisting in part of bear and deer skins, furs, wamp- 
um, maple sugar, beads and peltry; the latter, of 
blankets, flaxen and w oolen fabrics, rice, coffee and 

The chinks between the unhewn logs of the cabin 
were daubed with mortar made from island lime which 
there abounded, and the chimney . built of native lime 
rock was a massive affair. The rafters were formed 
of poles cut from straight saplings and the roof of un- 
dressed slabs. A huge slab turning upon hinges of 
wood and fastened by a wooden latch served as the 
front and only door. The flooring was of puncheon, 
roughly rived from oaken timber. A single window, 
high and narrow, opened upon a patch of growing 
corn and vegetables, and admitted the light through 
paper oiled to render it transparent. Rough stools and 
benches served as seats. A bed decorated with red 
and yellow patch work stood in one corner and a 
puncheon table covered with a cloth of homespun linen 
occupied the middle of the cabin. An open cup- 
board contamed the household stock of earthen-ware, 
cutlery, pewter and pottery — a limited but invaluable 
collection. Shelves ranged along one side of the apart- 
were laden with the merchandise of which mention 
has been made. 

The walls fairly bristled with pegs which were 
hung with garments of "linsey-woolsey," deer skin 
and fur, together with an array of various articles, 
such as powder horns, stag antlers, fishing rods and 
rifles. A few rude ornaments decorated the rude 



mantel-piece, and above it in an oaken frame hung an 
old print representing William Penn's treaty with the 
Indians. Another household article — of too great im- 
portance to be overlooked — was the spinning wheel. 

mouthed chim- 
ney blazed a fire 
which was never 
permitted to die. 
Dav and night it 
flickered, flamed, 
smouldered or 
smoked in accord 
with its varying 
moods and con- 
ditions. A sooty 
crane swung in 
the center, and a 
pair of straddling, 
"fire-dogs" per- 


formed well their duty in holding up the "fore- log.'' 
A long-handled shovel and a pair of massive tongs 
reclined against the "jamb," and a tinder box with 
steel and flint lay on the mantel. Hams of smoked 
venison, bunches of dried herbs and other articles 
and edibles dangled from the ceiling, and a long- 
legged "Dutch oven" in which was baked the ap- 
petizing "Johnny Cake" — smoked upon the hearth. 
In this little world the good wife toiled day by day 
frying, roasting, baking, brewing, spinning, reeling. 
Every day in answer to her conjuring, platters full of 


wild fowl, fish and venison, steamed upon the table 
with swimming gravies, "pone," hominy and "slap- 
jacks." Her broad shouldered husband and his two 
strapping sons sai down to this feast with ravenous 
appetites, which having appeased they drank a cup 
each of spice wood tea or roasted rye coffee; partook 
sparingly of the pumpkin butter, or crab-apple jelly 
set before them as after relishes, and rose up to loosen 
their buckskin belts and give expression in deep-drawn 
breaths to the satisfaction which was theirs. 

"Trader John," as he was called, bartered with 
the Indians who came and went in their canoes. 
Sometimes in a "dug out," rigged with a bear-skin 
sail and accompanied by one of his sons, he made trips 
across to the peninsula, where he visited the wigwams 
of the Ottawas and Ojibwa3's. Sometimes he directed 
his course to the camp of the chieftain Ogontz by 
•'Clearwater Bay." Sometimes to Venice, then the 
chief trading center of the shore settlers, where he ex- 
changed his Indian wares for the products of pioneer 

Father and sons were on amicable terms with 
most of the Indians who frequented tl ese places, and 
so familiar bad they become with Indian customs, 
habits and manners as to be quite at home among 
them. They had learned sufficiently the varied dia- 
lects and signs in use b}' the different tribes, to be 
able to hold converse with any and all individual rep- 
resentatives thereof, and were thus fitted for their 
chosen occupation. 

During the absence of "Trader John," and the son 
who accompanied him, the son who remained behind 


worked in the clearing, hoed the corn and cut cedar 
wood for transportation down the lake. 

On one of these occasions Anatola, the eldest, was 
left behind. Anatola was a young man of athletic but 
graceful build, and singularly handsome features. 
Having wielded the ax until weary, the 3'oung man 
took his rifle and started out in quest of game with 
which to replenish the family board. He had tramped 
for some time about the island, stumbling over rocks 
and crowding through tangles, but had dislodged 
nothing excepting a nest of rattlesnakes. Both the 
snakes and himself had had a hot time. He had left 
about fifty dead upon the field, and fatigued and 
thirsty was on h:s way to the adjacent shore for a 
drink of water. He was just emerging from the 
woods upon a stretch of level beach when an ap- 
proaching canoe containing a man and woman at- 
tracted his attention. 

With that caution which, born of necessity, grew to 
be a second nature to the early pioneer, Anatola drew 
hastily back and secreted himself behind some bushes. 
Peering through a small opening, he closel}' scanned 
the canoe and its occupants. 

A stalwart savage leaped ashore and seized the 
woman whose hands were bound. Though at a 
distance of fifty yards, Anatola could see that she was 
an Indian maiden of rare beauty and a captive, for she 
cried piteously and begged to be allowed to return to 
her tribe. Save an occasional gruff response, her 
raptor paid no attention to these supplications, but 
from the broken and fragmentary sentences let fall, 
Anatola correctly inferred that he was taking her to a 


camp of Algonquins on another part of the island, 
intending there to make her his wife. 

The twain were Mokego and the daughter of 


A Desperate Struggle, 

Indignation at the perpetration of such an outrage, 
burned in the heart of Anatola, and sent the blood 
surging to his temples. With rifle levelled he ap- 
proached the savage. The latter was leading away 
the dispairing girl, one hand clutching her arm, the 
other a flint-lock musket. 

"Release her !" commanded the white man, his 
rifle aimed at Mokeg^o's head. 

"She big Indian's wife," remonstrated the latter. 

"No, no; 1 am not his wife !" wailed the captive. 

"Release her this instant or you're a dead man." 

Anatola nervously fingered the trigger. The ugly, 
painted face of the savage scowled with rage and 
terror, but he let go his hold. 

"Throw down that gun." 

The wily Indian hesitated. By a rapid and 
dextrous movement, he could bring his piece to bear 
upon the pale face, but the latter read his thoughts 
and kept his searching eyes upon him. Anatola's 
finger was beginning to press the trigger. 

With a half surpressed ejaculation of wrath, Mo- 
kego threw down the gun. 


" Now take yourself off, you red devil !" 

This command was immediately obeyed, and 
lowering his rifle, Anatola advanced to where cowered 
the Indian girl. 

Overwhelmed with gratitude to her deliverer, 
Echo knelt before the white hunter, clasping his 
hands, and kissing, and moistening them with tears of 

In a few words she told the story of htr abduc- 
tion, and Anatola listened with a thrill of interest, for 
her brilliant beauty filled him with admiration. 

•'I will take you to my mother," he said. 

'•Nay, but to mv father would I return." 

"To your father will I take you, fair one, but not 
today, for see a storm is gathering. He pointtd to 
masses of clouds which were sweeping up from the 
horizon and to the lake, which had assumed a grass- 
green color. 

"Yonder canoe could not live for a minute in a 
tempest such as that which approaches." 

"Haste ! let me take you to my mother." 

The girl looked up into his face, reading there 
naught but kindness and compassion, and placing her 
hand trustfully in his, submitted to his guidance. 

Not far had they gone before the storm struck 
with terrific force. In an instant the air was filled 
with flying limbs and trunks of trees, and rain poured 
in sheets so that they could not see their way. 

Unable to proceed, they took refuge beneath a pro- 
jecting ledge of rocks. After a drenching shower the 
rain ceased. The wind still blew a gale, but they 
were now enabled to go forward and were leaving the 


covert, when with a backward glance the girl uttered 
a startled cry. Her companion abruptly turned. 

With features working in a frenzy of diabolism 
frightful to behold and tomahawk uplifted, Mokego 
stood within six feet of the pale-face. The savage had 
stealthily followed, and in another instant his gleaming 
weapon would have buried itself in Anatola's skull. 
Quick as thought he parried with his rifle the descend- 
ing stroke. The two then clutched each other. Unable 
to use his rifle Anatola flung it from him and gripped 
the savage. 

Mokego made several lunges at his adversary with 
the tomahawk, but the latter managed to parry them. 
Closely clutching each other, they were nov\'^ upon the 
edge of a rocky shore. Anatola lost his footing, and 
together they rolled to the beach below, still locked in 
a vice-like embrace. 

More cunningly skillful than Anatola was the 
Algonquin, and the former now found his strength 
fast failing. With one arm about his neck and pressed 
tightly against the windpipe, the savage was slowly 
exhausting his victim by sti-angulation. The white 
hunter felt as one might feel with the tentacles of a 
devil-fish clasped about him. 

He struggled desperately, the sweat drops beading 
his forehead, but was powerless against superior skill 
and strength. All would soon be over. 

Echo had stood by, a silent and horrified spectator. 
Seized at last by a sudden impulse, she darted forward 
and with both hands began loosening one by one the 
fingers that clutched the throat of Anatola. By a 
mighty effort she succeeded in releasing from that 


awful death grip the pale face, and he regained his 
breath. Echo clung desperately to the great sinewy 
hand, with its bare, tattooed arm exposed. Thus re- 
lieved Anatola managed to shift his position to one 
more advantageous. Fast in his girdle hung the 
scalping knife of Mokego. For an instant as they 
struggled it touched Anatola's hand. Quick as thought 
he seized it, and while the savage was endeavoring to 
free himself fiom Echo's grasp the former plunged 
the knife into Mokego's bosom. With a fiendish 
howl fell the Algonquin. The blade had struck to the 
heart's center, and in a few moments he was dead. 

It was now Anatola's turn for gratitude to the In- 
dian maiden, but for whom he, instead of Mokego, 
would have been weltering upon the ground. He 
clasped the girl's hands, and looking into each other's 
faces, each felt that the friendship thus formed be- 
tween them was destined to be life-long. 

The white victor forebore taking ihe scalp of the 
dead chieftain, but he removed from the waist of his 
fallen foe a girdle — composed of human hair of vari- 
ous shades and textures, cut from the scalps secured 
by its owner. With this ghastly relic, Anatola and 
his companion left the spot. 

To the Indian girl this island was familiar ground 
as in the company of her father, as it chanced, she had 
frequently visited it, and she now pointed out to the 
white hunter — who at once became her lover — ancient 
sites of Indir,n villages and forts, and a massive rock- 
tablet extensively covered with characters and sym- 
bols centuries old sculptured on its face. These, as 
she explained, told the story of the ancient Eries, who 


had g-iven their name to the lake and the wars in 
which they had engaged ; of the coming of the Wyandots, 
their dispersion and the final triumph of her people, the 

So attached to the maiden had Anatola grown 
that within a few hours after their first meeting he 
asked her to become his wife. Echo hesitated. 

"The white hunter's people will not receive me," 
she replied. 

"Many French-Canadian hunters, and traders take 
Indian wives," returned Anatola, 

"Then be it as you say." Thus plighted was 
their troth. 

For three days raged the gale that had struck the 
island immediately after Mokego and his captive had 
landed upon it. At the end of that period came a lull, 
and while Echo remained in the cabin, her white 
lover went abroad to hunt and to fish. On his return 
he found the little settlement in violent commotion. 
During his absence a party of Indians, headed by Ta- 
wapsett had visited the trader's cabin, and though the 
old chief had refrained from molesting those who had 
given his daughter protection, her request to see and 
bid farewell to Anatola was refused, and despite her 
tears and protestations the maiden was carried away. 
Their canoes were then fast receding toward the penin- 
sula and the intrepid and half-crazed lover declared his 
intention of following. The mother expostulated, and 
while discussing the matter, the captain and crew of a 
trading vessel — which unnoticed had stolen into the 
bay — appeared at the door. Their faces were flushed 
and excited, and they hastened to inform the settlers 


of the news just received in the mainsl ore settlements 
of Hull's surrender in the Northwest, and probable 
uprising of the Indians which was expected to im- 
mediately follow. 

"White settlers must now flee for their lives," said 
the captain. 

The vessel was bound for a small trading post 
near the mouth of the Huron river, and the captain 
kindly offered to carry thither the cabin dwellers. 

Anatola could not leave his mother unprotected, 
and to visit alone at that time the peninsula in quest of 
his betrothed bride would have been madness. With 
the settlers, therefore, who had hastily collected their 
valuables, he proceeded on board the vessel to the 
Huron trading post, and thence to the fort a short 
distance up the river. 

Learning on arrival that a military company was 
about to take its departure for the peninsula on an ex- 
pedition against the Indians, who had already attacked 
the white settlers, he joined it, and fully armed and 
equipped the company made their way thither. A 
fierce skirmish between a body of militia and a band of 
Indians had taken place. The former had been greatly 
outnumbered and compelled to retreat to a log house, 
which they had defended for three days. Wearied by 
their lack of success or learning of the approach from 
the Huron river port of reinforcements, the Indians 
finally dispersed, and with the arrival of the company 
the b.'leaguered garrison were set at liberty. 

Several dead bodies of whites and red skins at- 
tested the closeness of the combat. Among the num- 
ber \2iy a swarthy Iroquois chieftain who — as Anatola 


afterwards learned — was Tawapsett, the father of his 

While scouring about the peninsula a day or two 
after their arrival, a party of soldiers captured a small 
band of Indians caught depredating. They were 
brought into camp, and with them was found the 
chieftain's daughter. Anatola received her with 
transport, and Echo wept tears of joy at beholding 

Together the twain proceeded to the Huron river 
fort where they were legall}' united — a missionary 
priest officiating. 

A small monument erected on the spot by its sole 
survivor — then remaining — the distinguised congres- 
sional representative, Joshua R. Giddings, just fifty 
years after the date of the memorable battle in which fell 
Tawapsett, the Iroquois chieftain, is all that remains at 
the present day to commemorate the struggle. 

As to what became of Anatola and his dusky bride 
it is not definitely known, eight3'-six years having 
merged in oblivion their subsequent history. 

All traces of the island cabin which they once oc- 
cupied have now disappeared, but the pictured face of 
"Inscription Rock" still bears symbolic records of the 
island's primeval dwellers — the red tribes — now passed 
to their "Happy Hunting Grounds." 


Or the Trials of Nicholas Beetlebrow. 


An old resident was Nicholas Beetlebrow. He 
lived in a flat, squarely built house situated on an ex- 
tremity of the island known as "Land's End." This 
house had once been new, and Mr. Beetlebrow had 
once been young, but house and owner were now 
growing old together. Both were getting weather 
beaten in appearance, and crank}' and rheumatic gen- 

When it stormed, and the wind swept in gusts off 
the lake the old house shook; its doors, and windows 
rattled, while "Old Nick" — as Mr. Beetlebrow was 
familiarly called — -sat in a corner of the brown painted 
kitchen, poked the lire, shoved in the coal, grumbled 
at the weather and exhibited a chronic dissatisfaction 
with everything. 

As every community has among its individual 
members, odd and eccentric specimens of the genus 
/lomo, so the peculiarities of Mr. Beetlebrow had classed 
him amonfj island novelties. Grumbling was his 
specialty. He grumbled at the heat, the cold, the 
rain, the sunshine. In fair weather and in foul his 
tongue seemed constantly shaping new forms of ex- 
pression for new grievances. There was always some- 


thing wrong. Wherever he looked, he beheld germs 
of evil sprouting, blossoming, and running up to seed. 
In the sun and moon he read all sorts of evil omens, 
while disaster and ruin blazed in the shootingr stars of 
the midnight sky. So long and so persistently had he 
grumbled, and so fixed had become the grumbling 
habit, that to have broken off suddenly would have 
proven, doubtless, as calamitous to Mr. Beetlebrow, as 
total abstinence to the "arsenic eaters" of the T3T0I. 

So constantly had he kept the corners of his mouth 
drawn down and his brow contracted that they had so 
grown, apparently ; and the stereotyped expression of 
his face reminded one of a foggy morning in the month 
of March. 

Betsy Beetlebrow, the wife of our hero, was the 
direct antipode of her "liege lord." Her sanguine 
temperament never permitted her to court the dampness 
and gloom of melancholy. She took the world, and 
the people and things in it just about as she found 
them, never borrowed trouble and appeared alwa3-s 
the personification of easy, good nature. Increasing 
years had rounded to fullness the matronly form, but 
the rose flush of youth still d3'ed her plump cheeks, 
while a suspicion of mischief twinkled in the grey 
eyes, and played in mirthful curves about her mouth. 

"Spring sunshine linked to a November snow 
squall" — was Aunt Polly Jones' comment on this 
strangely matched couple. 

It was nearing the close of winter. Spring had al- 
ready come, in fact; and following the ordinary course 
of nature, blue birds and robins should have been har- 
monizing their songs in the tree-tops; and blue-bells, 


and "bare-foot blows," opening in sheltered glades. 
But the tardy songsters still lingered among the orange 
groves of the sunny South, while the blue-bells and 
"bare-foot blows" were still in embryo. There were 
circles of bare ground about the orchard trees, and the 
knolls showed many bald spots. Aside from these, the 
ground was still covered with snow and ice. A line 
of drifts appeared on the east side of Mr. Beetlebrow's 
dwelling, and since the preceding December had been 
an eyesore to that gentleman. At present, these snow 
hills were covered with sooty siftings from the 
chimney top, shakings of the table cloth and dribbings 
of dish water. The ice in the lake was still solid and 
the winds sweeping across it biting cold. 

Mr. Beetlebrow sat in his accustomed corner. His 
brow wrinkled and the corner curves of his mouth ap- 
peared more decided than usual. He was cogitating, 
evidently, upon some absorbing topic, for he stared 
hard at the Are and from his pursed up lips came in- 
articulate mutterings addressed, supposititiously, to 
some offending object that intruded upon his imagi- 

Betsy Beetlebrow was mixing pie crust at the 
kitchen table. Her sleeves were rolled to the elbows, 
and as she kneaded up the dough sang a lively ditty. 

"Betsy, I don't see how you can go round singing, 
and laffin' and carryin' on when everything's to pay," 
exclaimed Mr. Beetlebrow. 

"Why, what's to pa}' now. Daddy?" enquired she, 
flourishing the rolling pin over a lump of dough. 

"What a'int to pay, you'd better ask," retorted he. 


"The kentry is goin' to the dogs jist as fast as it kin ; 
I'spose we'll have to go to the dogs with it." 

"All you kin read about, or hear tell of, is dynam- 
iters, strikers, political plotters, snow-slides, mine 
horrors, railroad smash ups, wars, and rumors of wars 
and everything by the ears ginaly." 

"Between the Klondike and the Spaniards every- 
body is goin' crazy as loons; and now that grape 
raisin don't pay any more, I wish that some of them 
fellers what blew up the Maine 'ud touch off a torpedo 
underneath this island, and blow it into kmgdom 

"Well," replied Betsy thoughtfully greasing her pie 
tins. "It might be a good plan." 

Mr. Beetlebrow sat silent. 

"Daddy, 1 wish you'd put a little more coal in the 
stove," said Betsy turning about. 

"Yis, that makes me think, I've got to go over to 
the mainland for a load of coal in a day or two. The 
bin's most empty. If it had'ent been for havin' sech a 
raven'us coal-eater of a stove, we'd had enough to 
keep us goin' till the boat run; but that's jest my luck;" 
and Mr. Beetlebrow rattled the stove as if angry at the 
amount of fuel it had consumed. 

"I'll have to be on the ice all day, goin' and comin' 
with that pesky boss; an' I'd jest about as soon think 
of hitchin' up a rantin buffalo." 

"I wish old Jake Flutterbudget had his boss agin, 
and I had my fifty dollars back. I never see a meaner 
hoss than old Ripsnorter." 

"What makes you call the animile such a hard 
name, Daddy ?" queried his wife. 


"'Cause I can't think of any that fits him better. 
I've sized up all the names, from Noah down to the 
present gineration, and I can't light on anything that 
suits him better than that. You jest ought to see the 
hay he mows away; and he kin demolish as much corn 
in a week as it 'ud take to fatten a whole sty full of 
hogs, 'n still he's so thin you kin most see daylight 
through him. I expect if I should lean him up agin 
the fence the crows 'ud take him for a carrion carcase 
and go pickin' him to pieces. Then of all the mulish^ 
contrary creeturs in the shape of boss flesh, Ripsnorter 
takes the cake. 

"Yis, and he has an offul temper — shows the whites 
of his eyes; and he's got soused to the layin' of his 
ears back, that 'pears as if they'd growled that way. 
This mornin' when I was puttin' hay in the manger, 
the old dragon reached over and grabbed my arm be- 
tween his teeth. Glory ! I thought a crocodile had 
grabbed me. With my other hand I fetched the fork 
handle 'round, and he concluded to let go. I com- 
menced to lam him with the fork, and would have 
taken the hide clean off of him, but happened to think 
that the handle was splintered, and shaky like. No, I 
don't know any name that suits him better than jest 

"You ought to call him some of them tony names, 
like 'Goldsmith Maid' or " 

"Why, he's a boss; you don't want to give him a 
female name, Betsy !" 

"Well, then, call him after some of the presidents — 
George Washington, James Garfield, Grover Cleve- 
land " 


"Grover Cleveland !" vociferated Mr. Beetlebrow. 
"Betsy, I'd jist as soon think o' namin' that hoss Beel- 
zebub as namin' him after a dimycrat president, and 
you know it. If I could git along without the hoss, I'd 
hire somebody to shoot him, and then he wouldn't need 
no name." 

In justice to Mr. Beetlebrow, it must here be re- 
marked that the worst part of his nature, the surface, 
always boiled over and sizzled away in highly seasoned 
language, and that he was never known to do anything 
half as savage as his words indicated. 

"If you had him shot, what would you do for a 
carriage horse ?" 

"I guess we don't want no kerridge hoss when we 
hain't got no kerridge, " replied Beetlebrow, savagely. 
"Betsy, I don't see why you allers will make hght of 
serious matters. I b'leeve if we wus goin' to be turned 
out of house an' home you'd want to celebrate the 
occasion with a dance or frolic of some kind. 

"Thare ain't no tellin'; we may find ourselves in 
that fix yit, and it's the worst of all my trouble. That's 
what I commenced to talk about, then we got switched 
off onto the hoss question. 

