MIDDLE BASS And Her Attractions
1898 text from reference (12) in the Bibliography
one of the triplets which comprise the "Bass" group, Middle Bass
Island is a section of the same emerald, so to speak, as that from which,
Put-in-Bay was cut. Its coves and shore lines are pretty and picturesque, and
the place as a whole forms a natural garden spot. The primitive name, "Isle
de Fleurs," is significant, and the blooms of field and forest not only;
but fruits, and foliage and vegetation, both wild and cultivated, unite in
rendering it a perfect dream of beauty.
Bass is shaped something like a duck --- minus the legs --- the neck forming
East Point, a long, narrow projection luxuriant with tangles of wild growths and
picturesque with rough rocks, and a tumbled beach over which ranting storms rush
sort of "John O'Groat'shouse" occupies the extreme point, rising
boldly over creviced shore and dashing sea.
tail of the duck is formed by the bobbed off western portion of the island. Upon
this caudle appendage is located the grounds of the Middle Bass club with its
buildings and improvements. That Middle Bass holds, as a summer resort, an
important place, is due to its charming location and convenience of access not
only, but also to the enterprise of this association, which has expended a large
amount of money in fitting up for the use of its members and invited guests
during summer heats a most delightful rendezvous.
approach thereto from the main landing at Wehrle's is by an angling road which
cuts through rich tracts of vineyard and orchard lands, while to left and right
appear the neat dwellings of islanders, with their pretty yards and gardens.
grounds are sheltered by natural forest trees and the situation is refreshingly
cool and breezy. In addition to the magnificent club house with massive tower
and wide, cool verandahs, they also contain a handsome pavilion and boat house,
a Gothic chapel in which religious services are conducted, and a large and
elegant hall, at which are held club parties and entertainments. These
attractions, together with a collection of artistically built cottages, shaded
avenues and carefully kept lawns, form in themselves a village of unrivalled
beauty and elegance. There are no fences to give to the place an air of
littleness or exclusiveness and the lawns and grass plots reach unbroken to the
gutter and are miracles each of the gardener's skill. Every beautiful and
artistic effect is studied in the arrangement of vines, vases, plants and
shrubbery, and every detail is looked after with the most scrupulous neatness
and care. Pavements of smooth, white stone, sawed into blocks of uniform size
and thickness, edge the main avenues and connect the club grounds with the
steamboat wharves and piers.
the summer season a ferry line steamer - Le Roy Brooks - runs between the club
ground and Put-in-Bay, and viewed from the steamer's decks as she approaches the
former place, presents an exceedingly attractive appearance. Club resorters
crowd the wide pier, idly promenade the avenues, or recline in the deep, cool
shadows of spreading trees. Cots, ca~Lp chairs, rockers and tete-a-tetes stand
ready for occupation, and luxurious hammocks swing invitingly.
club consists of 200 members, having been limited to that number, and represents
some of the wealthiest and most influential families of Toledo, Cleveland,
Cincinnati, Springfield, Dayton, Chicago and other cities.
the club membership, or on the list of invited guests, annually appear names of
prominent men such as Governor Asa Bushnell and representatives of his staff;
Senator Foraker, General J. Warren Keiffer, Judge Haynes, ex-Secretary of the
Treasury Charles Foster, and Senator Hanna. These, and other distinguished
public men, with their families, are members or guests at this resort. Among
society people of prominence entertained there from time to time may be
mentioned the Misses Clay of Lexington, Kentucky; Miss Rusk, daughter of
Jeremiah Rusk, Mrs. Reese, sister of Senator Sherman, and ladies of like
cottage of John Berdan has won distinction as the home, for two or three weeks
during his presidential campaign, of Benjamin Harrison and family, who were then
guests of the club.
at the club is delightful, and rest, recreation and happiness are found in
measure unrestricted. Lawn tennis, bicycle riding, bathing, boating and other
pastimes occupy old and young. Music by the hotel orchestra, piano or mandolin
may be heard during the afternoon and evening. Singing by select solo and
quartette performers fill the air with a medley of sweet sounds, Rehberg's hall
echoes to the feet of dancers, gaily painted boats and swift winged yachts put
out from shore laden with pleasure parties. Propellers, cargo laden, and strings
of barges bound up and down the great highways of commerce, come and go, and
shadowy sails appear, to vanish again in the blending haze of sea and sky. Such
is life at this little earthly paradise.
resorts there is none which so strongly attracts the gayer portion of visiting
crowds than that known as "Wehrle's Hall" where:
and pleasure meet
chase the glowing hours with flying feet,"
by day and night from the opening of the season to its close are heard the
sounds of music and the dance, and thousands come and go, as many as a thousand
persons having been on some occasions represented in the hall, the assemblage
consisting of hotel guests from Put-in-Bay, island dwellers and parties from
Sandusky and other points who arrive on moonlight excursions. On such occasions
the hall is a blaze of light, the orchestra plays, the whistle of busy ferry
boats is heard - the Ina, a well known and favored little steamer and other
boats being represented - and red and green lights twinkle across the channel
a late hour when the entertainment is over, and the steamers with their crowds
move away, the band strikes up a lively selection, a cannon mouths forth a
parting salute and shouts and cheers resound.
hall occupies the upper portion of an extensive building fronting the steamboat
wharves, and is reached from the outside by flights of stairs. A wide balcony
projects over the entire front and across the end overlooking the residence and
private grounds of the late Andrew Wehrle. The hall is wainscotted with light
oak or maple. At one end is the music platform, at the other end billiard and
other tables. From a side counter customers order refreshments of all sorts,
which may be had, from a dish of ice cream to wines of every brand, and the
tempting goblet with its color and sparkle and seductive sweets goes round.
the hall are the vaults of the Wehrle Wine company, which contains, it is said,
some of the largest casks in the world.
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Revised: 21 Jul 2008 07:49:56.
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