Ashtabula Lighthouse

Ashtabula, Ohio - 1905 (1835**)

Photo of the Ashtabula Lighthouse.

History of the Ashtabula Lighthouse

The first lighthouse to be built at Ashtabula was completed in 1836. It was in use until 1876 when it was replaced due to construction of new docks. The second lighthouse had a fourth-order Fresnel and was made out of wood. This lighthouse was used until 1905. Keepers were living on shore at what is now the Ashtabula Marine Museum and were being ferried by boat to the light.

In 1916, the Ashtabula River was widened and new docks were completed. At this time, the present lighthouse was constructed. It would later be moved to the end of a newly constructed breakwall. At this time, the lighthouse was placed atop a 50' concrete crib, and doubled in size. Steel and concrete plates were used in construction to ensure safety and stability against storms. Due to the increase in size, the keeper's could now live at the lighthouse.

Some interesting points in the history of the lighthouse: In 1927, the lighthouse was rammed by the steamer Gleneagles. The lighthouse moved only 6", but the ship sustained considerable damage. In 1928, a massive ice storm coated the lighthouse in several feet of ice. The keepers on duty had to thaw the door, and then tunnel through 5 feet of ice to get out.

This lighthouse sits so far from any good viewing area due to the bustling Ashtabula Harbor. The above photograph was taken from Point Park which is across the street from a keeper's house from one of the original Ashtabula lighthouses with a 1000mm telephoto lens. The old keeper's quarters is now a maritime museum that is supposed to have some very unique items in it. However, it was closed when we visited.

Museum Hours
12pm - 6pm
Fridays through Sundays / Holidays
Memorial Day through the End of October
Information: (440) 964-6847

Directions: To get there, get off I-90 at exit 229. This will put you on Ohio Route 11. Follow this to the end, this will be Ohio Route 531 (Est 6th Street). Make a left onto 531, follow it until your cross a draw bridge. Just after the bridge, make a right onto Hulbert Street, the second street. follow this to the end, Walnut Street. Make a right onto it and follow it to the end. This will put you at Marine Museum and a small park. From this park, you can see the lighthouse if you look lakeward. Again, the lighthouse sits way out on the breakwater.

For more information, please visit:

View more Ashtabula Lighthouse pictures
Tower Information
Tower Height: 40.00'
Focal Plane: 51'
Active Aid to Navigation: Yes
*Latitude: 41.91800 N
*Longitude: -80.79600 W
See this lighthouse on Google Maps.


* Please note that all GPS coordinates are approximated and are meant to put you in the vicinity of the lighthouse, not for navigation purposes.

** This year denotes a station date. This is the year that a lighthouse was first reported in the vicinity or at that location.

All photographs and information on this site is copyright © 2016 Bryan Penberthy unless otherwise specified. No content may be used without written permission. Any questions or comments, please email me.