Where you are standing on this high bluff, overlooking the entrance to Ashtabula Harbor is referred to as Point Park. For almost two centuries, people have traveled here to observe the business activity of Ashtabula Harbor. This vantage point of the working harbor is one of only a few found along the Great Lakes. As you view the dock below you may see pleasure boaters out for a day in the sun, the Ashtabula Lighthouse, the operation of the Bascule Lift Bridge and a spectacular view of Lake Erie. Freighters dock along the west side of the port waiting to be loaded with coal. Railcars carrying coal on the east side of the river are dumped into a loading area where the coal is moved by a conveyor through the massive "coal arch" to the west side of the river. The coal is then moved to the dock where it is loaded into an awaiting freighter. The freighter will depart the Ashtabula River past the lighthouses, which is perched on the west break wall in the outer harbor.
Point Park was originally part of the Western Reserve and Connecticut Land Company purchased by Nehemiah Hubbard. The land went to his heirs and was unsettled until the 1830's. The Hubbard family built a family home on the site and later converted the home into a hotel called the "Ohio Exchange". By 1874, the hotel was called the "Lakeside House" and was remodeled
to sixty rooms. It was later renamed the "Point Park Hotel" before it was torn down several years later. During that time, many people enjoyed meeting at the park.
The land owners maintained the pathway up the hillside and provided benches and gardens for the visitors to enjoy. After the hillside and river frontage was sold to the railroad, the hillside was cut back to construct more railroad yards and docks. The City of Ashtabula purchased the land from Conrail in 1981. Plans to renovate the park by the Point Park Renovation Committee began in 1991 and work on the site began in 1999.