Constructed and first lit in 1897, the South Bass Island Light was in continuous operation until 1962 when the U. S. Coast Guard built an automated light tower to replace it. Significant for its contribution to transportation and commerce on Lake Erie, the South Bass Island Light was built to safely guide vessels through the crowded South Passage. Although many light stations were constructed with a dwelling as a separate structure, the keeper's dwelling of the South Bass Light was attached to the 60-foot tower. The dwelling was designed in the Queen Anne style with red brick laid in Flemish bond. Outbuildings, a barn and oil house, were built in 1899. In 1967, The Ohio State University acquired the property for support of the F. T. Stone Laboratory programs for research, education, and outreach. South Bass Island Light was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.