Vermilion to purchase maritime landmark

Vermilion officials recently netted some big bucks to help preserve an iconic aquatic landmark.
Andy Ouriel
Feb 5, 2013


City leaders captured an $826,000 state grant targeted to purchase the building previously housing the Inland Seas Maritime Museum.

Museum operators committed moving to Toledo for expansion reasons.

In the past couple of years, officials launched a fundraising campaign to buy the building — a 2.3-acre waterfront site on Main Street.

The $826,000 represents about half of the $1.65 million needed before Dec. 31 so the city can outright own the land.

Karen and Larry Bettcher donated $200,000 to help officials buy the option to purchase the property. The option ends once 2014 arrives.

Erie MetroParks additionally contributed about $25,000 recently. The donation marks a continued MetroParks presence in Vermilion.

In 2011, park officials acquired their first property in Vermilion. Dubbed the Wakefield Property, this 1.6-acre site borders the Vermilion River near the city’s downtown area. It’s considered a passive park area, where people can walk on the sand, take a swim in the water or sit down to enjoy a sunset.

It’s unknown exactly what officials will do with the property, even if they secure all necessary funding.

One idea proposed included sculpting the property into a fishing museum.

Others revolve around connecting the Wakefield Property to the museum, streamlining shoreline space for those seeking to walk through a connected property.

“We are very excited about our grant for the maritime museum,” Vermilion Mayor Eileen Bulan said. “We will continue to fundraise this year.”



State money?? Isn't that money from the taxpaying people? Erie Metro Parks? Same thing? If I'm wrong please tell me.

Bada Bing

nope, you're right kurt. There's only 3 ways the govt gets money, tax, print, or sell bonds. Needless to say nobody is buying bonds!


"It’s unknown exactly what officials will do with the property, even if they secure all necessary funding."

Reads like typical bureaucratic govt. thinking: Spend first, question later.

"If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it." - Ronald Reagan.

2cents's picture

I always enjoyed the museum in Vermillion, it was centrally located along the lake. I am not sure there will be more attendance in Toledo, oh well. The property is open to the public, I walked it during the Woollybear Festival and it should remain open to the public. Well this is a great time for some philanthropist's to step in for the public benefit. It is all there to begin again as a marine museum for all to see along the south shore of Lake Erie, why not do it? Maybe name it CLEMM? (Central Lake Erie Maritime Museum)

Just saying!


I am glad that some of my tax dollars went for this project. So many of our beautiful old buildings are being tore down because no one can afford them. AND, so much of our money doesn't come back to the area. Believe me, if Vermilion had not rec'd this grant, the money would have gone to someone else. Good job.


How come the only entities spending money are governments. Most businesses are sitting on piles of cash due to the present direction of our federal, state and local governments.

There can be minimal growth in the economy and jobs with this present situation. You can't force businesses to expand and take chances. You have to provide them with incentives and less regulations or they remain quiet.

Again, its a trust issue.


@ donutshopguy:

Good points.

Business thinks that the "game" is "21," and then Obama and friends come along and says, "No, the game is 19."

Almost constantly changing the rules amounts to: The beatings will continue until the morale improves.

IMO, there’s little need to wonder why this is the worst recession recovery in the post-war era.

A great op-ed from the WSJ:

2cents's picture

Clever analogy (C)


Is it true that Bettcher's are buying Quaker Steak & Lube?


Erie MetroParks
Karen and Larry Bettcher
People of vision

(Excellent public/private partnership. Proud to have my tax dollars devoted to this.)


Have lived in Vermilion 55+ years, museum was great asset when was there. Now they need 1.6 million to buy it with absolutely no plan on what the H E double hockey sticks they are going to do with it? Other than the fact "we" want it? What then? A: Wait and let it sit and deteriorate with increased cost to even keep it a viable property. B: Sit back and wait and see what happens. C: Wait and see if someone comes up with the rest of the cash. D: Even if and when they get it, they are going to ask for even more money to make it into something. Where is that going to come from? Will have to wait on that. Notice that the word "wait" is used quite a bit here. Typical of what Vermilion's governing body does well. Even if the money fell into their lap today, they would still be clueless. Let someone else on the outside figure out what to do with it. Maybe Vermilion should hire a city manager for 6 figures a year to make these kind of decisions. Sure clear to me that city council and the mayor can't do it as always.

Julie R.

Erie MetroParks contributed $25,000.00? Considering how Vermilion's law director is from the Lorain County law firm that ended up costing the taxpayers 3.5 million with that long drawn-out case against the Huron River Greenway property owners, that sure is ironic.