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The Origin of the Name "Isle St. George"

by Mike Gora

In 2008 I obtained a copy of the book "The Diary of Mrs. John Graves Simcoe, Wife of the First Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Upper Canada, 1792-1796", published in 1911. I had it for about two years before I got around to checking it for references to Lake Erie. I knew that Gov. Simcoe had been to the Bass Islands in 1794 with his wife and thought there might be something of interest in the book.

According to the diary entry for May 2, 1794, one of the Bass Islands was named Isle St. George on April 23, 1794, that day being St. George's Day, which was a more important holiday in the U.K. in the 18th century than it is today. Gov. Simcoe was detained in the islands for a few days because of "contrary winds" that kept them from being able to sail east. The official name of North Bass Island today is still "Isle St. George, Ohio".

I sent this info to the Lake Erie Islands Historical Society at Put-in-Bay after I first discovered it, and it was published in their June, 2010 newsletter. It was recently picked up from that newsletter by "The Beacon" paper and reprinted there.







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Revised: 10 August 2010