"You know that two hundred dollar mortgage I 
gave Jerry Johnston on the place ? Well, I thought it 
wasn't due till the last of May, but come to look at the 
papers I find it due day after tomorrow, and I hain't 
got twenty dollars to spare toward it. So I wouldn't 
wonder if we'd be booked for the poorhouse afore 
another winter." 

"Maybe we can borrow money to pay off the mort- 
gage. Daddy," returned his wife. "Then you will 


have fishing to fall back on, besides raising vegetables 
to keep up the house, and all the other crops. Spite 
of the late cold snap, the peaches didn't get killed, 
3'ou know." 

"They ain't killed, no; but the bugs, and the blight, 
and the San Jose scale will clean 'em all out, of course. 
No, it ain't no use talkin'; we might as well slip our 
cables and lay our course for the happy land o' Canaan? 
the hull raft on us, as to lay still expectin' any good to 
come out of this Jericho. This world is nothin' but a 
howlin' wilderness of woe and a valley of tribulation. 
It's all bottomside up and inside out, and nobody as has 
as much sense as a last year's bird's nest will take any 
stock in it." 

"If Molly wasn't so bent and determined on makin' 
a fool of herself," continued Beetlebrow, "she'd ship 
that lamber legged lumpkins that's runnin' after her 
and take Fritzhannes, that rich Pennsylvania farmer- 
He's got two or three big farms, and hull droves of 
cattle, bosses, sheep and hogs, and any amount of ready 
chink, they say. He could make her a first-rate home, 
and maybe help us with the mortgage." 

"Well, but Fritzhannes is old enough to be Molly's 
father; then he's so awfully Dutch. He's lived so long 
among the Berks county hills that I don't believe he 
could ever learn to talk English so that Molly could 
understand him." 

"Women must always have their say, and their 
way," grumbled J^eellebrow; "but I think a gal a fool 
to let a fortune slip through her fingers all for the sake 
of a young coxcomb who ain't worth the powder to 
blow him up," 


"That's ^hat my father thought when I had a 
chance to marry that wealthy old merchant and took 
you instead," returned Betsy. 

Mr. Beetlebrow winced perceptibly, and his wife 

"I think Wilbur Wilson a real nice young man, and 
if I was a young woman I don't know but I'd go for 
him myself. He's sober, honest, works hard and puts 
by his earnings, they say. If a gal is fool enough to 
git married, she'd better take a young man like that 
than a great, greasy old fellow like Fritzhannes, even if 
he is made of gold. You know what the Bible says 
about worshipin' golden calves } Ot course Mr. Fritz- 
hannes is too big for a calf, but to use a figger of 
speech " 

At this moment Molly Beetlebrow, the subject of 
these remarks, appeared upon the scene, having just 
returned from a neighboring house, where slie had 
spent the afternoon. Molly was a pretty, round-faced 
girl, with dark hair and elfish eyes, like those of her 
mother. She was merry as a bird and bright as a sun- 
beam—so thought, at least, Wilbur Wilson, the young 
man who paid her attention. 


"Well, I should think vou'd got your visit out," 
growled Beetlebrow. "I didn't know but what you 
was goin' to stay all night." 

"Why, what's the difference if I did stay, Daddy?" 
queried the girl. "I'm sure I had my work with me;" 


and she took from her pocket a roll of lac^ upon which 
she was knitting and sat down by the lire. 

"If you call that work, then I'd Hke to know what 
you call play. When I was young, gals used to knit 
stockings and mittens, and things that was some ac- 
count; they didn't have time for such tomfooler}-." 

"Well, I can knit stockings, and mittens, too, and 
make lace besides; so I'm that much ahead of those 
old-fashioned girls," replied Molly. 

"Oh, yis; gals air a heap smarter nowadays, 'spe- 
cially with their tongues," retorted Beetlebrow. 

With a smile of amusement Molly continued her 
work. She was too accustomed to her querulous old 
father to feel annoyed. Presently she began studying 
the figures amidst the glowing coals of the grate, then 
she stole a look at her father. 

"Daddy," she began after some hesitation : "Wil- 
bur Wilson is going to the main-shore to-morrow, and 
he said I should ask if there was anything you wanted 
to send for." 

"O, I'spose you've been off sparkm' up the young 

I only met him on the road when I was coming 
frDm Spencer's," answered Molly with a blush. 

"No, 1 can be my own waiter yet awhile," replied 
the old man. 

"I'm a'goin' to the mainland myself to-morrow, and 
I can do my own errands. A purty accomodalin' set 
these young fellers are, if they happen to hev an axe to 
grind." Mr. Beetlebrow shut the door with a bang, 
and walked away toward the barn muttering to himself. 

The following morning when the sun arose, illumin- 


ating with flash and glitter the frozen lake, Nicholas 
Beetlebrow with horse and sled was heading toward 
the blue line of the peninsula some miles distant. 
Long before day, Betsy and her daughter had been 
bustling in and out. While Molly prepared breakfast, 
her mother busied herself putting up lunch for "Dad- 
dy," packing some butter for market, and attending to 
various duties. 

Having let loose a whole swarm of doubts, and 
misgivings concerning the weather and the ice. Beetle- 
brow took his departure. His wife and daughter 
looked after him until a point of land hid him from 
view. Betsy felt just the least bit anxious, and won- 
dered if there was any danger of the ice breaking up 
before "Daddy" returned — for she was just as fond of 
this wry-faced, curumdgeon of a husband as are other 
women of husbands who are good looking, and good 

The day wore on, evening came, and Mrs. Beetle- 
brow and her daughter were beginning to feel alarmed 
at the long absence of the husband and father, when 
they saw him approaching afoot, and alone. 

"Why, Daddy, what's the matter, and where is 
the horse, and sled?" 

"In Davy Jones' locker — least ways the boss is." 

"O, I hope the poor horse hasn't got into the lake!" 
exclaimed Molly. 

"Well, 1 didn't see him go in, but he run off, and 
the last I see of him he was streakin' it round Birch 
Pint, goin' right fer a stretch of open water, and I 
expect he's in by this time." 

Maybe he' gone ashore on the point — " suggested 


Betsy feeling relieved that the animal was not known 
to be positively drowned. 

"No, Ripsnorter is too tarnal contrary fer that. 
He'd go and dump hisself in jest fer spite. 1 don't 
cackerlate on ever seein' him agin." 

"How did he happen to get away;" queried Betsy. 

"Well you see when I was jest about a mile off Birch 
Pint, the boss took one of his streaks o' cussedness. 
He wanted to turn in on the pint instead of comin' 
home. When I tried to touch him up a little, he stop- 
Ded short, an J there he stood, and do you think 1 could 
budge him out of his tracks. I labored with him fer 
about half an hour tryin' to persuade him to move on> 
but he wouldn't, then I commenced to lam him with 
the ends of the lines — course I hadn't the shadder of 
a whip along, or even a strap. The lines wus short, 
and I had to git purty close to him, and fust thing I 
knew, the pesky creetur's heels flew up, and he blazed 
away like a hull charge of Roman candles. He didn't 
hit me square, or I 'spose I'd a got my everlastin' Jack. 
He knocked my hat off though, and knocked me down. 
I felt a good deal stunned, but scrabbled to my feet 
agin. Jest as this was happenin' Nap Davis come 
along. He said he felt awfully sorry fer me, but I 
don't 'bleve it 'cause he was laffin' all the time. He 
said if he had sech a boss, he'd tan his hide, and sell the 
carcase to a glue factory; then he passed by on the 
other side — like the priest, and the Levite — and left 
me in the lurch." 

"Well, I didn't know what to do, so I set down to 
think. While I wus thinkin', and contrivin' that there 
Wilbur Wilson drove up. He had a long whip, so I 


borried it and played it over old Ripsnorter's shanks 
awhile. But it wasn't no use, the old humbug jest 
stood there and laved back his ears, and kicked till you 
could see blue blazes. Then that Wilson chap said I'd 
better onhitch him, and he'd fasten the sled onto his'n, 
and we'd lead the boss home. While I was standin' 
by old Ripsnorter after he was onhitched, a gust of 
wind took away my hat. I thought the old snipe 
would stand till I got it agin, 'cause he didn't want to 
go anyhow, but he happened to find out that I wanted 
him to stand still, so he jest gave a snort, threw his 
heels into the air, and off he went on full gallop. I was 
lame from the rheumatiz and kick together, so Wilson 
said I should drive his team home, and he'd go and 
look fer Ripsnorter. So he started; but the boss was 
headin' fer open water ^nd I know that'll be the end 
of him." 

"Mavbe he's gone and committed suicide by drown- 
ing 'cause you said such hard things about him yester- 

"There 'tis agin, Betsy, you're allers pokin' fun in- 
stead of sympathisin' with my sorrows and troubles. I 
bleve if I was dead, and lyin' in my coffin you'd poke 
fun at me. There's the boss gone, and the mortgage 
hangin' over our heads — that's $250. worth of trouble 
— and still you talk as if it wus all a good joke." 

"O well, the horse wasn't good for anything you 
know. Daddy, only to keep hay, and corn from spoil- 
ing," returned Betsy provokingly. 

Nicholas Beetlebrow was utterly inconsolable that 
night. After supper was over, the dishes washed and 


put away in the big, red cupboard, Bets}' took from 
her bureau drawer a small box. Said she: 

•'Daddy, I've got a little present for you, I was going 
to keep it till to-morrow but I guess I'll let you have 
it to sleep on to night." 

"One of them blasted monkeys, or baboons what 
jump up and scare folks, I'll bet," said Beetlebrow tak- 
ing the box and eyeing it suspiciously. Betsy smiled. 

"It would be jest like one of your aggravatin' 
tricks." He proceeded very cautiously to open the 
box. To his astonishment he discovered within, a 
ntst full of shining coins, all ten dollar gold pieces. 

"Jerusalem! where did you get this?" exclaimed 

"Count it, and see how much there is." 

"Just $200." replied he, thinking of the mortgage — 
"but where did you get it?" 

"Well, Daddy, I'll tell you," replied his wife, "you 
know that I have had all the butter and Q.^g money for 
the past four years. Well, I was real saving because 
I knew that you was hard up. So I put away in small 
bits all except what I needed to buy calico dresses, 
aprons, thread and things, and when I got a lot of 
small pieces I had them changed into eagles and laid 
them away in this box. So there is $200 to clear off 
the mortgage, then I have fifteen dollars left, that's 
going to be the nest egg for anothei brood of golden 

"Glory Hallelujah! " vociferated Beetlebrow. 

"Betsy, if you aint a woman that's worth havin' 
now ! " 


At that moment a sound of footsteps and a scrap- 
ing of boots was heard outside and Molly became sud- 
denly flushed while she took a hasty peep into the 
glass to see if her bangs were all right. 

"Come in," said Beetlebrow, in answer to a modest 
knock. The door opened and Wilbur Wilson entered. 

"I have brought home your horse and sled, Mr. 
Beetlebrow," said the young man, after bowing to 
Molly and her mother. 

"Then you found the boss? " 

"Yes, 1 found him with the man you bought him of 
a few weeks ago on Birch Point." 

"Oh, I 'spose that's why he was so alfired anxious 
to go in that direction, he wanted to see his old home. 
Well, I don't know as I kin blame him much. You 
brought the sled home too, did you?" 

"Yes, sir; I left the sled by the wagon shed, and 
put the horse in the barn." 

"By jocks, young man, you're as much help as a 
second pair of legs. You're a tip-top feller after all, 
and I don't know but you'll answer about as well for 
Molly as that old cub from Pennsylvany." 

"O, father ! " exclaimed Molly, her cheeks growing 
red as June roses. 

"What's the use beatin' round the bush," continued 
the old man, apparently unconscious of the confusion 
he had created. 

"Don't you 'spose I kin see how the land lays. 
You think a heap of the young man and he thinks a 
heap of you, or else he would't go to so much bother 
to get on the right side of the old man." 


Turning to Wilbur he said: "Look here, would 
you like to marry my girl? " 

The young man blushed to the roots of his hair. 

"I — I don't know if — if — whether she wants me." 

"O, then you haint come to an understandin'.^ " 

"Would you marry her if you could get her? " 
continued Beetlebrow, pursuing his investigations. 

Wilbur was reduced to the extremity of dispair. 
Had he been a mouse he might have crept through a 
knot hole in the floor upon which his eyes were resting, 
but as a b:oad shouldered young man standing six feet 
in his rubber boots, the undertaking would have been im- 
practicable. For some time he had thought of popping 
the question to Molly, but had never dreamed of having 
it popped to him. Forced to look the matter squarely 
in the face, Wilbur rallied his fleeing wits, and muster- 
ing all his courage, replied with a show of firmness — 

"I think more of Molly than of any one else, and if 
she likes me well enough to have me, I will marry her." 

"That's business," commented Beetlebrow. 

"Now Molly, how is it, will you have the young 

Molly looked straight down at her feet, nervously 
fumbhng the hem of her apron; covertly, but eagerly 
watched by Wilbur Wilson. 

"Come, speak out," urged Beetlebrow. 

"Molly's lips shaped an inaudible "yes" and she 
nodded an affirmative. 

"All right then; its settled," exclaimed Beetlebrow. 

"Now Betsey," he said, turning to his wife, "I've 
given Molly leave to make a fool of herself the same as 


you did when you married your old crank of a husband, 
and I'm glad you did make a fool of yourself." Thus 
saying he kissed her. 

"Well, Daddy, you generall}' complain about every 
thing being wrong, but I'm glad you've found some- 
thing that's right at last," and she kissed him back. 

So the mortgage was paid off and the wedding was 
set for the following June. 


In Queen Vic^s Domains. 

An occasion of pleasing memory was the writer's 
first visit to Point au Pelee island some years ago, 
with a party of friends on board a small sail craft. 

For two reasons this island was of especial interest 
to me. First, owing to its distinction as the largest of 
the Lake Erie group; and second, because of its po- 
sition as an outpost on British territorial boundaries. 

It was my first cruise under canvas. A head wind 
whipped us soundly, and though long and tedious, the 
tacks which the little vessel made were lively, so ren- 
dered by her pitching and rolling. 

The wind too, made music, singing and whistling 
through the rigging. This, with the creak of blocks 
and strain of cordage, and the swash of waves under 
our weather bow, afforded exhilarating interest. 

But one incident occurred to startle, and destroyed 
for a moment our pleasurable emotions. The occasion 
was the giving way of a block at the mainmast he^d, 
causing a sudden collapse of the mainsail and a corres- 
ponding commotion on deck. 

The big black section of canvas loaded with tarry 
sheets, booms, and tackle, and wet with surf suddenly 
descending, buried us beneath its heavy folds. An 
ancient mariner a-doze, with head upon a pile of junk» 


narrrowly escaped having his perceptive faculties 
knocked out. When at last w^e succeeded in extricat- 
ing ourselves from the promiscuous pile, the Mohican, 
our restive craft, was tossing in the trough of the sea 
— the steersman having m his excitement let go the til- 
ler. Sail and tackle were dragging over the side, her 
starboard rail lay on a level with the water and spray 
showered freely over us. 

For a moment we imatrined ourselves going 
straight to "Davy Jones' locker," and one or two of 
our lady passengers were almost frightened into hys- 
terics. Fortunately "Middle Island" was near at 
hand and the Mohican's crew worked her under the 
lee and finally ashore, where repairs were made. 

Here we first set foot upon Queen Victoria's do- 
mains the island lying within the dominion waters. 
We visited the lighthouse and were entertained at the 
dwelling of the keeper. 

Twilight shadows were thickly falling over the dark 
forests of Point au Pelee, when at last the Mohican 
made fast her lines at the old "south dock." The party 
were received and entertained beneath the hospitable 
roof of friends, and wearied from tossing on the billows 
and the nausea it had occasioned, we were early to bed. 
But the Pelee mosquito; we had been informed con- 
cerning this island specialty. To learn that said insect, 
or animal, cracked hickory nuts with its teeth, and 
that many of them weighed a pound was not so much 
of a surprise, however, as the onslaught which there on 
the borders of the Pelee marshlands it made upon us. 
The night was "filled with music," but the cares that 
infested the day stubbornly refused to "fold their tents," 


In addition to the mosquito fleet, we were assailed by a 
chorus of frogs, night-hawks, screech-owls and cata- 
mounts, also on the warpath. Just how we got through 
that awful night I hardly know, but we survived it at any 
rate, and next morning after bathing our bites in a solu- 
tion of soda, we started out to view the land, very little 
of which was visible, however, on account of the thick 
woods and thicker undergrowths running rampart over 
tracts of land which had once been clearings. VVe had 
taken passage in a "one boss shay" affair, the wheels 
of which gave forth an unearthly screech with every 

The road was a mere wagon track deeply worn 
into parallel ruts close crowded b}^ trees, and notwith- 
standing the evaporative heats of July weather, the 
mud at some points was deep and sticky and it was 
necessary to keep going as fast as conditions would 
allow, to prevent ourselves and nag being devoured by 

That road — the "rocky road to Dublin"- wasn't a 
circumstance in comparison; its ruts and roots, holes 
and humps through and over which we were bounced 
made memorable the ride. 

"Wild cats were common and herds of horses were 
running wild through the woods, just as in early days 
hogs ran wild at Put-in-Bay. 

A remnant of the red race still held a foothold on 
the island, and by request we were introduced to a 
family, representing as descendants the ancient Mo- 

Black raspberries hanging rich and ripe were every- 
where found through the clearings, and a few denizens 


of the island were observed gathering them by pailsfull. 
The sight was templing, and provided with suitable 
receptacles, we started in to try our luck. Inexhaust- 
able in quantity were the berries, and snakes of various 
kinds were also prolific. Black snakes of immense size 
and length were especially numerous and could be seen 
whisking under and about rotting logs and hollow 
stumps, or gliding in and out the bushes, caus_ 
ing a creepy sensation along the spinal column; and 
would have stampeded us all from the place undoubt- 
edly, had we then known what we have since learned 
namely — that the mysterious and unexplored deptns 
of the island's land-locked bays and inlets are supposed 
to form the abiding place of that terrible, but elusive 
creature known as the "sea serpent." 

According to the statements of reputable residents 
of the island, two specimens of this monster have there 
been seen, one of which was declared to be lOO feet in 
length. On one occasion, these reptiles ran afoul of a 
fisherman's pounds and chewed up and destroyed all 
the twine, even pulling up some of the stakes to which 
it was moored. 

In harvest time these big snakes amuse themselves 
by coming ashore, chasing the harvesters from the 
field and tearing down the grain shocks. 

Those of our readers who have been wont to regard 
the sea serpent as a mythical creation, should visit Pelee 
Island and get the testimony of its inhabitants. Know- 
ing nothing of these sea monsters, however, ignorance 
to us proved blissful on the occasion described 

With an area of about 13,000 acres, a length of ten 
miles and a breadth of four, the island afforded ample 


space in wliich strangers might lose themselves, and 
we were careful in our explorations not to get too far 
away from our guide. 

While thus scouring the wilds of Pelee, a smart 
gale smote the Mohican. She dragged her anchor^ 
drove ashora and stove a hole through her side. The 
breach was repaired, and fearing lest some calamity 
still more direful overtake us, we shook the Pelee dust, 
as well as mud, from our feet, and boarding the Mo- 
hican sailed for Put-in-Bay, which we fortunately, 
reached without serious mishap. 

A second trip to Pelee Island at a later date was 
taken with a party comprising the membership of a 
newspaper correspondents' association, our objective 
point being the famous Pelee club house and grounds 
at Point Sheridan on the north shore. 

We took passage on a trim, little Sandusky steamer, 
the Elsa. The day was glorious, the company choice, 
and as we headed for the north pole we were met by 
a breeze delightfully cool. 

We had just disposed of a sumptuous dinner, or as 
much thereof as seemed prudent, served on the 
steamer's roomy decks, when the island was reached, 
and edging carefuU}' along a precarious looking pier, 
her passengers suixeeded in getting ashore. 

A short walk brought us to the club house, a 
commodious structure; its olive-green exterior and red 
roof showing advantageously against a broad hem of 
dark foliajjed oaks and elms. 

Curiously and with a species of veneration gazed 
we upon the spot, since within its environments had as- 


sembled for years some of the most distinguished men 
of America, such as Robert T. Lincoln, ex-President 
Arthur, General Schofield, Gen. Phil Sheridan, Mar- 
shall Field, ex-Secretary Gresham, Larry Jerome of 
New York, Geo. M. Pullman, Anson Stager, Bishop 
McLaren of Chicago, C. \\. Thompkins, Harry Dur- 
and of New York, and many others of corresponding 

The club corporation, we were told, represented 
somewhere between |8o,ooo,ooo and $100,000,000 and 
its appointments were all that might be expected — 
elegance and luxury everywhere, combining with com- 
fort and convenience to render the place an ideal resort* 

Each club member had placed at his disposal a 
servant to do his bidding, with a corps of oarsmen and 
lackeys awaiting orders. 

These representative men of brains and capital have 
been accustomed to meet semi-annually at their chosen 
rendezvous to fish for black bass —Canadian waters 
being more prolific in this game fish than those of the 
States. However, the recent restrictions placed by 
the Canadian govertmient on bass and other fishing, 
have now curtailed to some extent the enjoyment here 
afforded adepts of the rod and reel. 

A lar^e enterprise concerning which the Pelee is- 
lander talked volubly, was the successful drainage of 
the great Pelee marsh consisting of about 5000 acres. 
This extensive marsh was literally pumped dry by 
means of a massive steam pump run by an eighty horse 
power engine. The land, once submerged beneath 
malaria breeding swamp waters, now annually pro- 
duces splendid crops of wheat, corn and potatoes, 


while the domination of the mosquito has been ma- 
terially curtailed. 

From Pelee we sighted the Canadian main, with 
many vessels and barges cruising in the "North pass- 
age," and after an hour's sojourn again boarded the 
Elsa and bid farewell to this very interesting bit of 
Queen Victoria's possessions. 

Though no calamity befell any of our party on this 
occasion, it may not be out of place to state incident- 
ally that after a long voyage — -taken the following 
year — and a series of thrilling adventures, the little 
steamer Elsa was lost on "Colorado Reefs," off the 
coast of South America. 



Among- the numerous resorts for summer visitors 
and tourists scattered among the islands of the archi- 
pelago, Ballast resort holds a prominent place. The 
island itself is a romantic bit of nature, consisting of 
picturesque rock, native forest trees and vineyard and 
orchard lands. 

Numerous cottages, artistically built and vine em- 
bowered, with winding walks and smooth lawns, adorn 
the spot, and overlooking precipitous rocks to north- 
ward is located the Ballast club house, an airy structure. 
An ample wharf, boat house and other improvements 
also appear. 

"Home of the Western Canoe Association" is the 
term. by which Ballast island is best known to its pa- 


trons, having formed for years the resort at which this 
organization has held its annual meets, and a newly 
erected club house on the gravelly stretch of the south 
shore furnishes excellent accommodations to its mem- 
bership. In addition to the club house of the canoe as- 
sociation, the canoer's camp —as seen during the sum- 
mer — with its tents of white and striped canvas, and its 
line of birchen canoes crowding the beach, forms a 
pretty picture, which the photographer, camera in hand, 
has not been slow to discover. Ballast Island was so 
named in consideration of the fact that just before the 
battle of Lake Erie the ships of Perry's squadron were 
provided with ballast in the shape of stone brought from 
the shores of this island. History does not locate the 
exact spot where the gallant commodore obtained his 
supply, but he must have found it without looking far, 
as lime rock, gravel stone and boulders are there found 
in inexhaustable quantity. 

The island contains about nine acres of land and is 
owned by a stock company, among whom are ex Mayor 
Geo. W. Gardner and Gen. James Barnett of Cleveland, 
Colonel Bartlett of Fremont and many other gentlemen 
of prominence who, with their famiHes and friends, 
patronize the resort. 

Nature's rugged wildness and art's refining touch 
here combine to form a scene most charming. 

Notable among summer cottages may be mentioned 
the Gardner "log cabin," a romantic picture, a rustic 
poem, from its old fashioned chimney, furniture and 
spinning wheel within, to the seal}' bank of its unhewn 
logs and ivy-clad gables without. 

At this resort the Cleveland Canoe association was 




organized nearly twenty years ago, W. Scott Robinson, 
of the Cleveland Recorder, and Geo. W. Gardner being 
its chief sustainers. 

In 1S85 invitations were extended to all Western 
canoers to become guests of the Cleveland club at Bal- 
last. These invitations were accepted and from this 
friendly alliance blossomed a new organization known 
as the Western Canoe association. 

An extended program of races in sailing and pad- 
dling are arranged for each season and prize cups of 
chaste and costly design are annually competed for; 
each meet lasting about ten days. 

Speaking of canoers, they are all extravagantly 
fond of juf t such a romantic situation as this little island 
affords. They are fond, too, of brisk breezes, flapping 
sails and dashing surf. They worship a canoe as a 



Hindoo his gods, or an Arab his horse, and little won- 
der, for the willowy masted, swift-winged canoe of 
modern construction is the prettiest and most agile thing 
ever designed to float upon water. 

Many of these canoes are trimmed in nickel and 
silver plating, with delicately wrought tiller chains and 
rudder of shining nickel. They are decked with flags 
and pennons of unique designs and their furnishings are 
novel and pretty. 


The canoe is an expensive toy and fit to grace a 
parlor mantel — only that it is just a trifle too big for this 
purpose. Its color is a pale birch-brown. It has two 
sails, but is also propelled, when desired, by a single 
paddle, after the manner of aboriginal canoers. 

The canoer appears as strikingl}' picturesque as the 

canoe which he sails, for his costume is natty and novel. 

Beside the trophy cups sailed for, flags are awarded 

winners, together with other prizes, both pretty and 


appropriate, consisting of articles such as silk blankets, 
silver soap cases, traveling drinking cups, fishing boxes, 
camp lanterns, canoe rugs and other novelties. 

The families and friends of club members occupy 
the cottages, taking their meals in the dining hall. A 
manager is appointed to furnish supplies and to look 
after the interests of the island. This position is filled 
at the present time by S. M. Johahnsen. 

The Ballast resorter is a lover of nature, finding 
"sermons in stones and tongues in trees," and beneath 
his umbrageous screen of elms, maples, cedars and syc- 
amores the days of summer speed like a dream. One 
especial favorite known as the "umbrella," or "eagle 
tree," contained for many years a large eagle's nest. 
Within it every returning season a pair of old eagles 
reared their young, and some of the brood were domes- 
ticated by the islanders. The nest and the eagles have 
now disappeared, but the tree still remains. 

The Ballast patrons are individuals of quiet, refined 
tastes, but unconventional withal, and prefer easy but 
substantial comfort to stiff formality. 

They dress as they like and do as they please, 
bathing, boating, dozing, dreaming. They are all 
thoroughly in love with their pretty isle, and money 
would not tempt them to part with it. 


The Ballast Island hermit, commonly known as 
"Uncle Jimmy" was a man with a history — suppositi- 
tiously at least— -though the haps and mishaps of his 
career were never quite clear to the public. However, 
as the old man was a bachelor and ijiven to solitude, 
observers who took romantic views of existence, sur- 
mised that a love affair was somehow tangled up in the 
web of his life. Though averse to general society, 
old Jimmy was mild tempered, and kindly disposed 
toward any whom he chanced to meet. 

At the period when he first took up his abode on 
Ballast Island, and for many years afterward, his 
weather beaten cabin was the only human habitation 
there existing, save the shattered remains of an old 
shed that had once been used by gillnetters as a ren- 
dezvous. His only companions were the proverbisl 
dog and cat which found a snug abiding place beneath 
his roof, and a horse and cow sheltered in a roughly 
improvised stable. A portion of the island was cleared 
land, affording opportunity for tillage and pasturage. 
The remainder formed a picturesque tangle of Bass- 
wood and elm, cedar growths, wild grape vines and 
other undomesticated shrubberry. Eagles built their 
nests undisturbed in the tall trees, and when the heavens 
were black with clouds and storms swept by, mad with 
delight sea gulls screamed, and wildly plunged into the 

" UNCLE jimmy:' aeT 

breakers which whitened on the reef. Waves mount- 
ed the rocky walls of weather-ward shores, flinging 
foam flecks into overhanging boughs and filling 
caverned niches with a bellowing thunder. With 
spring time came troops of the scarlet-winged black- 
bird, thrush, and whip-poor-will, the wood was reson- 
ant with song, while the turf formed a carpet of wild 
wood bloom. Summer unveiled pictures of gold, and 
the trees covered with abundant foliage cast over the 
cabin roof shadows cool and deep. The birds nested, 
and short winged fledgelings hopped about on the 
mossy ridge pole chirping their delight. 

With fading summer, autumnal fires kindled the 
maples until they flamed with scarlet and gold. 
Sumachs reddened and wild grapes purpled on the 
vines. With winter's advent the trees were bared of 
all save empty nests. Dismantled vines swung listless. 
The Canadian blasts swept down flurries of snow, and 
rigid ice plains glistened where blue waves had dash- 
ed. Such were the scenes which environed this soli- 
tary but charming retreat. 

Excepting when a party of fishermen or pleasure 
seekers beached their boats upon the gravelled shore, 
or when the owner came to look after the place, few 
changes save those wrought by the changing seasons 
varied the monotony of the hermit's life. Having 
voluntarily chosen this mode of existence however. 
Uncle Jimmy was presumably satisfied with his choice, 
finding in solitiude a species of happiness unattainable 

As years went by and the natural attractions of the 
archipelago came to be more and more appreciated by 

268 " UNCLE jimmy:' 

visitors from abroad, Ballast Island was purchased by 
city capitalists. A club house and numerous cottages 
were built, and in a little while our hero found himself 
surrounded by gay crowds from the very center of city 
life and fashion. This innovation must have cost the 
old man some pangs of bitterness, but the invaders 
were kindly disposed toward their predecessor, placing 
upon him but few restrictions. Warmed by courteous 
treatment the old man exhibited so many good traits, 
that he eventually became a great favorite among 
guests during their summer sojourn at the island. 

Uncle Jimmy had been accustomed to procuring 
supplies, consisting of provision, wearing apparel, and 
notions, in the shops and stores of Put-in-Bay, rowing 
across the channel in a small boat and carrying with 
him — by way of barter cat-fish, which he had taken on 
his hooks, or products of the soil. His wants, being 
few and simple, were fully supplied in this way and 
these trips to the ''Bay" were. said to have been his 
only excursions. For years he had not set foot on any 
of the steamers which constantly plied between island 
and mainland. One day, however, seized by some un- 
accountable impulse, or driven by some unusual busi- 
ness transaction. Uncle Jimmy boarded one of the is- 
land steamers for Sandusky. 

Commanded b}- a throughbred captain who knew 
and could handle her as deftly as a lady handles a fan, 
this staunch steamer had for years made her accustom- 
ed trips day after day, had threaded narrow island 
passages, dodging rock and reef, unscathed in daylight 
and darkness, in storm and calm. 

The steamer had proven thoroughly trustworthy, 


and on ihat beautiful morning when Uncle Jimmy 
leaned over the railing and gazed upon the fast reced- 
ing shores of Ballast Island, his mind was as calm 
and unruffed as the still blue waters, nor among the 
passengers was there any premonition of danger. How- 
ever, in the afternoon of that day people of the sur- 
rounding islands were startled by a jarring report which 
came echoing over intervening miles of water. Men 
at work in vineyard and orchard paused to listen. 

"A blast in the limestone quarries of the peninsula" 
was the explanation suggested and received, and the 
men continued their work. 

At Put-in Bay a knot of men lounged at the door of 
the telegraph office while the instrument clicked off a 
message. The operator scanned the cablegram re- 
ceived and an excited exclamation burst from his lips. 

'What is it?" and the gaping crowd closed quickly 
about him. The message read as follows : 

Sandusky, O., May i8th, i8— . 

"At 3:30 P. M. the island steamer blew up 

off Kelley Island. Nearly all on board are injured or 
killed outright." 

At Sandusky ihe wharves were black with crowds 
of people when the wrecked steamer was towed back 
to the harbor from whence she had departed but an 
hour before. 

Scalded, blistered, disfigured by escaping steam, 
the dead and disabled were carried ashore. Among 
the number was Uncle Jimmy, not dead, but scalded 
almost beyond the consciousness of pain. All was done 
that human skill could do to kindle anew the failing 
life spark but to no purpose, and one night a clergy- 



man summoned to his bedside administered the holy 
sacrament, and while a prayer breathed from the lips 
of the dying man, the failing eyes fastened upon the 
crucifix, held before him and so remained until the 
light in them faded — a life unobtrusive yet full of un- 
spoken patnos was ended. 

The re'Tiains were conveyed for interment to the 
little burial ground at Put-in-Bay. The deceased was 
without relatives to attend him in his last moments, or 
to dii-ect his final obsequies, but among the Ballast 
Island summer patrons were found friends who, though 
representatives of wealth and social position, esteemed 
it a piivilege to gather at the grave of the humble 
hermit, to scatter choice flowers about the casket, and 
to mingle tears of tenderness and sympathy with the 
earth that fell upon it. 

Among these friends was a prominent represent- 
ative of Ballast resort, by whom a slab of solid marble 
was afterwards placed above the mound. Upon it the 
visitor who may chance to wander through the beau- 
tiful and picturesque island cemetery may read: 

O0\@ ^^w;^ 






Peculiarly appropriate as applied to the island in 
question is the name Gibraltar, since forming a mass 
of rugged rock and poised above the surface of Lake 
Erie within hailing distance of Put-in-Bay, it occupies 
a conspicuous position in the group — its boldness 
rendering it an object of striking interest. 

Gibraltar lies opposite "Peach Point," and aids in 
forming the placid sheet of water known as "Squaw 

With natural forest and exhuberant vegetation 
both wild and cultivated clothing its rocks and cover- 
ing its whole extent, like an emerald gem in a setting 
of blue appears the island. 

In its quiet, yet picturesque and striking scenery, 
Gibraltar takes unquestionably the first place among the 
islands of the lake — a fact clearly evident to its present 
proprietor when about thirty years ago it came into 
his possession, and with the multi-millions at his com- 
mand he set about fitting it up as the ideal summer 
abode which it has since become. Especially noted 
as the summer residence of Jay Cooke — one of Ameri- 
ca's most noted financiers — is Gibraltar, and his stately 
villa, crowning castle-like the island's highest eleva- 
tion, overlooks the treetops, forming a picturesque 
point in the landscape. 




All that wealth and cultured taste can su<;cjest 
combine with natural attractions, and the effect is 

The surface is broken by rock ledges. Ro'mantic 
paths wind in and out among trees and shrubbery. 
Floral arbors, niches and caverns, natural and arti- 
ficial, with rustic huts, bridges and rockeries, appear. 
There are boats and boat houses, and ample wharves 
and ornamental structures of various kinds scattered 
about the crounds. 



The shore scenery is marvelously beautiful. Es- 
pecially interesting are the "Needle's Eye" and the 
precipitous bluff, from which Commodore Perry 
watched and waited for the British fleet. The latter, 
known as "Perry's Lookout," is capped by a flagstaff, 
and near it is observed a fine monumental design in 
sculptured granite, commemorating Perry's victory, 
together with an old cannon used in this historic en- 

Probably no portion of the visitor's experience at 
Put in Bay is so dream like and enchanting as a row 
around Gibraltar when the harvest moon — newly 
risen — traces its wide pathway across the wateis, 
silvering its waves, intensifying the shadows among 
arched and cavcrned rocks, and bringing into bold 
prominence every jutting crag. 

Wierdly white among huge fallen- rocks lie the 
moonbeams. They thread the "Needle's Eye," pen- 
etrate the watery cavern at its base and silver the 
heights of "Perry's Lookout." They Hood the white 
beaches of cloven shore niches and soften the rugged 
outlines of the rock masses seamed and rent by vol- 
canic action an prehistoric times. With a faint breeze 
astir, may be heard within the chambered passages far 
under the rocks the reverberations of breaking swells. 
The tree-clad slope of Gibraltar appears sharply out- 
lined against the clear sky, and the lights in and 
around its sheltered villa twinkle through the foliage. 

Both the public and private career of Jay Cooke 
has been remarkable. As a "Napoleon of finance" he 
appears on record as having lost and regained a for- 
tune within the period of five years. 




During the war of the rebelHonJay Cooke figured 
more prominently in the monetary affairs of the 
nation, undoubtedly, than any other man, and his 
skillful financiering for the government during its 
serious embarrassment were such as had never before 
and has never since been equalled. He was intimately 
associated in governmental transactions with Secre- 
tary Chase of the United States treasury, as with his 
successor Secretary Fessenden, and through his 
agency the administrations of both were materially 




Photo by Rev. W. Fred Alleo. 

Gibraltar and his Philadelphia country seat were 
bought back. The latter valued at |i,ooc,ooo and 
still in his possession, is known as "Ogontz," named 
after a Seneca chieftain of Sandusky bay with whom 
Mr. Cooke played when a child. 

The benefactions of Jay Cooke are many, a certain 
percentage of his annual income being systematically set 
aside for religious work and charities. A monument 
of the banker's beneficence along this line is seen in 
the Put-in-Bay R. E. church and rectory, built several 
years ago through his efforts. Large quantities of 
books and pictures are from time to time distributed 
by him among members of the church and Sunday 
school, and among the island people generally. 


At one time when the government was sorely 
pressed for the where-with-all to pay its mihtary rep- 
resentatives in the field, the division known as the 
Army of the Potomac was paid off with money 
advanced by Jay Cooke, who received in exchange 
United States bonds covering the amount. 

Of Mr. Cooke it is related that once in company 
with Gen. Bates, Secretary Chase and President Lincoln, 
he went to see reviewed by Gen. McClelland the 
Penns3'lvania Reserve corps, which to organize and 
equip he h-id advanced the money. 

On another occasion before the fall of Richmond, 
Jay Cooke, Jr., visited Gen. Grant. Referring to Mr. 
Cooke's many favors to the government the latter ob- 
served : 

"I want you to tell your father for me, that it is to 
him moie than to an}^ other man that the people of this 
country will be indebted for the continued life of the 

One of the great enterprises undertaken by Mr. 
Cooke was the building of the Northern Pacific rail- 
road but before the work was fully begun, and the 
^50,000,000 bonds for the same deposited in Europe, 
the Franco-Prussian war broke out, and compli- 
cations in European finances arising, forced Mr. Cooke 
into bankruptcy. To his creditors he turned over 
every dollar of his property, including his Philadelphia 
homestead and his summer residence at Gibraltar. 
However, through native sagacity, energy and enter- 
prise, the unfortunate banker regained all that was lost, 
and was again upon his feet, having paid every dollar 
of his indebtedness. 



Twice a year during the spring and fall bass fish- 
ing seasons, Jay Cooke visits Gibraltar for the purpose 
of indulging his piscatorial fanc}'. He is known as a 
veteran at the rod and reel, and can catch more bass in 
a day than any patron who visits Put-in-Bay. Un- 
like the average bass fisherman. Jay Cooke never fishes 
on Sunday, but may always be found in his pew in the 
Put-in-Bay church. Excepting when on piscatorial 
excursions, he seldom visits his island resort, but its 
doors are nevertheless open throughout the summer 


season to his children, grandchildren and friends, in- 
cluding the Barney and Butler families and the families 
of Rev. Harry Cooke and Jay Cooke Jr. Rev. Cooke 
is a devoted young man who is giving his life to the 
ministry, not because of its returns as a means of sup- 
port, but because his heart is in the work. 


Burial Gtound of the Confederate Dead* 

Next in historical importance to Put-in-Bay ranks 
Johnson's Island, rendered famous during the Southern 
rebellion as a place for the confinement of Confederate 
prisoners, 3,000 of whom — all commissioned officers — 
representing the flower of the Southern army, were 
held in serveillance. 

Johnson's Island is a strip of land one and one-half 
miles in length, and containing about 275 acres, lying 
near the mouth of Sandusky bay and three miles from 
Sandusky city. 

In early days this body of land was known as 
"Bull's" Island, E. W. Bull, a pioneer of the lake region, 
having been its original owner. In 1852 it became the 
property of Leonard B. Johnson, and from that date has 
borne its present name. 

During the war with the British and Indians in 1812, 
and in the struggle of the Canadian "patriots" in 1838, 
Johnson's Island figured more or less conspicuously, 
but it was not until the war of the rebellion that the 
place achieved historical prominence of a national char- 

In 1862 the island was first used as a military prison 
post. The extensive grounds serving this purpose 
were enclosed by a fence or wall twelve feet high, with 
a parapet around the top, along which sentinels paced 
night and day. 


Lines of barracks for the prisoners, headquarters for 
officers of the <^uard, a fort, a prison hospital, and last, 
but not least in melancholy importance, a burial ground, 
became adjuncts to the military occupation of Johnson's 

In addition to a strong guard of Federal troops 
placed over the prisoners, the United States gunboat 
Michigan was detailed for duty and la}' at anchor in the 
bay with her guns primed and ready at a moment's alarm 
to sweep the prison grounds with a full broadside. 

No complete history in detail of prison life at John- 
son's Island has ever been written, but judging from the 
many articles and sketches of a fragmentary character 
which have appeared from time to time in newspapers 
and periodicals, a narration of the reminiscences to 
which its possession by the United States government 
as a military prison gave rise, would fill a volume. 

The one absorbing thought naturally uppermost in 
the minds of prisoners thus exiled, was comprehended 
in the word — freedom. The remote little isle, lav^ed 
upon every side by the bay waters, afforded meager 
chance of escape, for were the prisoners success- 
ful in evading the guards and in scaling the stock- 
ade, they could get no farther than the shores. The 
only possible opportunity afforded for reaching the 
mainland was in winter when bay and lake were frozen. 
Inventive genius was then exhausted in devising plans 
of escape, but which, though cleverly laid, miscarried 
in almost every instance. An exceptional case is re- 
corded as follows: 

"The frigidly cold night of Jan. i, 1864, is remem- 
bered by the prisoners, when the mercury sank to 26 


degrees below zero. The coal oil in the lamps lighting 
the prison grounds froze and the lights were all extin- 

"The five daring men are also recalled who that 
night mounted the walls and crossed over the ice to San- 
dusky city, three miles distant. Two of the men were 
so nearly frozen to death as to be compelled to lie over 
at the houses of citizens and be recaptured, the remain- 
ing three having reached British possessions, thereTay 
achieving liberty. They then traveled 500 miles over 
deep snows to the mouth of the St. Lawrence, where 
they set sail for Havana, from which point they ran the 
blockade at Wilmington and joined their commands. 
Col. John R. Winston of North Carolina was the leader 
of this adventure.'' 

At Johnson's Island, in 1864, was enacted the lead- 
ing events of a notable conspiracy to which reference 
has already been made in this work, namely: The at- 
tempt on the part of the Southern Confederacy through 
its agents to capture the United States gunboat Michi- 
gan and lake transports of the Detroit, Island and San- 
dusky lines, and the simultaneous release of the rebel 
prisoners confined at Johnson's Island, at Camp Chase 
near Columbus, at Camp Douglass near Chicago, and 
at Camp Morton near Indianapolis —in all about 26,000 

Hatched at the Confederate capitol, this plot was 
carried forward by a few sworn adherents, chief of 
whom were Colonel Cole, an officer in the army of Gen- 
eral Lee, and John Yates Beall. The former was 
called to Richmond and there entrusted with this secret 
service. Colonel Cole "is said to have been a man of 


wonderful coolness and courage, as well as of ample re- 
sources, though to all appearances a coarse, uncultured 
man. Beall on the contrary was a handsome, well 
educated young man, a West Virginian, and an officer 
in the Confederate vidi\y. 

The "woman in the case" was Annie Davis, a fe- 
male spy, who played skillfully her part in the drama. 

The first move on the part of Cole was to open a 
correspondence with one of the Johnson's Island prison- 
ers — Major Trimble. This correspondence was car- 
ried on throujjh ink-written letters interlined with im- 
portant messages written in starch, and afterwards 
rendered visible by an application of iodine. 

Through Major Trimble was organized among the 
prisoners a society known as "The Southern Cross," 
having for its emblem a wooden cross twined with the 
Confederate colors. Its members were bound by iron- 
clad oaths, administered on the open Bible, to hold 
themselves in readiness, when the time came, to strike 
at once a blow for personal liberty and the Southern 
cause. They were also bound to the most solemn 

While Beall and about twenty picked men were 
detailed to capture by strategy the steamers Island 
Queen and Philo Parsons, Annie Davis, then located 
at the West House, Sandusky, was industriously work- 
ing up the plot's initial feature — the capture of the 
Michigan — by first capturing by the wiles of coquetry 
her officers and eliciting from them information con- 
cerning matters military at Johnson's Island and San- 

Woman, no<^ only, but wine was employed by 


sagacious Colonel Cole in addling the brains and draw- 
ing into his meshes the unsuspecting naval officers, and 
a champagne supper served by him aboard the Michi- 
gan on the night set for the culmination of the con- 
spiracy came within an ace of placing the vessel and 
her command in the hands oi the rebels. 

