Conneaut Lighthouse History
1895 - 1905



By 1895, the west pier had been extended 300 feet. 400 feet of elevated walkway were rebuilt to provide a means of reaching the light during storms when waves washed completely over the pier. A new tower was erected at a height of 35 feet with an "enclosed square, white beacon, surmounted by an octagonal copper roofed lantern, with balcony and railing." Light first shown from the new beacon on September 8, 1895.

In 1896, there was still a light adjacent to the lighthouse keeper's dwelling. The keeper's tower can be seen to the upper left of the locomotive in the picture below.

In 1897, the new 60 foot rear range light tower was completed. The light located in the tower adjacent to the keeper's dwelling was moved into the new tower near the shore of the west pier. A white light first shown from the new rear range light on March 1, 1897.

In 1899, both range lights were provided with 5th order fresnel lenses which increased the brilliance of the lights. The rear range light characteristic was changed from white to red on October 1, 1900. The front range light had a fixed white signal 35 feet above the lake which was visible for a distance of 13 miles.The rear range light had a fixed red signal 60 feet above the lake which was visible for a distance of 9 3/4 miles.

Both lights can be seen in this colorized 1900 photo of the 478 foot long Isaac L. Ellwood.

This 1900 photo shows the car ferries Shenango II, Shenango I, and the 1895 front range light. In January of 1903 the Shenango I became trapped in ice before it could enter Conneaut harbor. In March of 1903, the Shenango I caught fire, burned and sank

This 1904 chart shows a West breakwater constructed of wood between 1894 and 1905. The northern end of the breakwater is marked with a fixed white lantern. The wreck of the Shenango I is marked with a spar buoy and a fixed red signal. Also shown is a planned east breakwater which is a mirror image of the west breakwater.

In this 1905 photo, the faint image of 1906 front range light can be seen under construction to the left of the pilot house of the ore boat. The spar buoy which marked the wreckage of the Shenango I.

The west breakwater can be seen just below the horizon between the two lights.

The proximity to shore of the rear range light and the elevated walkway between the two lights can clearly be seen in the colorized photo below. The wooden west breakwater can also be seen beyond the front range light.


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