Historic sites and museums on the Marblehead Peninsula, including Lakeside, Marblehead, and Johnson’s Island.
Johnson’s Island Confederate Prison Cemetery
Gaydos Road (off Bayshore Road), Marblehead (Ottawa Co.)
Open daily year-round; free admission to cemetery but access to the island is via causeway and a nominal toll per vehicle is charged.
Maintained by the U.S. Government, Department of the Interior, the Johnson’s Island Confederate Cemetery is the final resting place for 206 Confederate officers. These men died in captivity during the period when the island was used as a prisoner of war facility, 1862-1865. A statue of a Confederate soldier facing south by sculptor Moses Ezekiel was erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy Cincinnati Chapter in 1910.
The Keeper’s House
9999 E. Bayshore Road, Marblehead
(419) 798-9339, (419) 798-5832
The oldest surviving home in Ottawa County, this house was built in 1822 by the keeper of the nearby Marblehead Lighthouse, Benjamin Wolcott. A second Keeper’s House is located next to the lighthouse. The house is a “hall and parlor” design, common to the Ohio frontier. During the War of 1812 skirmishes with Shawnee Indians took place near the house. The Keeper’s House hosts a number of living history and special events during the summer months. Owned and operated by the Ottawa County Historical Society.
110 Lighthouse Drive (off SR 163), Marblehead, Ottawa County
Owned by State of Ohio and operated as a State Park. This lighthouse has been in operation since 1822, and is the oldest continuously operated lighthouse on the Great Lakes. Located on the eastern tip of the Marblehead peninsula, the lighthouse provides a beacon for ships entering and departing Sandusky Bay and the South Passage. The lighthouse is 85 feet tall.
Marblehead Lighthouse Historical Society Museum
110 Lighthouse Drive (off SR 163), Marblehead
P. O. Box 144, Marblehead, Ohio 43440
The Marblehead Lighthouse Museum is located next to the lighthouse. The Marblehead Lighthouse Historic Society operates this museum in the restored Keeper’s House. The Keeper’s House was the residence for 16 lighthouse keepers and their families, starting in 1880. The museum displays photographs and artifacts relating to the history of the lighthouse and the nearby community of Marblehead. A replica of the lifesaving station that once protected the waters off the Marblehead Peninsula opened May 2016. Inside the building, you will find an authentic lifesaving boat and additional exhibits.
The Marblehead Lighthouse, Lake Erie’s Eternal Flame by Betty Neidecker
Lakeside Heritage Society Museum & Archives Center
Museum: 238 Walnut Avenue, Lakeside
Archives: 324 W. Third St., Lakeside 419-798-5519
Please note that during the summer season there is a gate fee to enter this gated community. Short-term free passes are usually available on request.
Lakeside is Methodist-sponsored summer community that has been welcoming families for over 140 years offering educational programs, cultural arts performances, and recreational opportunities. Hotel Lakeside, which opened in 1875, is a National Historic Landmark.
Heritage Hall is the Lakeside Heritage Society’s local history museum, dedicated to telling the fascinating stories of Lakeside Chautauqua since its founding in 1873, the Marblehead Peninsula and the Chautauqua Movement in America. The museum is located in the original Methodist Episcopal Chapel in Lakeside. open to visitors without charge, is located at 238 Maple Ave., on the corner of Maple Avenue and Third Street. Museum exhibits include artifacts, documents, photographs, antiques and memorabilia from the Lakeside Chautauqua experience, Lakeside businesses, lodgings, restaurants, transportation and recreation, as well as glassware and Civil War artifacts plus history of the Marblehead Peninsula. Children ages 6-12 will enjoy the museum treasure hunt activities.
The Heritage Society Archives Center, located behind the Museum at 324 W. Third St., provides a staff archivist to assist visitors in researching information about Lakeside among the many collections of photographs, documents, maps, books, etc. The Archives Center summer hours are 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and other times by appointment.