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Lake Erie Lighthouse Trip- PA & OH

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Postby wheland » Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:12 pm


Esther and I took a trip out to Cleveland, OH recently specifically to go to the R&RHOF. Esther wanted to drive out using US 6 which runs across the northern tier of PA going through many small towns and past the Grand Canyon of PA and through the Allegheny National Forest - in other words the slow scenic route requiring two days to get to Cleveland.

I included a small detour up to the Erie, PA area and then along the southern shore of Lake Erie to see the lighthouses in Erie and those between Erie and Cleveland. We had seen a number of them several years ago on another trip to Cleveland while my brother lived there (one of the 17 states he's lived in between 1969 and 2010).

We had off and on rain during the drive through PA and Ohio this day. Luckily it held off the times we were actually at the lighthouses- although it did affect the quality of the photos.

Our first stop was the Erie Land Light LH. It sits in the midst of a residential area on the shore of the bay. There is a nice little park for kids to play in literally right in front of it. Unfortunately the park and the power lines in the area make it hard to get completely clean shots of the entire LH.

Here are some photos of the Erie Land LH including a list of the Keepers-

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Here is a photo of the Keeper's House-

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Here's a photo taken from the North Pierhead LH in Presque Isle State Park

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Postby wheland » Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:13 pm


We left the Erie Land LH and on our way out to Presque Isle State Park for the other official lighthouses in Erie we drove over to the Erie Yacht Club to get a look at the faux lighthouse there.

Here's a photo of it - unfortunately the people in the way would not leave. :-)

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We left there and drove on out to the Presque Isle State Park. It's a nice long ride out through a very nice park with plenty of beaches to get to the two lighthouses - Presque Isle LH and North Pierhead LH. You get to Presque Isle LH first. It's viewable from the road but you get a clearer view of it from the beach which is a short walk through the sand. The house and grounds are closed and posted as private property.

Here are some photos from the beach view-

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We continued on our way down the road to the North Pierhead LH. You drive past the active Coast Guard base to get there. There are some interesting floating houses right next to the base- they may even be housing for the coast guard. I could not determine that one way or the other. There is a replica of the North Pierhead LH at one of the floating houses.


Here's a photo of the floating house and replica-

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Here's a shot of the North Pierhead LH-


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Here's a view of the North Pierhead LH taken from the Erie Land Light LH-


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We left there and started on our way to Ohio.
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Postby wheland » Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:14 pm


We wound our way to the next lighthouse on our trip- Conneaut West Breakwater. You don't get that close to this one. It's an unusual design- although the same design shows up again to the west of Cleveland as well. The weather was not the best- but not the worst. We continued to have rain off and on but never that heavy - especially while we were at the lighthouses. However, the weather did have an eddct on the clarity of the photos I took.

Here's a photo of the lighthouse-

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We left there and continued west towards Cleveland and made our next scheduled stop at Ashtabula for the lighthouse there. It again is a bit hard to get a good clear close-up view of this light. It also is close in design to another lighthouse west of Cleveland.

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We left Ashtabula and made our way to Fairport for the lighthouses there. I thought at first we might get there early enough to get into the Fairport Harbor Marine museum and Lighthouse but there were two problems with that concept. It closes at 6 PM and we were going to get there about 6:05 PM and after rereading my notes I realized that it wasn't open at all on Fridays and this was a Friday so we were out of luck both ways to Sunday (which is slightly appropriate since we returned on Sunday and did get into both the Museum and climbed the lighthouse - but that's for a later post).
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Postby wheland » Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:18 pm


We had been to Fairport, OH and it's lighthouses several years ago on our previous visit to the area. On that trip I got a photo of a coffee shop on the road to the lighthouses that seems to have either moved or gone out of business. Here's a photo I posted then- they spelled the name of the coffee shop both right and wrong.

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It seems that the recession has hit lighthouse related businesses in Fairport very hard- the Lighthouse Grille directly across the street from the Grand River LH also seems to have failed.

We spent sometime walking around the grounds of the Grand River LH and here are some photos of it- again it can be difficult to not get wires in some photos of the lighthouse.

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You can see the Fairport Harbor West Breakwater LH from the Grand River LH which makes sense since it is it's replacement. you can walk out on the breakwater but we did not do this. you can also get some different views of the light from the Headlands State Park which we also did not do this trip. Here's a photo we did take.


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This was our last stop of the day on Friday. We continued on to our hotel in Salon, OH and headed out the next morning to see some lighthouses west of Cleveland.
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Postby wheland » Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:19 pm


Saturday was a much brighter day. The weather was much more cooperative for a trip to Marblehead and other lighthouses and other sites.

We decided to drive out to Marblehead first and then drive east towards Cleveland.

We found ourselves driving over a bridge in Sandusky, OH called the Thomas Edison Memorial Bridge. Esther asked me why it was named that and my reply was that I wasn't sure but if I had to guess I'd say that either he was born in the area or did some of his work there. I Goggled it when I got back to the hotel and found that Edison was born in Milan, OH which is just a few miles south of Sandusky, OH.

We got to the Marblehead State Park but unfortunately it was the third Saturday not the second Saturday of the month so the Museum in the Keeper's House was closed. The Marblehead LH is also closed so we were satisfied with just spending some time at the park looking at both Cedar Point and the Bass Islands. You can see the Oliver Perry Memorial in the distance. I had mistakenly read somewhere that you can see the Cedar Point LH from Marblehead. It actually said you could see Cedar Point amusement park from Marblehead.

Here's a photo of the Keeper's house-


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Here's some photos of the Marblehead lighthouse -


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We continued on down the road and went completely around the peninsula and back over to the mainland to see the lighthouse at Cedar Point.
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Postby wheland » Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:20 pm


We drove through downtown Sandusky, OH and over the Cedar Point causeway to the park. I followed the advice I had gotten and stayed to the left as I entered the parking lot for the park. Unfortunately due to the nice weather and the fact that there was also a boat show going on that day it seemed they had extra help on parking lot duty. The young man who asked me if I was going to the park or the boat show responded "What lighthouse? " to my response that I was going to neither but intended to just go to the lighthouse. I just gave him my $10 and chalked it up to bad timing.

You drive around about 2/3 rds of the park passing a number of buildings, restaurants, marinas and roller coasters until you come upon a sign that says "Lighthouse Point". It's a section of the park that is both a RV camping area and also holds cabins that you can rent to stay in and they literally surround the spot - or point- that holds the lighthouse. I do wish I could have been with Dave when he ran his trip that included getting into this lighthouse but that was another example of bad timing for me.


We walked around the lighthouse using the Paul Brady Method of Photography- in other words move your feet. Here are some of the results of that.-


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I also took some photos of the AToN just off the shore from Lighthouse Point and looking out towards Marblehead LH.


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We left Cedar Point LH with our next destination in my mind- Huron Harbor LH. We took a slight detour on the way there, though.
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Postby wheland » Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:20 pm


Esther had seen something in downtown Sandusky as we passed through that she wanted to see a bit closer. There is a very nice park you drive through on the main street that includes gardens, a floral clock, other floral decorations and some of the lighthouses left over from a fund raiser done last year. We walked through the park and also stopped in and did a tour of the Merry-Go-Round Museum located in the old post office.

You even get to take a ride on the carousel they have on display. The museum includes various types of horse and other animals used on carousels from different manufacturers. The museum is located in Sandusky, OH mostly by accident. There is a manufacturer of carousels in Ohio but it isn't in Sandusky. The post office was one of the sites where first day issues were done when the USPS had an issue of stamps celebrating merry go rounds.

Here are some photos of the museum-


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This one shows the calliope that when it plays you can hear it outside of the building while inside it literally hurts your ears.


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Here is a photo of one of the floral arrangements in the park-


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Here are the surviving lighthouses from the fundraiser - the last one is found inside the Merry-Go-Round Museum-


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We took our leave of the sights of Sandusky, OH and drove on to our next lighthouse- Huron Harbor LH.
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Postby wheland » Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:21 pm


We drove to the parking lot of the museum that sits near the pier that you walk out on to get a view of the Huron Harbor LH. It sits at the end of a concrete pier and then a breakwater. The walk out to where you can see the lighthouse is about a mile. This is the lighthouse that is a twin of Conneaut east of Cleveland. Here is a photo of the lighthouse.


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We left Huron, OH and continued on to the next stop- Vermillion, OH. We opted to not visit the museum while here but to just take a walk by the replica lighthouse here. I was trying to get back to Cleveland with enough time to go to the Cultural Gardens and get to our dinner reservation at a Hungarian restaurant that Esther wanted to eat at.

Here's a photo of the replica of the Vermillion LH- the original is actually still in use as the East Charity Shoal LH off Cape Vincent, NY near Tibbett's Point on Lake Ontario.


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We left here and continued towards Cleveland with Lorain, OH our last stop of the day for lighthouses. This is another place that it's difficult to get a good up close view from onshore of the two breakwater lights.

Here are photos of each lighthouse in Lorain Harbor-

Lorain West Breakwater LH


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Lorain East Breakwater LH -


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Here's' a photo with both of them at the same time-


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We drove back to Cleveland and took a drive through the area where the Cultural Gardens are and toured several of them and then went back to the hotel to change for dinner.
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Postby wheland » Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:21 pm


We spent the first part of Sunday touring the R&RHOF which was our main reason for the trip to Cleveland. It's a nice museum but I was a bit underwhelmed by it. It's all surface and little depth. It is mostly a collection of memorabilia with very little historical descriptions. There are some but it just seemed a bit lacking in hard info to me. They do have a very nice display where you can look up a specific artist and then go see who they were influenced by and in turn who they influenced. There is also a nice display where you can listen to and read about the top 500 songs of R&R.

I personally find the R&RHOF to be a bit of a farce- many artists in there have no business being there and many not in there should be- IMHO of course. The R&RHOF Foundation does much good for music education and the museum is a fun place to visit.

