Barcelona Harbor Lighthouse: A Safe Passage in time


Lakeside Bed and Breakfast in Barcelona Harbor. Photos By Jasmine Willis

By Jasmine Willis

As summer winds down, and fall approaches around the bend it is time to reflect on the beauty around us.

On what was meant to be a simple drive to Barcelona Harbor to take in the sun and fresh lake water became so much more.

I noticed a very old lighthouse resting on the hill.

Barcelona Harbor Lighthouse. Photos by Jasmine Willis

A nice talk with one of the harbor staff members led me to a brief story of it’s history.
The lighthouse itself was built, along with the lighthouse keepers home in 1828. It was erected by the Federal Government in 1829.
The Lakeside B&B was originally built in 1830 for the Underground Railroad. The home had a secret tunnel in the basement , which emptied out under the lighthouse buried deep under the hill.

Barcelona Harbor Lighthouse Keeper’s Home. Photo by Jasmine Willis

This allowed slaves to be taken across the 27 mile stretch of Lake Erie to Canada.
Now the home that gave so many people a safe harbor is a lovely B&B, and the lighthouse that offered it’s guiding light across the dark waters is a stone structure of hope. It offers us a glimpse of history and reminds us that in this seemingly dark world light does prevail and freedom continues to ring.
Barcelona Harbor had felt like a special place since the moment I set foot on her shores, and now I understand why. It truly is a safe harbor … a refuge for the lost.
When I look at these pictures or stand by these profound structures I will remember the stories, and I will imagine how those slaves must of felt seeing that beacon of light, and the door opening at the bottom of a hill to offer them shelter in the storm.

One thought on “Barcelona Harbor Lighthouse: A Safe Passage in time”

  1. Beautiful article Jasmine. In any community the essence of who they are and the foundation of American Small Town life is its treasures kept faithfully from one generation to the next. These places like Barcelona Harbor echo the heartbeat of the town from the archives of their past. To have the great honor to belong to those courageous souls that stood up for the right to be free for the Black Americans escaping from the cruelty of slavery in 1861 – 1865 Civil War Days says something deeply honorable and rooted in the people of those times and their generations after them. Always make a stand for Right no matter how scarey Right can be, History records the ones who don’t back down. The open doors of the Underground Railroad saved untold lives and blessed communities with the heart to serve this fight. I have taught my children to care about these nuggets of history. That forgotten building in the corner of the country road is a story waiting to be rediscovered and told. They don’t have a voice that many hear but to the ones who do thank you for sharing their story with us.


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