The first lighthouse to be built on this site was in 1825 and lasted to the end of the Civil war. By this time there was a lot of damage caused by settling and the old tower was taken down. The lighthouse shown above was completed by 1871 and the new keeper was moved in. He served at this post for 45 years at which time his son took over as head keeper. Seems only fitting seeing as his son was born in this lighthouse, grew up helping his father, became assistant keeper, and then eventually moved up to the head keeper's position.
The lighthouse was used until the Fairport Harbor West Breakwater lighthouse was completed in 1925. At this time, the Government wanted to tear down the this tower. Public outcry saved the structure. It was leased by the Village of Fairport in 1941, and currently houses the Fairport Harbor Historical Society.
The keeper's quarters is now part of the historical society's museum featuring many nautical artifacts. One interesting feature is the pilothouse of the Frontenac that is attached to the side of the building. The steamer Frontenac is the ship that hit the Buffalo Breakwater Lighthouse. This is how the lighthouse got the nickname, "The leaning lighthouse."
Directions: Get off of the Lakeland Parkway (Route 2) at Richmond Street and head north towards the lake. At the "V" in the road, take the right fork which is High Street and continue north. You need to watch as High Street will cut off. Stay on High Street and continue towards the lake. The lighthouse is at the corner of High and 2nd Streets.View more Old Fairport Harbor Main Lighthouse pictures