BASS ISLAND AIRPORT
W .Armstrong and Associates
Kenneth E. Jackson Elisabeth H. Tuttle
Manager and Principal Investigator
14 December 1993
following report provides the results of a Phase I cultural resources assessment
requested by R. W. Armstrong and Associates for the proposed Middle Bass Island
Airport project. The project area is located on Middle Bass Island in Lake Erie.
The study area for this Phase I investigation is comprised of two Areas of
Potential Effect (APE). The objective of this Phase I investigation is to
provide an evaluation of the cultural resources sensitivity of the study area.
To fulfill the objective of this investigation, a literature search was
undertaken to identify all previously inventoried cultural resources within the
study area to determine what, if any, previous investigations have taken place
in the study area and vicinity and to assess the potential for uninventoried and
unknown cultural resources. This literature search included a review of the
National Register of Historic Places, the Ohio Historic Inventory, the Ohio
Archaeological Inventory, the archaeological files and maps for Ottawa County at
the Ohio Historical Center, Ottawa County histories, and Ottawa County historic
maps and atlases.
following report provides the details of a Phase I literature review requested
by R. W. Armstrong for the proposed Middle Bass Island Airport project. These
investigations were conducted in compliance with Section 106 of the National
Historic Preservation Act (36CFR 800 as amended). The lead agency is the Federal
Aviation Administration. The project area is located on Middle Bass Island in
Lake Erie (Figures 1 and 2). The study area for this Phase I investigation is in
two components, designated Area A and Area B on Figure 2 and referred to as such
in this report. Area A comprises approximately the northeast third of the main
part of the island, and Area B is located on the peninsula that extends from the
northeast side of the island.
objective of this Phase I investigation is to provide an evaluation of the
cultural resources sensitivity of the study area. The term cultural resources
refers to both prehistoric and historic archaeological sites, as well as
extant historic structures and other cultural features. To fulfil the objective
of this investigation, a literature search was undertaken to identify all
previously inventoried cultural resources within the study area, to determine
what, if any, previous investigations have taken place in the study area and
vicinity, and to assess the potential for uninventoried and unknown cultural
resources. Particular attention is given to the identification of properties
that are listed on, or potentially eligible to, the National Register of
Historic Places (NRHP).
The research for this investigation was conducted in late November and early December 1993. Kenneth E. Jackson was responsible for the review of the existing cultural resources inventories at the Ohio Historic Preservation Office in Columbus. Elisabeth H. Tuttle conducted the historical background research and prepared the historic overview and the assessment of historic cultural resources included in this report. Kenneth E. Jackson prepared the balance of the report, including the environmental and prehistoric cultural overviews. Graphics for the report were prepared by Cathryn C. Cunningham.
W. Kevin Pape served as the Principal Investigator and Project Manager.
SETTING OF THE STUDY AREA
societies at all levels of complexity are linked to the natural environment in
an ecological relationship. This relationship can be viewed as the use of
organic and inorganic resources present in the environment, combined with the
strategies employed for the procurement of those resources. The environmental
limits that define the settlement and subsistence options available to social
groups can be seen in terms of a realm of interaction that ranges from regional
to local in scope. Considerations of climate, vegetation, soils and
geomorphological setting may be viewed in a regional frame as they influence
distributions of groups; locally, these factors affect site selection and the
subsequent preservation of cultural deposits.
PHYSIOGRAPHY AND GEOMORPHOLOGY
project area is located on Middle Bass Island in Lake Erie, in Ottawa County ,
Ohio. The entire region was subjected to glaciation during both the Illinoian
and the Wisconsinan periods. The last Wisconsinan advance occurred about 16,000
The Erie islands are rocky remnants of old ridges that once divided preglacial river valleys. They rise from two parallel belts of Devonian limestone arranged such that the eastern islands, Kelleys and Pelee, are composed of resistant Columbus limestone while the western group of islands is formed of the hard Put-in-Bay dolomite. This difference in the geology of the island groups has played a major role in shaping their very different historical developments. Because the limestone found on Kelleys Island occurs in thicker courses, cuts easier, and makes better lime than the stone found on the Bass Islands, quarrying has been an important historic activity in the former and not in the latter (Geol. Surv. of Ohio, 1884:634).
type appears to play a very important role in determining the distribution of
human groups on a large scale and settlement locations on a small scale. Certain
types of soils were preferred over others by early settlers and aborigines
alike. Quite often, vegetational indicators were surveyed to determine soil
fertility and moisture prior to migration and frontier settlement. Soil acidity,
drainage, and deposition also play a major role in the way that sites were
formed and subsequently preserved.
on Middle Bass Island are of the Castalia-Milton association (Musgrave and
Derringer 1985). These are moderately deep, nearly level and gently sloping,
well drained, and formed in dominantly loamy and clayey material over dolomitic
limestone bedrock. This association occurs on slight rises and knolls on the
lake plains and on islands. It is composed of about 45 percent Castalia
soils, 15 percent Milton soils, and 40 percent soils of minor extent.
Castalia and Milton soils are on the tops and sides of rises and knolls.
Castalia soils are nearly level and gently sloping and well drained. They formed
in residuum from fractured limestone and in glacial drift in voids in the
bedrock. These soils are very stony. Permeability is rapid and the available
water capacity is very low. Milton soils are gently sloping and well drained.
They formed in loamy and clayey glacial till over limestone bedrock.
