The 7-acre DeRivera Park is in the heart of downtown Put-in-Bay. Shaded by old-growth trees, the park features a limestone fountain, war memorials, playgroud equipment, picnic tables, benches and a public bathhouse.
In 1854, nine years after the first permanent settler came to Put-in-Bay, a Spanish merchant named Joseph de Rivera bought South Bass, Middle Bass, Sugar, Gibraltar, Ballast and Starve islands for $44,000. He surveyed the land of South and Middle bass islands into 10-acre lots, but initially turned South Bass into a sheep farm.
Then, according to an Ohio Historical Society Marker located in the current park near the bath houses, Mr. DeRivera encouraged settlement on the island and its wine industry by helping German immigrants purchase land to plant vineyards.
In addition to selling a quarter acre of land to the South Bass Island Board of Education for $1, Mr. DeRivera sold a 3/4 acre portion to Mr. Jay Cooke for $10 which was then used as the site for land for the island’s first church (St. Paul’s Episcopal), the land for the island’s cemetery in which he is buried and the land for the waterfront park named in his honor.
The DeRivera Park Trust, funded by dockage fees from "B" dock in the downtown harbor and through a local millage supported by South Bass Island property, is responsible for maintenance and improvements at the park.