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Fairport Harbor is a village in Lake County, Ohio, United States, along Lake Erie at the mouth of the Grand River. The population was 3,109 at the 2010 census.
Fairport Harbor is home to two lighthouses: the Fairport Harbor West Breakwater Light in Painesville Township, operated by the United States Coast Guard and the Grand River (Fairport Harbor) Light operated by the Fairport Harbor Historical Society. It is also the home of the Finnish Heritage Museum.
Fairport Harbor's location at the mouth of the Grand River made it an ideal place for a settlement. After being claimed as part of the Connecticut Western Reserve by the Connecticut Land Company in 1796–1797, the town of Grandon was platted there on May 16, 1812. When the town incorporated in 1836, the name was changed to "Fairport." Fairport is a commendatory name. The current name was adopted in 1959.
After receiving federal sponsorship, the village's port flourished, and an influx of Finns, Hungarians, and Slovaks arrived there. The port also imported iron ore for use at area steel mills. The port continues operation at a more limited capacity.
Later in the village's history, the Diamond Alkali Company operated from 1912 to 1976.
In recent years Fairport Harbor has hosted the Lake County Perch Fest and opened the Finnish Heritage Museum.
On January 24, 2011, an overpressurized Dominion East Ohio natural gas pipeline caused devices in at least 17 dwellings to explode, causing the structures to burn and leading to a mass evacuation.
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