Permeability is moderately slow, and the available water capacity is low (Musgrave
and Derringer 1985).
soils in this association are in the Rawson, Haskins, Dunbridge, and Millsdale
series. The Rawson soils are deep and moderately well drained and well drained;
the Haskins soils are deep and somewhat poorly drained; the Dunbridge soils
formed in glacial outwash over limestone bedrock; and the Millsdale soils are
very poorly drained and are in depressions. Small quarries are in some areas (Musgrave
and Derringer 1985).
climate of Ottawa County, Ohio, is characterized by large annual and daily
ranges in temperature. This is generally true for the islands as well, except
that the lake's influence tends to moderate the changes and fluctuations are not
as great. Weather changes occur every few days but precipitation on the island,
at an average of 34" a year, is relatively low (Musgrave and Derringer
1985). This is compensated for by the facts that the annual variation is small
and the air is usually very moist. One of the most salient characteristics of
the islands is their long growing season.
County, Ohio, has about the same latitude as Middle Bass Island and its growing
season is 133 days. However, the tempering effect of the lake grants the island
an extra long season of 201 days between frosts. The fIrst and last frosts occur
around November 4 and April 17, respectively (Jackson 1950).
It is the island's climate, in combination with its soil, that has made it such a favorable place to grow grapes. The best grapes are grown where they are frost free in late spring and early fall. Hillsides of large streams or rivers were first thought to be the best locations for vineyards (e.g., the Ohio River Valley). Later experience, though, suggested that upland regions, where the vines were exposed to prevailing winds, provided superior locations because the constantly moving wind decreased the incidence of rot and mildew (Husmann 1881).
FLORA AND FAUNA
The earliest post-glacial vegetational cover in the Lake Erie Basin was a boreal parkland consisting of pine, spruce, fIr, and aspen. This was superseded by a forest environment of deciduous hardwoods as the climate became drier and warmer.
earliest official surveying of Ohio was begun in 1786 by Thomas Hutchins,
Geographer of the United States (Sears 1925: 1139). Based on a variety of early
survey data and historical records, Sears prepared the fIrst reconstruction of
Ohio's natural vegetation. Gordon (1966, 1969), elaborating on that work,
describes the natural vegetation of the study area as consisting of Oak-Sugar
Maple Forest. These included xero-mesophytic forests usually lacking beech,
chestnut, red maple and tulip tree. Dominants included white oak, red oak, black
walnut, black maple as well as the sugar maple, white ash, red elm, basswood,
bitternut and shagbark hickories. Of indicator value today in the areas formerly
occupied by these forests are Ohio buckeye, northern hackberry , honey locust
and blue ash. Local components often included black cherry, Kentucky
coffee-tree, chinquapin oak, redbud and eastern red cedar.
The island's diverse habitats support a number of mammal species. Amphibians, reptiles, birds, molluscs, insects, and fish are all represented, including some rare and notorious species. The western basin of Lake Erie is one of the most productive bodies of water in North America. Acting as a large estuarial bay, it encompasses only 5.1% of the total lake volume, yet it yields two-thirds of the lake's total catch of fish (Langlois 1954). The total catch from the lake has varied greatly throughout the years with sustained highs and lows lasting several years. These fluctuations have usually been species-specific which accounts for the fluctuating popularity of different kinds of commercial fish over the years.
OVERVIEW OF THE STUDY AREA
following discussion serves as a synthesis of various sources regarding the
known prehistory and history of northwest Ohio, and the Western Basin of Lake
Erie in particular. Pertinent regional information can provide a framework
within which the problem of site significance may be addressed as well as
suggest certain research questions that may be fonnulated concerning the
cultural resources of the project area. In reviewing the literature devoted to
the archaeological resources of this region, an informative background is
developed that helps to reveal problems and hypotheses offering an appropriate
fit between these research questions, the data base, and project parameters.
OCCUPATION (14,000 to 8000 B.C.)
Most of what is known about this earliest cultural development must be inferred from sparse surface recoveries of artifacts, particularly the diagnostic fluted points (Prufer and Baby 1963; Dorwin 1966). This information can be analyzed in conjunction with geochronological and paleoecological data to make generalized assumptions about the earliest post-Pleistocene inhabitants. Post-Pleistocene adaptive strategies were geared for coping with a harsh but rapidly changing environment. In general, Paleo-Indian sites are reflective of areas where small groups of people would perform specific tasks of short duration. This type of site maintains a very low archaeological profile across the landscape. It has been argued that the earliest subsistence strategies in the Northeast were not typified by a lopsided harvest of elephant ancestors, but rather were characterized by a balanced hunting economy based on the exploitation of migratory game, especially caribou, and supplemented by foraged food (Fitting 1965:103-104).
location of the study area on Middle Bass Island is significant. Shifting
post-Pleistocene glacial conditions in the Paleo-Indian period resulted in a
series of shoreline changes, lake/beach formations, changing wind and
precipitation patterns, and a succession of different and more hospitable
environments. Along the glacial margin, a 160 to 320 kilometer zone of park
tundra probably existed. As the boundary of this tundra shifted, so did the
latitudinal zonation of plant and animal ecotones. During the final retreat
there was the succession of spruce-fIr to pine to broadleaf forests (Mason 1981:
67-69). The new environment no longer supported mammoth-mastodon. Caribou, deer,
elk, and bear migrated into the area. Concomitant changes in human carrying
capacity would be expected along these glacial margins (Funk 1978:16).
