You Know You’re from Ottawa County When…

Summers at the beach. Days spent on the water. Put-in-Bay. These are just some of the many things that make growing up in Ottawa County so special.

But what are some of the major signs that you grew up in Ottawa County? Well, if any of these sound like you, you’ll know that you’re an Ottawa County-ier through and through:


1) You know that Catawba Island isn’t really an island.

Like Rhode Island, Catawba Island is misnamed. If you’re from Ottawa County, you know that it’s actually a peninsula that’s connected to the mainland.


2) You ring in the new year with a giant walleye.

While the rest of the country watches the ball drop every New Year’s Eve, Ottawa County residents celebrate it a bit differently. You have to admit: Ringing in the new year with the annual walleye drop in Port Clinton is much more interesting than watching a ball drop on TV!


3) You know how to pronounce “Catawba.”

“Ca-tow-ba? Cata-wa-ba?” This word can be hard for other people to pronounce, but Ottawa County residents know how to pronounce it correctly.


4) When tourists are shocked when you tell them Put-in-Bay has a school.

People outside of Ottawa County think of Put-in-Bay as the perfect destination for a bachelor or bachelorette party or a fun family trip on a summer’s day. But what many are surprised to discover is that people live on Put-in-Bay year-round and that it has a functioning public K-12 school.


5) You love a frozen Lake Erie.

Ice fishing is a passion for many residents in the winter months. Residents take out their shanties, bring their fishing poles (and a drill, of course!) and hope to catch an 8-pound walleye.

However, some winters have gone by without the lake freezing over, so some eager Ottawa County residents go as far as sacrificing a P.I.G. (Please Ice Gods) to Ullr, the Norwegian God of ice and snow.

6) Snow days? What are those?

It’s always funny to watch news stories when snow hits states like North Carolina or Tennessee, and everything shuts down, coming completely to a standstill. Not having school because of three inches of snow? Sounds amazing!

Ottawa County kids, on the other hand, have more than their fair share of winter weather because of the lake effect snow. But because we’re used to it, snow days are usually a pipe dream unless we have a huge amount of snow, like 12 inches or more. Sigh.


7) Your friends, neighbors, and family are split down the middle when it comes to supporting Michigan or Ohio sports teams.

Because Ottawa County is located so close to Michigan, it’s not uncommon to drive down the street on the day of a University of Michigan/Ohio State game or a Detroit Tigers/Cleveland Indians game and see both teams’ flags fluttering in the breeze.


8) You grew up on a street named after a tree or a U.S. president.

Cedar Avenue. Walnut Street. Washington Street. Hayes Avenue. With so much nature in Ottawa County and so many presidents born in Ohio, it’s not surprising that many of our roads bear the name of a tree or a president.


Are you from Ottawa County and feel like we’ve missed something? What would you add? Comment below!

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