History

Fairport Harbor West Breakwater Light Historic PhotoThe Fairport Harbor West Breakwater Light was built in 1925 and sits in Fairport Harbor, Ohio at the mouth of the Grand River.  It was constructed to replace the original Fairport Harbor Lighthouse, which now serves as a marine museum. The original Fairport Harbor lighthouse protected the shore and directed mariners for 100 years before being falling into disrepair.  In June 1917, Congress appropriated $42,000 for the construction of a new breakwater light.  That funding included monies that would be used to demolish the original lighthouse.  However, the reality of destroying the older lighthouse didn’t sit well with the citizens of Fairport and as a result, the Secretary of Commerce agreed to let the old lighthouse remain.  

Despite having Congressional funding to begin, the outbreak of World War I delayed construction for several years.  Constructed in Buffalo, New York, the iron frame was made of steel studding, floor beams, rafters, side and roof plating, cast-iron cornices, sills and lintels, which were riveted and bolted permanently together.  This prefabricated section was secured by steel cables and transported aboard the steamer Wotan, 147 miles to Fairport Harbor.  Once in Ohio, the interior mason and finish work was completed and the lantern room and lens were installed. On June 9, 1925, the Fairport Harbor West Breakwater Lighthouse was illuminated for the first time.