Paleo-Indian period in the Western Basin is represented almost exclusively from
surface finds of fluted and non-fluted PIano points in a variety of
physiogeographic settings (Stothers 1982: 39). The earliest occupation of this
area is believed to have occurred around 11,000 to 10,000 B.C. (Pratt and
Croninger 1986: 3). Prufer and Baby (1963: 20-22, 25-30, 64) have noted the
majority of the unfluted Plano points do come from northern and more especially
northwestern Ohio. At the Holland-Sylvania site, Paleo-Indian fluted and
non-fluted points of local chert and, non-local Upper Mercer chert were found in
association with pits containing charcoal dating between 8000 and 6500 B.C. (Stothers
1973: 75-78). Other Western Basin sites have also produced both types of points
from temporary camps dating between 10,500 to 7000 B.C. (Stothers 1977: 35;
Stothers and Campling 1974: 4).
nomadic hunters, the Paleo-lndian groups exploited annual territories that
corresponded to the mobility and subsistence rounds of the fauna they hunted.
Large territories and extreme mobility can account for the great uniformity in
tool kit assemblage over large areas (Funk 1978: 17). Scheduling, sensitivity to
annual fluctuations in game and climate, and familiarity with large geographic
areas would have been essential. There was probably a certain amount of foraging
as well (Stothers and Campling 1974: 4; Funk 1978:18), which would have
increased subsistence security.
(1977: 261) states that the "coalescence of family and/or band social
groupings of Paleo-lndians periodically formed to undertake tasks requiring
larger social conglomerates, or when social reaffirmation of a regional
macroband level of social organization was desired." Three sites have been
proposed as base camps of possible "sister" bands (Stothers 1982: 40).
Deller (1979: 15) has proposed some Ontario-Michigan sites as winter sites since
the exclusive utilization of non-local cherts was because local sources were
obscured during the winter months.
addition to an east-west interaction spanning Georgian Bay-Ontario-Michigan,
there is a north-south interaction/annual round that encompasses the Western
Basin. Upper Mercer chert from east central Ohio is found in the Western Basin,
near Flint, Michigan, and in the Muskegon Valley Paleo-lndian points, 200 to 300
miles from the source (Wright 1981:90). With more amenable environments created
by the retreating glaciers, humans could have brought southern traditions to the
north (Stothers 1982:42). The interaction could have been seasonal, or with
annual rounds including northern migration to the "glacial edge"
environments and back to the south. The later PIano complex is thought to be
representative of a "transitional" Paleo-Indian derived from the
Plains (Stothers 1982: 41-42). Initial Paleo-lndian influence seems to have come
from the south, and later from the west.
OCCUPATION (8000 H.C. to 1500 H.C.)
division between the late fluted point hunters and their descendants in the
Early Archaic (8000 to 6000 H.C.) is a purely arbitrary one (Griffin 1978: 226).
The continuous occupation of the Northeast is in evidence from such regionally
diverse stratified sites as the St. Albans site in West Virginia (Broyles 1971);
Modoc Shelter in illinois (Fowler 1959); and Sheep Rock Shelter in Pennsylvania
(Michaels and Smith 1967). Early Archaic tool assemblages reflect the influence
of moderating climatic conditions and the resultant wider range of exploitable
resources. Lanceolate projectiles are replaced by smaller notched and stemmed
points used in the pursuit of smaller game such as deer and elk. However, the
Kirk, LeCroy, and Thebes type points, which are ubiquitous to this general area,
indicate the continued exploitation of large territories by small hunting bands
(Dragoo 1976: 10). The addition of sandstone abraders and mortars to the Early
Archaic people's tool kit means that vegetable foods were becoming a more
substantial part of their diet.
paucity of Early and Middle Archaic sites in the northwest area of Ohio has been
interpreted as an abandonment of the area between the late Paleo-Indian and Late
Archaic periods (Ritchie 1969,1971; Fitting 1975: 65; Funk 1978: 20; Mason
1981), although Mason (1981: 114) considers Early and Middle Archaic as a
gradual transition from one culture to the next. Archaeologically the transition
to Archaic occurred at the time of a warmer forested environment with
forest-dwelling animals. According to this Ritchie-Fitting model of temporal
abandonment of the area, between 8000 and 6500 B.C. edible plants and little
game existed in the coniferous forests of the Great Lakes and northeast, but
after 6500 B.C. more deciduous forests invaded from the south. This was a more
conducive environment for game. Lake levels were rising and the climate was
warmer and drier (Fitting 1975: 66). By 3500 B.C. a modern environment existed.
This model of environmental uniformity has limitations. The southern portions of the Great Lakes culture area would have sooner provided the requisite biotic variety to support human occupation. The southern borders of the area do show a "small but widely distributed human population from the beginning of Early Archaic times" (Funk 1978: 20, Fitting 1975: 66). As such, this would still have been a more marginal area for subsistence until deciduous forests were established (Mason 1981: 133), and indeed low population density is evidenced (Funk 1978: 16). The migration hypothesis, that southern Early Archaic bands expanded to the north as deciduous forests pushed north, is evidenced in the Early Archaic points of southern derived chert in northwest Ohio (Payne 1982:55). The well-established southeastern Archaic life way may have expanded north in part due to the budding off of larger donor populations.
divisions of the Archaic include Early (8500 to 6000 B.C.), Middle (6000 to 2500
B.C.), and Late (2500 to 1500 B.C.). The Middle Archaic is particularly elusive.
The Middle Archaic is only easily recognizable on the eastern seaboard, in
Tennessee and Kentucky. Between Early and Late Archaic, there is a tendency
toward regionally distinct complexes, projectile point types, and burial
territories became better defined and assemblage diversity increased through
time (Funk 1978: 19). In the Early and Middle Archaic periods, seasonal rounds
were doubtless as much a part of economic life as during the Late Archaic, but
at a much lower frequency (Funk 1978: 24). The Archaic lifeway tended to reflect
the "logistic" pattern with well-defined seasonal rounds, territories,
and home bases with many different activity sites (Binford 1980). Resource
depletion or shifts could result in movement of home bases and/or site function.
