Perry's Memorial   Save
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Description: The Perry Memorial, located in Put-in-Bay (on South Bass Island), about 5 miles from the longest undefended border in the world. It was first dedicated September 10, 1913, at the centennial celebration of Perry’s victory at the Battle of Lake Erie, and symbolizes the peace that prevailed thereafter between the United States, Canada and Great Britain. The towering Milford granite shaft rises from a terraced plaza to a height of 352 feet and is the world's most massive Doric column. Beneath the stone floor of the monument lie the remains of three American officers and three British officers. The open air promenade at the top can accommodate 50 people. From it can be seen the green mass of Middle and North Bass Islands, the other islands of the archipelago, the Marblehead Peninsula, Cedar Point, the buildings of Sandusky, and Lake Erie. On clear days the shore lines of Michigan and Canada are visible. The memorial, which cost nearly $500,000, was erected under the joint sponsorship of the Federal Government and the States of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New York, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan and Illinois. Although substantially completed in 1915, funding problems prevented the proper completion of a fully realized memorial complex. In 1919 the federal government assumed control of the monument and provided additional funding. The official dedication was celebrated on July 31, 1931. On September 11, 1938, the monument and the 14-acre park surrounding it were dedicated as a National Park by Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes. In 2002, 2.4 million dollars was spent on a new visitor center. Established as Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial National Monument by Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 2, 1936 (Proclamation No. 2182); redesignated a National Memorial and renamed on October 26, 1972. As with all historic areas administered by the National Park Service, the memorial was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. It is the only peace memorial within the National Park Service. The Memorial had been closed for most of the summer of 2006 after a 500 pound (230 kg) piece of granite broke off the southeast face of the observation deck, falling 315 feet (96 m) and leaving a crater in the plaza in June. No one was injured. Following a structural assessment that deemed it safe for visitors, the memorial reopened on August 26, 2006, with a fence surrounding it. The monument closed on September 30, 2009 for 2 years. Renovations will be done in 3 phases, with the observation deck first, then the column, then the entrance and rotunda receiving attention. The repairs to the observation deck are estimated at $7,000,000. Oliver Hazard Perry (1785-1819) was in command of a flotilla at Newport, Rhode Island, when the War of 1812 broke out. In March of the following year he was given command on Lake Erie. By summer he sailed with a squadron built for him at Erie, Pennsylvania, put in at the harbor of South Bass Island (whence the name, Put-In-Bay), and awaited the coming of the British vessels for an anticipated encounter. Sighting them on the morning of September 10, Perry sailed northwest towards the Sister Islands. The Americans had 54 guns and two swivels; the British had 63 guns, 4 howitzers and two swivels. About noon Perry’s flagship, the Lawrence, was fired upon, and bore the brunt of the attack because the other ships were becalmed at a distance. Her guns pounded into silence, the Lawrence was abandoned, and Perry and his men rowed to the Niagara. In the meantime his other ships had come up, and the Americans swooped down upon the English warships. Maneuvering the Niagara between four of the enemy’s boats, the Americans poured broadsides at close range into time; and at 3 o’clock in the afternoon the British flagship Detroit lowered her flag, signaling surrender. Perry’s laconic message to General William Henry Harrison was: ‘Dear General – We have met the enemy, and they are ours. Two ships, two brigs, one schooner, and one sloop. Yours with great respect and esteem, O. H. Perry.’ Perry’s victory gave the Americans control of Lake Erie and enabled Harrison to invade Canada, the latter’s success at the Battle of the Thames ending the War of 1812 in the Northwest. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: SA1039AV_B08F09_048_1
Subjects: Monuments & memorials--United States--1900-1940; Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial (Put-in-Bay, Ohio); Perry, Oliver Hazard, 1785-1819; National Park Service (U.S.); National Register of Historic Places
Places: Put-in-Bay Township (Ohio); Ottawa County (Ohio)