On September 10, 1813, Commodore
Oliver Hazard Perry defeated and captured a British squadron of warships at the
Battle of Lake
Erie. The battle, fought during the War of
1812, secured control of Lake Erie for the United States and enabled General
William Henry Harrison to conduct a successful invasion of Western Upper Canada.
Harrison subsequently defeated the British and Indians at the Thames River on October 5, 1813. The dual victories of Lake Erie and the Thames provided an important morale boost to the young country and gave the United States a much stronger bargaining position at the peace talks.
The Treaty of
Ghent, signed on Christmas Eve 1814, ended the War 1812. However, in 1817 the United States signed the
Rush-Bagot Agreement with Great Britain, a document that has resulted in peaceful relations between the United States and Canada since the War of 1812.
Constructed between 1912 and 1915 by a commission of nine states and the federal government, Perry's Victory & International Peace Memorial was built not only to commemorate the American naval triumph, but also "to inculcate the lessons of international peace by arbitration and disarmament." On June 2, 1936 the memorial was established as a unit of the National Park Service by a presidential proclamation of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Rising 352 feet above Lake Erie, the Perry Memorial is the most dominant feature of the Lake Erie Islands. Interred beneath the rotunda floor are the remains of the three American and three British officers who were killed during the Battle of Lake Erie. Carved in the rotunda walls are the names of Perry's vessels along with the names of the Americans who were killed or wounded in the battle. After a climb of 37 steps to the lower landing, an elevator takes visitors to an open air observation deck 317 feet above Lake Erie. On a moderately clear day the observation deck offers a panoramic view of the Lake Erie Islands and the shorelines of Ohio, Michigan, and Ontario.
From mid-June through the end of August, Park Rangers offer interpretive talks about the Battle of Lake Erie, the War of 1812, construction of the monument, and other topics of interest. On weekends, Rangers offer living history demonstrations. Dressed in War of 1812 military and civilian uniforms, Rangers present talks about the Battle and the war, concluded with a firing demonstration of reproduction flintlock muskets and rifles. On scheduled weekends there are firing demonstrations of a reproduction 32-pounder carronade.
Adult Daily Fee - $3
Access to the island is by public ferry or plane only. There are several ferry lines that service the island,
Express, or The Miller Boat
FROM EAST: Ohio Turnpike to US 250. Take US 250 north to SR 2 west.
FROM WEST: Ohio Turnpike to SR 53 and SR 2.