9 Great Historic Places to Visit in Lake County

More Hidden Gems

Screen Shot 2019-07-01 at 2.23.57 PM.png

Local history surrounds us 24 / 7 and yet many of us never notice or take the time to check it out when we do learn about them. Often on county bus tours or at local history site visits I hear guests comment ‘ I lived here all my life and did not know about this.’ My challenge to you in 2019 is to explore these hidden gems and others before next winter’s breath covers the beauty of the quotidian.

  1. Mounds at Indian Point ( Historic Marker 1-43, 27-43) - Two earthen walls were built by Native Americans across the high ridge between Paine Creek and the Grand River. Also along the upper point trail one may find other county historical artifacts on display.

  2. Shipwreck Marker ( 9-43 ) near Lakefront Lodge and Fairport Harbor Lighthouse & Marine Museum- Arguably one of the worst maritime disasters on the Great Lakes, 286 people perished near the shores of Willowick as the G.P. Griffith burned from a fire that supposedly originated near the port of Fairport Harbor. Both locations share this tragic 1850 tale.

  3. Chapin Forest’s Two Quarries - The Mormon Migration and1830s Kirtland history are all linked to the Berea sandstone from the Standard Quarry located in this 400 acre plus park.

  4. Kirtland’s Riverside School #2 - In operation from 1894 till 1921, this is one of three existing one-room schoolhouses still on their original site. The Old Stone and Jug School in Concord Township are the others. Two may be visited by the public.

  5. Halle Farm at Penitentiary Glen - Samuel Halle purchased the property in 1912 as a summer home for his family. The current Nature Center / Visitor Center was the Halle Horse Barn. Family history is shared inside and the grounds provide ample hiking trails.

  6. Iron Bridge at Hidden Valley - While an annual canoe / kayak race is best known at this site, it is an iron bridge from 1893 that makes this park a must-see. The King Bridge Company constructed this landmark. Today an abutment, original plaque and stone piling remain.

  7. Walking Tour of downtown Painesville - Download the map on the Painesville City website. An afternoon walk will reveal the histories of many great buildings, stores, parks and a cemetery.

  1. Supplemental Tour of Painesville - Nearby the heart of downtown are two other locations worth visiting. The homes on Bank Street have a history steeped in UGRR lore and the Wood Avenue Historic has some of the county’s most interesting architectural designs.

  2. Pleasant Valley Road Bridge (Historic Marker 26-43)- Built in 1881 by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio, this 163 foot structure is one of less than 10 known remaining bridges from the era. Known as the GAR till 1952 this bridge made Willoughby the commercial hub it became and main county crossroad location.

Submitted by Dan Maxson
Local Lore by Max - 2010-2016, The News-Herald Community Media Lab Volunteer Trustee/ Curator - FHHS / Fairport Harbor Lighthouse & Marine Museum Volunteer curator / Docent - The Old Stone School , Concord Township