Monday, April 9, 2012

Marblehead Lighthouse

I went to Pennsylvania over the weekend with my mom.  She suggested that we take Ohio Route 2 for part of the way so that we could follow along Lake Erie.  Unfortunately, it is still too far inland to follow Lake Erie.  But we took a little detour to get to Marblehead Lighthouse.
 Marblehead is the oldest continuous operating lighthouse on the American side of the Great Lakes.
 In 1819, the US Congress recognized the need for navigational aids along the Great Lakes and set aside $5,000 for the construction of this lighthouse. 
 The tower was originally 50 feet tall and constructed from the limestone from the area.  It is 25 feet at the base of the tower and narrows to 12 feet in diameter at the top.  The light was originally powered by whale oil and there were metal reflectors behind the light.
 In 1858, the whale oil lights were replaced by kerosene and the metal reflectors replaced with a fresnel lens.
 In 1900, the tower was heightened by 15 feet and a clock like mechanism was added to spin the light around.  The fresnel lens was improved as well.
In 1923, an electric light was added which improved the intensity of the light.  In 1946, the Coast Guard took over from the civillian lighthouse keepers.  In 1958, the light was automated.  In 1998, ownership was turned over to the State of Ohio although the Coast Guard still maintains the light.  The light has a green color which distinguishes it from air beacons.

I'll have to admit, it is a pretty neat light.

No comments: