A small maritime museum near Ashtabula harbor lets visitor discover the history and industrial significance of the maritime industry in the area.
The Ashtabula Great Lakes and U.S. Coast Guard Memorial Marine Museum, is housed in the former home of the lighthouse keepers and Coast Guard chief. The home was built in 1898.
Visitors can spend about one hour touring the museum filled with models and artifacts. A pilot house is set up adjacent to the museum and is also open for inspection.
Curator Dennis Hale, the sole survivor of the shipwrecked Daniel Morrell, leads tours of the memorabilia, photographs and equipment housed in the museum.
Photographs in the first gallery show a variety of Ashtabula bridges and boats that once called the harbor home. Other memorabilia such as compasses that date to the Civil War and a sextant and polaris are displayed in other cases.
Other displays: For industrial history buffs, a model of World War II U.S. Navy oiler and supply ship, Ashtabula, are featured in another gallery. Nearby a French-made Fresnel lens from the Ashtabula lighthouse is on display.
Model lovers will appreciate the models of cargo and package freighters and other historical ships. The Hulett Room has a one-of-a-kind working model of a Wellman Electric Hulett, an iron ore unloading machine. The Hulett made it possible to transfer ore from the upper lakes to lower lake ports until the advent of self-unloaders, explained Hale.
"During their 70-year history in the Port of Ashtabula, the Huletts unloaded more than 3.5 million tons of ore from Great Lakes boats," he explains in the guide. The model was a gift from the Smithsonian Institution.
Don't miss the pilot house from the vessel the steamer Thomas Walters. Visitors can take the helm and imagine the responsibilities of pilots of Great Lake ships.
Historical B & amp;B: Down the street from the marine museum is the Michael Cahill Bed and Breakfast. The stick-style Victorian house was built in 1887 in an area that was known as "Captains Row." You can almost taste the tea and cookies that must have been served on the wrap-around porch now furnished with comfortable rocking chairs.
The house was built by the Irish immigrant Michael Cahill and his brother. The two served as innkeepers during the 1880s and 1890s at a saloon on Bridge Street. A Swedish businessman, Andrew Dalin, bought the home in 1906. The property stayed in the Dalin family until 1983. Pat and Paul Goode restored and opened the home as a B & amp;B in 1986. In 1988, it was listed on the National Register of Historical Places for its stick-style architecture.
Today the bed-and-breakfast maintains the Victorian style while including modern-day amenities. On a warm day, breezes cool the downstairs parlor that features cherry woodwork, electric chandeliers and chintz period furniture. Breakfast is served in the adjoining dining room.
Upstairs, three guest rooms, also furnished with antiques, have attached bathrooms.