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The USS Lake Erie

In honor of the Battle of Lake Erie and Oliver Hazard Perry’s efforts in the War of 1812, this ship was given the name USS Lake Erie and was commissioned on July 24th, 1993. This vessel is a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser and resides in its home port of sunny San Diego, California.

The ship’s motto, proudly printed for all to see on the main deck, is "DONT GIVE UP THE SHIP". This phrase was made famous by Commodore Perry in the Battle of Lake Erie, as it was written on his battle flag for all of his fleet to see. The spelling used on this ship holds true to the original motto that didn’t include an apostrophe on the “t”.

Tours of the ship have been made open to the public before in the past, but is an uncommon scenario as this is an active duty vessel. We thank all of the brave men and women aboard that serve to protect our country and wish them a safe journey throughout their missions in the open seas.

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    June 15th, 1669 - First sighting of Lake Erie

    It was June 15, 1669 and a French explorer by the name of Louis Jolliet would become the first documented European to find and explore Lake Erie.

    Long before the summer Louis Jolliet found the lake, it was inhabited by a few small Native American tribes that lived off various parts of the the lake. The Erie tribe and the Attawandaron tribe were two of the peaceful or “neutral” tribes in the area. The Europeans were very familiar with both tribes and knew they refused to practice violence. Quite some time later, the lake was given its name, “Lake Erie” after the Erie tribe. “Erie” originally comes from the shortened version of “erielhonan”, an Iroquoian word that means “long tail”.

    Though Jolliet was the first known European to explorer Lake Erie, his efforts were limited and many others would come to explore the region over the years.

    Louis Jolliet

    After Jolliet’s explorations on Lake Erie, he headed south for his next adventure to explore the Mississippi river. Over the years he continued to explore North America and eventually spent his later years further north in Canada.


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    The Biggest Hotel in America

    In 1892 the largest hotel in America to-date started construction, and opened its doors to the public in 1896. This elegant and large hotel was called The Hotel Victory. Located on South Bass Island, near the city of Put-in-Bay, its launch was covered in papers across the nation. For a small sliver in time, the entire country was focused on the grand opening of this never-before-seen hotel.

    Hotel Design

    The Hotel Victory was a marvelous design created by E.O. Fallis and The Feick Construction Company of Sandusky. The main building was a staggering 600 feet wide by 300 feet deep, this also included an inner courtyard that was 200 square feet in size.

    Postcard from the Hotel Victory, Put-in-Bay, Ohio - Circa 1915

    The Hotel Victory included 625 basic guest rooms and 80 suites, totaling a whopping 705 rooms. It also boasted modern features such as multiple elevators, bell boys on every floor, an indoor swimming pool, efficient steam heating, and electrical lighting.
    The hotel included multiple large dining halls that — when combined — could serve over a thousand guests at a time.

    Hotel Pricing

    When the Hotel Victory opened its doors in 1896, their day-rate for a standard room was $2.50 and weekly rates ranged from $14.00 to $35.00. If you account for inflation today, the Hotel Victory would roughly cost you ~$76.00 a day, and weekly rates would range from ~$426.00 to ~$1,065.00 — which isn't terrible by today's standards, considering the amenities provided. 

    Postcard from the Hotel Victory, Put-in-Bay, Ohio - Circa 1915

    The Original Brochure

    The Hotel Victory's brochure cover touts their claims of being The Superb Leader of all Lake Resorts and The Largest Summer Resort in the World. Featuring black and white photos of landmarks on the property and the views of Lake Erie from Put-in-Bay, Island. 


    Would you stay at the Hotel Victory?

    Click through the entire Hotel Victory brochure and imagine what 1890s summer vacationing was like on this beautiful Put-in-Bay resort. 

    The largets and most handsomely furnished summer hotel in the world.
    About Hotel Victory
    About the area around Hotel Victory including the ciy of Put-in-Bay, Ohio.
    An Island Castle. Perry's Willow.
    Fruit of Put-in-Bay. Social Features.
    Arrangement. Southern Exposure.
    Cuisine. Fishing.
    Vineyard & Packing House of Capt. John Stone. Lawn, where the little people play. Meet me at the rustic bridge. Perry's Cave.
    Orchestra & Ball Room. Lady Guests of Hotel Victory. Bowling Alley & Wine Room. East Side of Put-in-Bay Island.
    Points of Interest, and Attractions. Electric Railroad.
    The Social Center of the Island
    Imposing Appearance.
    Perry's Cave. Guides. Climate.
    Strontia. Our guest chambers.
    Amusements. The swimming pool or natatorium.
    Cottage life at Victory Park. How to reach Put-in-Bay.
    Cheap rates. Distances from Put-in-Bay Island in a direct line. Suggestions to visitors.
    Our manager. Put-in-Bay Churches.

    Tragic Ending

    An unknown fire started on August 14th, 1919 where flames originated from the top floor, spreading quickly throughout. Hotel visitors were notified and quickly exited the building. Today, little remains of the hotel. Parts of the swimming pool's concrete foundation can still be seen on the property.


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