Category Archives: Island News

Kelleys Island


Kelleys Island, Ohio

For some Midwestern lake fun, book a trip to Kelleys Island this Labor Day weekend. The ferry dock serving Kelleys Island is only a 1.5-hour drive from Cleveland, and then you’re just a 20-minute ride away from relaxation on Lake Erie. Rent bikes, kayaks or a boat to enjoy some time on the water. Or, hike through the island’s state park, located on the northwestern side of the island.

Pro tip: Kelleys Island is one of the best Labor Day destinations if you’re on a budget this year. Flights into Cleveland are under $250 round-trip from New York City, and the ferry dock is driving distance from major Midwestern cities like Ann Arbor and Detroit.

Charles Herndon


CLEVELAND, Ohio — There are certain things you expect to see when vacationing on Kelleys Island. Among other things, you expect to see boats, birds, golf carts and people playing miniature golf. This year, I was surprised to find a 10-acre sculpture garden. It was there behind an 1850s farmhouse that faced the lake. There were statues and polished stones and red metallic geometric shapes.

We were rolling around out by the Kelleys Island airport when we discovered the Charles Herndon Galleries and Sculpture Garden.

Even though it was late on a Sunday afternoon, “Chuck” Herndon welcomed our gang of hooligans to look around, and he even opened the gallery for us. He reminded me of the late Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. He had that twinkle in his eyes.

Herndon’s fascination with stone began when visited his grandparents’ house out on the island when he was a child. People often call the Lake Erie Islands “rocks.” As in, “I’m getting off the rock tonight.” That’s basically what the islands are: large rocks in the middle of the water. Big pieces of limestone.

Herndon began interacting with the stones the way most kids do in the summer. He started by skipping stones. When looking for good skippers, be began examining the quality of the stones. So began his education in stone. He gravitated toward limestone because of its density. In college, Herndon took a geology class to learn more.

He’s been a stoner ever since. He paints, too. Mostly pictures of stones.

Herndon has a mission statement of sorts in his gallery. In it, he writes, “As I walk the beach near my studio, I look down at the stones I’ve crossed time and time again in my life. I find in them what I’ve prepared to find. As my preparation has improved through education and experience, what the beach offers becomes richer. I see in the stones before me and under me and in those I take from the beach to carve, the manifestation of history, geology, process and time.

“At the same time, I associate with the shapes, colors, patterns and relationships. I see my own history, my involvement with art making, my experience of life and the world around me. Each walk is different. I am unprepared for the unexpected, the surprising, for the minor epiphanies that this meditative process offers. These are the rewards of the walk.”

See, he even thinks like Jerry Garcia.

Herndon grew up in Cleveland Heights and got his bachelor of fine arts degree in sculpture from the Cleveland Institute of Art and a bachelor of arts in art history from Case Western Reserve University. He has an MFA in sculpture from Syracuse University. He taught at the Columbus College of Art and Design for 34 years, retiring in 2007.

So now there’s a whole new reason to go out to Kelleys Island. The Herndon galleries are open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. unless Chuck is out fishing. Call ahead for an appointment at 419-746-2249 or 419-746-2505. If you want to preview his art, go to

Original article:

Ever dream of owning a brewery on an island?

Well, here’s your chance: The Kelleys Island Brewery, located on Kelleys Island in Lake Erie and offering picturesque views of the Ohio mainland, is up for sale.

The asking price is a cool $2.5 million.

That gets you a 3½-barrel brewery, restaurant, bar, lakefront cottage, stone-sided single family home, two-unit apartment building and garage with a studio apartment.

Cutler Real Estate is handling the sale.

The seasonal brewery — it traditionally has been open only during the Lake Erie Islands tourist season — is one of the most remote breweries in the state thanks to its island home. The only way to visit is to take a 20-minute ferry ride — or fly, swim or boat there yourself.

Located along West Lakeshore Drive, the Kelleys Island Brewery offers remarkable views of the mainland, other islands, Lake Erie and Cedar Point amusement park.

Patti Johnson and Doug Muranyi founded the brewery as the Island Cafe & Brew Pub in 1999 after she was inspired by Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Cleveland and bought a small Century brewing system. The name was changed to the Kelleys Island Brewery in 2002.

Johnson and Muranyi, who serves as the brewer, couldn’t be reached for comment.