The convivial cup had gone its rounds until as the 
hours of night wore on, the party had become mellow 
and merry. For the closing draught, however, was 
reserved a potion heavily drugged, which Cole was 
about to deal out, when suddenly confronted by the 
commanding officer, who had been absent during this 
time at Johnson's Island. 

Advancing, the officer laid his hand upon Cole's 

"You d — n rebel spy! You are my prisoner!" he 

"Sergeant-of-m irines, arrest this man and put him 
in irons!" 

Had a torpedo suddenly exploded under the Mich- 
igan her officers could scarcely have been more com- 
pletely dumfounded. 

Having successfully performed his allotted task 
and obtained possession of the two island steamers, 
Beall on board the Philo Parsons awaited off Cedar 
Point the signal agreed upon — a cannon shot from the 
Michigan — to attack and capture the gunboat and to 
assist the prisoners at the island, who were to rise at 
the same time in insurrection, overpower the guards and 
make good their escape. 

The signal came not, however, and realizing that 




the plot had failed, the Parsons, at Beall's command, 
was put about and headed with all speed for Canada. 

Up to the afternoon of that day every part of the 
bold project had worked like a charm, but as after- 
wards generally learned, the plans of the conspirators 
were given away when nearly completed by one of the 

Cole was closely confined and guarded at Johnson's 
Island, and later was tried by a military court martial 
and sentenced to be shot, but ultimately through influ- 
ential friends obtained pardon. While leader of the 
conspirac}', and as such more deserving of punishment, 
Cole went free, while his abettor, cultured and 
courteous Beall, was executed as a spy at Gouverneur's 
Island in New York bay. 


Not much now remains on Johnson's Island to re- 
mind the visitor of the tragic scenes there enacted, save 
a few stragghng remnants of the prison buildings and 
the cemeter}' where lie buried 206 Confederate dead. 
Georgia marble headstones, inscribed with the name, 
age, company and regiment of each, were erected 
over these graves in 1890 through the instrumentality 
of Mr. John T. Mack, of Sandusky, and a party of 
Georgia newspaper rrien and prominent horticulturists 
who visited the place in 1889 and saw its neglected 

Previous to that time the burial site presented a 
scene of neglect. The writer was privileged once to 
view the spot before the ertction of these tablets, the 
occasion beincr the decoration of the irraves on Memorial 
day by a detachment of McMeens Post, G. A. R. of 

After a run of twenty minutes the steamer upon 
which we took passage landed her passengers at a little 
dock that put out from shore. Headed by a drum corps 
and a flag bearer, the detachment took up its line of 
march for the ^burial place, distant nearly a mile, fol- 
lowed by a procession of people. There was no path, 
save that trodden by those who led. Following the 
shore bend, with the blue waters of Erie to the right, on 
the left a sloping sweep of grass land rolled its billowy 
verdure to the edge of a distant timber belt. This grassy 
plain was the site upon which had once been located 
the prison grounds. Remnants of the old barracks and 
other buildings were pointed out. The windows were 
broken and their exterior appeared weather beaten and 
ghostly. Startled by clang of drums and flap of flags, 















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a few horses and cattle grazing amidst the deep grass 
scurried away to the farthest bounds of the pasture. 

The procession continued its march, beating through 
rank grass and over piles of drift wood and ridges of 
gravel, which the high seas of recent storms had lodged 
in the edge of the meadow. 

Leaving the shore line the path swerved a little to 
the left, leading throfigh a thicket so dense that a 
passage would not have been practicable but for the 
opening previously made with ax and scythe. The 
underbrush finally merged into a strip of forest and here 
in a spot as lonely as was ever selected for the burial of 
the dead, under branches low bending, amid shadows 
and silence, appeared long rows of sodden mounds, 
marked only by wooden headboards bearing each the 
name and age of deceased, together with the number of 
the command to which he had belonged. These head- 




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boards had been pcinted white, but the storms of more 
than a quarter ot a centur}^ had worn them grey, and 
most of them had fallen to the ground. Though dim, 
nearly all tlie inscriptions were still legible and a mourn- 
ful pathos breathed in the language thereby spoken- 
Gazing upon the scene, visions of homes amid the orange 
and magnolia groves of the sunn}- southland appeared, 
desolated by the removal of those who rest in this little 
isle far from the ministering hands of kindred and friends, 
with only the northern tempest's beat and the breaking 
waves of a northern sea lulling them to the sleep that 
knows no waking. 


With uncovered heads, in which the grey freely 
mingled, the veteran band gathered about the graves 
of those with whom they had once closed in deadly 
conflict. There were empty sleeves and scars that told 
of bitter strife and bloodshed, but the bitterness was 
gone, the blood stains wiped out, and only peace and 
charity and a feeling of common brotherhood now 
dwelt within the hearts of the survivors. 

The stars and stripes waved not triumphantly in the 
still air, but drooped silently, lettmg fall its silken folds 
where slept the brave but misguided sons of the South. 
Fair flowers were placed by fair hands upon the 
mounds already sprinkled with wildwood blossoms. 

A prayer, a brief address, a benediction, and the dead 
were again left to the shadows and the silence. 



A Reminiscense of Sandusky Bay. 

On a tiny projection an isolated dwelling reared 
its unpretentious walls. Though deeply sequestered, 
the spot was highly romantic. Above low levels of 
swamp land and stretches of black water, the point 
rose perceptibly with suggestions of an island, which 
it had undoubtedly been at no very remote period 
when the bay extended farther inland. 

The broken edges of the little plateau were edged 
about with the tall, feathery plumes of the wild rice 
plant, intermixed with rank reeds, rushes and "cat- 
tails." Willow copses and a few forest and orchard 
trees covered most of the remaining portion and seen 
through foliage of mixed greens, the black roof and 
weather-stained walls of the dwelling appeared strik- 
ingly picturesque. It was deeply banked with Golden 
Rod, now all aflame, and wild Rose of Sharon in full 
bloom, and the brilliancy and prodigality of color dis- 
played blended in pleasing effect with the surrounding 

Close by the house a winding pathway led to a 
rude dock beside which two or three boats rocked in 
the sunshine. Directly ahead and to left and right 
glinted the still dark waters, broken near and far by 
numerous small capes and promontories everywhere 
clothed with the rankest vegetation. Acres of wild 

290 '• BROWN SUGAR'' 

rice and reeds piicked above the surface, and vast 
floating islands of water lillies bowed gracefully their 
broad leaves and creamy blossoms to the incoming 
swell, which like a gentle tide rolled far up the bay 
when the wind was easterly and Lake Erie m com- 
motion. Marine plants flourished luxuriantly under 
the water, and trailing masses of weed, vivid green in 
color, floated to the surface and frequently impeded 
the paddle wheels of the small tugs and steamers that 
ventured through the upper bay to the river beyond. 
A line of buoys marked the winding, deep water 
channel without which these craft would have been 
lost in the mtricate maze. 

The waters were alive with fish, and turtles, tad- 
poles, snakes and frogs abounded. The dense tangles 
formed a rendezvous for wild duck, marsh hen, loon 
and bittern. Troops of birds frequented the shores, 
and game of every description was plentiful. Tlie 
whole region up and down the bay formed a favored 
resort for hunters and anglers, and boat loads of these 
sportsmen were constantly abroad. 

The house on the little promontory was the only 
human habitation visible. It was the home of Pete 
Mathews, a bay shore farmer. Mathews owned a 
large tract of rich farming lands adjacent, but had 
chosen to build in this lonely place. Of neighbors, 
such as they were, he had plenty. Gulls and eagles ' 
screamed over his roof by day, and owls hooted him 
to sleep at night, but he had prospered, and from 
humble beginnings had evoluted into a producer on a 
large scale of wheat, corn and potatoes which an- 
nually yielded him abundant crops. 

" BRO WN SUGA R." 291 

He kept a hired man the year round, and his wife 
a hired girl during the summer months; for a thrifty- 
housewife was Mistress Mathews, and she made 
stacks of butter, besides entertaining summer boarders 
— sportsmen and rusticators — from the cities who 
came to hunt, to fish and to run wild. 

The weather had been wet, with intermitting hot 
sunshine, and the weeds were threatening to choke 
out the garden vegetables, and Pete's wife had been 
trying to head them off. Weary and overheated she 
turned at last toward the house, left in charge of 
Cassie, the hired girl. She found the screen door 
open, the kitchen full of flies and mosquitoes, a kettle 
of bean porridge scorching on the stove, but no 
Cassie. It was twenty minutes to six, Mr. Bronson, 
the boarder, Pete the householder and husbandman, 
and Philander, the hired man, would soon be in to 
supper and not even the kettle over. 

"I declare to goodness if it don't beat all with' that 
girl!" . 

"I don't see what's comin' over her to be so 
ker'less and shiftless all to once." 

"She's out front flirtin' with them city fellers" — 
said Pete enterinij at that moment. 

For half an hour, Cassie had watched so intently 
the path leading to the dock as to completely forget 
her household duties. Going to and fro between the 
place where their boats lay, and "Walton" Hotel at 
which they sojourned, — a mile back from shore, — 
two sportsmen had passed the house frequently of late. 
To all appearances they were gentlemen. Both were 

292 " BRO WN SUGA Rr 

extremely polite, and one of the number had paid esoe- 
cial deference to Cassie. 

Now Cassie — pretty, piquant, and saucy — was not 
averse to an occasional flirtation. Though of irreproach- 
able character, a simple, unsophisticated country 
girl was she, easily flattered and imposed upon, and the 
smiles and graceful gallantries bestowed by Mr. Frank. 
Harrow were most effective in turning her little head 
besides giving Philander a world of trouble, since for 
months past the poor fellow had been assiduous in his 
attentions to the girl and she had given him reason to 

Having put over the tea kettle, Mistress Mathews 
stepped to the front window. 

"Cassie, Cassie !" she called. 

The girl was leaning against the pump, her blonde 
frizzes fivinnr all about, her cheeks a rich bloom. 

In a lively tilt with Harrow she was flinging shrewd 
repartees with rapidity and effect. 

"I must go" — Mrs. Mathews' im.pierative voice had 
at last recalled Cassie's wandering-thoughts. 

"Take this then with my compliments" — said 
Harrow tossing her a water lily. He lifted his hat, 
and with a smile and graceful wave of the hand pass- 
ed on. 

Hiding the flower under her apron, Cassie hurried 
into the house where she made peace with her mis- 
tress as best she could. 

Tenderly nurtured, that lily continued for several 
days to exhale its fragrance, Cassie having placed it in 
a vase of water in her room. 

Again and again they met, he the handsome, 

" BRO WN sugar:' 293 

faultlessly dressed, affable, and agreeable city man, she 
the pretty, but crude and inexperienced country girl. 
One day while hanging out the week's wash, a boy 
from Walton Hotel delivered to her a letter. The 
missive was scented with Attar of Roses and enclosed 
within a dainty envelope. Hastily opening, she read 
as follows : 

Walton Hotel, Sept. i8th, i8 — . 
My Dear Lit lie Girl: 

"You will doubtless think strange that I should ad- 
dress you, but the fact is I am writing because 1 can't 
help it. If you could only realize what a lovely little 
witch you are and how perfectly irresistible to me you 
have become, you would understand and excuse lan- 
guage which might otherwise seem extravagant." 

"Now that you have so completely charmed me, 
my bonny bird, I must beg the pleasure of your further 

"When the moon casts her pale light over the bay 
and the stars blink forth, will you not meet me down 
at the boat landing about eight o'clock, say. To- 
gether we will row over the glistening waters and for- 
get all else save each other, then will I tell you of all 
that is in my heart. Yours devotedly, 

"Frank Harrow." 

With puzzled look and flushing cheeks Cassie 
entered the house. A few hours later Harrow and 
Duffree, his companion, passed by on their way to the 
dock. Harrow cast furtive glances toward the house 
but failed to get sight of Cassie. He looked disap- 
pointed, and on reaching the willow thickets proposed 
halting under the cool shadow, for the day was sultry. 

294 " BRO WN SUGAR." 

Seate.l on a log in full view of the house, each lit a 
cigar, but Cassie very obstinately kept out of sight. 

"What's amiss up yonder, Harrow?" queried Duf- 

"Oh, the pretty dove is 1 iding out of sheer modesty, 
that's all," i-eplied the other carelessly. 

"You are really mashed on her then?" 

"Well, yes I suppose that I might as well make the 

"And how about the dreamy eyed Creole. You 
don't propose this little rustic to take her place?" 

"Of course, Nita and I have had frequent quarrels 
of late, and to tell the truth she has lost her hold upon 
me. But there'll be hearts enough open to receive a 
woman of her imposing style." 

"But don't you know that a bird in the hand is 
worth two in the bush. You might experience some 
difficulty in gaining this girl's confidence." 

"Leave me alone for that, Duffree; she is is of a 
simple and confiding nature, you know. It would be 
quite an easy matter to make her believe the moon 
is made of "green cheese." 

"By the way, I've just thought of a name that ad- 
mirably fits my new divmity." 

"And what might it be?" 

"Brown Sugar." 

"And the application, or signification?" 

Don't you comprehend?" 

"I call her Brown Sugar because she's sweet but 

"Ah !" and Duffree laughed. 

"How about your wife, Harrow?" 


"Arn't you afraid she'll get an inkling of your 
little escapades some time?" 

"Oh no, I guess there'll be no danger. I've 
always posed as a dutiful and indulgent husband and 
she's a trusting creature." 

"You dog !" 

"Well, if I'm a dog you're another." 

"Yes, but I have no wife." 

"But for existing circumstances I should be glad if 
I had none, but my wife holds the ducats, you know, 
and to kick out of the matrimonial traces would make 
it bad for a fellow who has nothing of his own, see?" 

"I will find some agreeable position for my little 
country girl and my wife will be none the wiser." 

"First catch your bird/' returned Duffree. 

"Oh, there'll be no trouble. These green country 
girls are the most credulous beings in the world, as 
well as the most devoted," 

"I'm not so sure of what you say. It strikes me 
that your new fancy has a mind and will of her own." 

This was part of a conversation, supposed to be 
confidential, held between the two sports. They little 
dreamed of a listener, but by chance it happened that 
Philander was on the opposite side of the copse mend- 
ing gill nets and had heard all. As soon as the men 
left the place he hastened to Cassie with his newly 
acquired information. When he had concluded the re- 
cital Cassie went up stairs and threw the unoffending 
water lily out of the window. 

That night at eight o'clock when the moon rose 
over the bay, Frank Harrow paced back and forth over 
the rough planking of the dock, but Cassie did not 

296 " BRO WN SUGA Rr 

come. A long time he waited, but finally retired vexed 
and disappointed. 

For successive days he saw nothing of the girl, but 
not to be outwitted, he resolved to make her a call. 

Supper was over at Pete Mathews'. Cassie had 
washed and put away the dishes, and arrayed in a blue 
gingham sunbonnet was starting for the barn to feed 
a late spring calf there ensconsed. With a pail of bran 
and milk, thickly stirred together, in her hand, the 
rustic beauty was suddenly transfixed by hearing Frank 
Harrow speak her name. 

"How do you do. Miss Cassie, I hope you are well." 

There was an ominous pause. 

"Not having seen you for some time, I thought I 
would call and inquire for your health." 

A sudden redness flashed over Cassie's features. 
For answer her pretty, but athletic arm gave a convul- 
sive swing and the contents of the pail went full into 
Harrow's face and ran down his enamelled shirt front. 
Splashes of the mixture decorated his beaver and 
coursed sluggishl}^ down his coat sleeves, vest front and 
trouser legs. 

Never in all his experience had Harrow received so 
complete a surprise and he was struck speechless with 
amazement. Having rubbed the gluten from his eyes 
and dripping moustache he at last found his tongue. 

"What in thunder do you mean?" he roared. 

"What have I done to deserve such villainous 
treatment? You hussy, how dare 3'ou perpetrate such 
an infernal outrage? " 

"That comes of mashin round 'green country' 
girls," said Philander significantly. 

" BRO IV N sugar:' 297 

"Next time you and your pal talk over j'our love 
affairs, you'd better look on 'tother side of the copse to 
see if there be any to hear." 

The air of offended dignity which Harrow had as- 
sumed now gave way to a look of blank dismay. 

"Better take yourself off, mister, fast as yer legs'll 
let you, ef you don't want damages to the extent of a 
broken head." 

Harrow took one look at the burly six footer and 
hastily quitted the scene. 

The next morning he bade adieu to Walton Hotel. 

"Business," he explained, called him back to the city. 

"How's sporting up the bay, Harrow? " queried an 
acquaintance whom he met on reaching his destination. 

"Tame— played out, in fact," was the moody reply. 

"Ah, indeed ! " Then assuming a confidential tone : 

"By the wav, pard, what's wrong between you and 
your wife? " 

"Me and my wife?" 

"Not anything, man!" 

"Then I guess you haven't heard the news. She's 
filed a petition for divorce." 

"What! no, that can't be possible!" 

"But it is possible." 

"On what grounds?" 

"Don't know. I hear there's a woman in the case 
as usual, also a letter; that's all I know." 

It was with some misgivings, cloaked under an out- 
ward guise of nonchalance, that Harrow reached his 
home on the avenue and confronted his wife. That 
Nita had made trouble was his inward thought. To 
his wife, however, he coolly put the question : 

208 ''Brown suGARr 

"What's the row?" 

For answer she quietly handed him a letter which 
read as follows: 

"Wild Duck Point, Sept. 2, 18 — . 
'■'Dere Mrs. Harroiu: 

"I write these few lines to let you know something 
what I think you ought to kn.w. Our border, Mr. 
Bronson, says he knows you and Mr. Harrow both: 
He says you live close to where he does and that you 
air a real nice woman, and he is sorry that you have 
such a skalawag for a man. 

"I send you a letter what Mr. Harrow wrote me 
yesterday, by which you can see how he carries sail 
when he's away from home. If you want to know 
any more. Philander Smith, our hired man, can tell you 
a lot about him. Yours truly, 

"Cassie Hart." 

Harrow was visibly agitated when he had finished 

"And where is the letter enclosed? " he asked. 

"In the hands of my attorney; but here's a copy." 

Harrow was thus afforded an opportunity of pe- 
rusing a reproduction. of his epistle to Cassie. 

The next outing season Frank Harrow was not 
among the guests at Walton Hotel. With the assist- 
ance of Philander and Cassie as principal witnesses, 
Mrs. Harrow had procured a divorce and with all her 
possessions had forsaken her lord. As a second rate 
clerk in a lawyer's office Harrow was now afforded an 
opportunity of making himself "useful as well as orna- 

" BRO WN sugar:' 299 

As to morals, he finds it easier living up to the com- 
mon standard of virtue on a small salary than it had 
been with an unlimited supply of "ducats" at command; 
but any reference to "Brown Sugar" makes him visibly 

Cassie's summer time fancy was effectually dissi- 
pated and she returned at once to her allegiance. A 
month later Philander and Cassie were legally and 
securely knotted. 


A fog— the densest ever known in the archipelago 
— shrouded lake and land, shutting from view sur- 
rounding objects. Condensing vapors dripped drearily 
from grey gables and naked boughs; and a silence 
impressive and profound as if all the world were dead 
reigned unbroken. 

It was early spring and the ice was breaking and 
sluggishly running in the island passages, carried along 
by shifting currents though scarce a breath of wind 

A more dismal day had never dawned upon "Wil- 
low Point" — so at least thought Mittie McKay, while 
seated by the kitchen window she knit lace, and watch- 
ed her father at work as with ax aswing he whacked 
away at the long, strong bolts and oaken timbers of 
an old wreck — a dismasted schooner — that lay amidst 
the driftwood and debris brought in by the waves and 
piled into winrows. 

In vain had Mittie tried to pierce with her sharp 
eyes the obscurity. She could not see even the big, 
black buoy on Chenook reef. So nicely scumbled 
and blended by the fog were sky and water that the 
whole perspective seemed a single sweep of sky that 
reached to earth, and the only animate objects visible 
in all the illimitable expanse were the nearer floes 
adrift in the dark water and appearing like white 


clouds on a leaden background. The effect was strik- 
ing, but too devoid of life for a girl like Mittie, and she 
withdrew her gaze from the colorless scene to that in the 
foreground representing her father, his swinging ax, 
and the broken and denuded ribs of the wrecked 

Mittie's mouth had a perceptible droop at the 
corners, and her eyes a misty expression borrowed from 
the fog, and once when the thread kinked form- 
ing an obstinate knot, a frown wrinklfed her smooth 
brow. Mittie's feelings were evidently in sympathy 
with the weather. For her on this dun colored day the 
old wreck had a peculiar fascination. 

Nameless, it had come ashore about a year pre- 
vious, on the sweep of a mighty storm, from whence 
nobody knew. 

"What a fit emblem of life is that old hulk" — soli- 
loquized the girl. 

"We launch forth with fair prospects, and further- 
ing gales only to fetch up on some desolate shore hope- 
lessly broken and battered." 

The sad case of the beached wreck seemed anal- 
agous to her own, and her eyes filled with tears at its 

Now, considering the fact that Mittie was a bright, 
pretty girl of only twenty 3'ears, the idea of comparing 
herself to that old bare-boned carcass seemed absurd. 
Nevertheless, she was just now very, very miserable. 
It was all in consequence of a quarrel between her and 
Santa Smith. Mittie and the young man had been af- 
fianced lovers when ;; xisunderstanding occurred. 
Pride and resentment on both sides widened the breach 


finally resulting in complete enstranfjement. To make 
matters worse, Santa had begun paying attention to 
Stella Pierce, the Willow Point school mistress — a-flip, 
flirty, frizzle headed girl of eighteen; smart enough and 
good enough looking, but given to gush and a pro- 
nounced giggler. 

This girl, who had gained the young man's prefer- 
ence, was two whole years younger than Mittie — a 
circumstance which caused the latter to feel very 
much like an old maid, and probably suggested the 
doleful analogy between herself and the old wreck. 

