Heineman Winery

Crystal Cave - Strontium Crystal Cave - Mammoth Cave

Useful Information

Location: 978 Catawba Avenue, Put-In-Bay, OH 43456.
Put-In-Bay, Bass Island.
(41°39'N , 82°84'W)
Open: MAY to SEP Mon-Sat 11-17, Sun 12-17.
Fee: Adults USD 10, Children (6-11) USD 5, Children (0-5) free.
Classification: SpeleologyGeode
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=10 m.
Guided tours: L=10 m, D=10 min.
Bibliography: David L. Harrison (1970): The World of American Caves, Reilly & Lee Books, a division of Henry Regnery Company, USA. 152 pp, 8 plates. pp 47-48.
Address: Heineman Winery, 978 Catabwa Avenue, Box 300, Put-In-Bay, OH 43456, Tel: +1-419-285-2811, Fax: +1-419-285-3412.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1888 Heineman Winery founded by Gustav Heineman, an immigrant from Baden-Baden, Germany.
1897 discovered when a well was drilled.


Crystal Cave, Put-In-Bay, OH, U.S.A. Public Domain.
Crystal Cave, Put-In-Bay, OH, U.S.A. Public Domain.

No, the name of the cave is not Heineman Winery, Heineman Winery is the owner of the cave called Crystal Cave. Not unique, this name, and less famous than the owner, so it is actually better known under that name.

However, the specialty of the cave are actually crystals, to be exact celestite crystals, which is strontium sulfate. The celestite was found in extremely large and well-developed tabular crystals. It is unknown how they formed, but most likely they are of hydrothermal origin. When the cave was discovered in 1897 these were the world's largest celestite crystals and the biggest known deposit in the United States. At first, they were mined to manufacture fireworks, but soon Mr. Heineman decided to stop the mining and turned the cave into a tourist attraction. The remaining crystals are huge, up to 1 m long, the colour is white to slightly blue.

The cave was important for the survival of the winery during the prohibition. In this years most of the 17 wineries in Put-In-Bay failed. Heineman Winery survived by selling unfermented grape juice, running a taxi service and - you guessed it - conducting cave tours. Today the cave is part of a winery experience: Wine Tours and Tasting includes a Wine Cellar Tour, a Crystal Cave Tour and a glass of wine or grape juice.

We also added the name Mammoth Cave to the list, because often this cave was wrongly named Mammoth Cave. Mammoth Cave is actually not another name of the cave, it's a second cave, on the opposite side of the road. It was once a show cave too, but is closed now.