Cleveland March 19, 2019
The Lighthouse Road Trip On The Cleveland Coast That’s Dreamily Beautiful
Lighthouses are a remarkable example of human engineering. In ancient times, they beckoned ships to port rather than alert them to danger. Amazingly, many of these structures were built to last. The Tower of Hercules, for example, was built in the second century C.E. and has remained in continuous use ever since. While nowhere near as ancient, there are many unique lighthouses on Lake Erie that carry on the architectural tradition. These gorgeous structures convey hope to visitors, and there’s something incredibly dreamy about them. Buckle up, because this road trip will have you zipping along Lake Erie’s coast like never before.
1. Cleveland East Entrance Lighthouse
The Cleveland East Entrance Lighthouse is, amazingly, fairly unknown to Clevelanders. This 47-foot tower occupies a site where light structures have always sat. The first was erected in 1884 and was replaced in 1918. Though only reachable by boat, this lighthouse is a worthy addition to the road trip. It's simply unlike any other lighthouse in the area!
2. Cleveland West Pierhead Lighthouse
This incredible structure captivates the entire nation every time Lake Erie encapsulates it in ice. This lighthouse was built in 1911, but it has only been freezing since 2010. You can find more information on this bizarre phenomenon
3. Lorain Lighthouse
For over half a decade, this lighthouse has been named the best lighthouse in the "Best of Lake Erie" contest hosted by a local magazine. Locals know it colloquially as the "Jewel of the Port," and it's no secret why - its beauty has captivated Clevelanders since 1908, and many choose to
tour this lighthouse
during the summer months.
4. Vermilion Lighthouse
Vermilion is a historic community with a uniquely New England atmosphere. Their historic district is nestled up against Main Street Beach, on which the Vermilion Lighthouse contrasts brilliantly with sunsets. The modern lighthouse was erected in 1991, though it is a replica of an 1847 lighthouse that was previously removed and transported to Buffalo, where it was reinstalled as the East Charity Shoal Light.
5. Huron Harbor Lighthouse
An Art Deco lighthouse? Talk about unique! When this lighthouse was constructed in 1936, it took on popular architectural elements of the day. Today, there's nothing like it, and it is well worth visiting (though it's not open for tours). The area surrounding it is also said to be spectacular for birdwatching.
6. Marblehead Lighthouse
This site is a particularly interesting stop on our trip, as the Marblehead Lighthouse is the oldest continuously-operating lighthouse in the nation. It has been shining since 1822, warning sailors of the rocky shores around the Marblehead Peninsula.
7. South Bass Island Lighthouse
This lighthouse is the only one in the nation believed to be owned by a university. Ohio State maintains a presence at the nearby Stone Laboratory, and they took over maintenance of the South Bass Island Lighthouse in 1997. It first began operations a century earlier in 1897, and it occasionally opens for public tours.
8. Port Clinton Lighthouse
Last but not least is the shortest lighthouse in the state! At just 20 feet in height, the Port Clinton Lighthouse is almost adorable. It no long functions as a navigational aid, as this structure from 1896 has since been moved to the campus of Water Works Park, but it’s still a lovely sight to behold!
There’s much history to be discovered in the spectacular lighthouses around Cleveland. Which of these do you find to be most iconic?
If you enjoyed this road trip, just wait until you visit this
unique land-locked lighthouse near Cleveland.