History

of the Island House Hotel

History

of the Island House Hotel

In the Beginning

Originally opened in 1870, the Island House hotel was designed as a luxury destination for the nation’s elite making the voyage along the northern shore of Lake Erie. Though the first structure burned down in 1882, it had become such an Ohio icon that it was quickly rebuilt. The historic hotel you see today opened its doors again less than 4 years later, at a construction cost of roughly $25,000, over $600,000 in today’s money. This massive investment in the small town of Port Clinton ensured the city would become a must-visit destination for people from around the nation.

Reconstruction
& Renewal

When the majestic wooden doors swung open again in 1886, the Island House Hotel sported fifty lavish hotel rooms, and yet only one communal bathroom. At the time, it was the height of modern elegance, and quickly became the beating heart of Port Clinton. With a steady stream of travelers, the area’s largest saloon, and walking distance to the lake, the hotel was an ideal location for anyone making the night in Northern Ohio, and a great place to meet folks from every corner of America.

The Island House is a stunning and enduring example of 19th century elegance, and quickly became the beating heart of downtown Port Clinton.

Hotel of The Elite

As business and traffic between Cleveland and Toledo became more frequent during the boom of the 1920’s, the Island House Hotel became a much needed landing spot for the nation’s traveling elite. Everyone from sitting presidents to business tycoons and sports legends made sure to stop at The Island House Hotel during their voyages.

Some of the famous celebrities to grace our hotel over the years include:

  • President Rutherford Hayes
  • President James Garfield
  • President William Taft
  • Humphrey Bogart
  • Lauren Bacall
  • Babe Ruth
  • Yogi Berra
  • Joe DiMaggio
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • J. Paul Getty
  • William Hearst
  • Bob Dylan
  • Julie Andrews
  • William Randolph Hearst

The Island House Today

Today, the Island House hotel remains one of the oldest historic structures in Ohio, a call back to a decadent and lavish time of excitement at the turn of the century. From the Gilded Age to the Roaring 20’s, and through to the modern era, the Historic Island House Hotel has endured as a home away from home for thousands, a beautiful jewel resting on the shores of Lake Erie. We’ve made sure to keep the hotel amenities up to date, while honoring the history and legacy of the Island House through the decades.

So join us on your next trip to Northern Ohio. Step into the history and the romance of a simpler time, here at the Historic Island House Hotel in picturesque Port Clinton, Ohio. Your room awaits.