by LCVB staff member Dan Maxson

A Walking Tour and Lighthouse Visit that includes a ‘Thoroughly Incomplete History ‘of Some Notable ‘Fairporters’ in Village History and Beyond.

What a perfect Wednesday day trip? Just head over to one of the county’s best kept secrets – Fairport Harbor. A beach named after our third governor opens daily at 9am and features shaded boardwalks, kayak and SUP rentals as well as guarded sections for a swim in our greatest resource Lake Erie. At 1pm you can stroll five hundred yards up the hill to visit the 1825-1925 Lighthouse. The museum is a cornucopia for local and state history and the lighthouse tower is open for climbing. Once you traverse its 69 steps a panoramic view is sure to impress you. If Wednesday is not your day, any weekend or legal holiday thru late September is also possible. Visit www.fairportharborlighthouse.org for more information.

Museum Fast Facts:

Grandon (1812) Fairport (1836) Fairport Harbor (1959)

Samuel H. Huntington:
• 1765-1817
• Lawyer by education
• Arrived in 1801 -settled in Cleveland
• member of Constitutional Convention for Ohio Statehood -1803
• Supreme Court Justice 1803-1808
• Moved to soon-to-be Fairport in 1807-part of landswap, started Grandon in 1812 with others
• Third Governor of Ohio -1808
• Army Paymaster -1813
• died in 1817 as a result of injuries working on roads near estate – Fairport-Nursery Rd.

Joesph C. Babcock:
• Native Fairporter – 1843-1921
• Civil War Veteran – served three years
• Lighthouse Keeper 1871-1919 – served as head and asst. keeper

Daniel Babcock:
• 1901 – asst. keeper under his father
• 1919-1925 – last keeper at Grandon Lighthouse
• Lived on Third Street – died in 1936

Dr. Amy A. Kaukonen:
• Born in Conneaut, Ohio —-class valedictorian
• Graduate Univ. of Pennsylvania Medical College ** first women / Finnish descent
• 1920 at age of 29 started medical practice in Fairport
• 1921- elected first woman Mayor in Ohio (first or second in country)
• 1922 -declared war on bootleggers
• remainder of years very active throughout country on health issues of the era

G. Francis Babcock:
• 1845-1898
• USLSS -Station Fairport -1876-1898
• 300 rescues, saved $3 million in cargo

Niels M. Rasmussen:
• served on USS Michigan/Wolverine during Civil War
• served 6 years at USLSS-Station Erie
• served as Chief at USLSS-Station Fairport, 1898-1915
• Village Mayor / Police Chief / Merchant
Donald Blakeslee:
• 1917-2007
• Pilot /aviation enthusiast since youth
• Served RAF -1940-42
• Served USAF-1942-1965 includes WWII, Korean Conflict, Cold War
• 500 missions, over 16.5 kills, unofficial total 32+
• Most decorated veteran in Air Force History
• Highest MilitaryAwards from both US (Oak Leaves) & England (Cross)

Capt. H.D. Ingraham:
• 1854-1933
• Tugboat ‘Annie’

Edward Stange:
• Born in Fairport in 1892
• Active on the Lakes by age 16
• Captained Tugboat ‘Ohio’
• Village Councilman – Water Plant

Other notable Village residents featured at museum-

William Perry – painter
Gene Kangas – sculptor
Pearl E. Killinen- village historian, key to LH historic status
Ed Binden – Edmund Fitzgerald tragedy
William Simko- served on Edmund Fitzgerald -early years
Margeret Tobias – famous soprano / Europe
Ed Wakely – CIA analyst
Carroll C. Mitchell – first FHLH curator, 1954-1970
Don Thall – merchant since 1953 -till death several years ago

About Dan Maxson

Dan is the President of the Fairport Harbor Historical Society. He is also the local expert on Lake County lore and history.

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