First Street Cemetery

Painesville (Fairport Harbor)

Although each Fairport cemetery claims to be the first, perhaps the one which was supposed to be on First Street, somewhere near the old lighthouse would get the honor if one does not count Native American burials in the dates. In A History of Fairport Harbor Ohio, 1976, there is a story of the original lighthouse built in 1825. This was from Frank G. Johnson, a grandson of Jonathan Goldsmith. In it, of Grandon (later Fairport Harbor Village) he mentions, “It had a cemetery located on First Street which was washed in to the lake by a tidal wave in 1859.”

First street no longer exists, except perhaps for some remnants of it on the beach, but it would have been north of Prospect Street. Strangely, when the town was laid out officially, and the map done in 1812, there was no mention of any First Street. However there was (and still is) a Second Street, a Third, etc. Prospect Street is much shorter than it was on that first map, giving some credence to the tidal wave possibility.