Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial | PARK AT A GLANCE

Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial

Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial

PARK OVERVIEW

Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial is located on South Bass Island in Lake Erie. Commonly called Put-In-Bay (which is actually the name of the main town), the island is reached from the Ohio mainland by private boat, public ferry, or airplane. Put-In-Bay is a tourist town popular for its bars and restaurants. It has approximately 250 full-time residents but gets 750,000 visitors each summer. Many of these tourists head to the Perry Memorial to take an elevator ride to the observation deck near the top of the 352-foot tower, the largest Greek Doric column in the world.

The memorial commemorates United States Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry’s victory over the British navy in the September 10, 1813, Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. The British Navy was considered the best in the world, but not only did Perry win the battle, he also captured the entire British Lake Eire fleet. While the war continued for another year, Perry’s victory and a subsequent U. S. victory in the Battle of the Thames River later that October effectively ended the fighting in the Northwest Territory.

Talks of a Perry victory memorial began in 1852, but it wasn’t until the early 1900s that the idea became a reality. By this time the United States and England had been at peace for nearly 100 years and had become close allies. When a design competition for the memorial was held in October 1911, it was made clear that the memorial “will commemorate not only the victory but the subject of one hundred years of peace between the United States and Great Britain.” Construction began in 1912, and the observation deck was open to the public by the summer of 1915.

In addition to taking a trip to the memorial’s observation deck, visitors to the park can watch a film about the Battle of Lake Erie and browse exhibits in a small museum inside the Visitor Center. Rangers offer various lectures and historic weapons demonstrations, and special events such as the Battle of Lake Erie Anniversary Celebration are held throughout the summer.

OPERATING HOURS

Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial observation deck and Visitor Center are open seasonally. Hours are typically 10 AM to 6 PM daily from mid-May until the end of September (closes at 5 PM starting mid-September). From October 1st until Columbus Day they are open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays only, 10 AM to 5 PM. The facilities are closed at all other times of the year (park grounds are always open). For the exact times and dates, visit the National Park Service’s official Operating Hours and Seasons web page for the park.

The observation deck will close due to high winds or lightning strikes within an eight mile radius of the tower.

Entrance into the rotunda of Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial

Entrance into the rotunda of Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial

ENTRANCE FEE

There is no fee to enter the Visitor Center or the rotunda of Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial. There is a fee to take the elevator to the observation deck. At the time of this writing, the cost is $10 for those 16 or older. Teens and children under 16 years of age get in free as long as they are with an adult. Cash is no longer accepted, so credit or debit cards are required. Various National Park annual passes are also good for entry, plus there is an option to purchase an annual pass that is only good for the Perry memorial. For the current prices, see the National Park Service’s Fees and Passes web page for the park.

Rotunda of Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial

Rotunda of Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial

SCHEDULING YOUR TIME

Visitor Center and Museum
allow 30 to 60 minutes, depending on your interest in Perry and the Battle of Lake Erie

Memorial Observation Deck
allow 30 minutes

Historic Weapons Demonstration
allow 30 minutes

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Last updated on May 17, 2024
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