Marblehead Lighthouse State Park {Review}

Marblehead Lighthouse State Park {Review}

Lighthouses are a great piece of history and they have so many stories and legends attached to them. I’ve visited several around the country, and on my last trip to Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio, I added another to the list. My family and I explored the Marblehead Lighthouse State Park!

Marblehead Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on the Great Lakes, has guided sailors safely along the rocky shores of Marblehead Peninsula since 1822.

In 1819, the fifteenth U. S. Congress recognized the need for navigational aides along the Great Lakes, and set aside $5,000 for construction of a light tower at the entrance to Sandusky Bay. Contractor William Kelly built the 50-foot tower of native limestone on the tip of the Marblehead Peninsula. The base of the tower is 25 feet in diameter, with walls five feet thick. It narrows to twelve feet at the top with two-foot thick walls.

Modern conveniences came slowly to the timeless light tower. An electric light finally replaced the kerosene lantern in 1923, dramatically increasing the candlepower of the signal. During World War II, the lighthouse became strategically important for national defense. The last civilian lighthouse keeper resigned, and the United States Coast Guard assumed responsibility for the beacon in 1946.

The beacon was automated in 1958, making the Coast Guard’s job easier. With its original finish tattered by time and harsh weather, the exterior of the lighthouse tower was given a fresh coat of new stucco the same year.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has maintained the property surrounding the lighthouse since 1972 and proudly accepted ownership of the Marblehead Lighthouse tower in May 1998. The U.S. Coast Guard continues to operate and maintain the lighthouse beacon. Today’s 300 mm lens projects a green signal that flashes every six seconds and is visible for eleven nautical miles. The distinctive green distinguishes the lighthouse signal from white lights coming from air beacons.

Marblehead’s beloved beacon continues to shine and protect boaters from peril in Lake Erie’s unpredictable waters along her rocky shores.

This is a wonderful place you should stop and explore when you’re in town. The grounds are very well kept, with plenty of green grass to have a picnic on or let the kids run through. Plus there are picnic tables if you’d prefer them, and lots of trees to sit under and rocks to climb on.

I loved watching the artists sketching or painting the lighthouse or the lake. What a perfect subject to capture, since it’s the most photographed landmark on Lake Erie!

Marblehead Lighthouse State Park {Review}

There’s no charge to park and use the grounds themselves. There is a museum on site, which is the old keeper’s home and now run by volunteers. Various displays teach visitors the local history, about the lighthouse, navigation and more!

The lighthouse itself is also open for tours during the tourist season. For a $2 donation, you can climb the stairs and walk around the deck at the top when the weather permits. It’s worth the climb just for the awesome pictures you can take from that view point!

Whether you’re just local for the day, just passing through, or lucky to be staying for vacation, make sure you take the time to visit Marblehead Lighthouse State Park. It’s perfect for a walk, pictures, a lunch break, or just to learn about a historical landmark!

Disclaimer: I visited here as part of a media tour through Lake Erie Shores & Islands. Make sure you visit their webpage if you’re visiting for wonderful ideas and savings! Thank you Lake Erie Shores & Islands!

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