The Marblehead Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in the U.S. still in operation around the Great Lakes. It is almost 50′ tall (though another figure states 65′) and opened in 1820. It is made of limestone, likely from the nearby quarry which is between the rocky ledge on the lake and the cemetery.
Alexander Clemons bought 130 acres and settled here in 1875. Nearby is a recovery center replica that just opened in May 2016 showcasing the history of the area. Click link below for full history and beginnings.
My family and I visited the Marblehead Lighthouse last month and unfortunately for us the Keeper’s building was closed. It is open to the public and served by volunteers. My father was looking forward to seeing a picture of his grandfather in there. His grandfather’s name was Myron Clemons. He was told they have one on the wall. The Keeper’s Museum preserves the history of the lighthouse and it became a state park in 1998.
You can purchase a brick to assist in the preservation here: Marblehead Lighthouse
The Keeper’s House was built in 1880, with 16 keeper’s and families having lived here. The U.S. Coast Guard used it for a residence hall back in 1947, but in 1968 support began to rise to preserve the old place and it was saved right before they burned it down. By June of 1998 a state park had evolved. Volunteers operate the building as info for tourists and as a museum.
From 13 whale oil lamps, which burned and were tended to back in 1821, to kerosene, incandescent electricity, and now to the present 20 watt green LED, it has always been about reassuring mariners on Lake Erie. A New Zealand Company is replacing the lighthouse lights with this update of LED lighting. The time period went like this: 1921-1858 used whale oil and lard, 1858-1923 used coal oil & kerosene, 1923-2013 had incandescent electricity and 2013 to present uses LED, light emitting diode.
I like to think this window gave a personal eye view of the lake and a small portal to look out for ships passing by. I know this job was of high importance at the time as supplies and wares were transported and traded on the seas.
Thanks for stopping by. Sea you next time.
Photography by me