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Turtle Island is located about five miles (8.0 km) northeast of the mouth of the Maumee River in Maumee Bay.
Today, the island houses several abandoned structures and the ruins of Turtle Island Light, a lighthouse dating back to 1866.
According to the Census Bureau, most of the island lies in Jerusalem Township in Lucas County, Ohio with the smaller Michigan portion being part of Erie Township.
The British operated a small fort on the island around 1794 in defense of the mouth of the Maumee River, but the fort was soon abandoned.
Local folklore alludes to the belief that the Indians controlled the island and used it as a military fort, while others claim the British held control of it until losing it during the War of 1812.The AYC attempted to work with the state of Ohio to receive funding to revamp the island, but the state determined the cost of restoring the island would exceed its beneficial use by the public since the island was too small and remote.The AYC abandoned the island in 1937, and the island continued to decay with no improvements.He signed a lease with the Associated Yacht Club of Toledo (AYC) for them to build a series of docks and use the island for recreational purposes.However, the AYC ran out of money during the Great Depression and was forced to abandon their plans for rejuvenating Turtle Island.
Official accounts of the history of Turtle Island date back to 1827, when the island itself was sold at a federal government auction in nearby Monroe, Michigan.