Other Great Lakes Lighthouses - John H Bowman Photos
Marblehead (OH) - Great Lakes Lighthouse in Longest Continuous Use

Marblehead (OH) - Great Lakes Lighthouse in Longest Continuous Use

Marblehead lighthouse, at the entrance to Sandusky Bay on Lake Erie, East of Port Clinton, commenced operation in 1822, making it the oldest Great Lakes lighthouse in continuous operation. The tower, made from local limestone, originally was 50 feet tall with walls tapering from 5 feet thick at the base to 2 feet thick at the top. In 1880, the limestone was covered with stucco and painted white, and in 1897 the tower height was increased to 65 feet by a 15 foot brick addition. The original whale-oil lanterns were replaced in 1858 by a kerosene lamp and Fresnel lens to magnify the light; in 1923, electricity replaced kerosene as the source of power, and the light was automated in 1958. Eleven years later, the lamp was upgraded with a new lens; the original Fresnel lens is on display in the adjacent keeper's house. Marblehead Lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1969; in 1998 it became part of the Ohio State Parks system when the lighthouse, declared surplus federal property, was obtained by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (the beacon -- visible for 11 nautical miles -- remains active and is operated by the U.S. Coast Guard). The lighthouse and surrounding land that now comprise Marblehead Lighthouse State Park have been maintained by Ohio DNR since 1972. Significant restorations of the lighthouse and keeper's house were undertaken in 2001 [from Ohio DNR information & other on-line sources].

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