(2019 Event) One of the most entertaining and heartfelt weekends of the summer, Founders Day celebrates Hispanic merchant Jose DeRivera who in 1854 purchased South Bass, Middle Bass, Sugar, Gibraltar, Ballast and Starve Islands for a price of $44,000. Throughout the following years, he sold off parcels of the land including the school property for $1 and the St. Paul's church property for $10. This day celebrates the island's heritage and DeRivera's good deeds.
Founders Day means always great food and lots of fun for the entire family. Most of the events are held in DeRivera Park, aptly named after Jose, downtown from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Island entertainment usually performs a free concert in the afternoon from 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM. The Put-in-Bay Hog Roasters often provide a great roast hog picnic lunch for a small donation. Shoppers will be happy to find fantastic bargains at one of the many sale tables and pick up information on one of our non-profit groups that rely on the support of our community and visitors. (2019 Event)
Put-in-Bay Trivia: Along the lovely shores of South Bass Island (Put-in-Bay), five luxury hotels were built by 1888. One of the hotels, The Hotel Victory is referred to as a symbol of the peak of the lavish 1890’s. Being the biggest summer resort in the U.S. at the time, the Hotel Victory was operating 27 years prior to being ruined by a fire on August 14, 1919. Today, you can still see the remains of some of the foundation and its swimming pool at the South Bass Island State Park.