A serene green space right in the heart of downtown Put-in-Bay, DeRivera Park covers over 5 acres of waterfront property. The park is named after South Bass Island’s original owner, Joseph DeRivera St. Jurgo. The park is a great place to enjoy some people watching on a sunny summer day. You can also enjoy some great sites on a walk through the park itself. Additionally, you can learn quite a bit about the island through the park’s memorials.
What You’ll Find At DeRivera Park
- The wishing fountain in DeRivera Park is a place where you can flip a couple of coins into the water, make a wish, and feel good about it. The change from the fountain is donated to Put-in-Bay EMS, so even if your wish doesn’t come true, your coins will do some good.
- DeRivera Park makes the gazebo available for public use, and you can also rent it out for your event. There have been many weddings at the gazebo.
- Have a cookout in the park with the grills available for use. The kids can play on DeRivera Park’s playground and swings.
- If you’ve taken part in any of the watersports that launch from the downtown dock, like jet skiing or paddleboarding, you can rinse off at the public bathhouse at DeRivera Park. There are also lockers here, so if you’re downtown shopping, you can stop by and store your haul if you want to grab dinner or drinks in downtown Put-in-Bay.
Perhaps the most noteworthy feature of DeRivera Park is the memorial made of cannonballs. This famous landmark is also one of Put-in-Bay’s most interesting spots. It was the original resting place of three American and three British officers who perished in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. Officials buried them here as a symbol of unity between the American and British people. During construction of the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, the bodies were exhumed and moved to the memorial. These cannonballs serve as a marker for the original gravesite.
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