Greater stability and more frequent/longer use would tend to make base camps
more visible, which is the case (Funk 1978: 19).
northwest Ohio, Early and Middle Archaic sites are usually of two types:
"those in which a single or a few points are included in a collection of
material from other cultural periods, and those in which Early or Middle Archaic
materials predominate" (Stothers and Pratt 1980:11). The fIrst type is the
most prevalent. The latter occurs predominantly adjacent to stream drainages,
appearing "to be small habitation/exploitation areas, usually located on
the edge of the small valleys" (Stothers and Pratt 1980: 11). The
fall-winter sites represent inland encampments related to upland hunting, while
spring-summer activities were conducted in riverine and/or lacustrine areas that
are presently submerged by Lake Erie (Pratt 1981).
Ohio Late Archaic sites are represented by many excavated sites. Four Late
Archaic site types have been identified for the region: spring-summer
encampments, autumn hunting and collecting camps, winter hunting sites, and
cemetery sites (Stothers and Pratt 1980:15). The Glacial Kame culture and other
Red Ocher manifestations are found in the vicinity of the study area,
represented by such mortuary features as flexed burials, red ocher, turkey-tail
blades, white ceremonial blades, ovate-trianguloid blade caches, nonlocal
tubular beads of marine shell, and copper (Mason 1981:224).
OCCUPATION (1500 B.C. to A.D.1000)
Early Woodland period (1500-100 B.C.) appears to represent a cultural expansion
of the Late Archaic. It is characterized by a greater tendency toward
territorial permanence and an increasing elaboration of ceremonial exchange and
mortuary rituals. However, some of these traits, once believed to be indicative
of Early Woodland, are now known to have their origins in the Archaic (Dragoo
1976, Griffin 1978).
introduction of ceramics to the cultural inventory constitutes the most
recognizable trait of the Woodland period. As in the Late Archaic, Early
Woodland sites in northwest Ohio are still "located in lacustrine or
riverine environments and appear to represent spring-summer encampments" (Stothers
and Pratt 1980: 23). "The populations of these small spring-summer villages
apparently dispersed into the interior areas in order to exploit deer and nuts
during the autumn and early winter" (1980: 24). The association of
ceramics, hearths, and charred nut hulls has led to the suggestion that nut
processing to extract oils was practiced (Osker 1977). This would indicate an
intensification of subsistence activities (Stothers and Pratt 1980: 26).
Elaborate mortuary practices continued during the Early Woodland.
Middle Woodland Period (100 B.C. to A.D. 500) represents a time of complex
sociocultural integration across regional boundaries via networks of trade. In
Ohio, and much of the Ohio and illinois River valleys, the predominant Middle
Woodland culture is Hopewell. It is characterized by elaborate geometric
earthworks, enclosures, and mounds that are often associated with multiple
burials and a wide array of exotic ceremonial goods. However, the Hopewell
interaction sphere may not have extended as far north as the Great Lakes, and if
it did, it may only have been a weak association. In the Western Basin, two
contemporaneous types of Middle Woodland occupation are found: the widespread
non-Hopewellian Western Basin Middle Woodland, and a Hopewell-like Esch phase
from the Sandusky area (Stothers and Pratt 1980:26). The Lake Erie area would
have been in an environmentally transitional area outside the Lake Forest Biome
characterizing most of the Hopewell interaction sphere. The very rich piscine
resources of the Great Lakes (Rostlund 1952) and the flora, fauna, and
relatively mild Carolinian climate of the interior riverine area (Cleland 1966)
created an area where groups could have selected from many combinations of
subsistence options (Stothers and Pratt 1980:30).
the Western Basin Middle Woodland ceramics and spring-summer fishing are
characteristic of the north, while mound burials and maize represent later
Hopewellian influence from the south. Each phase material culture shows
Hopewellian ties, but lacks the Hopewell ceramics and cultigens (Stothers and
Pratt 1980:31). The location of the study area between the northern non- or
weak-Hopewellian cultures and the Hopewell to the south should be noted.
Late Woodland period has not been well defined for most of Ohio, but also seems
to present a north-south cultural dichotomy. Fieldwork undertaken by Prufer
(1965), Baby and Potter (1965), Prufer and McKenzie (1966), and Murphy (1989)
indicates that differential development of cultural trends was occurring on a
regional basis. It is probable that established patterns existed longer in some
areas than in others as a continuation of the Middle Woodland economy with the
noticeable lack of elaborate Hopewell ceremonialism. By the end of this period,
the adoption of corn, bean and squash agriculture is evident.
As a result, permanent villages were situated along terrace and
bluff-base locations within the major river valleys.
the western Lake Erie region the following Western Basin Late Woodland Tradition
phases have been defined on the basis of changes in ceramic types: Riviere au
Vase, Younge, and Springwells (Stothers and Pratt 1980: 100). Riviere au Vase is
considered to be the earliest phase, dating from A.D. 500 to 1000 (Pratt 1981:
113-114). The Younge Phase dates from A.D. 1000 to 1200, and the Springwell
Phase from A.D. 1200 to 1400.
Early Late Woodland sites are rare in northern Ohio, which may be the result of an adaptive strategy that was not as successful on the Lake Erie shores (Fitting 1978: 54). Later, by 1000 A.D., Late Woodland exhibited an increase in agricultural activity and the development of stockaded villages with village cemeteries (Stothers and Pratt 1980: 33). This subsistence intensification included social reorganization, a requisite change to accompany the additional organization, labor and distribution of produce
(Stothers and Pratt 1980: 34).
OCCUPATION (A.D. 1000 to 1600)
Mississippian cultural sequence can be described as a period of
Mesoamerican-influenced cultural complexity built on a very effective
subsistence base. Although Late Woodland cultures continued until historic
contact in some areas of Ohio, they were supplanted by several traditions in
northern Ohio. Generally Mississippian populations will exhibit shell
tempered-ceramics. By A.D. 1200 the southwestern Lake Erie region had undergone
"Mississippification II (Stothers and Pratt 1980) or "Upper
Mississippification II of the Late Woodland Eiden Phase (Pratt 1980). Within two
centuries material culture and social organization changed dramatically, and the
geographical area increased (Stothers and Pratt 1980: 36).
later Sandusky Tradition phases show a definite similarity to some Fort Ancient
phases to the south, suggesting Late Woodland groups responded to Fort
Ancient-Mississippian stimuli from the south. This is evidenced in changes
"in ceramic technology; bone, antler, and shell artifact assemblages;
burial pattern and settlement/subsistence adaptation " (Stothers and Pratt
1980: 41). The Sandusky Tradition is also represented by three temporal phases,
identified by changes in ceramic types: Wolf (A.D. 1300-1450), Fort Meigs (A.D.
1450-1600), and Indian Hills (A.D. 1600 to prehistoric abandonment of the area)
(Pratt and Croninger 1986: 5).
during the Mississippian period became more heavily dependent on beans, maize
and squash. Population increase occurred as a result of increased sedentism and
a shift to a more intensive agricultural base. Settlement continues in stockaded
villages, many on bluff top areas of floodplains, in addition to seasonal
encampments (Stothers and Pratt 1980: 44). Defense appears to have been
important. By the latter phases of the Mississippian, there is closer
resemblance to the southern Fort Ancient.
ABORIGINAL AND EURO-AMERICAN OCCUPATION (A.D. 1701 to Present)
The central Lake Erie region can best be described as a complex mosaic of historic aboriginal occupation changing throughout time. There is an apparent cultural hiatus following the Iroquois wars which commenced in 1648. This conflict was the result of an attempt by the Iroquois nation to monopolize the Great Lakes fur trade. The Iroquois raids are legendary in their ferocity and intensity. This struggle resulted in the almost total depopulation of the central Lake Erie region. After the Montreal Peace Conference of 1701, groups began to drift back into the Ohio territory.
fIrst military contact with this area noted the presence of Indian groups,
primarily Wyandots who had migrated into northwestern Ohio from northern
lllinois and southern Michigan. These Indian groups possessed mixed economies
and lived in villages near agricultural fields along stream and river banks.
Corn formed an important part of the native American diet. A large Wyandot
settlement was known from the Upper Sandusky area. An Ottawa village was
established during the mid-18th century on the north bank of the Maumee River
near the present site of Waterville, and another on an island in the river, now
divided into the two islands of Indianola and Vollmars.
the decades following Columbus' reports of the New World, countries throughout
Europe realized the economic potential of this new region. In due time, France
entered the competition of empires, commissioning men and ships to explore the
Americas. Because of the Spanish presence in Central America, South America, and
the American Southwest, the French concentrated their efforts on the exploration
of Canada and the Great Lakes area. The French explorerers discovered a waterway
which led them to the Great Lakes area and its river system; found a wilderness
abundant with plants, animals, fish, and other natural resources, and occupied
by several indigenous nations. It was, however, the potential of fur-bearing
animals (mainly the beaver) which particularly caught the attention of the
order to harvest the furs, the French enlisted the aid of the Huron and Ottawa
Indians in bringing the furs to trading posts, forts, and other rendezvous
points. In exchange for these furs, the Indians received guns and ammunition,
knives, iron kettles, blankets, whiskey, trinkets, and other goods. It was this
trading system that sustained the French empire in the New World. Because of the
market for furs, new areas were explored and trading posts were built.
1679, the Count de Frontenac, governor of Canada, suggested bolstering French
presence by establishing forts and trading posts along the Great Lakes and its
rivers. In 1680, the French built a small stockade near the rapids of the Maumee
River, near the site that the British built Fort Miamis a century later.
Although the stockade became an important trading center for the region, in 1696
the post was abandoned by orders of the French monarch. The stockades would not
be garrisoned again until 1715 (Tanner 1987: 35).
the end of the Seven Year's War, Great Britain gained control of all former
French territory in North America. Following the occupation by British troops of
the formerly French forts, Pontiac, chief of the Ottawas, organized a
confederacy of the Great Lakes tribes with the objective of removing the British
from the region. The failure to capture Fort Detroit ended the rebellion and
Pontiac's tribe of Ottawas proceeded to the Maumee Valley and settled south of
Roche de Bout (Tanner 1987: 50). In 1778, the Ottawa Indians moved one of the
villages north of Roche de Bout, near the Maumee Bay (Tanner 1987: 80).
the American Revolution the British commander of Detroit, fearing that an
American force lead by George Rogers Clark would attack his stronghold by
following the Maumee River to Lake Erie, sent two ships to the Maumee River
rapids to anchor and serve as a defensive outpost. He also ordered a stockade
built near the rapids; however, this stockade was more of a supply depot and was
never heavily garrisoned (Peckham 1942: 33).
the Treaty of Paris in 1783, the Great Lakes region transferred to the United
States. The treaty stated that the British were to recall all of their troops
located in this territory. The British failed to comply, and offered
encouragement to the Indians not to concede the territory to the United States.
The Indians would not acknowledge any treaty not signed by all of the tribes and
insisted on the Ohio River as the approximate boundary between them and the
American frontiersman. They warned that American settlements north of the river
would not be tolerated. When such settlements were nevertheless established, a
series of raids was undertaken, designed to drive out the settlers and
discourage further encroachments.
the summer of 1789, President Washington ordered Colonel Josiah Harmar , an
Indian agent in the Northwest Territory, to collect a force consisting of both
regular army troops and militia to carry out punitive raids on Indian villages.
On September 30, 1790, Colonel Harmar led a force of 1,453 men from Fort
Washington, at Cincinnati, north to the Miami Indian villages near the head of
the Maumee River. On October 18, 1790, Federal troops reached the villages, and
found them deserted. The ensuing attempts to locate and rout the Indian force
resulted in 183 deaths and 31 wounded. Harmar quickly returned to the safety of
Fort Washington, after his humiliating failure (Prucha 1969: 21).
was relieved of his duties and Arthur St. Clair, governor of the Northwest
Territory, was placed in command. His orders, unlike Harmar's, were to not only
attack the Indians, but to also construct a chain of forts from Fort Washington
into the Indian country. This expedition, like the fIrst, was a total disaster
for the Federal troops (Prucha 1969: 26).
the defeat at the hands of the Indian leader, Little Turtle, General St. Clair
was relieved of his duties as commander and Major General "Mad"
Anthony Wayne was appointed commander of the army. From May until September,
Wayne waited at Fort Washington while a peace delegation travelled to Detroit.
The delegation failed in its efforts and Wayne began marching northward on
October 7, 1793.
by Wayne's encroachments, Lieutenant Colonel Richard England, British commander
at Detroit, ordered a fort be built along the rapids of the Maumee River to
protect Detroit. In April of 1794, a British detachment, led by Colonel John
Graves Simcoe, arrived at the rapids and began constructing Fort Miamis.
July of 1794, Wayne once again began marching toward Fort Miamis. By mid-August,
after constructing Fort Defiance and Fort Recovery the Federal troops were only
eight miles away from Fort Miamis. On August 20, 1794, Wayne attacked an Indian
force which had gathered at Fallen Timbers (so named because a tornado had blown
down numerous trees) and drove the Indians back to Fort Miamis. The British
commander, however, refused to open the gates to the fort in order to avoid an
American-British confrontation. This action earned the contempt and suspicion of
Britain's Indian allies.
the years between the signing of the Greenville Treaty 1794 and the War of 1812,
the increasing population pressures caused by migration and settlement resulted
in the cession of large tracts of Indian lands and Indian resettlement on
smaller reservations. A series of treaties between 1805 and 1818 opened all of
northwestern Ohio to American settlement. In 1817, a tract of 34 square miles
was reserved on the Maumee River in sections of Wood, Lucas, and Ottawa
Counties. After the Indian Removal Act of 1830, pressure to move west of the
Mississippi was placed on the remaining Indians in northwestern Ohio. The
Ottawas ceded their land in 1833, but many did not move until the late 1830s. No
historic Indian sites have been identified near the project area.
OTTAWA COUNTY AND MIDDLE BASS ISLAND
1840, parts of Sandusky, Erie, and Lucas Counties were taken to form Ottawa
County, named after a Native American tribe whose last home in Ohio was near the
Maumee River. Port Clinton was designated as the county seat. People of mixed
French and Indian descent had come Catawba Island as early as 1795, subsisting
mainly on hunting and trapping. In the early nineteenth century, many of the
settlers who came to the county and established farms came from Connecticut.
German immigrants found the islands ideal for grape growing and wine making.
Other settlements developed around the kiln processing and shipping of high
quality limestone, particularly on Kelleys Island. Vineyards and wineries
especially flourished on Middle and North Bass Islands. Grape-growing began in
1850 east of Port Clinton and continued until infestations of black rot became
severe. About 1885, vineyards began to give way to peach orchards, for which the
soil and climate are particularly suitable.
Bass Island, also known as Floral Isle, is part of Put-in-Bay Township of Ottawa
County, Ohio, which was created from Sandusky, Erie and Lucas Counties in 1840
(Howe 1896: 359). Middle Bass Island is the central island of a trio of islands,
known in the nineteenth-century as the Three Sisters; it is flanked by North
Bass (Isle St. George) Island and South Bass (Put-in-Bay) Island. Although
sparsely settled before the War of 1812, local hostilities forced settlers back
to the main land. After the war a few people returned to Middle Bass Island but
it was not until the mid-1850s and the sale of smaller lots and farms by an
absentee owner that the island began to develop (Hardesty 1874: 20).
new mid-nineteenth century residents of Middle Bass Island found the soil
particularly well suited to viticulture (Jones 1983: 228). Grape growing was
touted as a viable and profitable agricultural land use by early Victorian
horticultural and agricultural societies; contemporary journals are filled with
speculation on the best soil and climatic conditions for viticulture. The Bass
Islands seemed to perfectly fit the bill for grape cultivation and wine making.
