you look to the west down the new Fox Road now
behind the Inn it used to be in front of the Inn
you can see some of what was at one time a fishing
village / area. The leases are recorded at the
Ottawa County Court house.
is documented that many Presidents, Politicians,
and Business owners have come to Middle Bass Island
to fish and enjoy the entertainment offered in
the early era. Most of the dignitaries stayed
in the "Club Area" of Middle Bass Island,
on the west side.
Fox Road prior to being redirected in the 1980's
came in front of the Inn along the beach and in
front of all the trailers close to the beach.
It went through where our current gathering room
is. Several older native residents have stated
that there at one time was a boardwalk in front
of the Inn along the water, for residents to walk
along the beach area above the water. We have
a black and white picture in the Inn showing the
old trailers along Fox Rd which at that time was
directly along the lake.
The Inn has a full dry basement.Approximately
8ft high, hard to believe, but yes. The footer
walls in the front are approx. 18" to 24
inches thick of native limestone in really good
shape. The lower level has 2 exits, a utility
room, and card table and chairs to allow a place
for card games, board games etc.
Anton Fischer was the one of the first owners
of the land buying it from the Caldwell Estate
back in the 1860 era. Anton Fischer then built
the current brick residence and grew grapes and
fruit trees on the 12 acres the family owned.
He had a daughter Catherine. Catherine married
Louis Gmlch. They continued to farm the land,
grow the grapes and several fruit trees and send
them to the Detroit area to sell and make money.
In June of 1914 Antone Fisher passed away. His
siblings Charles, Frank and Catherine Gmelch inherited
the home and 12 acres after the death of Anton.
Later that year in December of 1914 the 2 brothers
Quit Claimed their rights to their sister Catherine
for the sum of twenty six hundred dollars ($2600).
When Catherine married Louis Gmlch they had a
son Albert, Albert had several children that lived
in the home and on the island with him for many
years. One of his daughters Betty (Dutt) had several
children one of which still comes up and stays
in the trailer next to the home on the west. We
love to talk to her and hear of all the past history.
Catherine (Fisher) Gmlch passed away May 9th 1946,
Albert, her husband, became the sole owner. Approximately
1975 he passed ownership to his siblings, Betty
Dutt and another sister.
1980 Betty Dutt, Albert Gmlch's daughter sold
the property to Paul Aaron. She retained her lot
and trailer next to the home and her daughter
Diane still lives there during the summer. The
remaining 11 plus or minus acres were sold off
throughout the past years to the folks that had
the fishing leases on them.
1983 Emaus Smith purchased the home from Paul
Aaron of Cleveland.Paul Aaron was in the Radio
Broadcasting Business. In approx 1983 the gathering
room out by the lake was added. For the next several
years they added the updated plumbing and electrical.
Under the ground throughout the lot are many of
the old busses that lined the old Fox Road Fishing
Village. It was hard to get rid of the buses,
unsightly above ground, thus Emaus Smith with
a back hole buried many of the buses and trailers
around the home. A few of the springs are still
visible sticking up out of the ground.
Kim & Ralph Renninger purchased the home Sept
8th, 2006 Kim and Ralph had been coming to Middle
Bass Island since 1996. They joined Middle Bass
Island Yacht Club at that time and came to the
Island to enjoy. In 2005 they started to look
around to purchase property after the State of
Ohio decided to put over 12 milllion dollars into
the area, marina and winery. The entire family
and many friends worked that year up until the
ferry quit running Nov. 24 to improve the Inn.
They have done many of the current improvements
you currently enjoy. Tom Renninger, a teacher
in Tiffin Ohio, Ralph's brother invited his students
up to camp out, work and enjoy the Inn and Island.
About 21 of the students came over on the ferry
and helped to update the Inn to its current state.
In 2007 the new furnace, a big plus on those cold
fall days was added. The first time the Inn had
heat since when it was heated by pot bellied stoves
currently in the dining room. A new 4 ton air
conditioning unit was added in spring of 2008
summer of 2008 3 of the 4 baths were updated with
new units and soon to be new flooring. In 2009
we hope to re do the wood floors, in the foyer,
parlor, dining room and bedroom's we will attempt
to bring them back to natural wood and beauty
We also want to add all new "Old Style"
push button switches in the brick part of the
SUGAR ISLAND: 1/2 mile west of the Inn. A family
from Columbus currently owns the Island. Many
times you are able to walk out to the Island through
the water, Approx deepest depth is 4 feet.
This site updated, Jan 2009RJR