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See the ice?  The chunks are out there.

The Ashtabula Light had keepers until 1973, making it the last manned lighthouse on Lake Erie.  People staffing the light did not always have a comfortable existence:  in 1927 it was struck by a ship, and a year later, two keepers had to chip their way through five feet of ice after an intense ice storm passed.  Now, it appears to need some paint.

This sign caught my attention, but it’s possible the pub is open only in summer.  I followed the arrow and

located $onny II. She was built in 1959 and apparently as a bum boat, although her appearance is similar to fish tugs.  I don’t know how often she sails, but I suspect the days of bum boats

have passed, at least in the US though not elsewhere.  That is not to say bum boats can’t be converted to yachts, as is the case with a boat previously serving Twin Ports (Duluth-Superior) and now in the sixth boro  by the name Memory Motel.

If I decide that tugster needs a waterborne headquarters, I can call this number.  Anyone want to invest with me?

Before this house became $onny II‘s annex, I’m guessing it was the sturdy shelter of proud Great Lakes mariners. Anyone know the previous life before it became a prop for a mercury vapor lamp and a Pepsi sign?

Back in August, I saw the lighthouse from the opposite side.

And not knowing much about the town, I wondered why this Wagenborg vessel was there behind the piles of earth.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, in either February or August.   Now if you find yourself in Ashtabula and the Bum Boat Pub is closed, make your way to the Harbor Perk.  It has truly good coffee and friendly atmosphere, and I’m not paid to say that.

Unrelated:  Does anyone know what became of the Ohio River’s music barge called Point Counterpoint?


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