As the thread continued to knot, Mittie continued 
to frown, until she suddenly caught a reflection of her face 
in a mirror. What a fright she was making of herself! 
Petulance then gave way to more tender feelings and 
she began to cry. She couldn't help it with the day so 
dull and her heart so heavy, for in spite of her linger- 
ing resentment she still loved Santa truly, devotedly, 
and he cared naught for her. 

While in this tearful plight, her father, Mike Mc- 
Kay, entered with an armful of firewood. 

J, A March fog 

Will freeze a May dog'" — 

Sagely quoted the old man. 

"My, what nasty weather!" 

He was damp and shivering from the chill fog 
without, and cramming the stove with wood spread 
his hands in front of the open hearth. 

"Hullo there, what's the matter.'^" he queried catch- 
ing a view of Mittie's tear stained countenance. 

"Mourning over Santa Smith, Santa Mariah or 
some other Santa— as I live. 


"No. I a'int,"— she replied testily. 
"But I know you are." 

"Never mourn over such a circumstance, girl, for 
don't you know — " 

'There's plenty of fish in the sea, 
As good as ever were caught." 

Seeing that the subject was painful to his daughter, 
Mike thought best to change it. 

"Heigh oh! we're getting a breeze at last. Hear 
the wind roar. Now I hope the fog '11 lift." 

At this moment the sound of a bell was borne to the 
ears of father and daughter. It was a church bell at 
the port a mile distant. Its tones were sonorous, and as 
it continued ringing the listeners looked inquisitively at 
each other. 

"Some one lost in the fog," suggested Mittie. 

"Must be so," returned the father, 

"Most like it's the mail carrier and party. Pete 
Mooney said the mail hadn't arrived yet when he left 
the harbor and it was then two hours overdue. Pete 
went by about fifteen minutes ago." 

"The carrier had a compass along, of course, but 
what with the currents and running ice, it might do 
him little good; for should the boat drift out of her 
course so as to miss the island, the compass would only 
guide him out into the open lake." 

"How dreadful to be lost in such a fog and the ice 
a running and night coming on," observed Mittie 
with a shudder. 

An early twihght was perceptibly deepening the 
gloom which had hung all day long over land and 
water; and the prospects of a night of blackness, such as 


no gleam of beacon light could penetrate, served to in- 
crease the anxiety felt by Mike McKay and his daugh- 
ter and was shared by most of the dwellers on that 
lonely isle. It was now definitely known that the car- 
rier and party were astray on the lake and what might 
be their fate none could determine. 

At regular intervals the bell pealed forth its signals, 
but the sound fell with a dirge-like cadence. 

Vaguely seen through the fog-veil and darkness, 
trees, rocks and other objects near the isolated old 
dwelling appeared strangly wierd to Mittie'. The 
naked ribs of the wrecked schooner suggested the 
skeleton of some huge animal, and the dead-white 
floes piHng the beach reminded her of marble slabs 
and shafts swept together from some abandoned 
graveyard. A nameless dread possessed her and a 
foreboding which she could not control. 

In hours of melancholy such as these Santa's genial 
presence had often cheered the motherless girl and 
dispersed the gloom of her surroundings, but all that 
was now in the past. Her lover and friend had left 
her and she knew not where he then was. Some 
said that he had gone to Michigan, there to remain for 
a year or more. Had he been on the opposite side of 
the globe he could not have seemed more distant. 

Darkness came on apace and shut out the fog 
phantoms. The wind had continued to freshen until it 
blew a gale, and the gale increased until it blew a hur- 
ricane. This caused the fog to lift and lights became 
visible, though inky blackness covered all the sky. 

In more than one cottage on Willow Point lamp- 
light gleamed from windows looking lakeward, placed 


there by anxious watchers with the hope that the rays 
shed abroad might guide landward the carrier's craft, 
if happily it were still afloat and able to outride the 
storm and crushing ice. 

Within the McKay abode well seasoned driftwood 
crackled briskl}', the kitchen stove grew ruddy with 
heat and the room was cozy and comfortable. 

Seated at a table Mittie knit lace, but showed little 
interest in her work. 

Mike McKay divided his attention between some 
torn gill net twine — which he was stitching up with a 
wooden needle— and the weather. The old man felt 
anxious concerning the missing boat and opened the 
door many times to scan the sky and the tumultuous 
sea rushing on the beach. The wind's howl over chim- 
ney and tree tops and the crash and grind of ice on the 
shore were terrific, and he shook his head as he calcu- 
lated the slim chances of any boat or crew on such a 

Nine o'clock was late bed time for Mike McKay; 
anxiety had kept him up, however, until after that time; 
but realizing the futility of further watching, he pre- 
pared to retire, first repairing to the beach to again 
look at the lake. 

Ice in pulverized masses and in floes big as the side 
of a house — tossed up by the waves — formed a wide, 
whijte ridge covering all the beach and still piling 
higher. The wind blew with a violence which the old 
man cared not to withstand. It cut his face and chilled 
him through. 

He had turned toward the house, wh^n above the 
crash and roar he thought he heard a shout. V^ery 


faint indeed; perhaps he was mistaken for the voices of 
contending elements pitched in myriad keys strangely 
commingled and were liable to deceive. 

Mike was about to enter his dwelling when he 
again heard an outcr3\ This time he made no mistake. 
It was close at hand and came from the lake. Rush- 
ing into the house he hastily lighted a lantern and hur- 
ried to the beach whither he was quickly followed by 
his daughter. 

Over bristling ridges and through pommaced heaps 
of ice the}' clambered until near the line where break- 
ers gleamed white in the lantern's glare. At a short 
distance from shore a large mass of ice had grounded 
upon sunken rocks, and through the gloom was dis- 
cerned the outlines of a boat fast upon the obstruction 
and a yeast of waves breaking over it. 

"Hulloa there! Give us a line — for (Jod's sake be 

"Aye, aye," answered Mike. 

He turned to Mittie. 

"Run and get that coil of rope which hangs above 
the locker. Fly! Your limbs are more supple than 

Mittie started on her errand, instantly returning 
with a long, strong rope to one end of which was at- 
tached a piece of lead. 

Having given the signal, Mike with well directed flung the lead and line into the boat. He was then 
directed to make fast the shore end, which he did by 
carrN'ing it over the ice ridge and tying it to a tree. By 
this means tlit boat was freed from her precarious sit- 
uation and gotten ashore, but would have been crushed 


in the operation had it not been especially built for con- 
tact with ice. It was armored with steel and proved 
to be the island mail boat. After a hazardous exper- 
ience the carrier and his assistants had gained the 
shore, but were so numbed with the cold wind and 
dashing spray that they could hardly walk. 

"Come right up to my house !" exclaimed McKay 

"No, no, not yet," returned the carrier, "We've 
lost a man overboard — a passenger — we must look for 

"He was standing at the stern, helping us with a 
pike pole to shove the boat off yonder rocks, when a 
big wave heavy with ice drift carried him into the 

"I'm afraid its all day with him. He was nearly 
dead from cold and fatigue before he went over and 
would hardly be able to make much of a fight." 

"Who was the man?" queried Mike. 

"It was Santa Smith." 

The words rang confusedly through Mittie's brain. 
She was dazed but uttered no sound, and only for an 
instant paused with hands uplifted. 

"Let us look for him, let us find him !" she ex- 

The wind was driving everything shoreward, and 
dead or alive the man might be brought in on the 
breakers. A dark object floating in the water soon 
attracted attention. The object was gotten ashore. It 
proved to be the inanimate form of Santa Smith. 

The lantern flashed into the white, upturned face 
as they gathered about to examine the body. 


"He is dead," said one of the men reirretfullv. 

"There may be Hte in him yet, bring him into the 
house," suggested McKay. 

Santa was stretched upon a lounge, vigorous 
stimulants were applied to the skin and administered 
internally, but as no responsive sign was visible they 
sadly shook their heads. 

Just as the last hope had been abandoned, how- 
ever, a faint movement of the heart was detected. 
Efforts were renewed, and the men were speedily 
cheered by indications still more hopeful. 

Mittie was tremulous with emotion as she flew 
about procuring towels, blankets and other articles 
called for by the workers. 

After a time Santa opened his eyes. At that mo- 
ment Mittie was hovering near; the first face that he 
recognized was hers, and the tirst word that passed his 
lips was her name. 

She came near and in a moment their hands were 
clasped and she was weeping for joy. 

The carrier and his men had now performed their 
part, and after partaking of some needed refresh- 
ments, they loaded upon a wagon procured for the 
purpose the U. S. mail bags and other matter in their 
possession, and hastened on, leaving Mike McKay and 
his daughter to nurse the resuscitated Santa into full 
activity. Said the young man when he and the girl 
were alone: 

"I was on my way home with the mail when we 
got astray in the fog. I came back because I couldn't 
stay any longer and wanted to make up with you^ 
will you forgive me?" 


"But how about Stella Pierce?" 

"O, I just went with her because 1 was mad at 
you and wanted to show my independence. Stella 
knew it and accepted my company because she 
thought it fun to make you jealous." 

"The hussy!" exclaimed Mittie. 

"Will you forgive me?" 

For answer Mittie kissed his brow, and the old 
sweet confidence was restored. 



A mere speck on the bosom of Lake Erie 
lay the little island where opens the scene of our story. 
It contained but a few acres and the rough limestone 
which girt its irregular shores was carveninto grotesque 
shapes by the action of waves. Huge rocks split 
off from shore lifted their heads capped by gnarled 
cedars, the roots of which had taken so firm a hold that 
the fierce storms of wind and dashing surf had seemed 
to render them only more tenacious. Straggling trees 
and low scrubby bushes feathered the shores and in 
many places overhung them. 

From the far mainland shores west and north, blue 
lying in the haz}' distance, to eastward, far as the eye 
could reach, stretched the great ice plains, undulating 
and rough with their white and grey drift piled in con- 
fused masses. The scene presented was at once grand, 
yet bleak and desolate. 

In the center of the island was a single dwelling 
sheltered from raking winds by a thicket of trees. 
Within a cove, approached by a rock}' path, stood a 
roughly built shanty used for storing nets, buoys, ropes 
and other articles belonging to fishermen's tackle, and 
drawn up on the beach lay a boat. These two 
buildings were all that the island contained. Its in- 

AN ISLAND ''FAMILY Robinson:' ■ 311 

habitants were a fisherman, William Gerald, and 
family consisting of a wife, a grown daughter and a 
little child. A man who had been employed to assist 
in fishing operations during the preceding autumn lived 
with them. 

None of the adjacent islands were at that time inhab- 
ited and very often in stormy weather and when the ice 
was unsafe these people were entirely cut off from the 
world and communication therewith. Though they had 
suffered man}' disadvantages and even hardships and 
had resolved never to spend another winter on the lonely 
spot, yet undoubtedly they had been as happy and as 
contented as mankind in general. 

However, a shadow had crossed the cottage thres- 
hold and darkened its hearthstone. Little Charley, the 
pet of the household, was taken suddenly ill. The 
anxious parents did all that lay in their power, 
administering such medicines as they had, which 
they thought might prove beneficial, but their efforts 
were unavailing and the boy grew rapidly worse. 

"In the morning," said Gerald — for the child was 
taken ill in the night — "In the morning I will start for 
the mainland and try to procure a doctor." 

"I fear that it will be hard to find a doctor willing 
to risk traveling so far upon the ice," replied the wife. 

"I do not think the risk great, as the ice appears 
quite solid," answered the husband. 

When, however, the first beams of the winter sun 
illuminated the eastern verge of the great ice plains and 
shone through the cedars into the window, they fell 
upon the rigid face of a dead child. Little Charley had 
breathed his last. 


The parents were stricken with grief. Isolated as 
they were, death had found and had borne awa}- almost 
without warning their treasure. 

Long and dreary was the day following that night 
of anxious watching by the bedside of sickness and of 
death. The sun veiled itself in clouds and the skies 
bent in cold solemnity. Dressed in a robe of spotless 
white the dead child lay in his crib. The room was 
partially darkened and through the house, which had 
echoed his ringing laugh and childish prattle, reigned 
a silence unbroken save by soft footfalls and low voices, 
mingled with a sound of weeping. 

To the hearts of the mourning parents now came the 
question : 

"Where shall we find a grave for our boy? " 

"Shall we bury him in this desert little isle which 
holds no other grave and leave it alone and neg- 
lected with only the rain and dew to weep over it, 
and the voice of wind and wave alone hushing it to the 
sleep that waketh not?" 

"No," the thought was unbearable. Then they re- 
membered a burial site with white headstones, envir- 
oned amidst shrubbery, flowers and drooping willows 
across on the Canadian main where rested friends and 
relatives. In this spot they resolved to inter the re- 
mains of little Charley. 

"If we carry him to A -," observed Mr. Gerald, 

it will be necessary to set out as soon as possible. The 
trip over and back will take two days. The ice seems 
solid, but it is uncertain how long it will remain so." 

"Reuben will be ready and willing to accompany 
me and I think it best to start early tomorrow morning." 


"I hardly dare think of your going. What if any- 
thing should happen you?" said Mrs. Gerald. Then 
she thought of the void soon to be made by the removal 
of little Charley. 

"Oh! how desolate would be the darkened home." 

Mingled with her grief were misgivings con- 
cerning the safety of her husband, such as she 
had never before felt, for she was a courageous 
woman and seldom gave way to feelings of timidity. 
Long hours must elapse before she should again see her 
husband. He would be exposed to danger in crossing 
the bleak ice desert, yet this danger would not be 
greater than others to which he had often been exposed 
on previous occasions. Calling to the test all her forti- 
tude, she refused to listen to the promptings of fears 
which she endeavored to persuade herself were ground- 
less, and quietly acquiesced in her husband's plans. 

A strange funeral procession was that which earl}^ 
the next morning moved from the door of the fisher- 
man's home down to the cove where lay the boat. In 
his arms Gerald carried the dead child, wrapped in a 
blanket. He was followed by his wife and daughter 
and his hired man, Reuben Starr. 

The boat had been provided with runners and ropes 
fastened to the bow, so that it could be drawn like a 
hand sled. Reuben Starr carried a small box which he 
placed in the boat's stern, and within it was laid the 
body. The little group gathered around it and re- 
mained standing for a few minutes, while the mother 
and sister took a last look at the dead boy. Tears 
flowed freely and the silence of the parting was broken 
only by sobs. The sky was covered with sombre 


clouds; a settled gloom rested upon the underlying 
shores and pervaded the hearts of the stricken family. 
The little face was then covered away from sight. 

With a few parting words to those left behind Ger- 
ald took his place beside Reuben Starr, who held the 
ropes, and together they set forward drawing between 
them the boat and its burden. Once again an indefin- 
able dread of some ill befalling the two adventurers took 
possession of Mrs. Gerald and divided the grief she felt 
at the death of her child. She said nothing to her 
daughter in regard to these feelings and sought to drive 
them from her mind. 

Over the lake toiled the two men. There were 
smooth, slippery places where the ice looked blue and 
firm. Then they cime to narrow seams where 
water appeared. In one place a long rift of open water 
about fifty feet wide obstructed the way. Here they 
were obliged to launch the boat and pull across to the 
opposite side. In some places great cakes of ice lay 
heaped in confused masses. At other points they were 
gorged together in shattered, splintered confusion. 

Meantime the clouds grew darker and the air 
warmer. Gerald, with a slight feeling of uneasiness, 
glanced at the lowering sky, while Reuben wet his 
finger and held it up in the wind to note its direction. 

"I wish that we had brought a pocket compass," 
observed the latter. 

Gerald made no reply and the men pushed forward 
as rapidly as the peculiar roughness of the way and the 
dragging weight of the boat would permit, toward the 
faint, blue line which marked the Canadian shores. 
However, the men were apprehensive of a danger 


which those of less experience might not have foreseen. 
The wind was not blowing hard, but it had changed 
from the northeast to due west and the dense, black 
clouds along the western horizon had turned to a whitish 
grey. There were indications of a storm. Nearly 
three hours had they been on their way and the shores 
of the island were growing dim m the distance. Once 
they stopped and deliberated as to whether they had 
not better abandon the undertaking. Gerald seemed 
inclined to turn back, but Reuben Starr, who was auj. 
old sailor and had roughed it for many a year, insisted 
upon going forward. He had become hardened by ex- 
posure, was reckless of danger and his reputation for 
bravery was now at stake. After a moment's hesitation 
Gerald yielded to the old sailor's wishes and again they 
pressed forward with an energy that brought the per- 
spiration to their faces. 

Suddenly the wind arose. The heavy, grey clouds 
swept up from the horizon in a solid body, preceded by 
clouds as black as night, broken and flying in wild con- 

"Look yonder!" exclaimed Gerald, pointing west- 

A dense, filmy line of snow was sweeping toward 
them over the lake. The men came to a sudden stop. 
Gerald's face was pale and anxious, and that of his 
companion showed deeper concern than he cared to 
express in words. In a few moments the storm burst 
upon them. The air was filled with whirling snow 
flakes driven before the fierce blast. It enveloped them 
as with a shroud. The island which they had left be- 
hind and the shore line toward which they had traveled 


were entirely blotted from view. Not a point or land- 
mark remained whereby they could determine their 

"If we only had brought a compass," repeated Reu- 
ben, but they had not and now what was to be done? If 
they journeyed on without a guide they would in all pro- 
bability lose the direclion of the shore and perhaps wan- 
der from the confines of the islands- out toward the 
open sea. They decided to remain where they were. 
The storm might soon abate and they could then pro- 
ceed. But there were no indications of the storm 
abating. Not a break appeared in the solid mass of 
clcuds that covered the sky. The wind blew a steady 
gale. Their situation was becoming perilous, for if the 
wind continued at its present violence the ice was liable 
to part and break up at any time. A knowledge of 
this fact was the principal cause of anxiety on the part 
of the two men. 

Buttoning closely about them their overcoats they 
seated themselves on the edge of the boat. Having 
eaten nothing since early morning, Gerald opened a 
basket he had brought with him containing provisions, 
set it between them, and the two partook of its con- 
tents in silence. With the snow whirling around them 
they finished their repast, after which ihe time was oc- 
cupied in watching the sky and in pacing backward 
and forward near the boat's side. The hours dragged 
wearily, and impatient of their length, Reuben asked 
for the time. Gerald took out his watch. It was just 
half past two. Dropping it into his pocket, he once 
more glanced at the sky. It looked sullen and the wind 
was increasing. 


In the Clutch of the Tempest, 

The winter days ware short, and by five o'clock it 
would be dark. Had the storm then cleared the re- 
mainder of the afternoon would not have been more 
than sufficent for them to have reached their destin- 
ation. What if it continued snowing, and they should 
be compelled to remain all night in their present ex- 
posed situation. With such a wind it seemed no ques- 
tion with Gerald but that the ice must break up be- 
fore morning. 

"Should the snow cease falling might they not be 
able even in the dark to find their way by the aid of 
some friendly light," was the thought of Gerald. Then 
he remembered how wild was that portion of the Can- 
adian shore, and how few inhabitants it contained. He 
could not remember having ever seen a light upon them. 
Gerald glanced at the snow covered heap in the stern 
of the boat, thought of his dead child, and wondered 
if they might not find a grave together in the cruel 
waters that lay beneath. 

Still the snow descended, the wind increased and 
hope grew faint in the hearts of the solitary watchers. 

The suspense became unendurable. 

"It seems useless to wait," said Gerald. There 
may be a chance of making land at some point, and if 
we do not, we can certainly make our situation no 
worse than it is. 

Reuben expressed the same opinion, and they con- 
tinued on in the direction towards which the boat still 
headed, but as to whether they kept their course or 


gradually deviated and wandered from it they never 

Wearily onward they trudged through the snow 
which was getting quite deep, but thought not of rest, 
nor lingered for a moment. The increasing gloom 
warned them that night was coming on. Thick and 
fast fell the shades. They stumbled blindly over 
rough surfaces, with the relentless flakes flying about 
them like vultures. Who could tell, perhaps each 
moment bore them farther away from the shore which 
they were striving to reach, out toward the open where 
storm and darkness centered. 

Suddenly, an ominous grinding roar was heard. 
The men glanced quickly at each other and stopped to 
listen. Again the sound was repeated. 

"It is coming," said Gerald. 

•'We may as well prepare for the worst." 

Night impenetrable with snow, and darkness shut 
in this desolate scene. The demons of the storm were 
abroad and unrestrained were their orgies. The 
travelers had come to a dead halt, when they felt the 
ice lift beneath their feet. There were grating, 
crushing noises upon every side. The worst had come. 
The ice had parted and they were adrift. 

Reuben seized a hammer, loosened the temporary 
runners from the boat, and got it in readiness for use 
at a moment's notice. The din of crashing ice grew 
louder. They could not determine the size of the floe 
upon which they stood, but it was moving rapidly; ris- 
ing, falHng, quivering beneath them, like the deck of a 
storm tossed vessel. They drifted for an hour or more 
when the floe upon which they were, broke, but a com- 


paratively small piece holding intact. They took their 
places at the oars, and prepared for a contest with the 
crushing ice and thundering waves. Showers of spray 
filled the air. They were lifted upcn the crest of a gi- 
gantic billow, then plunged again into the trough of the 
sea. The remainder of the floe was shivered to pieces 
and the boat nearly capsized. When it righted again 
they were tossing in the midst of the waves. 

It would be aifficult to describe the fierce struggle 
that ensued, or to recount the horrors of the long night 
that followed, durmg which the frail boat was driven 
by the tempest and threatened momentarily with de- 
struction by the drifting ice. As by a miracle, how- 
ever, they weathered the storm until the dawn of 
morning. About mid-night the snow had ceased 
falling, and stars came out into the sky, but the wind 
continued blowing as furiously as ever. They had 
been drifting with the ice down the lake all night; and 
now clearly outlined made out the rough, dark shores 
of a projecting headland some two miles distant. 

The oil suits of the two men were covered thick 
with frozen spray. The water had penetrated their 
undergarments, they were numbed with cold, and al- 
most exhausted. With their fast failing strength was 
it possible to pull through the gleaming white breakers 
and icy drift and reach shore? The wind was in their 
favor, though the sea was tremendous. Sighting 
a low sandy beach indenting a line of broken rocks, 
they exerted all their remaining strength, and pulled 
towards it. About half the distance was accomplish- 
ed, when they were struck by a huge wave, ice loaded. 
There was a crash, and the shattered boat capsized. 


