Resting at the end of a mile-long pier marking the entrance to the Lorain Harbor is a Lake Erie icon that more than meets the eye. The Lorain Lighthouse, also known as the “Jewel of the Port,” was built in 1917. This structure has been saved multiple times from demolition and has been restored to reflect the lives of United States Coast Guard members stationed there from 1938 to 1965. 
“It’s like a museum on the inside,” says Edward Baker, president of the Port of Lorain Foundation, which offers spring and summer tours of the lighthouse. “It’s been remodeled to show what it looked like in the 1950s.”
Visitors experience what life was like for the three sailors who operated the lighthouse. The keepers worked for six days before getting a three-day break, with two people on duty at all times. Retrace their footsteps by wandering through the furnished kitchen, sleeping quarters, bathroom, office and basement. The spiral staircase on the third floor leads to the light tower, the highest point of the city, where lookouts can see as far as 15 miles on a clear day. 
Restoration of this 55-foot-tall wonder began in 1980 and is 80 percent complete. The goal is to turn the lighthouse into a bed-and-breakfast. For now, guests can enjoy sunset dinners on the grounds catered by Jackalope Lakeside. 
“Last year we had a wedding out there,” Baker says. It’s the first time a couple has exchanged vows at the lighthouse, and Baker says he’s excited to see people taking advantage of such a vital part of Lorain’s past. “I think it’s important for Ohio because the lighthouses are going to start to disappear,” he says, adding the Lorain Lighthouse is one of 26 lighthouses left in the state. “It’s a piece of history that should be preserved by all the people in the United States.”