Ahoy, and Welcome to Our Museum!

ashtabula maritime and surface transportation museum

P.O. Box 1546

1071 Walnut Boulevard

Ashtabula, Ohio 44005-1546

Phone: 440-964-6847

Visit the museum’s Facebook Page


The museum opens seasonally on Memorial Day weekend!

Adults: $9
Veterans and Seniors: $8
Children 6 to 16 years of age: $3
Children under 6: FREE
Service Men and Women in Uniform: FREE
Members: FREE 

Parking is free!

Hours of Operation

Open: Memorial Day weekend thru September
Friday -Monday from 12:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Closed for July 4th and Labor Day


Tour buses welcome, handicap accessible (except “Pilot House”). 
Schedule Tours for 10 or more anytime of the year.  
For information contact the museum at (440) 964-6487 or (440) 997-5370 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The Ashtabula Maritime & Surface Transportation Museum is home to the world’s largest piece of beach glass. It was discovered in October 2017 on the shores of Lake Erie between Ashtabula and Conneaut. This 12” high, 17” diameter beauty weighs 275 lbs.

Also, at the Ashtabula Maritime and Surface Transportation Museum, visitors may view a working commercial coal dock, and best view of the lighthouse.  See a Hulett model, photo/harbor history, and artifacts of the Great Lakes.  The museum has the last remaining Ashtabula Hulett unloader “bucket” and a portion of its “Leg”, as well as other artifacts on the grounds. In addition, there is a display dedicated to U.S. Merchant Marines and Support Our Troops! Tours of the actual pilothouse are provided. 

In the Beginning People dreamed of a maritime Museum and worked to make their dream a reality…

December 1984                               The Harbor Journal

By Charles Altonen

Marine Museum is Gift to People

The Great Lakes  and United States Coast Guard Memorial Museum is located at the east end of Walnut Boulevard across the street from Point Park overlooking the historic Ashtabula River front. In the early days, one lighthouse keeper worked out of the light for two weeks at a time. He then took time off to be at home with his family while the second lightkeeper went out on duty. The two keepers alternated in this fashion, and each had a family living in the “duplex” house.

As time changed. The Coast Guard eliminated the need for two lightkeepers and a personal residence.  The local Coast Guard Chief occupied the building as his residence for a time. Eventually, the lighthouse became electronically controlled and the need for a lightkeeper was totally eliminated.   

In the late 1970s, the building became available. The City of Ashtabula owned it for a brief time, but it reverted back to the United States Department of Transportation. The local  Marine Museum Committee finally wrestled it back and through the efforts of numerous citizens, the Jaycees, and many of the city’s leading industries and other businesses, plans to turn the old lighthouse  keeper’s home into a marine museum became a reality.

The architectural firm of Kujala and Kaski, (both native Ashtabulans) prepared the drawings and drew the specifications. During 1982 and 1983, old-time harborites, lovers of the sea, and recorders and collectors of nostalgia and memorabilia, contributed long hours of volunteer labor to restore the structure and make it a great source of community pride.  

The Museum was officially opened and dedicated during the Blessing of the Fleet Ceremonies in 1984. Hundreds of Great Lakes artifacts are on permanent display, including the ship models of Helge Anderson and the wheel from the Steamer Renvayle to name a few.

Ashtabula’s Martine Museum has become the “talk” of the Northeast Ohio area as visitors from all over the nation have already passed through its spacious rooms on guided tours from knowledgeable seamen.

While the Museum is now fully open, it is not yet fully complete and has several needs. It needs members. It needs continuing support. An apartment on the second floor is also planned to house a full-time custodian/security guard/librarian. Future plans also include the erection of an actual pilot house from a Great Lakes carrier, and picnic grounds behind the museum overlooking the harbor.

The Museum is the source of great pride and spirit in Ashtabula. Join its membership today and be a living part of the CommUnity.

Museum Beginning Photos

June 1984. Ships Wheel. The wheel from the Paul L. Tietjen and a new Museum sign were mounted outside the Marine Museum on Walnut Boulevard, Ashtabula in time for the Blessing of the Fleet ceremonies this weekend. Flanking worker Clint Ekensten are museum curators (left) Paul Petros and Duff Brace. Blessing activities tonight include the religious service at 7:30 p.m. in the First Presbyterian Church on Park Avenue and traditional dances there an hour later. Activities tomorrow morning include the start of the Underground Railroad Pilgrimage at 8;30 from the Mary Chatman Center, the Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue Demonstration at 10 a.m. at Lakeshore Park, and the Blessing of the Vines at 11:00 a.m. at Chalet Debonne Vineyards in Madison. Photo by Lisa Sterling. Ashtabula Star Beacon.

Miniature tools and models made by the late Warner Pearson of Ashtabula recently were donated to the Ashtabula Marine Museum by Pearson’s brother Oscar, of Ashtabula Township. The hand-crafted items were accepted for the Museum by Jim Hill of the Blessing of the Fleet Committee. Some of the items were on display during the Blessing weekend. Ashtabula Star Beacon June 4, 1984, Photo by Lisa Sterling.