A cry rose from the water. The men were struggling 
m the merciless waves. 

Gerald seized the railing of the boat and looked 
for his companion, but saw only the shrouded form of 
his dead child float away and disappear beneath the 
wav^es. The stark, white face was turned towards 
him, and in that instant Gerald realized that the living 
and the dead had alike found graves beneath the 
relentless waves. A chill of horror froze the blood in 
his veins and his heart stood still. He clutched the 
boat with both hands, and his stiffening fingers held on 
with the terrible grip of the drowning. Blindness 
came over him. A confused din was in his ears which 
growing fainter died away. Gerald was unconscious. 

^ ^ ^ -l^ ^ ^ 

On the etremity of L Point stood a hut where 

lived an aged hermit. The morning after the storm the 
old man had risen early and repaired to the shore for 
a pail of water. The rocks were high and the waves 
beat up against their base. With a rope he let down 
the pail and drew it up filled with water. He set it 
down for a moment to watch the driving surf, when 
his attention was attracted by a broken boat washed 
upon a narrow beach at the foot of the cliffs. A strange, 
dark object was fastened to it. Clambering down the 
icy rocks, he approached the boat. 

Clinging to it with both hands was the apparently 
lifeless body of a man. On examination, the old man 
thought that he detected a faint flutter about the heart 
indicating that life was not altogether extinct. There 
was an ugly cut on the side of the head, and blood had 
frozen in the hair. 

He unfastened the closely locked fingers from the 


boat, and half carried, half dragged the man up the 
rocks, stopping at intervals to rest for the ascent was 

A hot fire blazed on the cabin hearth, and the old 
man laid his burden on a couch close beside it. For 
some time he worked over his charge, using every re- 
storative at command, and by degrees the patient re- 
vived and began breathing regularly. He opened feebly 
his eyes and spoke a few words, but they were discon- 
nected and denoted mental derangement. For twelve 
weeks William Gerald —for he it was — lay in a critical 
condition, suffering from injuries that threatened both 
life and reason. He raved day and night, and talked in- 
cessantly and incoherently. 

At last there came a lime when the fevered state of 
his mind grew more calm, and a deep, long sleep sue" 
ceec'ed. When he awoke, reason was restored and 
with it the remembrance of events which had occurred? 
and through which he had been brought to his present 
condition. His first inquiry was for Reuben Starr, but 
they could tell him nothing concerning his companion's 

On the following day a child's remains, with the 
tattered fragments of a white shroud clinging to them 
were washed ashore. They were brought to the cabin, 
and although much disfigured were recognized by 
Gerald as those of little Charley, and subsequently 
buried in a little graveyard on the point. 

Despite his restlessness, the invalid grew stronger 
each day, for he was deeply concerned about his wife 
and daughter alone and in exile all those dreary weeks 
and months. 


Yielding to t^ e continued petitions of liis patient, 
the attending physcian gave him permission at last to 
return to his island home, after cautioning him to be 
very careful. 

Before starting, Gerald visited the new made grave 
and planted flowers upon it and a tree at its head, for 
spring had come. 

* * * * * * * 

The anxiety and suspense endured by the two 
women in their lonely situation during those long, winter 
months, can well be imagined. 

The terrible snow-storm, with the breaking up of 
the ice coming when ii did, had aroused serious appre- 
hension for the safety of the absent ones. 

As days went by and weeks succeeded, the fears 
that haunted the two women increased. That the 
men were lost in the ice grew into an awful certainty. 
Had they been living they could and would have re- 
turned. All hope of ever seeing her husband died 
from the heart of Mrs. Gerald, and now as their 
winter's stock of provisions was nearly exhausted, how 
were they to obtain help? Not a sail as yet had come 

One bright Aiay morning at last, on glancing from 
the window, Mrs, Gerald sighted a small schooner 
standing directly for the island. She was overjoyed, 
but after a moment's reflection concluded that the ves- 
sel must be on a long tack and would soon shift her 
course. Fastening a white cloth to a pole the woman 
ran to the shore, determined, if possible, to signal those 
on board. The schooner was still several miles distant, 
but the wind was fair and blowing fresh and sharp and 


she bore down without deviating a single point. In a 
short time she lay just off the island. The white cloth 
fluttered from shore. The ves'sel hove to, let go 
her anchor and lowering a boat, a number of men 
climbed into it and pulled for the island. 

Did her eyes deceive her? Who was the man in 
the bow of the yawl bearing so strong a resemblance 
to her dead husband? With her daughter she hurried 
to the spot where the boat was about to land. As it 
touched, the man in the bow sprang ashore. 

"William!" Mrs. Gerald rushed toward her hus- 
band — for it was he — and fell fainting into his arms. 

Gerald had taken passage on a vessel bound for the 
upper lakes. Having previously stated his story to the 
kind hearted captain, the latter, touched with sym- 
pathy, agrd*ed to land him upon this island, although it 
lay wide of the vessel's course. However, the joy of 
the meeting between those so long separated by cir- 
cumstances, so fraught with danger and uncertainty, 
more than compensated the good captain for his trouble- 
As soon as he could make the necessary arrange- 
ments, William Gerald removed his famil}^ and effects to 
Canada. Trusting no longer to the uncertain chances 
of wind and wave, he became a well-to-do farmer. 
The family liv'ed happy and contented among relatives 
and friends, but the recollection of experiences here 
narrated sometimes came back in hideous night-mare 
forms to haunt their sleeping visions. 

Since then many a long year has passed. Times 
have changed and life seems everywhere; yet, lying on 
the bosom of this inland sea, the little island remains 
the same isolated speck, lonely and desolate as of yore. 


A Story of Rattlesnake Island. 

It is remarkable what large sized romances small 
bits of territory are capable of producing under favorable 
conditions. Though containing but ten or twelve acres, 
Rattle><nake island forms the scene of quite an interest- 
ing episode along this line. 

The island lies about two miles to the northeast of 
Put-in-Bay. Its surface, partially covered with forest 
fringe and red cedar, is broken by outcropping beds of 
limestone. In shape it is elongated with a hump in 
the middle, and two islets — mere dots — at the tail end, 
known as the "rattles." V^iewed from a distance, a 
lively imagination may readily resolve this dark couch- 
ant body of land outlined against the turquoise blue of 
Erie into a gigantic rattlesnake, with head erect and 
rattles in working order. From its peculiar form- 
ation the island is generally supposed to have derived 
its name, though some assert that the appellation was 
bestowed in consequence of the illimitable quantities of 
rattlesnakes which rendezvoused in and among the 
creviced and broken rocks. From these fastnesses 
they were wont to wriggle forth into aggressive promi- 
nence, hissing and clicking their spite, and whipping 
the earth and surrounding vegetation, until everything 
looked blue. Many "vets" were numbered among 
the reptilian hosts, regular old sockers with whole 

CASTA WA V. 325 

strings of rattles. So thick were they it is avowed — 
that a man couldn't walk without treading upon three 
or four of the "varmints" at every step — this in the 
halcyon days of yore. At a later date the enterprising 
community of snakes here represented materially les- 
sened in numbers, until comparatively few remain to 
adorn the spot named in their honor. 

An able accessory in the dispersion of this reptile 
colony was undoubtedly vested in the brawn and 
muscle of the proprietor, whom for convenience we will 
call "Hank Smith," who with his family located on the 
island. Old Hank wasn't afraid of rattlesnakes evi- 
dently, and prided himself manifestly on owning and 
occupying with his household gods a whole island, 
which if not very big, was at least far enough re- 
moved from adjacent isles to afford ample seclusion. 
So at least he imagined, and so in reality it might 
have proven but for the obstrusive fact that the old 
codger possessed several comely daughters, and since 
"love laughs at locksmiths," traverses distances im- 
measurable and achieves impossibilities of all sorts, 
this blind but ever active imp was not long in finding 
his way to Rattlesnake island. 

Celia, the eldest, was an attractive maiden with 
eyes that matched the color of the sea and sky and 
hair a fluff of golden brown. She was lithe and active, 
free and fearless, revelling like a duck in adventures on 
the water. She was an expert at fishing and fowling, 
could manipulate a pair of oars with admirable skill, 
and with a light skiff was accustomed to cross fre- 
quently the two miles stretch that intervened between 
Rattlesnake and Put-in-Bay. 


At the latter place she speedily became the attrac- 
tion of a youthful fisherman who crossed her path — 
whom we will call Tom Taylor. After this there was 
no more peace for Rattlesnake. From time to time it 
was haunted by a spectral sail which circled about 
the island, edging nearer and nearer at each cruise, 
until one day it lay beached close by the "grout" 
house of Hank Smith. At beck of the little winged 
god Tom Taylor and his boat had followed the charmer 
to her rocky retreat. This being his first experience in 
courtship, however, Tom proved a bit fresh and his 
bashfulness was excruciating. His feeble advances 
were regarded with apparent disfavor, the coy maiden 
turning a deaf ear to his importunities, until in blank 
despair he shook the dust of Rattlesnake from his feet. 
The spectral sail retreated over the water returning 
no more that season to haunt the mirrored coves of 
the little, lone isle. 

Tom Taylor "darned" and "gol-darned" his luck 
and the girl, and wished himself and her in — well, in 
a clime too hot for health and comfort. 

Having thus abandoned schemes matrimonial, he 
returned to his work of inveigling into nets of tarred 
twine the unsuspecting finny tribes, an occupation with 
which he was more familiar than that of love making. 

One early spring day, some months following the 
collapse of Tom's love affair, a terrible squall, such as 
sometimes swoops down unannounced upon the islands, 
struck Put-in-Bay with a force that twisted limbs from 
the trees and sent the tumbled seas spouting up the 

Lookino; from her window an old woman who oc- 


cupied a cottage on East Point thought she espied a 
small boat far out on the lake driving eastward before 
the gale. From a shelf she snatched a pair of marine 
glasses through which she took a second observation. 
Yes, the boat was evidently drifting at the mercy of the 
wind and current. Not an oar was in motion. Only 
a single occupant could be discerned and that was a 
female. With breathless haste the old woman rushed 
to a little cove where stood a fish shanty. Within an 
angle of the L shaped dock several boats lay moored, 
and two fishermen attired in 3'ellow oil skins and Sou'- 
westers were coal tarring twine over a smoking kettle. 
One of these individuals proved to be our friend Tom 
Taylor. Tom took the marine glasses proffered by 
the scared old woman, and through them examined 
the drifting boat. 

"Blast my buttons if it aint a woman!" he ex- 
claimed. With two or three long strides he reached 
and began unfastening a boat. 

"What you goin' to do ?" demanded his companion. 
"Going to pick up that skiff; come on Jim." 
Jim demurred, urging that no boat could live long 
in such a sea, and that it was foolhardy to venture- 
Tom, however, would take no denial, and with 
serious misgivings Jim was finally persuaded to take a 
hand at the oars. Under the double pull the boat 
plunged into the boiling surf. It was a hard struggle 
and many times the boat barely escaped swamping in 
the heavy sea that struck her, but at last the castaway 
was overtaken. As they approached the woman 
stretched appealing hands toward them and Tom turned 
in his seat to get a square look at her. 

328 CASTA IVA K ^ 

"Great Scott!" The beaded perspiration on his 
brow now began streaming down his cheeks. It was 
Celia, she who had so cruelly jilted him. But all dif- 
ferences were forgotten when life and death hung poised 
in the balance. The drifting boat was nearly filled 
with water and it seemed as if every sea would sub- 
merge it, but the boat and Celia were both rescued 
and landed upon the lee side of a projecting headland. 
Celia was drenched through and through. Her hair 
hung in strings, her clothing clung closely about her, 
and altogether she looked as picturesque as a ducked 

'You may thank Tom here for your salvation," re- 
marked Jim, turning to the fair but dilapidated Celia. 

"I never see a woman yit that I thought more of 
than I do of my own individual self, an' if Tom hadn't 
shamed me out, I expect he'd awent alone and you'd 
both gone to Davy Jones." 

Now that they had reached land, the rough old 
fisherman had removed his boots and was draining off 
the water that had collected in them. 

The girl made no reply, but from under dripping 
locks she beamed upon Tom a smile the most heart- 
some and approving that he had ever received. 

In answer to anxious questions Celia explained that 
when midway between the two islands a rowlock 
had become detached and fallen overboard, rendering 
the oars useless, and being overtaken by the squall she 
had drifted until discovered and rescued. 

Celia found shelter with some friends at Put-in-Bay 
until the next morning, when the gale having died, she 
was restored to her anxious parents by Tom Taylor in 


person. She was not much worse for the wetting and 
scare received and was appropriately subdued in man- 
ner, treating Tom with uniform kindness and evidently 
regarding him as a hero. 

Old Hank received him with effusive demonstra- 
tions and insisted upon his remaining for the day as an 
honored guest, placing before him in the way of enter- 
tainment the best that his larder afforded. 

Celia behaved beautifully and it will hardly be 
necessary to tell of all the little flirtations successfully 
prosecuted by the young couple during that brief day. 

In the evening as Tom was about taking his depar- 
ture, his host clapped him on the shoulder and said: 

"Young man, if it hadn't been for you my girl 
would now be drifting down Lake Erie a corpse instead 
of sitting here. You've saved her life and now I don't 
know how I am to pay you for the trouble, unless 
you're willin' to take her." 

A wave of scarlet suddenly swept over Tom's face, 
extending clear to the roots of his red hair, while the 
girl looked the picture of confusion. 

"Why, dad! " she exclaimed. 

Tom succeeded after a mighty effort in gaining his 
composure, and after clearing his throat said that if the 
old man was "willin' " and the girl was "wiUin' " he 
guessed he'd call it "square." The girl nodded; the 
old man said "all right," and promised to throw in the 
boat as a part of the bargain. So before the ice fields 
blocked the island passages there was a wedding on 
Rattlesnake and Tom bore away his bride in triumph. 

One by one old Hank Smith was robbed of his 
daughters and he eventually left the island himself, 

330 CASTA WA Y. 

and another "Family Robinson" who succeeded him 
now occupies the place. 

Tom Taylor multiplied and increased as years 
swept on and now rejoices, with his "better half" in 
an ample share of this world's emoluments. 



As a field for the development of novel and enter- 
taining adventures like those of "Robinson Crusoe," 
and the "Swiss Family Robinson," or a fancy tickling 
bit of romance like that of "Foul Play," a Httle, lone 
island in the sea is quite the thing, and in material for 
productions of this kind the Erie archipelago is 

Mere dots as they are on the broad bosom of an 
inland sea, the reminiscent lore attaching to the 
smaller islets dating from their early history is in- 

While too limited in extent to afford room for more 
than a few occupants at a time, the fact that so many 
individuals singly, or as families, should have sought 
at various times the seclusion of bounds so narrow^ is 
a matter of surprise. Instances of the occupation of 
each by single families have been numerous, while 
correspondingly marked has been the tendency toward 
Crusoe life. 

As will be seen on reference to the map, the 
islands in question are scattered promiscuously among 
the larger members of the group, and may be enum- 
erated as East, West and Middle Sisters, Green Island, 
Rattlesnake, "Gull," "Sugar," "Mouse," "Lost Bal- 
last," "Hen and Chickens," North Harbor, Middle 
Island, "Buckeye," and "Starve" islands. 


As a light-house station, Middle island, situated in 
Canadian waters south of Point Au Pelee and contain- 
ing but a few acres, has formed for many years the 
abode of a whole series of government employes 
whose main occupation it has been to kindle and keep 
burning through nights of storm and darkness the 
lights within its grey old tower, occupying in turn 
with their families or alone the one modest dwelling 
which the island contains. 

Drawing from their personal experiences, the light- 
keepers of Middle island have contributed in ample 
measure to stories of adventure, and often of hardship 
and privation incidental to a life so isolated. 

On one occasion a bass fishing party on an ex- 
tended cruise approached the shores of Middle island. 
The party had observed two women watching from 
the shore and giving signs of distress. On landing 
they found near the stone-towered light-house a dwell- 
ing occupied by the keeper and his family. The 
former was suffering tortures from a broken ankle — 
the result of an accident three weeks previous. When 
first broken, the limb had been bandaged and treated 
by a mainland physician, but had since received no 
medical attention, and from appearances the case was 
Hkely to involve a sacrifice either of life or Hmb. 

The family were in reduced circumstances and, cut 
off from communication with the outside world, no 
help could be obtained. The party did what they 
could toward temporarily relieving the unfortunate 
man and in supplying the wants of his family, and as 
soon as it could \)e procured, the necessary medical aid 
was dispatched to the sufferer. 


On yet another occasion a solitary occupant of the 
island during the winter season was taken seriously ill 
and lay for several days uncared for, his only medi- 
cines comprising a few simple herbs, his only com- 
panion a dog. 

In like manner the keepers of Green island light 
have had during the years intervening, since the build- 
ing of the first light-house upon its shores, many haps 
and mishaps which if woven into story would make 
interesting reading. An occurrence most notable in 
the history of Green Island was the burning in 1864 of 
the light-house above mentioned, an account of which 
is elsewhere given in this volume. 

A fine, new structure since erected has been for 
several years under the superintendence of Joseph 
Gibeaut and family, who by means of a snug little 
naphtha launch — The "Twilight" — make connection 
between its shores and Put-in-Ba}-. The island has 
had also its Crusoe dwellers. 

For a number of years rocky little Rattlesnake 
was inhabited by a family bearing the name of Ham- 
mond, but now forms the summer residence of Capt. 
Freyense, of Sandusky, who annually repairs thither 
with his famil^^ A romantic interest attaches to the 

The "Sister" islands have rejoiced each in its 
solitary occupation from time to time by one or more 
individuals, and the past history of the trio is redolent 
of reminiscent lore, the repetition of which sounds like 

According to tradition there lived on one of the 
Sisters in early days a fisherman and his family, to- 


gether with a man employed by the former. They 
endeavored to accommodate themselves to the situa- 
tion, and no serious difficulty had as yet overtaken 
them until in the midst of a long, tedious winter a 
child was taken suddenly and seriously ill, and died 
before medical aid could be procured. 

Unwilling to bury their little one uncoffined upon 
the lonely isle were the parents, and accoidingly the 
two men set out across the ice, bearing with them the 
dead child. On the way they were struck by a heavy 
gale, the ice broke up, the adverturers were caught 
and lost in the running ice and together the three bodies 
were swept down the lake. 

Left alone on the island mother and daughter 
awaited anxiously the return of the absent ones, but 
waited in vain. 

Two or three months afterward with opening nav- 
igation a vessel chanced to be cruising near the island 
and was signalled by the distressed women. They 
were found to be in destitute circumstances, and the 
story of their desolate sojourn under circumstances so 
fraught with anxiety and grief, was one of harrowing 

For many years after the settlement of the princi- 
pal islands, the "Hen and Chickens," lying north of 
the Bass group, were uninhabited. The "Hen" was 
finally settled by one Captain Blanchard, who came to 
be known as "the hermit of the old Hen." Unlike the 
proverbial recluse. Captain Blanchard was an able man 
financially and his hermitage formed a quiet, but very 
comfortable retreat, in which during the summer season 
he received and entertained many friends from a dis- 



tance. Tired at last of his solitary life Captain Blan- 
chard sold cl e "Hen" and her brood to a party of San- 
dusky gentlemen. An elegant and commodious struc- 
ture was erected near the site of the hermitage and 
christened — "Quinnebog Club House," and semi an- 
nually its members repair thither to fish for black bass 
and run wild. 

Photo by Joo, Die!z, Sandusky, 

For a time the onl}-^ inhabitant of "Ballast" was 
"Uncle Jimmy," who occupied a humble cot and posed 
as monarch of all he surveyed, until after the pui chase 
of the island by Cleveland parties and subsequent 
erection of a club house and cottages. 

"Sugar," containing an area of about fourteen acres 
lying between Middle and North Bass, possesses varied 


attractions and is favored as the resort of camping 
and fishing parties. 

Concerning "Mouse" island a visiting journalist 
thus writes : 

♦'It is a little crem of an island on the south shore of 
Lake Erie just a stone's throw from Catawba Island. 
May it be your good fortune to see it by moonlightj 
with Green island light blinking sleepily over the port 
quarter. Then see it with each leaf in the gentle 
silhouette. Here are bays and capes in miniature, and 
pretty little harbors where fairy fleets might an- 

"From Catawba Island the telegraph cable takes a 
long leap — stops a moment at "Mouse" island and 
then plunges into the lake to go to Put-in-Bay. The 
happy swallows gather on the wire in August before 
their trip to the South and talk over the coming jour- 
ney, all unconscious of the messages under their feet, 
messages of births and deaths and marriages that shall 
make the heart flutter, many a cheek to pale or flush 
at Put-in-Bay. What do the swallows care? Robins 
too shall sing a sunset carol for you on the wire, and 
you may sink to sleep with the echo of his gentle ves- 
per in your ears." 

"You might have seen Perry start out from here 
several years ago with his fleet. How queer those 
old vessels would look now!" 

"On this shelving beach many and many a time has 
the bark canoe of the Indian grated. Here he was ab- 
sorbed in thoughts of his spirit, and here too he pro- 
bably absorbed a great deal too much spirit, after the 
white man came." 


' "If you do go to Mouse island this summer, the 
memory of it shall have its halo for you." 

Mouse island — it may be added — has won distinc- 
tion as having once been the property of ex-Prest. 
Rutherford B. Hayes- 
Concerning " Catawba island " — it may here 
be stated that it is not an island, but rather a peninsula. 
It is therefore outside the territorial boundaries in- 
cluded in this volume. However, it may not be out 
of place to state incidentally that the locality is noted 
for its interesting reminiscences of aboriginal occupancy 
and early pioneer days, as well as for its extensive 
orchards, especially peaches, and for its desirability as 
a quiet, restful summer resort. 

"Gull" formed in early days a resort both for 
sea-gulls which repaired thither in flocks to lay their 
eggs in the sand, and for adventurers who went to 
gather them, 

"Buckeye" and "Lost Ballast" are gems in mini- 
ature. Only fifteen or twenty years ago the latter was 
an extension of Ballast island proper, from which it 
was cut by the wear of waves, and is now separated by 
a sweep of water. Covered with trees and shrub- 
berry, this tiny islet — subsequenlly named "Lost Bal- 
last" — forms an emerald setting in the blue water. 

