Kelleys Island, Ohio (Images of America Series) by John T. Sabol
Three and a half miles from the mainland, Kelleys Island was settled in 1833 by brothers Datus and Irad Kelley. Formerly known as Cunningham’s Island, it quickly built a reputation as a source of fine red cedar and limestone. Grape vineyards, wineries, and a robust fishing industry followed, and Kelleys Island developed a stellar reputation through the 19th century. It also started to attract tourists, lured by the cool breezes and Shangri-La environment. Industrial change and population shifts have challenged the island’s economy. Tourism remains as the one constant industry and has now become the principal enterprise. Kelleys, known as “the quiet island,” can also be called the “resilient island” because of its ability to reinvent itself. For visitors, the island’s 2,880 acres present a complex patchwork of interesting homes, natural and historical marvels, and a lively social lifeassets that Islanders have found ways to make the best of.
John Sabol is a Cleveland native, writer, and historian whose family history has been linked to Kelleys Island since 1928. He has written three other books as well as several church histories and genealogical articles. A member of the Kelleys Island Historical Association, John and his wife own a home on the island’s south shore.