It's worth a visit but I found the now closed R&RHOF Annex that was in NYC a bit better. I also liked the Music Experience Project in Seattle bankrolled by Paul Allen of Microsoft fame. It seemed to give more depth to the musicians it covered. It concentrates on Jimi Hendrix and other musicians from the Pacific northwest. It also provides support to music education.

We left the R&RHOF and drove back to Fairport, OH so we could get into the Grand River LH and the Maritime Museum. I knew it was open.

We made one short stop on the way to see the Cleveland East Entrance LH -


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We climbed the lighthouse and I took these photos from the top- including this one of the closed Lighthouse Grill across the street.


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Here's a lighthouse house across the street in a different direction-


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Here's a view looking out over Lake Erie-


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Here's a close-up of the Fairport Harbor Breakwater LH from the Grand River LH-


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We spent some time walking through the museum and speaking with the volunteers before leaving. We drove to Chagrin Falls, OH a place we had visited with my brother on our last trip. It always makes me think of Frostbite Falls from the Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoon series for some reason.


Here are a couple of views of the falls from either side of the street.


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Postby Grover » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:49 am


...
Dennis .... Thanks for the tour ...

I was in Ohio early August, wished I had thought of Cedar Point. Appreciate you
taking the pictures, sharing the visit ...

The Merry Go Round Museum ... how cool!
"There are two pips in a beaut, four beauts in a lulu,
Eight lulus in a doozy, and sixteen doozies in a humdinger.

No one knows how many humdingers
there are in a lollapalooza."
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Postby wheland » Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:13 am


Grover wrote:...
Dennis .... Thanks for the tour ...

I was in Ohio early August, wished I had thought of Cedar Point. Appreciate you
taking the pictures, sharing the visit ...

The Merry Go Round Museum ... how cool!


I know some of the photos were not lighthouse related but I had to put them into the story anyway.

I enjoy seeing other people's trips to places that I've been to for thier perspective and even more so to places I haven't been to bur someday hope to get to.

Dennis
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Postby CHUCKX53 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:56 am


Good to see you made a safe trip. Quite a few places you got out to. Nice Pics of Marblehead and Cedar Point. Looks like Huron Light has been painted since the last time I walked out there.

Huron and Conneaut are Art Deco ("Arts Decoratifs") style lights. There are others on the Great Lakes -- Gravelly Shoal (Lake Huron), Gray's Reef, Indiana Harbor, Port Washington, Minneapolis Shoal (Lake Michigan) and Keweenaw Upper Entrance (Lake Superior). All of these lights, except the last, were built in the 1930s during the Great Depression years for fairly cheap (About $ 70,000 for the Conneaut light)

Had no idea about the Merry-Go-Round place...I oughta go see that.

I was glad you went down to the Erie Yacht Club Light....I hadn't seen a close-up photo of that since they put up that pavilion-thing around it. I spotted it on Google Earth a while back, so I knew it was there, but no street-level images were available to actually see it well.

Here's a shot I took of what it looked like in 2005, with just a deck.......
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Postby wheland » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:30 am


Chuck,

I did not even notice that the Erie Yacht Club light went from the ground through the pavilion until I saw your photo. I then took a closer look at my photo and you can see the bottom of the light in the photo.

I'm glad I went out to Cedar Point - even if it did cost me $10. If you hit the parking lot at the right time it seems you can get in to see it for free or a reduced rate.

I wouldn't make a special trip to Sandusky just for the Merry-Go-Round Museum. It costs $6 and takes about 15 minutes to see the whole thing but you do get a ride on the carousel. :D

If you make the trip on the second Saturday of the month you can at least get into the museum at Marblehead to make the trip a bit more worthwhile.

I wish i had the time to go out to South Bass Island but that means taking a ferry and riding around the island on a golf cart and I just didn't have the time to do that- maybe next trip.

Dennis
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Postby clm1950 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:29 am


Very nice. Thanks for sharing your experience and photos with us. I enjoyed the pics of the Merry-Go-Round Museum.

We did this trip in 2001. We spent several days in Cleveland, both business & pleasure, did a boat tour on the lake. We left Cleveland and drove west along the lake first. We were in a Rest Stop Area when we heard the news about 9/11. That put a damper on the rest of the week. We drove east out of Cleveland all the way to Buffalo visiting Lighthouses. Because of 9/11, all of the museums and Lighthouses that were open to the public were closed. We did get lots of great pics. We ended our trip at Niagra Falls. We didn't drive over the bridge into Canada because of hight security. The lines of cars and trucks trying to cross over could be seen for miles. The next day we made the long drive back to Atlanta.

I am looking forward to visiting the Erie Lighthouses again soon.
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Postby arjlyn06 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:15 am


I usually hang out with my friends in Lighthouse Marina in the city. I really love to walk along in the sand seeing the sunset with friends. One more thing, the blue sea and the silhouette captivates me every time I was in the place!
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