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Lead Federal Agency:

Federal Aviation Administration


Prepared for:

R. W .Armstrong and Associates


Prepared by:

Kenneth E. Jackson Elisabeth H. Tuttle


W. Kevin Pape,

Project Manager and Principal Investigator


14 December 1993





The 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.





The 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.


The 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.





Human 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.




The 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 years ago.


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).




Soil 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.


Soils 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.


The 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).


Minor 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).




The 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.


Ashtabula 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).




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.


The 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.





The 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.




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).


The 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).


The 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).


As 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.


Gardner (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.


In 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.


ARCHAIC OCCUPATION (8000 H.C. to 1500 H.C.)


The 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.


A 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.


Temporal 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 customs.


Archaic 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).


In 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).


Nonhwest 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).




The 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).


The 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.


The 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).


Thus, 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.


The 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.

In 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).




The 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).


The 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).


Subsistence 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.




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.


The 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.


In 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 French.


In 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.


In 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).


With 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).


During 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).


After 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.


In 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).


Harmar 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).


After 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.


Worried 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.


In 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.


During 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.




In 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.


Many 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.


Middle 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).


The 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 and OTT-400-5).


By 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).


The 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.


In 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 Places.


In 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.


By 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 1940:383).





This 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.






One 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.




The 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.


The 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.


A 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.


Although 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.






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.


The 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.


The 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).


The 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.


In 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.


There 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 daughter.




A review of the OAI revealed no previously inventoried historic archaeological sites on Middle Bass Island.




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. 








A 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.


Numerous 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.


There 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.

Historic 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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