“They are looking to move onto the next adventure in their life,” Cutler real estate agent Steve Burgess said.

Kelleys Island, viewed as a quieter destination than the partying, bar-filled Put-in-Bay on nearby South Bass Island, is home to only about 300 year-round residents, although the population swells during the summer.

The brewery resembles a small cafe because it started out in 1960 as an ice cream stand, later morphing into a diner and then the brewpub.

Johnson and Muranyi added an outdoor stone patio and bar that have hosted many weddings.

Cindy Holmes, co-director of the Kelleys Island Chamber of Commerce, said the craft brewery has been a key attraction for the island for years and she’d like to see any buyer keep it as a brewery.

“I always point it out to people visiting,” she said.

Kelleys Island isn’t the only brewery on the Lake Erie islands. Put-in-Bay Brewing Co. & Distillery operates on South Bass Island, while the St. Hazards resort on Middle Bass Island holds a state brewing permit.

Anyone interested in the Kelleys Island property should contact Burgess at Cutler Real Estate at 330-327-3393 or

Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or Read his beer blog at Follow him on Twitter at @armonrickABJ.

Tom Bartlett

From the Sandusky Register:

KELLEYS ISLAND — The Cleveland Museum of Natural History has bought more land on Kelleys Island, adding to the museum’s considerable holdings of nature preserves on the island.

Local records show that at the end of December, the museum paid $573,225 to buy about 13 acres of land near Mary Ann Lane from Phyllis E. Chucta and others. The land, located on the eastern end of the island and north of the airport, will be added to the museum’s Scheele Preserve. The Clean Ohio Fund provided money for the purchase.

The museum owns 220 acres on the island as nature preserves, about one-fifth of the island, and plays an important role in habitat preservation for birds, animals and plants on the island, said Renee Boronka, associate director for natural areas for the museum.

The Scheele Preserve, which is being expanded as a result of the new purchase, is the only natural area on the island owned by the museum which is open to everyone year round, without requiring a permit, Boronka said. The other natural preserves the museum owns on the island are mostly closed to the public, although the museum offers tours through them throughout the year.

The Scheele Preserve is home to two rare animal species, the Lake Erie watersnake and the Eastern fox snake, and also to the leafy blue flag iris.

The 220 acres on the island are divided into nature preserves, Boronka said, and most have to stay closed to preserve them.

“These communities on Kelleys Island are really fragile ecosystems,” she said.

The natural areas on Kelleys Island, and other islands in Lake Erie, are very important to migrating birds. Birds flying across the water stop on the islands to refuel resting and eating.

Expanding the natural areas with purchases such as the one completed last month aids that, Boronka said.

“It gives them more habitat to utilize when they are trying to make that trek,” she said.

The museum, located in the University Circle area of Cleveland, has a longtime history on Kelleys Island.

“The museum has owned land on Kelleys Island since the 1920s,” Boronka said. “We are the original owners of the Glacial Grooves as well as Inscription Rock.”

A document posted on the museum’s website explains that the museum acquired Inscription Rock in 1922 and the Glacial Grooves in 1923 but then turned them over to the Ohio State Museum in the 1930s (now the Ohio History Connection, as the state’s historical society is known.)

The museum bought 823 acres in 1955, giving 425 acres to Ohio, establishing Kelleys Island State Park.

According to the website document, the museum has eight nature preserves on the island.

Scheele Preserve is home to a number of native species, and to owls, the document says.

“The majority of this preserve protects an Alvar Forest of hackberry, juniper and rough-leaf dogwood trees. Alvar habitats form in places where a thin layer of soil tops flat limestone bedrock. Because this soil is usually less than 25 cm deep and has an elevated pH, it supports an unusual blend of boreal, southern and prairie plant species,” it says.

“The wet flats beneath and surrounding the forest are dominated by eastern star sedge, slender wedge-grass and Muskingum sedge — the latter being unique to this location,” it says.

The Scheele Preserve is also where retired Heidelberg University professor Tom Bartlett pursues his owl-banding research efforts. Bartlett is known as a “master bird bander” and is a research associate for the museum, Boronka said.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Proin nibh augue, suscipit a, scelerisque sed, lacinia in, mi. Cras vel lorem. Etiam pellentesque aliquet tellus.



January 2021