A LITTLE HISTORY
In 1833, two brothers, Datus and Irad Kelley, began purchasing lots on the Island. At the time it was casually referred to as Cunningham’s Island. The attraction was the small quarry, operated by the Clemons Bros. of Marblehead, and the Red Cedar trees. These trees grew abundantly across the Island and were highly desired by the steamboats that often stopped for fuel on their travels up and down the lake.
The island community became a Township with its first election in 1840. George C. Huntington wrote: “The election was held in the school house and the Board was organized by the choice of Walter Beardsley, E. T. Smith and Chester Stocking, Judges, and Addison Kelley and George C. Huntington as Clerks of Election. The whole number of votes polled was 15, and but six of this number were tax payers at the time – the others were principally transient persons, or those who were merely employed here for the time being…”
Finally, in 1887, the Township became the Village of Kelley’s Island (and yes, there was an apostrophe in the name). The first Mayor was Dr. George C. Fann, and the six councilmen elected were: John Stokes, Otto Brown, Henry Beatty, Lewis Rhein, Charles Sternberger and James Estes.
Census – according to the 2010 Census, we have 859 homes and 312 residents, of which, 78% are over the age of 45.
Location – We are located about 4.5 miles from the mainland and are served by one ferry boat (the Kelleys Island Ferry Boat Line) which leaves from the Marblehead Peninsula. Our nearest neighbors are the Bass Islands on which is located Put-in-Bay.
Weather – People often ask about the weather and quite frankly, we have mostly the same weather as the mainland except we do not get quite so much snow. It is always interesting to watch the weather radar and see storms break up or veer south just before hitting the Island.
Village of Kelleys Island
121 Addison St., Kelleys Island OH 43437