Fr. Joseph Maerder served the parishes at Put-in-Bay and Kelley's Island from 1912 to 1933, and was affectionately known as the "Bishop of Lake Erie." During that time, he lead efforts to rebuild St. Michael's church at Kelley's Island and build the impressive Mother of Sorrows church at Put-In-Bay.
He also maintained a station at Middle Bass Island, named after St. Clement Hofbauer, a German Redemptorist saint. Fr. Maerder translated and published a life of St. Clement Hofbauer as well.