The Village of Marblehead is on a roll.
Putting a cherry on top this week was a feature by the digital magazine INSIDER, which selected the best small town in each of the 50 states. Marblehead best fit the criteria for Ohio, described as a charming town with breathtaking views of Sandusky Bay.
“Its main street is the epitome of small-town America, as shops and businesses line the quaint street,” wrote Frank Olito in last week’s post on INSIDER (thisisinside.com), a digital magazine with more than 300,000 subscribers.
“While cities are known for being culture hubs and centers of entertainment, small towns have just as much to offer,” reported Olito. “All across America, small towns are becoming art havens, fine dining meccas and top travel destinations. Researchers even found that people living in small towns are happier than whose who live in more urban environments.
The article pointed out “residents are greeted by parades down Main Street
on special occasions and events. The Marblehead Lighthouse is another noteworthy draw to the waterfront town. Additionally, the East Harbor State Park allows you to get close to the shores of Lake Erie while also enjoying the small town vibes.”
Mayor Jacqueline Bird said it was impossible to disagree with Olito’s assessment.
“On behalf of the Village of Marblehead, I wish to thank INSIDER for naming our village the Best Small Town in Ohio,” said Bird. “It is because of the people who reside here, work here, own businesses, visit here and serve the village that truly makes our town great! Our village is a precious gem on the shores of Lake Erie and all are sincerely proud and honored with this national recognition.”
The village has fully recovered from the recession of a decade ago, and the loss of the large Ben Richmond Art Gallery that created a big hole in the retail space of the small town. New galleries have sprung up, and every retail space has been filled. The Marblehead Lighthouse State Park continues to evolve as a nautical showplace.
There’s more to come, with village officials developing Clemons Park on the Lake Erie shoreline in the center of town.
“Developing Clemons Park for those of us who live here and the many who come to visit Marblehead will make us all proud,” said Bird. The park, which has two acres of green space and three acres of submerged land creating a serene inlet that is on a new Lake Erie Water Trail, preserving the history of the Clemons family.
Lucien M. Clemons was the first keeper of the Marblehead Life Saving Station and is buried in Clemons Cemetery next to the new park. The Western Reserve Land Conservancy put together the deal to acquire the property, and promptly transferred ownership of the former Lifeboat Station home development to the Village of Marblehead.
What are some of the other best small towns in America? In the Midwest, the towns include Volant, Pa., where 157 mostly Amish live and the Harry Potter Festival is a big hit. Michigan’s “Christmas Town,” Frankenmuth. Santa Claus, Ind., where they ho-ho-ho year round.
On the East Coast are Blowing Rock, N.C.; Hanover, N.H.; Bar Harbor, Maine; and Provincetown, Mass. West Coast towns include Las Alamos, Calif.; Port Townsend, Wash; and Depoe Bay, Ore. In the south, be sure to visit Eufala, Ala.; St. Francisville, La.; and Corinth, Miss. Up north are Sitka, Alaska; and Whitefish, Mont.