Crystal Cave - The World's Largest Geode
See celestine crystals up to 3 feet in width!
Discovered by workers in 1897 while digging a well for the winery 40 feet above, Crystal Cave is the world's largest geode. The walls of this cave are covered in strontium sulfate, a blueish mineral called celestite. These crystals range from 8 to 18 inches long. The original cave was much smaller than what appears today, as crystals were harvested and sold for the manufacturing of fireworks.
Owned and operated by Heineman Winery, Crystal Cave helped save the family-run winery from demise during Prohibition. Tours of the cave helped pay the bills, while other wineries on the island closed.
Tours of the cave and Heineman Winery are offered for $8 for adults and $4 for children ages 6 to 11. Tours are offered seven days a week from early May until late September. Monday through Saturday, tours of the cave begin at 11 a.m. and continue throughout the day until 5 p.m. On Sunday, tours begin at 12 p.m. and continue until 5 p.m.
About Heineman Winery
Makers of Fine Wines Since 1888
The Heineman Winery was founded in 1888 by Gustav Heineman, an immigrant from Baden, Germany, the grape growing region of that country. The Lake Erie Islands were already noted for quality grapes as a result of ideal soil conditions and the long growing season because of the tempering effect of Lake Erie.
By 1900, Heineman's was one of 17 wineries on Put-in-Bay. The passage of the Volstead Act creating the Prohibition of Alcohol in 1919 was catastrophic to the Island's grape and wine industry. Most of the wineries failed and the vineyards fell into disrepair. Heineman's survived under Gustav's son, Norman, by selling unfermented grape juice and providing taxi cab service to and tours of the Winery's caves.Learn More About Us