The last time I was at Perry’s Victory and International Peace Monument was at least 20 years ago. As I’ve been filling up my National Park Passport book with stamps, Perry’s Monument was elusive. Close by but hard to get to and only open during a limited season. Because it opens in May and closes in September, Tom and I have been gone the last five years during the season it was open. But this year everything is different and we were finally able to visit.
Perry’s Victory and International Peace Monument, on South Bass Island, is accessible only by boat or air. And, once you arrive on the island, the monument is at the opposite end from the ferry. Of course, this journey only makes it more fun to visit and makes you take your time once you get there.
Most of the National Park Visitors Centers are still closed due to Covid-19. But Perry’s Visitors Center has been open since June 13. There are restrictions on number in the Visitors Center at once, and the movie was limited to 10 people. But we still enjoyed most of the visitor experience, made use of the restrooms, and watched the movie. The Visitors Center and the movie do a great job of laying out the battle and explaining its significance.
The Battle of Lake Erie took place on September 10, 1813 during the War of 1812. The British and the Americans were competing for domination of the Great Lakes. Nine American ships commanded by Oliver Hazard Perry defeated and captured six British ships. This ensured American control of the lake for the rest of the war. Even though the American’s were victorious in the battle, the war was essentially a stalemate. Eventually a treaty was negotiated that established the border between Canada and the United States. Today the monument celebrates the victory and the long-lasting peace between Canada and the United States. It also celebrates the longest undefended border in the world.
Although the Visitors Center was open, the Monument is not. Usually you can ride an elevator up the 352 feet of the monument and get a great view of Lake Erie and the islands. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the elevator cannot be used and the monument is closed. But we still enjoyed walking around the monument and admiring it from all angles.
We enjoyed our visit to Perry’s Victory and International Peace Monument very much. Best of all, now that I have the stamp, I have stamps from all the Ohio National Park Sites.