Kelleys Island is both a village in Erie County, Ohio, United States, and the island which it fully occupies in Lake Erie. As of the 2000 census, the village had a total permanent population of 367. It is the largest of the American Lake Erie Islands. It is part of the Sandusky, Ohio, metropolitan statistical area.
Kelleys is heavily forested among several residential areas, some for year-round residents, others for summer vacationers. Some small farms and a small limestone quarrying operation exist on the island. Historically, Kelleys Island was the center of limestone production in the Great Lakes when in the late 19th century when 16 limestone kilns produced lime on the island. Also the quarries were home of the Kelleys Island Lime & Transport Company, being once the largest producer of limestone and lime products in the world.
Numerous ruins of these operations and quarries dot the island. On the northern side, Kelleys Island State Park offers camping and protects the Glacial Grooves State Memorial and the North Shore Alvar State Nature Preserve. The glacial striations puts Kelleys in mild fame as inside are the largest and most easily accessible remains of glacial grooves in the world. Inscription Rock in the downtown area has barely visible pictographs drawn by the Eries, a Native American tribe which had a village there in the 16th century.
The Erie County 4H Camp is located on the north side of the island. Camp Patmos, a conservative Christian youth camp, is located on the northeast side of the island.
The islanders do most of their non-grocery shopping on the mainland where a private ferry runs to Marblehead, Ohio, every half hour during tourist season. During the summer, another ferry runs from Sandusky to Kelleys Island and Put-in-Bay.
The most common types of establishments on Kelleys Island are pubs and restaurants, almost all of which close for the winter season in September and reopen around May. The oldest and arguably best-known bar on the island is the Village Pump; others include the Caddyshack, Bag the Moon Saloon and the Casino. The Island is also home to The Kelleys Island Wine Company, originally one of the largest wineries in the U.S., established in 1872. It stopped operation after two major fires eventually destroyed its facility during prohibition. The ruins of the original winery are still standing on the island. The Zettler family re-established The Kelley's Island Wine in 1982 at the site of one of the oldest stone cottages on the island, known as the Nicholas Smith house (built circa 1865). Kirt and Robby Zettler continue to operate it as a working winery and tourist attraction.
Old Stone Place is an ideal home rental on family-friendly Kelleys Island, Ohio. Old Stone Place is available for weekly rentals during summer months, as well as weekends during spring and summer.READ MORE