In 1859 four men (comprised of three Germans and one American) Joseph Mueller,
Andrew Wehrle, William Rehberg and George Caldwell bought all of Middle Bass
Island with the intention of establishing vineyards there (OHI Forms OTT-394-5
the 1870s vineyards appeared to account for more than half of the arable land
use on Middle Bass Island, followed by orchards, predominantly growing peaches
(Hardesty 1874:14). As the population of the island grew so did the cultural and
political amenities including a cemetery, a school and a town hall, located at a
crossroads at the center of the island. In the 1870s there was also a school
located on the south side of the eastern point peninsula (Hardesty 1874: 36).
island was divided into three major spheres of familial influence during the
fIrst few decades of the viticulture development. The Lutes family owned the
eastern point peninsula, the Wehrle family the southern portion of the island
and the Rehberg family the western portion. All three families established
vineyards and wine production facilities including wine presses, wine cellars
and docks for easy access to the outside world (Hardesty 1874: 36). The
Wehrle-Lonz Winery, at the south end of the island is listed in the National
Register of Historic Places.
1874 the "Toledo and Lake Erie Fishing and Boating Association" (later
the Middle Club) established a resort at the western tip of Middle Bass Island,
on the former William Rehberg property, west of his house (Anonymous n.d.: 16)
(Goodman 1900: 33). The end of the nineteenth century saw the diminishing
importance of the grape industry and the increasing value of the land for summer
resort cottages. The resort is listed in the National Register of Historic
the mid-1920s a prominent Cleveland lawyer and politician, Harry F. Payer,
purchased acres of the land at the eastern point of the eastern peninsula of
Middle Bass Island and established a private retreat with stables, tennis courts
and a golf course, called East Point Manor. He hired Ohio architect, J. Milton
Dyer, to design the estate and the manor house (NRHP Form). East Point Manor is
listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
the mid-twentieth century Middle Bass Island supported both vacationers and
viticulture. Tourists who were not visiting the Middle Bass Island Club stayed
in private homes, as there was no public lodging on the island. The Lonz Winery,
originally the Wehrle Winery, at the south end of the island, had a club room-rathskeller
that was open to the public and was a popular destination for tourists (WPA
OF THE LITERATURE REVIEW
chapter presents the results of a literature search which was undertaken to
locate any previously-recorded cultural resources within the study area for the
proposed Middle Bass Island airport project (Figure 2). Included in the
literature search was a review of the National Register Historic Places (NRHP);
the Ohio Historic Inventory (OHI); the Ohio Archaeological Inventory (OAI); the
Ottawa County archaeological files and maps at the Ohio Historical Society;
Ottawa County histories; and maps from historic atlases and other sources.
of the first comprehensive surveys of the locations of prehistoric sites in the
State of Ohio led to the publication of the Archaeological Atlas of Ohio (Mills
1914). Mills' work is a distillation of locational data derived from a number of
previously-published sources, as well as from questionnaires sent to local
informants. The atlas contains a collection of county maps showing the locations
of sites within the counties. Mills did not field check the site locations as
part of his survey, however, and as a result the locations of sites shown in the
atlas are not always reliable. Occasionally they do correspond to site locations
recorded in the Ohio Archaeological Inventory (OAl). Mills' atlas shows
two burial sites on North Bass Island; no sites are shown for either Middle Bass
or South Bass Islands.
A review of the OAI revealed no previously inventoried prehistoric archaeological sites on Middle Bass Island. There are in fact only three recorded sites for all of the Bass Islands. Two are on South Bass: 330t12 is a habitation site of unknown prehistoric affiliation, which yielded lithic materials; 330t13 is a Middle Woodland habitation site which yielded lithics and ceramics. One site is recorded for North Bass Island, a Woodland mound (330t8) on the south shore.
PREHISTORIC ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESOURCE POTENTIAL
prehistoric archaeology of Middle Bass Island is essentially an unknown; there
have apparently been no surveys, and no sites are recorded for the island. The
archaeology of nearby Kelleys Island, in contrast, is relatively well-known,
with about 60 recorded sites. Cultural periods represented on Kelleys Island
include Paleoindian, Archaic, Western Basin Middle Woodland, Late Woodland, and
Late Prehistoric. Site types include small habitation sites, mounds, earthworks,
enclosed villages, and petroglyphs.
presence of Paleoindian, Archaic, and Middle Woodland material suggests the
early utilization of Kelleys Island as one element in a larger, seasonal
settlement system (Prahl, Brose and Stothers 1976). By the Late Woodland, there
was apparently a shift to a more diffuse economy in which terrestrial/lacustrine
resources continue to be important in the presence of cultigens. The occurrence
of grinding implements and "corn cache pits" at two sites suggests the
possibility that a combination of agriculture and substantial fish harvests
combined to support sedentery or seMi-sedentery village life on the island.
problem-oriented survey conducted in 1978 utilized a research design that was
intended to provide a statistically meaningful picture of aboriginal settlement
on Kelleys Island (Krebs 1980). The results of that investigation indicate that
sites tend to cluster around the periphery of the island, within one kilometer
or less of the shoreline, and are most frequent along the south and east shores.
the land mass of Kellys Island is at least twice as large as that of Middle Bass
Island, similar occupation and utilization of the latter's various and abundant
resources might have taken place throughout prehistory .Two of the three
recorded sites (a Woodland mound and a Middle Woodland habitation) on North and
South Bass Islands indicate occupation of the local group during at least
Woodland times. The potential for the existence of prehistoric archaeological
sites should be considered high in both components (Areas A and B) of the study
area for the proposed Middle Bass Island Airport.
