Video Vault: Put-In-Bay in the winter; When tourists leave and Lake Erie freezes

PUT-IN-BAY, Ohio - Our Lake Erie islands are something special. You can take the ferry across a few miles of water and feel as if you’re in a tropical paradise…until winter hits.

In 2001, WEWS reporter Kathy Davis filed a story, shot by videographer Rich Geyser, chronicling life on the islands when the tourists go home and the lake freezes over.

You might think the residents hibernate, but in her story, you’ll see that’s not true.

Davis shows us how the locals live and play. Ice fishing and ATV hijinks start her story. The quiet of the off season is time for neighbors to reconnect and tell stories.

Skip Duggan recounts driving from South Bass Island to the mainland to see a movie, while another resident recounts the year fuel oil ran low and had to be restocked from the mainland by helicopter.

Pets are flown to vet appointments; supplies are flown to the island, including the U.S. Mail.

A fascinating item in her 2001 story revolves around the school. All the grades housed in one building, that’s kindergarten through 12th grade. It’s not just the kids on South Bass Island go to the school but the students from the other Lake Erie islands too, and they’re flown in and out daily.

Enjoy a look at winter on the islands or wait a few months, you can go ice fishing for yourself.

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