The Historic Ashtabula Harbor is home to the largest private dock on the great lakes, a colorful history blossoming in the early 1950's, and the cleanest river on Lake Erie. During summer, huge lake freighters dock while visitors watch the ships load and unload their cargo just a few feet from the bridge. Every half hour the bridge rises to let boats, yachts, and sails make their way under the bridge. With the area already dealing with circumstances of the post Rust Belt Era, 2008 became a critical time for Bridge Street after the Ohio Department of Transportation planned to close the Lift Bridge for repairs. The merchants came together to establish traffic generating events, thus creating the Lift Bridge Community Association. In addition, the LBCA began focusing on longer-range issues, such as taking advantage of its designation on the National Register of Historic Places and applying for grants to renovate the historic buildings on the street. Several local entrepreneurs were inspired to make the harbor the home of their business and were awarded funds through the New Entrepreneurs Opportunity Fund, which provided access to low-interest loans and monthly training classes to anyone in the county looking to run a small business. The success of the harbor has allowed several local establishments to expand thus creating a robust food scene home to chef-inspired and award winning restaurants, retail businesses, and several boutiques and art galleries attracting visitors year-round. With attractions such as the adjacent parks, beaches, marinas, and museums, the Harbor has become a regional destination for tourism, recreation, and entertainment. The current recognition marks another sign that local efforts to revitalize Bridge Street is making waves across the region and nation as a special place to live, work, and visit. For more information about Bridge Street, visit www.historicashtabulaharbor.com.