"Starve" island is said to have taken its name from 
the melancholy fact that somewhere about the open- 
ing of the present century a sailor got stranded there- 
on, where he starved to death. The skeleton of the 
unfortunate man was afterwards found bleaching upon 
its barren shore. 


Starve island forms a mass of rock and scant veg- 
etation and its adjacent reefs are known as danger 
points and carefully shunned by cruising vtssels. It 
boasts not even a Crusoe, and was recently purchased 
by Cincinnati capitalists, who, it is said, propose es- 
tablishing thereon an asylum for decayed politicans. 


Thrilling: Story of the Burningf of Green Island Light 
House in ^64. 

"That cold New Year's night," is the 
way the old folks put it when they refer 
to the time wherein occurred the events 
here narrated. The night was that of 
the outgoing of '63 and the incoming of 
'64, and is remembered as the coldest ever 
known in this country. Among the is- 
lands, exposed as they are to the fierce blasts which 
sweep Lake Erie, this particular cold snap was 
especially noted. 

December 31, 1863, was mild as an April day^ 
Heavy rains had fallen, filling ditches and lowlands 
with water, while the lake was entirely free from ice. 
With the cessation of the rain, however, a gale sprang 
up from the Northwest which steadily increased in 
violence. As darkness fell and night advanced, 
the sea rose in its strength and swept the shores with 
a deafening roar. The gale became terrific in force 
and its breath cut like daggers, so that pedestrians 
along the island roads could scarcely face it. Within a 
few hours the mercury dropped from 60 degrees above 
to 25 degrees below zero. 

At Doller's Hall on Put-in-Bay, a party of young 


people had assembled to dance "the old year out, and 
the new in," but owing to the extreme cold they had 
deserted the dancing floor and had formed a gathering 
around the stove. Suddenly the group was startled by 
a glimmer which shot up over the tree-tops, faintly 
illuminating the windows of the hall. 

"It's the moon, rising," suggested one. But no, 
there was no moon, and in a moment a bright flame 
arose, mounting higher and higher, while the sky was 
a lurid glare of light. A few moments later came the 

"Green Island light-house is on fire!" 

This intelligence struck a chill to the hearts of all who 
realized its import to the isolated keeper and his family 
on that bitter night; for in the wild storm raging 
without, the boiling sea and the midnight darkness, 
no human aid could reach them. 

While at Put-in-Bay the alarm was spreading, Col- 
onel Drake, the light-keeper at Green Island, and his 
family were gathered in the sitting-room of the cottage 
which flanked the tower, and formed a part of the 
structure. The hour was late. They were watching 
the old year out. No apprehension of danger came to 
them until above the roar of the wind they heard the 
crackling of flames. A moment later the whole upper 
portion of the building was discovered to be all ablaze. 

With characteristic coolness Colonel Drake attired 
himself in boots, hat, and overcoat before making iny 
attempt to fight the fire, but seized with consternation 
his wife and daughter rushed at once from the house — 
the latter bareheaded, barearmed, and with feet pro- 
tected only by thin stockmgs and slippers. 


By means of a ladder Colonel Drake mounted to 
the roof with a pail of water. Miss Drake caught up a 
pail in each hand, and filling them from the lake 
passed them to her mother by whom they were carried 
up the ladder to the burning roof where the keeper 
was making a brave effort to stay the flames. 

Over thirty pails of water were in this manner 
transferred to the roof, but though they worked with 
the energy of despair the fire steadily gained and Col- 
onel Drake was forced to beat a retreat down the 

The family now turned their attention to the saving 
of their valuables, some of which were secured, but 
already the interior of the house was burning and 
smoke met them at the door in stifling volumes. A 
sudden thought of his family's precarious condition 
almost turned the brain of Colonel Drake. Unless he 
could succeed in saving a bed or two with which to 
protect them from the intense cold, they must inevitably 
perish, since no assistance could reach them from ad- 
jacent islands until the sea went down. He darted 
into the burning structure. Tongues of flame licked 
his face, singed hair and beard, and the smoke blinded 
and choked him. With a desperate bound he gained 
the door of an adjacent room. The flames had already 
communicated to this apartment, but the bed was still 
untouched. Upon it was a tick filled with feathers 
and another with straw. Hsstily rolling them into a 
comforter, he shouldered the bundle and succeeded 
narrowly in making an exit from his perilous situation. 
The scene now presented was one of the wildest 
grandeur. Blown by the howling blast, the fire surged, 


and roared, and by its vivid light could be seen 
line after line of white breasted waves rushing 
tumultuously shoreward, and breaking with a thunder- 
ing sound at the base of the tower. Clouds of blind- 
ing surf mounted thirty feet into the air and showered 
upon the steps, freezing as it fell, and forming a glar- 
ing pavement of ice upon the very threshold of the 
burning structure. Wind and sea, fire and darkness 
had united, and seemed to vie each with each other in 
painting a picture of savage sublimity. 

To the houseless family the situation was one of 
horror. Under strong, nervous pressure Miss Drake 
had exhibited unwonted endurance, but when nothing 
more could be done, strength deserted her and she 
sank into an almost insensible condition. An exami- 
nation revealed the fact that her ears, arms and legs 
were frozen stiff. The bed was removed to an out- 
house which remained standing, and with father and 
mother the girl was tucked carefully between the ticks, 
and thus through the remaining hours of the night 
they endeavored to keep each other warm. 

Pitt Drake, son of the light-keeper, was at Put-in- 
Bay, having formed one of the party assembled at 
Doller's Hall. Frenzied with apprehension concern- 
ing the fate of his kindred, the young man could hardly 
be restrained during the night from setting out by boat 
for Green Island — an undertaking which could have 
resulted only in his being drowned. 

With the dawn of New Year's day came a lull in 
the storm. The unprecedented cold had thickened the 
waters of the channel with slush ice and frozen drift, 
and although a heavy sea was still rolling a few miles 


beyond, the channel between the two islands was be- 
coming rapidly crusted with thin ice. 

Pitt Drake was now determined to hazard a passage 
to Green Island, two miles distant, and in the enter- 
prise was re-inforced by a number of hardy and coura- 
geous men. Two cutters were procured, together 
with ropes, pike poles and several long planks. The 
ice was not sufficiently strong to bear men and cutters, 
and the way was bridged with planks which were pro- 
jected forward and each as it was passed over was 
taken up to be again placed in position. Several times 
the shifting and sinking of these planks threatened 
disaster, but the party reached their destiuation with- 
out serious mishap. 

With a feeling of dread Pitt Drake now approached 
the smoldering ruins of the light house. No signs of 
life were visible: the liitle island seemed empty and 

Had the family perished in the flames, or had they 
suffered the slower agony of death b}^ freezing? 

While with a beating heart he sought for a solution 
of this problem, a shout was heard from the outbuild- 
ing — the only one which the island now contained. The 
unfortunates had been discovered, and in a moment 
young Drake had clasped the hands of his kindred and 
was shedding tears of gladness and relief unspeak- 
able. The family was removed to Put-in-Bay — by 
means of the cutters employed — where they were 
taken in and cared for at the nearest habitation. They 
were all more or less prostrated, and medical aid was 
summoned for Miss Drake whose sufferings from the 
exposure of the previous night were terrible. Col. 


Drake also suffered both from the cold and from burns 

The Drake family subsequently removed to the 
mainland. Thirty-five years have passed since the oc- 
currence here recorded. Green Island lighthouse was 
substantially rebuilt at a later date by the U. S. gov- 
ernment, but the old residents of neighboring islands 
have never forgocten the night when the original 
structure went up in flame and smoke. 

'^ "V 

The ^^Lost Atlantis" of Lake Erie, 

Photo by J. J.Stran»hati. 

While cogitating over the strange but not impos- 
sible story told by Ignatius Donnelly of a "Lost At- 
lantis," it is a question whether the average island 
dweller of the present generation realizes that within 
the Nineteenth century a Lake Erie "Atlantis" has 
disappeared, neck and heels beneath the waves. 

Through local reminiscence and scientific record 


we are informed that an island more than a mile long, 
one half mile wide and from twenty to twenty-five feet 
high, formerly extended across the mouth of Sandusky 
bay. Fertile meadow was there seen and trees meas- 
urinsf two and one-half feet in diameter. But where 
once flourished the island and its products now roll the 
billows of Erie. 

From this and other circumstances, naturally lead- 
ing to such a conclusion, Prof. Moseley of Sanduv^ky, 
who has thoroughly studied the lake region, deduces 
the theory that the lake bed is gradually becoming 
tilted, or elevated at its eastern extremity, causing a 
rise in the average level of its head waters and corres- 
ponding submergence as indicated. Since, however, 
old navigators and others are inclined to ascribe this 
island's disappearance to the wear of strong currents 
and beat of storms. Prof. Moseley seeks to establish his 
theory by the results of further investigation, calling 
attention to the well known fact that in the caves of 
Put-in-Bay, the subterranean waters of which rise and 
fall with the lake, stalagmites not only but stalacites 
are found attached to the floor and roofs of submerged 
caverns; the latter five feet below the present lake level. 
For these to form in water would be an impossibility 
and their position as indicated show, according to Prof. 
Moseley, a rise of the water, though other theorists 
might ascribe the circumstance to a shifting and settling 
of the honey combed rocks. 

Large quantities of submerged timber found in the 
extensive marshlands bordering the lake shores in the 
vicinity of the islands likewise indicate a rise of at least 
eight feet, and the submerged channels of rivers and 


Streams in the same vicinity show a rise of at least 
thirty-two feet. These facts are given by Prof. Mose- 
ley as proofs of a gradual rise of the waters. If the 
above theory is correct, then instead of wearing away 
and draining Lake Erie to the compass of a stream, as 
certain other theorists have predicted, Niagara Falls 
may become tilted to such a degree as to finally pre- 
clude the egress of the lake waters, which in conse- 
quence will continue rising and extending, submerging 
the lowlands along its shores and the islands at its cen- 
ter until, filled to overflowing, they will seek an outlet 
southward from the lake basin to the valley of the 

This then seems the fate in store for both island and 
mainland at the head of Lake Erie, unless averted by 
a change in the earth's structural program. However, 
in the event of such a calamity, it is safe to infer that 
the present inhabitants will not be there to suffer from 
the consequent drowning out. 

Concerning the lake archipelago. Prof. G. Frederick 
Wright, the noted scientist of Oberlin college, refers to 
the region as "one of the most interesting on the 
American continent," forming as it does a most im- 
portant geological boundary. 

Prominent among features of interest may be noted 
the fact that the islands are what remain above the 
present lake level of a long, narrow upheaval known as 
the "Cincinnati Anti-Clinal," which appeared when all 
the rest of the United States was still under the ocean. 
Further concerning this formation, an authority states 
as follows: 

"A local and peculiar upheaval in this ridge, of which 


Put- in-Bay is near the center, brought up a formation 
of the rocky structure geologically lower than the sur- 
rounding portions of the ridge. The portion thus 
brought up and which constitutes the under rocks of 
Put-in-Bay island, is known as the water line of the 
Niagara group, and is literally honeycombed with 
caves. It is no exaggeration to say that under almost 
every acre of this island exists one of these cavernous 
places. The upheaval-formed arches and the settling 
down of unsupported strata formed rooms with roofs 
and floors." 

Since in the past the lake islands have formed the 
center of subterranean disturbances of a local character, 
so they may and probably do still form such, as evi- 
denced by a slight, but very perceptible earthquake 
shock which visited them only a half dozen years ago. 
On this occasion the disturbance proved local, center- 
ing as near as could be ascertained at Isle St. George^ 
but extending across the lake and touching the shores 
on both sides. In view of these conditions, residents of 
the more nervous and imaginative sort have at times 
fancied themselves dwelling over Tophet and have lived 
in fear of an early collapse of the islands and submerg- 
ence beneath the waters of Erie. 

The caves of Put-in-Bay area never ceasing wonder 
alike to the scientist and lover of adventure, both of 
whom seek from time to time to explore their mysteries 
and whole chapters might be written of the thrilling 
experiences in the Plutonian darkness of chambers and 
passages leading —nobody knows whither. All, or 
nearly all, of these caverns contain miniature lakes and 
channels of cold, clear water, connecting with Lake 



Photo b.v J. J. Straimhan. 

Erie and are generally conceded to be ancient water 

The subterranean drainage of the island is remarked 
in the caverns not only, but in the cellars and wells, the 
former becoming flooded when the wind is east and the 
lake level high; the latter regularly rising and falling 
with the lake. 

So far as revealed by exploration. Perry's cave is the 
largest on the island. This cave is nearly forty feet 
below the surface. It is 200 feet long, 165 feet wide, 
and has an average height of seven feet. Though 
spanned by a single arch the interior has standing 
room upon its floors for 8,000 persons. The roof was 


formerly studded thick with stalactites, but these have 
nearly all been broken off and carried away by speci- 
men collectors and venders, but the stalagmite floor — 
formed by century droppings of water holding in solu- 
tion calcium carbonate — forms a study of interest. 

At the further extremity, and extending back under 
cleft and caverned rocks, stretches a lake of crystal 
clearness and viewed by torchlight the scene at this 
point is wierdly beautiful. For a number of years 
Perry's cave has been regularly opened each season to 
summer visitors, thousands of whom annually view it. 
An annex to this cave is known as "Perry's Bedroom." 

"Crystal Cave," newly discovered and opened to 
visitors, is now attracting attention. Though not as 
large as the former, "Crystal Cave" combines so much 
of novelty and interest that even the oldest inhabitant 
now wonders how it has been kept so long in the dark. 
Its discovery in connection with extensive strontia de- 
posits, of which it forms a part, is a matter of especial 

During the winter of '97 and '98 newspapers all 
over the country recorded as an important item the dis- 
covery of strontia at Put-in-Bay and quite a wave of 
interest was sent through the country, setting on the 
qiilvlve mineralogists, chemists and scientists generally. 
As a matter of fact the discovery is new only to the 
outside world, as it was originally made in 1859 ^"^ 
the existence of strontia deposits has since been gener- 
ally known to the islanders. Much interest was mani- 
fested by visitors of a scientific trend, among whom was 
State Geologist Newberry, whose attention was at- 
tracted thereto while visiting the island. 


In 1882 a European tourist, Lieut. Emiel Vanador, 
then on leave of absence from his post in the German 
army, chanced to visit the archipelago. He was a man 
of extensive learning and while at Put-in-Bay made the 
acquaintance of the late Capt. John Brown, Jr., of whom 
he became an intimate friend. Both being interested 
in geological research, they together explored the 
rocks and caves of the island, and in this way the dis- 
tinguished foreigner soon learned of the strontia de- 
posits. He began prospecting on his own account, 
ending by leasing for a period of tw^enty-five years 
grounds near Perry's Cave. A shaft was sunk and 
mining at once begun. About seventy-five tons of the 
product were dug out, but on learning that the cost of 
shipment to Germany via Atlantic ports would be 
heavy, Lieut. Vanador decided to abandon for a time 
his enterprise, especially as the company which he re- 
presented was then working a strontia mine in Italy 
at less cost for transportation. That at Put-in-Bay 
was therefore closed, until the Italian deposits should 
have become exhausted. A rude, but strongly built 
structure was erected over the 1 ine, the tools enclosed 
and the door securely barred. A power of attorney 
was committed by Venador to Captain Brown together 
with the keys of the mine, and the stranger took his 
departure leaving the islanders in a state of wonder as 
to the purpose of his visit, his movements having been 
somewhat mysterious. 

Since for a number of years nothing was heard of 
Vanador, and as the lease had not been paid up to time, 
the present owner of the land finally adopted legal 
measures to have the contract annulled and in this way 


gained possession. For the first time since its closing 
the mine was thrown open to the Hght, and the shipping 
away of several tons of strontia formed the agency 
which spread abroad the supposed new discovery. 
The strontia vein struck by Venador in 1882 is of 
great thickness, and the mineral is remarkable for its 
purity. In close connection with the mine is "Crystal 
Cave." It was at first difficult of access, and little was 
known on the island concerning it, until fully opened 
up by the new owner, Gustav Heinemann, during 
the winter and spring of 1S9S. The cave is 22 feet be- 
low the surface, and is now descended by a flight of 
stairs, and viewed under electric lights by which it is 
illuminated the place resembles a "fairy grotio." It has 
also been referred to as "a jewel casket of the nymphs." 

The interior comprises several chambers and the 
side walls of each are of solid strontia — dazzling, flash- 
ing in their crystalline whiteness. The ceilings are arch- 
ed and hung with prismitically formed crystals, emit- 
ting all the colors of the rainbow with a fascinating 
brilliancy not unlike that of the clearest cut diamonds. 
The owner, who up to the present time has earned his 
bread as a common day laborer, possesses, evidently, a 
fortune in Crystal Cave and in the mine coimecting 

In the dim past, the islands were alternately sub- 
merged or drained according to existing conditions of 
the earth's formative forces. Says Prof. Newberry: 

"We have evidence that the country about the is- 
lands was once all dry land, and a large river then flow- 
ed down the present bed of the lake and emptied near 
New York City." 




Prof. Moseley observes as follows: 

"If there were dwellers on Marblehead at the time 
of the building of the pyramids, they might have walk- 
ed to Kelle}' island or Putin-Bay at any time of the 

At that period the ishmd cave passages were sup- 
posed to be tributary to surface streams emptying into 
the river above mentioned. 

A period concerning which notable evidences exist 
on the islands was that of the great ice age, when 
glaciers looo feet high scooped out the bed of Lake 
Erie and left their ineffaceable groovings upon the 

In very many places at Put-in- Bay, Kelley Inland, 


Middle Bass, Isle St. George, "Starve," and other is- 
lands, scoring the flat rocks and extending under the 
water of the lake, are seen these glacial marks, too in- 
delibly graven to be mistaken. Their course runs uni- 
forml}^ from Northeast to Southwest, and the scratch- 
ed stones and granite boulders left behind are heaped 
in terminal moraines, or scattered promiscuously over 
the land. 

Especially famous are the glacial rocks of Kelley 
island, which, formimg the terminus of a line of bluffs 
overlooking "North Bay," represent one of the island's 
greatest attractions. "Glacial Rocks" comprise a re- 
servat'on rescued from the quarryman's pick and der- 
rick, and set aside by gift of the late Mr. Younglove, of 
Cleveland, to the Western Reserve Historical Society, 
for preservation as a scientific marvel. 

As an example of the stupendous carvings wrought 
by the "granite chisels" of the drift period, these rocks 
have probably no parallel in the United States, and the 
regular outlines and polished smoothness thereof sug- 
gest the idea and produce the effect of some gigantic 
piece of sculpture. To view them, parties represent- 
ing members of scientific circles, classes from our uni- 
versities, curio hunters and adventurers make special 
pilgrimages to the island. 

The geological formation of Kelley island is dis- 
tinct from that of Put-in-Bay, being of Cornrfererous 
limestone, blue in tint and lying in strata of varied 

The Kelley island quarries are productive of many 
rare fossils, those of extinct fishes being especially 
numerous. The fossilized jaws of the Onychodus a. foot 


long, and studded with sharp pointed teeth, have there 
been unearthed with other interesting relics of by-gone 

An ancient shore line, which angles across the is- 
land, forming a zigzig wall of precipitous and water- 
worn rock, and overlooking wide levels where once 
rolled the waters of Erie, forms also an interesting 
geological feature of Kelley island. 






Photo by Rev. W. Fred Allen. 

It is a fact generally conceded that the Lake Erie 
archipelago, with 'ts extended network of channels, 
together with the bays and inlets of adjacent mainland 
shores, formed in past years the most extensive fresh 
water fishing grounds in the world. This was what 
made Sandusky the first city of importance as a mar- 
ket for fresh fish, more of the product being there 
handled by various firms dealing in the commodity, it 


is said, than at any other commercial center on either 
continent. The archipelago and its environment thus 
achieved world-wide fame, and the once sleepy old city 
on Sandusky bay outshone— along one line at least — all 
competitors, and might have with fitness emblazoned 
'•Excelsior" upon her banners. Some idea of the Lake 
Erie fishing industry as carried on a few years ago 
might have been formed by a cruise over its waters. 
A trip between Sandusky and the islands, or in almost 
any direction from the island center, would have served 
as an illustration. Everywhere stretching through 
the shoal waters lor which the lake is noted, might 
have been seen lines and lines of gill nets, with the 
more compHcated combination of "cribs," "hearts" 
and "leads," comprising the poundmen's outfit. Ob- 
servers who had the means of knowing state that the 
shores from Sandusky to Buffalo were strung all 
along with pounds and gill nets, and at that place the 
latter extended across the lake to the Canadian main 
— the twine being buoyed to the surface in the deep 
water intervening. Gill nets were especially numer- 
ous, and It is safe to say that gill net twine on the lake 
might have been measured by hundred mile lengths. 
At the head of the lake and around the islands, how- 
ever, centered the main business of entrapping the un- 
suspecting Hnnys. Down on the mud bottoms where 
flourished the herring and other representatives of the 
race reached the fatal meshes, and to a fate sad and 
inexorable yielded the poor scaly coats. None so re • 
morseless as the fishermen, and once within his grip 
'twas useless for the captive to flop even a fin. With 
so many plotters against his peace, it became a query 



Photo br Rev. W. Fred Allen. 

oft how any denizen of the deep managed to reach 
maturity, and whether he ever did get old enough to 
vote. The prospect of an early consignment to the 
frying-pan did not materially affect his spirits or appe- 
tite, however. He lived on present opportunity, with 
no thought of the morrow. 

At Put-in-Bay, then, appeared many strange faces. 
Groups of men at the shipping docks, before the post- 
office and saloon, or going and coming along the side- 
walks. They were variously attired, with a prepon- 
derance of cheese-colored oil coats, sou-westers and 
high water boots with straps which trailed the ground. 
These men were gill netters from up and down the 


lake who were making the island a temporary ren- 
dezvous. Their boats were seen at the piers — tugs, 
sometimes six or eight in at one time lying together 
in a single fleet, and representing Cleveland, Buffalo, 
Erie, Huron and Detroit, with the nearer home ports. 

The dock presented a busy scene filled with gill 
net reels upon which fishermen wound their nets, 
while boxes filled with flopping fishes stood awaiting 
consignment. With early dawn the boats were off for 
the fishing grounds east, west, north, south, and sun- 
up saw the blue lake flecked with the sails of pound 
boats, and trailed by the smoke of tugs. 

