The Lorain Lighthouse

The story of the Lorain Lighthouse. 
Headlines blared in the Oct. 12, 1913, edition of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that a bill on President Woodrow Wilson’s desk would kill the commerce court, a federal trial court created three years earlier to handle cases related to the Interstate Commerce Commission.

But tucked in that bill was a provision for $222,000 for new Lake Erie lighthouses, including $35,000 for one celebrating its centennial this year.

The Lorain Lighthouse, referred to as “The Jewel of the Port,” opened in 1917 —80 years after the first light was set at the end of the pier in Lorain. The oil lamp in the lighthouse was replaced with an electric light in 1932, and, seven years later, the U.S. Coast Guard took over the lighthouse’s operations.

The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1965 and, at one point, was slated for demolition. But the community loved it and was determined to save it. In 1977, it was sold by the U.S. government to the Lorain County Historical Society for a dollar, and, the next year, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1990, the lighthouse changed hands again, to the Port of Lorain Foundation (now the Lorain Lighthouse Foundation), which still owns and maintains it.

Today, the lighthouse is open for tours on select weekends during the summer months and hosts a sunset wine dinner each Tuesday from June 20 to Sept. 17 (weather permitting). Additional special celebrations are being planned for the centennial this year. On June 30, the community will dedicate a historic marker, and, the next day, enjoy a fireworks picnic at the lighthouse. For more information, visit