The Blue Hole

Seven miles southwest of Sandusky, Ohio is the community of Castalia with a population of 906. Located there is a natural spring that gushes forth 7,500 gallons of water per minute at a constant temperature of 48 degrees the year around. This spring is fed by subterranean waters flowing upward from deep limestone orifices in the earth. The water contains lime, soda, magnesia and iron and has a blue color. Because the water is without oxygen one can see 50 to 60 feet down into the funnel shaped spring, which some say has no bottom. This natural phenomenon is called “The Blue Hole.”
Between the years 1930 and 1990 the Blue Hole was a favorite tourist attraction. My parents took me there when I was 10 years old and the idea of a spring so deep that a tin can would be crushed when lowered into its water has remained with me for these past 70 years. Today, one of my prized possessions from the 1930s is a 4-inch souvenir saucer with pictures of the entrance gate, a water wheel, and an azure blue pool with a mirror-like surface. In the center of the saucer are printed the words “Blue Hole” and “Castalia, Ohio”.

The Blue Hole Souvenir

Tourist stopped coming to the Blue Hole when it lost its appeal for parents looking for new ways to keep their children occupied and happy. Now parents head for Cedar Point near Sandusky with its sandy beach and many amusement attractions. As the tourist dollar decreased the owners found it financially impossible to keep the Blue Hole Park open. Also the cost to install disability ramps around the pool were more than the owners could afford. So in 1990 the entrance was closed and the 500 acres surrounding the spring returned much to the way it was when first discovered in 1761 by Major Robert Rogers of the Colonial Rangers.

All that remains of the Blue Hole today is its deteriorating entrance gate. However, every hour of every day the spring still supplies 450,000 gallons of water into a stream that empties into Sandusky Bay. There are several fishing clubs along the stream that keep it well stocked with rainbow and brown trout. The water must be aerated to sustain the fish. Because of the spring’s constant temperature, its water never freezes.

The Blue Hole as I remember it.

I was reminded of Castalia while reading General Wallace’s novel “Ben-Hur.” (See the September 2008 Issue) In chapter II of Book Seven Ben-Hur says, “Can you bear suffering a little longer, we will find the spring you ask for, and I promise that its draught shall be as sweet and cooling as that of the more famous Castalia.” He was referring to the sacred Castalian Spring at Delphi, Greece, in whose waters all pilgrims to the Temple of Apollo ritually bathe before entering the sacred precinct.