The steamer doing duty on the " fish route" 
reached Put-in-Bay early in the forenoon, and began 
her daily round among the islands, collecting the flop- 
ping products as they were unloaded from the return- 
ing fishing boats. Such in brief was a fishing season 
among the islands during the palmiest days of this in- 
dustry. Little wonder that the lake should suffer from 
a drainage so heavy. 

With the complaint that its waters were becoming 
depopulated, and with the restrictions placed on gill 
netting and other methods of fishing the scene changed. 
Fewer nets, boats and fishermen have appeared lat- 
terly, and the profits to those interested have been cor- 
respondingly smaller. True, the business carried on 
is still extensive and the depopulation of the waters 
continues, but on a less scale. 

As a means of restocking the lakes, the govern- 
ment work projected through the United States Fish 
Commission bids fair to compass the object. The 
location at Put-in-Bay of the United Stales Fish 



Plioto by Rev \V. tred Allen. 

Hatchery was the first step in this direction, and its 
successful operation is a matter of general interest. 

But for the products of this establishment already 
planted in the lake, the white fish and pickerel, it is be- 
lieved, would now be almost extinct. 

An appropriation of |2o,coo was origiually made 
by Congress for the erection of the hatchery, though 
the cost of additions and improvements since made 
aggregate considerably more. 

The structure is located on the shores of " Squaw 
Harbor," commanding a fine view of Gibraltar Island, 
the bay and its shipping. It is artistically and ele- 
gantly planned and forms, it is said, the largest and 
best equipped establishment of the kind in the world. 



Fronting the buildings are ample piers at which 
may be seen the steamer Sheer water ^ built for the use 
of the United States Fish Commission at a cost of 
about $10,000. 

The interior of the hatchery was originally planned 
as follows : Midway between the floor and a high 
arched ceiling, ascended by a flight of stairs, appeared 
a wide platform bearing two large tanks containing 
each 6,000 gallons, which were filled from the lake by 
means of pipes connecting. Descending from these tanks 
ran a system of pipes to the batteries. Here within 
glass jars were placed the eggs in process of hatching. 
From the main pipes smaller ones extended, reaching 
nearly to the bottom of each jar; and through them ran 
constantly a stream of fresh water, causing a boiling 
movement within, which kept the eggs in a chronic 
state of commotion; the jar thus forming a small, but 
energetic whirlpool. As fast as the water poured in, 
it was collected and carried away by a trough. 

Since the improvements recently introduced, the 
old system of water supply has given place to more 
economical methods of keeping the necessary amount 
of water in circulation. The batteries which contain 
the jars are so regulated by pipes and other apparatus 
that water from the main supply circulates eight times 
through the whole system before passing into the 
drainage canal. 

To operate the establishment on the new system 
requires about one-fourth less the amount of fuel pre- 
viously used. 

Each jar contains 140,000 white fish eggs, but 


counting on other staple varieties of fish eggs which 
are smaller, — the capacity of the hatcher}^ is about 
560,000,000 eggs. This, however, is more than the 
lake fisheries have yet been able to supply at one 

When running at full capacity 1,250,000 gallons of 
water were originally poured through the pipes and 
reservoirs every twenty- four hours. 

Suction pipes connect with both sides of the point 
on which the hatchery is located; and if one becomes 
damaged by storm or ice, water may be supplied from 
the opposite side. Westward of Peach Point the pipe 
extends 150 feet into the lake, and is held in place by 
immense anchor bolts drilled into the solid rock bot- 
tom. This is found a necessary precaution owing to 
the heavy ice drifts which have a terrific force in tear- 
ing things to pieces. 

White, and other varieties of fish eggs aie supplied 
from fisheries near and far, to collect which a large 
force of men are employed. The price usually paid 
for the same is forty cents per quart. 

The general work of the establishment is directed 
by Supt. J. J. Stranahan, appointed by the U. S. Fish 
Commission, with Capt. J. C. Fox, assistant; while 
the pumping plant is under the supervision of Chief 
Engineer W. H. Wollett. 

Some interesting specimens of aqueous products 
are seen at the office of the Fish Commission, together 
with some excellent photographs of fish eggs in various 
stages of development taken by Supt. Stranahan from 
microscopic projections. 




Lake trout, bass, herring, and pickerel are annually 
propagated at this establishment. 

Having emerged from the ^^^■, the youthful finny 
soon wearies of his whirlpool home, and seeks and 
finds an outlet through other aqueducts into an im- 
mense tank of fresh water. He is verv tinv, but is af- 
forded room to grow ; and when he gets too big for the 
hatchery he is given the freedom of Lake Erie, or 
shipped away to some of the lakes and rivers of other 

To the uninitiated the "setting" and lifting of 
fishing pounds are interesting processes. The ar- 
rangement and anchorage of the twine is elaborate, 
and its manipulation in rough weather is difficult and 



Fishing through the ice, else- 
where described in this volume, is 
carried on both for pleasure and 

Of all piscatorial pastimes, bass 
fishing is the most popular and 
includes among its votaries some 
of the most distinguished men of 
America, from ex- Presidential re- 
presentatives to financiers, di- 
directors of business enter- 
prises and men of prominence gen- 

Early in the glad month of 
May, or early in September — -as 
the case may be — these devotees 
of the rod and reel put in an ap- 
pearance, and are received with 
due ceremon}'. 
At their disposal are placed whole fleets of boats, 
and hotel doors swing wide to greet them. On the Bay 
wharves they assemble each morning, forming with 
their oarsmen a picturesque group: the nondescript 
assortment of pails, lunch-baskets and fishing tackle, 
the rubber coats, boots, umbrellas, and demijohns sur- 
rounding them making an interesting jumble. 

The ba}' tugs and small steamers find daily employ- 
ment in carrying these parties to and from the fishing 
grounds, and in the evening when the boats return, the 
hotel grounds and porticoes are crowded with sports- 
men — a spirited assemblage. 

Strings of bass taken during the cruise are triumph- 



antly exhibited and ardently admired, and the success- 
ful sportsmen regale each other with freshly improvis- 
ed fish stories. 

A taste for "forbidden fruit" sometimes draws the 
bass fisher a "leetle" too near the Canadian "preserves." 
and not until surprised by the frowning guns of the 
Dominion cruiser Petrel does he realize his where- 

A notable occurrence facetiously dubbed — "The 
second battle of Lake Erie," took place in recent years, 
in which the island steamers Visitor and Brooks with 
their parties were captured and held for a time as prizes 
by the Petrel, thereby setting the whole countr}^ in a 
fever of excitement. 


" The North wind blew at night off the sea, 
Saying sorrowful, sorrowful all of me ; 
I bring in the wave with the broken spar 
And tie grey seas curling over the bar.'' 

"I sing the piercing hurricane's breath, 

I sing the horror of death ; 

And the tempest's shriek in the rigging black) 

And the spinthrift's wrath in the rolling wrack, 

And the boat that never again came back. 

Sorrowful, sorrowful all of me." 



"There's a storm in the air," observed the bronze 
browed fisherman, as touching his finger to the tip of 
his tongue he held it aloft, intently regarding it as if it 
were a sort of barometer. 

"By wetting your finger you can always tell from 


which direction the wind blows — cold on the side from 
which it strikes, you know." 

With this bit of information gratuitously imparted, 
the speaker adjusted his tarry "sou'- wester," lighted a 
strongly scented pipe, and taking up a basket of torn 
and slimy gill-nets strung with block buoys, proceeded 
on his way along the beach, his angular form costumed 
in fisherman's "oilers," yellow outlined against the 
white gravel. 

All day long the sun had waded through filmy Cir- 
rus and his stare had grown dull and watery. He was 
nearing the horizon, when from a cloud cleft he shone 
luridly forth. A fringe of scarlet leaved maples cap- 
ping an adjacent bluff, flushed for a moment with still 
deeper color, and the gray walls of an old house in the 
cove were red-scumbled with its glow. Out of the 
western waters there arose a vast cloud bank, and the 
pall of its bl;.ckness received the day-god. 

The zenith became a medley of broken clouds — 
black, white, and grey — tumultuously tossed as if the 
upper airs were all at cross-currents. Clouds took the 
shape of hideous monsters, and writhed like masses 
of black snakes nested together; or like evil spirits 
affrighted at their malign intentions, flew confusedly 
about in quest of hiding places. A breeze sprung up 
and mcmentarily freshened, curling into white-caps 
the channel waters and sending adrift showers of 
Autumn leaves. 

Hilarious with delight the storm loving gull flap- 
ped his broad wings, circled, and piroutted in air, and 
with an exultant cry dove where breakers gleamed 


Along a path leading by the old house down to the 
circling beach beyond, came at twilight a chore boy 
leading his horse to water, but the ring of iron hoofs 
striking upon rough boulders and gravel stones was 
drowned by the roar of wind and wave. 

From her seat by the kitchen window Aunt Deb- 
by complained largely of "rheumatiz," her corns, 
bunions and other ailments. The cat came howling 
to the door with broadened tail and bristles erect, and 
when admitted glared wildly into every corner as if 
seeking refuge from some impending danger -all 
portends of a storm, they say, and Aunt Debby "reck- 
oned," we were going to have "a reg'lar old snorter," 
which forecast was destined to prove as correct as if 
it had been projected by the chief clerk of the weather 
bureau at Washington. 

As night closed in, the wind rose in all its strength, 
and with it the sea. The roar among the trees out- 
side the house, and the boom of waves on the shore 
were terrific. Limbs were torn from their trunks and 
detached twigs blown against the windows. Latches 
rattled and doors creaked as if invisible spirits were 
seeking admittance, while the wind over the chimne}'^ 
shrieked a refrain wildly weird yet strangely fascinat- 
ing. Of such a night it was Byron who wrote : 

"Thou wast not sent for slumber, 

Let me be a sharer in thy fierce and far delights; 

A portion of the tempest, and of thee." 

Out into the storm then I sallied intent upon catch- 
ing its wild spirit. 

Lashed by cyclonic violence, Lake Erie formed ^ 


vast sheeted plain glistening white through the dark- 
ness, and even at a distance from shore I felt its spray 
fine as mist blown against my face. Cavern ed niches 
were filled with a seething rush of waves and the 
shore woods echoed their hollow reverberations. Surf 
swept the rocks, and spray wreaths — like dim astrals 
— were outlined among the trees. 

Far off to westward I caught a glimmer — the star- 
board light of some vessel out in the withering gale. 
I tried to reach a bluff overlooking the sweep of 
waters but the wind beat me back. Unable to face 
it, cut by its keen it^g^t and chilled by its breath, I re- 
turned to my roof shelter fully satisfised with the grip 
I had experienced with the storm and darkness. 

A feeling of anxiety possessed me, however, and 
my mind was filled with thoughts of those "that go 
down to the sea in ships," and when at a later hour I 
retired for the night and lay listening to the warring 
elements, I fancied that I heard the distress signal of a 
steamer in trouble. I held my breath to listen but the 
sounds multiplied until a dozen steamers seemed blow- 
ing distress signals. Only the many tongued tempest 
aided by imagination it proved; but the wind's shriek 
grew wilder and ^ more maniacal as midnight ap- 
proached, and the waves voiced senti.r.ents of sadness 
in their incessant beat. 

" Break, break, break, 

On thy cold gray stones, oh sea ! 
And I would that my tongue could utter, 

The thoughts that arise in me." 

Words once sent out by the dead poet laureate 
from his ocean-swept home came to me unbidden; 
while appeared visions of plunging wrecks, of wrecks 


aground upon rock and reef, going to pieces in the 
midnight blackness; of shredded canvas, of yielding 
planks, inrushing seas and drifting wreckage — of ex- 
hausted seamen feebl}^ clinging to toppling spars, of 
hopeless seamen struggling in the awful grip of death 
on the billow. 

I thought of the occupants of homes far scattered 
over island and mainland, who would lie awake listen- 
ing to the wind's ravings and anxious for dear ones 
abroad on the lakes. How long to them must seem 
the hours until dawn should bring with it returns of 
weal or woe. 

Dropping into a half slumber, through which was 
retained a consciousness of the howling storm, I saw in 
a confused dream a wrecked vessel going to pieces. 
The struggle between life and death was agonizing, 
and just as the vessel and crew were sinking in a 
yeast of waves I awoke. The grey dawn looked in 
through the window; night and its terrors had passed, 
and now to the telegraph and daily papers was left its 
doubtful record. Messages from near and far 
grouped together in the news column told of wreck- 
ajje and death. 

"Schooner ashore at Eagle Point in great 


"Schooner foundeted on Lake Huron; five 

of her crew lost." 

"Barge parted from her consort, and is 


"Schooner aground on Buzzard's reef. 

Main and mizzen masts carried away, and two sailors 
swept overboard." 


The list lengthened until the names of a dozen or 
more vessels had been included among those wiped 
from existence or partially wrecked, or that had met 
with loss of life, or damage to cargo, until the details 
grew sickening. For the last, however, was reserved 
the saddest. Reported as missing was a steamer of 
powerful build and magnificent proportions, which in 
the pride of her beauty and strength had sailed from 
a neighboring port. Invincible she had seemed to any 
storm that might blow, and with all the misgivings 
concerning her disappearance, were mingled hopes 
that somewhere the missing steamer was still afioat. 
But as hours lengthed into days and no tidings came, 
hope grew fainter until at last came the definite but 
crushing intelligence broadly headlining the daily news 
column : 

*' WRECKED ! ! '' 

** And Not a Soul Left to TeU the Tale." 

The great steamer and her crew of seventeen sea- 
man had gone down to unknown graves. Glancing 
over the list of those comprising the ill-fated crew, I 
read and pondered over the dire calamity. The visions 
of wreck and disaster that had come to me sleeping 
and waking seemed to take shape as tangible reality. 

" God's winds have 'whelmed them under the foam, 
God's waters have clasped them round" — 

And mothers, wives and sisters will await in vain 
the return of loved ones. 

Is God then a monster, that calamities so fearful 
and heart-rendings so agonizing should be by Him per- 


mitted to afflict the children of men; or is it only the 
precipitation and magnitude of the event that appalls ? 
Is that fate more harsh which plunges to sudden 
drowning in a midnight sea, than that which dooms its 
victims to death inch by inch from lingering disease ? 
Who, after sober reflection, would not choose the 
former ? 

•* God. who maketh the winds to blow, 

And the waters to roll amain; 
God, he maketh our thoughts to fllow, 

And he calleth them back again." 

" And he calleth the glory back to thee, 

Oh, ship forgotten and drowned I 
He calleth the souls deep down in the sea, 

God breaketh the still profound." 

Is it worse in reality, or only in seeming, that fifty 
or a hundred souls should perish together instead of 
falling one by one? 

Human perspective is limited, but God is infinite, 
and to Him is known the whys and wherefores which 
pass our comprehension. JMay not death be but the 
initiative to larger spheres of life and action; of hope 
and happiness, and prove as such but mercy in disguise? 

'Oh death, O life, the winsome and bright, 
Twins in the bosom of time. 
Death is the shadow that brides the light; 
Life is the light sublime." 


Weather fairer, milder, ne'er tempered Autumn tide, 
With zephyr's balm and sunshine richly spread ; 

Than had touched the walls and shipping of an old Lake Erie port. 
And far and wide its smile benignly shed. 

A blue more softly tinted, wide torching cloudless space 

On famed Italian sky was never seen; 
And the amethystine shimmer of waters everywhere. 

Commingled glints of mid October sheen. 

Light-hearted were the sailors of that old Lake Erie port. 

As with song and jest and m.rry repartee, 
They hastened with their duties and ready made their craft 

For cruising late the treacherous inland sea. 

For fair winds hoped the skipper, to speed his onward trip, 
And for luck to Autumn commerce on the wave; 

While with Bible 'neath his pillow, and horseshoe on the wall, 
To his bunk turned in the sailor bluff and brave. 

But morning broke dolorous, with dull and vapid stare, 
And clouds that draped the sky with sable pall; 

The smoke lay low and heavy, and sails hung limp and gray. 
And a melancholy gloom was over all. 

And yet, with early dawning, to life the harbor woke, 
And sound of straining windlass then was heard ; 

With creak of blocks and tackle, and shriek af fishing tugs, 
'Till with enterprise the waking river stirred. 

Then slowly down the harbor, passed vessels large and small, 
And on their sep'rate courses soon were bound; 

Some to the straits and rivers, some to points beyond. 
With sailboats for the nearer fishing grounds. 



But in all the fleet of vessels that sailed away from port, 
None stronger ribbed, or stauncher built appeared 

Than the queenly craft '"Dean Richmond," as down the bay she 
And to eastward over Erie boldly steered. 

A braver, better seaman, deck of steamer never trod, 
Than her master, gallant Stoddard oft had proved; 

And too hardy and too fearless were his crew of stalwart men, 
By any threatened danger to be moved! 

And though the clouds hung heavy, and rain beat drearily, 

And the waters had a dark and sullen leer; 
No dread of pending evil came to loved ones left behind, 

As they saw her round the head-lands disappear 

But at ;ridnight from its caverns the hurricane awoke, 

And withal! the sinister legions of the air, 
Wide swept the face of Erie, and with wild and savage glee, 

Encompassed hopeless vessels cruising there. 

Ah, the Bible neath his pillow, or horseshoe on the wall, 

Evil luck to charm away would not avail; 
For wreckage and disaster menaced the sailor lad, 

And death in awful triumph rode the gale. 

And by the Maumee river, night sleepers were aroused, 
By the rush and roar of tempest sweeping past; 

But for the craft "Dean Richmond," all contidence had they 
I n her prowess to outride the shrieking blast. 


But out upon the waters in the dark and starless night, 

The deadly cyclone held her in his clutch; 
His breath— a withering terror; insane his revelry, 

And her strong heart quailed and quivered at his touch. 

"Last seen" — the staunch "Dean Richmond" tossed in a yeast of 

Her chimneys gone, her decks swept by the sea, 
But powerless to aid, the half wrecked vessel proved, 

That struggled past to seek some friendly lee. 

"Lost with all hands" — the steamer, down to a black abyss. 
Plunged in the storm and darkness with her crew; 

"None left the tale to tell"— the closing tragic scene, 
Forceful and real ; its actors only knew 

Now by the Maumee river, in the old Lake Erie port, 
Wives and children, mot*iers, sisters sadly mourn. 

The unreturning steamer, and in waxen wreaths entwine, 
Amaranthns for the dear ones from them torn. 


From early spring until late autumn, year by year, 
for over a quarter of a century, the good steamer had 
followed the blue stretch of Erie that lay between 
island and mainland and threaded the intricate channel 
passages by treacherous reefs and outlying shoals. 
The broadside of many a nor'easter had she en- 
countered. Through fogs and sheeted snow she had 
crept and cautiously felt her way over shallows when the 
wind blew down the lake and the water was low. On 
nights when the weather was thick and darkness im- 
penetrable lay upon lake and land; when Boreas mar- 
shalled his trumpeters and the meeting currents of 
Marblehead drove upwards the water into towering 
pyramids of foam, the staunch craft bared her breast 
to ihe storm and steamed blithely homeward. 

Though chopping seas wrenched her timbersj and 
onsetting billows struck with a shock that sent furni- 
ture and merchandise spinning through her cabins and 
waves rushing across her decks — guided by the friendly 
lighthouse beacon — she made her island port in safety, 
with never a mishap through all these years of hazar- 
dous adventure. 

Upon her prowess and capacity depended the mara- 
time inhabitants of the archipelago. For more than a 
quarter of a century the island folk had paced her 


decks. Wee toddlers and children in arms — when 
they took their initial ride — had now become strong 
men and mature women; and young men and maidens, 
when first they walked her gang plank, were now old 
men and matrons with frosted hair and stooping forms. 

Faithful to every trust was the brave steamer, ar- 
riving and departing day by day with interruptions 
few. Carrying mainland generous fruits of the soil 
and products of the fisheries and returning with goods, 
merchandise and supplies of every kind, suited to the 
wants of island dwellers. 

Letters and messages she brought from absent 
friends and news from the great world beyond. Even 
the caskets in which the dead were laid formed from 
time to time a portion of her cargo, likewise the marble 
headstones and chiselled granites which mark their 
resting places in the island burial ground. 

Wedding and funeral parties the steamer's decks 
have trodden. Many a happy greeting, many a part- 
ing tear has she witnessed and many a thrilling episode 
from life's histories might she relate were she gifted 
with speech. 

The preponderance of human joy, of grief, of 
pleasure and of pain which she had borne, seemed in- 
deed to have permeated her until she appeared a 
thing of human instinct, a sentient being, a creature 
of feeling and fancy. On holidays when decked with 
bright flags that whipped the breeze, she seemed 
the personification of gaiety, accenting her mood 
by jocular salutes to sister steamers that passed, 
and to camps and crowds along shore. 


In times of National calamity and mourning when 
her half masted flags drooped limply to the deck, she 
assumed an air of sar'ness, and her whistle expressed 
volumes of pathos, as if she felt the general woe and 
her great heart of fire and steel beat sympathetic with 
that of humanity. 

All this, however, is now in the past, with faded 
memories, and other dead things. Grown old with 
years and service has the faithful steamer. She 
has shipped her last excursion, carried her last 
coffin. She has rounded for the last time the outreach- 
ing sands of Cedar Point and the lii,rhts of Marble- 
head. For the last time she has threaded the channels 
by treacherous reef and rock ribbed shore to the 
quiet bay. 

When spring returns, and the robins, a new craft of 
modern build will take her route, and so the old steam- 
er is to be dismantled. She will return to the port 
from whence she sailed young and strong a quarter of 
a century ago, to come again no more. 

How inexpressibly sad are X^o. finales of life's ex- 
periences, and so while the old steamer whistles "off 
lines," and passes forever from her accustomed moor- 
ings, and the crowd on shore wave parting salutes — 
tears which cannot be repressed dim the vision. 

"Farewell, farewell" — all the whistles on lake, and 
land ring out the sad refrain. A parting salute to each 
and to all she returns; and echo takes up her last and 
longest whistle, prolonging the sound until it reverber- 
ates like that of a tolling bell — "Farewell, farewell !" 



We watch her receding hull as the red sun il- 
lumines her westward track ; then swerving to North- 
ward, she passes beyond the wooded angle of the 
shore — and is gone. 










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