Last Visited: August, 2002
In the early 1800s, there were doubts as to the necessity of erecting a lighthouse to mark the entrance of the Portage River. But after a shipwreck at the mouth of the river in 1827, it was decided to erect a light. Even after erecting that first light, the debate as to its need continued.
In 1896 a new lighthouse was erected at the end of the breakwater. This structure consisted of a pyramidal shaped wooden building that stood about 26' above water level.
Despite early doubts about the necessity of a lighthouse at Port Clinton, the area has been home to three diverse structures, which have served to mark the entrance to the Portage River from Lake Erie. The surviving structures that have been part of Port Clinton’s lighthouse history are now treasured landmarks for Port Clinton.
The wooden lighthouse saw service between 1874 and 1964. In the 1960s, the wooden Port Clinton lighthouse was removed from the breakwater and relocated to Brands Marina on the Portage River across from Jet Express. The surviving structure has become part of Port Clinton's history a landmark associated with the community.
The existing Port Clinton Lighthouse consists of a pair of flashing red and green entrance lights to the Portage River.
If you wish to visit the lighthouse, just stop by Brands Marina located on the north side of the river and ask for directions. Remember: this is private property. Be mindful of speed limits and people working in the boatyard. Visitors can see the lighthouse during regular hours of operation at the marina.
(From Brand's Marina) We are happy to allow visitors to the lighthouse during normal business hours. All we ask is that you maintain a speed of 5 mph or less on our property and that you respect the rights of our dockers by staying off of their boats and docks. Your cooperation with this will allow us to maintain an open-door policy on lighthouse visitation.
Due to safety concerns the lighthouse will be locked at all times; please make no attempts to enter.
Nearest Address: 451 W Lakeshore Dr, Port Clinton, OH
- From SR-2 in Port Clinton take the exit for SR-163 (E. Perry St).
- At the end of the ramp take a left onto SR-163.
- In about 2 miles SR-163 take a sharp right turn. Stay on SR-163.
- Once you go over the drawbridge you'll see the marina on the left. The road take a turn to the left. Just after the turn you'll see the entrance to the marina. Although there's a gate preventing visitors from driving right up to the lighthouse, you can park just before the gate and walk through the marina to the lighthouse.
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