HISTORIC CULTURAL RESOURCES
There are two National Register Complexes (both have ancillary structures within the study area) and one National Register Historic District on Middle Bass Island. There are also 16 properties recorded on Ohio Historic Inventory forms within the study area (Figure 2). The Lonz Winery Complex was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on April 4, 1986. It is comprised of two separate geographic groupings of buildings. The former Wehrle Winery building and press house, worker housing, the Lonz-Schmidt House, boat house and basin are all located at the south end of the island. The Siegriest-Lonz House and Lonz Wine Press are located in the middle of the island, on the south side of Lonz (or Runkle) Road, within Study Area A. The buildings date from the 1860s to the 1930s and are all associated with viticulture and the production of wine on Middle Bass Island.
Harry Franklin Payer Estate, or East Point Manor, was listed in the National
Register of Historic Places on April 4, 1987. Although the original estate
included 100 acres of land and a variety of recreational facilities only the
manor house and the stable complex were included in the nomination. In the 1950s
and 1960s the estate was subdivided and sold to a number of individuals who
constructed summer houses on the old East Point Manor property. The stables were
also sold and converted into a residence; they are located within Study Area B.
manor house was designed by I. Milton Dyer in a Frank Lloyd Wright-influenced
style and built in 1926. The design of the stables utilized an existing barn
with a stone foundation, built by the Lutes family in the mid-nineteenth
century. It was completed in 1936 (NRHP Nomination Form).
Middle Bass Club Historic District was listed in the National Register of
Historic Places on August 8, 1985. The district is located on the far western
tip of the island, outside of Study Area A (Figure 2). The Middle Bass Club was
founded in the rnid-1870s as a resort community for Toledo businessmen and
featured two parallel streets lined with cottages and a clubhouse where all of
the members took their meals. The clubhouse was demolished in 1948. The historic
district includes 27 contributing structures dating from the establishment of
the Middle Bass Club in 1874 to 1917.
the August, 1979, an organization called the CAC conducted a survey of the
historic architectural resources on Middle Bass Island. The surveyors prepared
Ohio Historic Inventory Forms for 16 properties within the Study Area. There
were 13 properties identified in study Area A; all of the structures, excepting
one brick residence and a tile barn, were frame buildings built at the beginning
of the fourth quarter of the nineteenth century in modest Greek Revival or
Italianate styles. The unique brick residence was constructed about 1875 and the
barn replaced an earlier one about 1915. The barn is listed in the National
Register of Historic Places as part of the Lonz Winery complex. An undated
report on the Middle Bass Island's cultural resources suggested that the Joseph
Mueller-Leslie Bretz Residence and Wine Producing Complex (OHI#OTT-400-5)
on Lonz Road should be included in the National Register of Historic Places
(Anonymous n.d.: 15) (Figure 2).
Study Area A includes the political center of the island, the crossroads where the 1870s town hall and school building are located; an undated manuscript located at the Ohio Historic Preservation Office suggested that both of these buildings should be included in the National Register for Historic Places. Study area A also includes the island cemetery and an 1887 stone mausoleum.
are three inventoried, historic architectural resources, two dwellings and a
barn, in Study Area B. They are all are part of the late-nineteenth century
Lutes family holdings at the east end of East Point. The John Lutes House,
subsumed into the Payer Estate in the 1920s, is a c.1858 frame dwelling which is
potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (OHI#OTT-376-5).
The c.1860 Lutes barn, remodeled in 1936 as the stables for Harry Payer's East
Point manor, is already listed in the National Register as part of the Payer
Estate complex. The third house, a c. 1885 frame building was built for a Lutes
review of the OAI revealed no previously inventoried historic archaeological
sites on Middle Bass Island.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESOURCE POTENTIAL
By comparing the 1874 and 1900 atlas maps (Figures 3 and 4) of Middle Bass Island with the modern quadrangle map it appears that there are only two locations where buildings were shown on the 1874 map which do not appear on subsequent maps, and presumably are not extant. A large barn or warehouse was located on the water on the east side of J. Hanck's 15.5 acre tract in Area A, no building was located there on later maps (Hardesty 1874: 36) (Figure 3 and 4). A school building and two dwellings appear on the 1874 map, on the south side of the peninsula on John Lutes' property in Area B (Hardesty 1874: 36). The locations of these former structures are also indicated on Figure 2.
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
review of the literature has found no inventoried prehistoric sites on Middle
Bass Island. However, based on a comparison with the known pattern of
prehistoric occupation on nearby Kelleys Island, there is a high probability
that prehistoric archaeological sites exist on Middle Bass Island, including
within the study area.
historic architectural resources have been inventoried on Middle Bass Island,
including in Area A and Area B of the study area. Sixteen of the structures
recorded on Ohio Historic Inventory forms are located within the study area.
are two National Register Complexes on Middle Bass Island: the Lonz Winery
Complex and the Harry Franklin Payer Estate. Both of these National Register
Complexes have ancillary structures within the study area. One National Register
Historic District, the Middle Bass Club Historic District, is on the western
extremity of Middle Bass Island, and is not located within the study area.
atlas research indicates that there is also high potential for the existence of
at least four archaeological sites related to historic occupation and land use,
including a large barn or warehouse, a schoolhouse, and two dwellings.
It is recommended that, once the Area of Potential Effect (APE) has been defined for the proposed Middle Bass Island Airport project, a Phase II cultural resources survey be undertaken. The Phase II investigation should include a systematic reconnaissance designed to locate any prehistoric and historic archaeological sites within the APE. It is also recommended that an architectural survey be undertaken in order to obtain updated information about previously inventoried resources located within the APE. An assessment of the potential effect on any properties listed on or eligible to the NRHP will also depend on the results of the Phase II investigations.
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