When cruising thru downtown Put-in-Bay one cannot help but admire the lush green lawn od the well manicured DeRivera Park. Serving ar the downtown square, the park serves as a popular gathering spot for kids, groups and those looking for a peaceful place to enjoy a good book or a picnic lunch along the waterfront.
The park features several grills for an impromptu cookout with family and friends and numerous picnic tables. In the Center of the park is a large bathroom/bathhouse facility with showers and lockers for use by island visitors. DeRivera park has played host to many a wedding ceremony where the parks gazeebo can be rented for a small fee.
Also gracing the center of the park is a fountain constructed from local limestone by several Put-in-Bay businessmen. Swingsets, slides and other popular playground equipment make DeRivera Park a hit with the kids. Century-old trees provide an abundance of share on those hot summer days.
The park was named after the founding father of Put-in-Bay Jose DeRivera who purchased the South Bass, Middle Bass, Gibraltar, Starve and Ballast islands for $44,000. After building a stave and sawmill, DeRivera began to subdivide the land into parcels. The location of Put-in-Bay’s first school was on land sold by DeRivera to the Board of Education for a mere $1.00. St Paus church was constructed on land DeRivera sold for only $10.00.
The park is managed by a board of three DeRivera Park trustees and is the operator of the Put-in-Bay Docks know as “B” Dock. Recently, a 200-year-old tree was damaged in a storm and reusrected as a 30 foot high tree carving of Put-in-Bays Jose DeRivera as a memorial.