I hope you find the following pages both informative and enjoyable.|
The Lighthouse Lullabye
Lay down your head and close your eyes
and rest your weary soul,
For the lighthouse shines through fog, and rain,
and night as black as coal!
Though winds are lashing and waves are crashing
on coral reefs below,
The beacons calls and beckons all
with its majestic beam aglow.
When stars are out and seas are calm
and eventide draws nigh -
The seafarer rocks in a cradle of waves
to The Lighthouse Lullabye.
Bay Point, Ohio
Guarding the entrance to Sandusky Bay.
~A Brief History~
For the Confederate prisoners of war on Johnson Island, there was little solace from their daily drudgery, except for the occasional baseball game taught to them by their Yankee captors. During the Civil War, this tiny island on Lake Erie, just outside of Sandusky, Ohio, was transformed into a prison camp. More than 10,000 rebel soldiers were eventually incarcerated there, most of them captured officers. As they lay awake at night thinking of home, they may have been comforted by the ever-present flashing of nearby Marblehead Lighthouse. In a daring raid that marked the only Civil War battle on the Great Lakes, Confederate soldiers commandeered a passenger steam ship to try and free their brethren on Johnson Island. Their efforts, although certainly gallant, were thwarted by a heavily armed Union gun boat. While executing their escape to Canada, the commandos more than likely sailed within shouting distance of Marblehead Light. These waters have seen more than their share of American history. In September of 1813, just north of Sandusky, Admiral Perry soundly defeated the British in the Battle of Lake Erie. His decisive victory proved to be a turning point in the War of 1812. Eight years after Perry's triumph, a 55-foot conical stone lighthouse was erected at Bay Point, just east of Port Clinton. Marblehead was first lghted in 1821 to guide vessels in and out of Sandusky Bay. At some point during the 19th century, the original tower was raised an additional 10 feet, to accommodate a new lighting system. The original lantern was replaced by a highly-effective fourth-order Fresnel lens, sporting a prominent, flashing green light. Marblehead Light has faithfully served the mariners of Lake Erie for nearly two centuries. It is the oldest active station on the entire Great Lakes. Visiting the proud old tower today, you will find that it has changed very little. Although the beacon has been automated for sometime, it still serves a very important function, lighting the way for passenger ferries and commercial vessels. The tower is easily accessible to visitors, as is the keeper's dwelling, currently serving as a museum for the Ottawa County Historical Society. Standing on the solid stone beach, just outside of the tower, it is easy to understand how the lighthouse received its name and why it has stood for so long.|
~ Vermilion Lighthouse ~
A Brief History
The Vermilion Lighthouse was built in 1847 in Lake Erie. In 1859 it was rebuilt by replacing its 6th order lens with a 5th order lens. By 1877, the lighthouse was once again rebuilt. In1893 the lighthouse moved closer to the end of the pier in Vermilion. Acetylene replaced oil in the lamp around 1919. Ten years later the lighthouse underwent more alterations. It was dismantled and replaced by and 18-foot skeletal tower. Not until 1992 was the lighthouse finally brought back to Vermilion in the form of an exact replica with the exception of a catwalk or pier.
~Portland Head Light ~
~Cape Elizabeth, Maine~
A Brief History
The District of Maine was a part of Massachusetts when the merchants of Portland first petitioned Boston for a lighthouse in 1786. Construction began a year later but was quickly stopped for lack of funds. Soon after George Washington became the first president in1789, the federal government took over the construction and operation of lighthouses, and Congress authorized $1500 to finish Portland Head Light. Which was a large sum of money at the time.
Built cheap with light rubble stone and lime, Portland Head was a 72 foot tower that first shone its light in January of 1791. Over the years Portland Head has undergone many changes.
The tower was lowered by 25 feet in 1813; in 1850 a new lantern was installed with a forth-order fresnel lens; in 1864 twenty feet were added back onto the tower's height and the lens upgraded to a second-order. In 1882 the twenty feet were once again removed from the tower and the lens returned to a forth-order power.
This last change was very unpopular, and within a year the tower was raised again yet by twenty feet and the more powerful lens restored. Portland Head changed little until 1989, when the old fresnel was removed and replaced with an airport-style revolving beacon. The tower today bears the scars of it's many changes in height.
A special thanks to for her Graphics...
along with great "Lighthouse History".