DescriptionThe first survey party of the Western Reserve Region reached Conneaut Harbor on July 4, 1796. As settlers arrived, the town adopted the name the Native Americans had given to the nearby river, Conneaut. The word is believed to have come from the Seneca Indians, but there have been several translations and it remains a name of disputed meaning. The body of water is now known as Conneaut Creek State Wild And Scenic River and is a good location for steelhead trout fishing.
The development of industry along Lake Erie's harbor made the town a busy port, with shipments running into millions of tons annually. Visitors can look down and watch the dock activities from the viewing area on Day Street, near Harbor Street.
To see the more recreational side of the lake as well as a good view of the lighthouse, follow Broad Street north to the Conneaut Port Authority. You can drive around the marina and stroll along the walkways; there is ample parking. Boat ramps are open daily May through October. Fishing right off the public dock might yield perch and walleye catches, and ice fishing is possible during winter. Nature trails and a bird observatory have been added to the sandbar that has developed.
Another good spot for lake and lighthouse viewing is nearby Conneaut Township Park, at the junction of Lake Road (SR 531) and Grove Street—both from the bluffs and on the public beach. Stairs lead from the bluff area down to the beach, which is about a half-mile long. There are no lifeguards; use extreme caution in the water due to known undertows. Other park amenities include picnic tables; grills; exercise walkways; boardwalks providing access to the water's edge; and various sports fields and courts, including two boccie courts. Each Thursday night during summer (6-9 p.m., generally the third week in May through September) an antique car show is held here. The number of cars varies, but occasionally it has reached upwards of 100. The park is also the site of the annual D-Day Conneaut, usually held in mid- or late August. History buffs meet to re-create the Allied troops' June 6, 1944, amphibious landing during World War II in Normandy, France.
Other amenities include summer cottages and a golf course as well as covered bridges on Creek, Middle and State roads. The Conneaut Area Historical Society features local history displays and is open Fri.-Sun. noon to 5 from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Just across the railroad tracks is the Conneaut Historical Railroad Museum.
The Conneaut Arts Center—just above the harbor at 1025 Buffalo St.—offers monthly art exhibits and special events throughout the year, including free concerts on the lawn Wednesday evenings in July. Lake Erie can be seen in the distance. The building was originally known as Kilpi Hall, built in 1899 as a Finnish meeting hall; phone (440) 593-5888.
Visitor InfoConneaut Area Chamber of Commerce 235 Main St. CONNEAUT, OH 44030. Phone:(440)593-2402
Things to SeeConneaut Historical Railroad Museum