Why Grand River lighthouse and not Fairport Harbor lighthouse
Federal officials DO call it the "Fairport Harbor lighthouse."
However, that is a misleading colloquial official name if ever there was one. That is because Fairport Harbor all ready has a lighthouse, which officially is called the "Grand River lighthouse" even though it is in Fairport Harbor and a ways from the Grand River.
This designation has been found to be confusing to people not familiar with either lighthouse. In fact, a couple of years ago when I first did the story about the Fairport/Grand River lighthouse being auctioned, a local television crew actually went to the structure located in Fairport Harbor, thinking it was THAT building that was up for sale.
This confusion has happened before.
After all, to use the Fairport Harbor lighthouse is actually at the mouth of the Grand River in Painesville Township while the Grand River lighthouse is really in the village of Fairport Harbor and located away from the stream itself.
Consequently, it was determined that the federal breakwater lighthouse could be better identified with its actual location: I.E. - at the mouth of the Grand River and along the west federal breakwater. Hence the more appropriate and accurate designation of "Grand River-west lighthouse" is used.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn