CLEVELAND (WJW) – The Cleveland Metroparks has moved Barge 225, better known as the HornBlowers Barge, to its new home at the Wildwoods Marina at the Euclid Creek Reservation.
A five-inch gun deck salute signaled the start of the eight-mile journey for the 131-year-old Victorian-era lake freighter.
“We saw this as a great opportunity to bring a new facility to Wildwood, to Euclid Creek Reservation,” project developer Andrew Stahlke said. “We’re still in the early stages of determining exactly what it will be used for, but we’re very excited to share more of those as time goes on. And invite the public to experience this space and connect with the waterfront in a new way.”
Cleveland Metroparks purchased the barge for $1.3 million on July 6, 2023. The process to relocate the ship took longer than three hours.
Many people stopped to watch the barge’s arrival at Wildwood Marina, a tight squeeze through the cove. Onlookers are excited to see what’s to come.
“It’s probably going to be a tour,” Robert Glover said. “They’re going to put animals, birds and whatever around here could go in there.”
“A nature center, and we’re hoping maybe a little café or something would be nice,” Tim Lachina said.
Cleveland Metroparks will be working quickly to advance the project so people can enjoy the new attraction.
“We don’t have a date or timeline yet to share,” Stahlke said. “Our step one is to get it moved, safely and securely moored and winterized. I think we’ll be looking forward to sharing more next year.”
He said the concept will be new and unique to the reservation system.