Municipality of Bayham


 The Port Burwell Marine Museum and Historic Lighthouse is open for the 2022 season.

The Marine Museum and Historic Lighthouse opened on Friday, May 20, 2022.  We hope to welcome you back this year!

COVID-19 Project

History is happening right now and we need your input.  The museum is collecting memories and experiences of COVID-19 to share with future generations.  Click on POSTER for more information.


Both sites are open daily 10:00am - 5:30pm mid-May through to Labour Day. In severe weather the Lighthouse will be closed.  

Off-season tours may be arranged by calling the municipal office at 519-866-5521 Ext 222 Monday - Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm.  Advance notice for group  tours is required.

2022 Admission Prices (Cash only):  12 & Under Free; Adults (13+) $3.00 per person one site; Adults (13+) $5.00 per person for both Marine Museum and Lighthouse; Family $8.00 per family one site; Family $12.00 per family for both Marine Museum and Lighthouse.  Museum Season Pass valid from date of purchase until Labour Day for unlimited attendance to both the Marine Museum and Lighthouse for $15.00 per person.  Groups of 10 or more, please call ahead to the Museum 519-874-4807 to book a time and for group pricing .

Summer Children's Program

Children's programming will be offered on Tuesdays starting July 5 - August 9 from 1:00pm - 2:00pm at the Museum and can be followed by the Fred Bodsworth Port Burwell Library programming from 2:00pm - 3:00pm.  Start at the Museum and  staff will escort the children to the Library for the second hour of activity.  The program is FREE.

Museum Tours and Educational Programs 

The Port Burwell Marine Museum offers tours and educational programs designed to give a greater understanding of life along Lake Erie, as well as the role played by the lighthouse and the people of the village and surrounding area.

The curriculum based educational program “Light and Sound along Lake Erie” is available by appointment throughout the year at a cost of $3 per child, with accompanying adults free. Parking for buses is available and the museum is a short walk from the beach, the Historic Lighthouse, and the Museum of Naval History – HMCS Ojibwa – all of which can contribute to a fun and educational day in Port Burwell.  Tours must be arranged ahead of time.

Light and Sound Along Lake Erie 

Specifically designed for the grade four curriculum, this program can be adapted for most grades and home school groups.

The museum provides the perfect setting to learn about light and sound.  With a lighthouse, numerous foghorns and lighthouse lenses, students will learn how they were used on the Great Lakes and the impact they had on commerce and society.  Our interactive program uses real artifacts to bring to life the challenges our forebears faced in developing safer marine travel on the Great Lakes.

The program length is approximately ½ hour for the tour, and can be combined with a craft activity and visit to the lighthouse.

Past Projects

Exhibit at Queen's Park, Toronto from August - December 2019 

Theme:  "Port Burwell and Commercial Fishing on Lake Erie"

In 2020 and 2021 the Children's' Program was cancelled.  Our 2019 Children's Summer Program in collaboration with the Fred Bodsworth Port Burwell Library was a great success and enjoyed by many.  

 Pictures of the 2019 Children's Program Fun - "Glitter Bomb Day", "Turtle Habitat Day" and "Scavenger Hunt - Games Day"


Port Burwell is situated on the north shore of Lake Erie. The Big Otter Creek has been a major factor in the history of this port. The timber boom also led to a thriving ship building industry. Seventy-one sailing ships are recorded to have been built at Port Burwell during the 19th century. Not only lumber ran out, the arrival of the railroad around 1900 increased the importance of the harbour for the shipping of coal from Pennsylvania.

The museum's abundant collection of historic artifacts, incredible collection of lighthouse lenses including the rotating fresnel lens and period photographs facilitate a look into Port Burwell's past and spur memories of the port's earlier days. Visitors to Port Burwell, as well as local residents, will enjoy a fascinating collection of stories depicting the town's history and its relation to the marine life of Lake Erie.

The Marine Museum and Historic Lighthouse is a tribute to the history in Port Burwell. Local volunteers and students, who keep the traditions and history of their village alive, staff the museum. The museum and lighthouse are open May Victoria Day Weekend to September Labour Day.

For an amazing view of Port Burwell and Lake Erie, make the 56-step climb to the top of the historic lighthouse.



 The Wheelhouse is in place at the Marine Museum.  The Port Burwell Historical Society acquired the Wheelhouse and it is placed at the Museum for further refurbishing and future inclusion in the outside artifact displays.  The Wheelhouse is available for viewing from the exterior only at this time.  






Marine Museum

A: 20 Pitt Street

T: 519-874-4807

Historic Lighthouse

A: 17 Robinson Street

Port Burwell, Ontario N0J 1T0

(Seasonal Mid-May to Labour Day)


The Municipality of Bayham gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario in providing funding to assist in the hiring of museum summer students.

Elgin County Museum

The Elgin County Museum exists to promote Elgin County's rich historical and agricultural heritage by acquiring, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting artifacts pertaining to the history of the County of Elgin; and to provide leadership and support to County museums in the promotion of a heritage partnership.

The Museum opened in its new facility on the fourth floor of the Administration building at 450 Sunset Drive, in the fall of 2006. Many significant improvements to the Museum include climate-controlled storage areas, customized exhibit space, greater opportunities for public programming and the ability to provide outreach services to County museums.

Visit: and the for historical information, photographs and virtual displays.

 Elgin County Museum

A: 450 Sunset Drive
    St. Thomas, ON
    N5R 5V1
T: 519-631-1460 ext.159/ext. 160
F: 519-631-9209


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