Lighthouse and Marine Museum
The Fairport Harbor Marine Museum is the first Great Lakes lighthouse marine museum in the state of Ohio, as well as in the United States. It was founded in 1945 by the Fairport Harbor Historical Society, which is devoted to preserving and perpetuating the historic tradition and sentiment in Fairport Harbor and the Great Lakes area.
The museum houses navigational instruments, marine charts, pictures and paintings of ships, lanterns, a lighthouse lens, ship carpenter's tools, handmade models and half hulls of lake ships and other relics. Samples of the varieties of iron ore unloaded at the former P & LE docks in Fairport Harbor and specimens of salt in crude form from the nearby salt mines are also on display. There are also items pertaining to the early history of Fairport Harbor such as Native American relics found at the old Native American village site at Fairport Harbor by the Ohio State Archeological and Historical Society and old maps and documents covering the Grand River area.
Ship's Mast and Outside Displays
Seen near the Pilothouse is the main mast of the USS Michigan, the first iron hulled ship of the U.S. Navy. The ship was commissioned in 1843 and renamed Wolverine in 1905. Near the lighthouse is one of the few remaining covered lifecars formerly used by the Fairport Harbor Station of the U.S. Coast Guard in life saving operations. On the Museum property is a ship's two wheeled emergency steering apparatus. On shipboard it was mounted on the afterdeck. Other nautical artifacts are anchors from freighters and a capstan.
The Lighthouse is also the home of the "Ghost Cat." The story of the resident ghost has been featured on the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and in many publications. The mummified remains that were found in the old house are on display in the museum.
Fairport Harbor Lighthouse and Marine Museum
129 Second Street
Fairport Harbor, Ohio
Open on Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. from the Saturday before Memorial Day through the third weekend in September. Special tours by appointment.