Guest Blogger: Dianne Rozak, Marblehead Lighthouse State Park Naturalist
Built in 1821, the Marblehead Lighthouse stands as the oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on all of the Great Lakes.
Set on the rocky limestone shore, this beacon, and its adjacent keeper’s house, became an Ohio State Park in 1998.
A total of 15 keepers have tended the light. The tower’s history boasts the first female lighthouse keeper in the U.S.
The lighthouse has a rare three and a-half order Fresnel lens and an early 1900s functional iron staircase with 77 steps, which is still in use.
The view from the top showcases several Lake Erie islands and a glacial alavar below.
The 1880 on-site keeper’s house is a museum staffed by historical society volunteers.
Known as the most photographed site in the State of Ohio, the Marblehead Lighthouse is also a favorite subject of countless artists.
The U.S. Coast Guard is now responsible for the maintenance of the beacon, which was recently converted to a brilliant LED light.
A compass rose circle, with memorial bricks enhancing the grounds and the museum, will soon build a replica of the original lifesaving station.
The Marblehead Lighthouse State Park is open year-round.
Volunteer opportunities are available. Consider becoming a volunteer from June-August. Volunteer training is provided. For more information, call (419) 734-4424, ext. 2.
Volunteers may choose from several duties, including presenting historical overviews of the lighthouse, selling tickets, answering questions on museum displays and local points of interest, working in the gift shop or providing overviews in the soon-to-be-constructed lifesaving station replica.
Tours of the Marblehead Lighthouse and on-site Keeper’s House Museum are held during the afternoon, six days a week from June-August.
The buildings are also open on the second Saturdays from June-October.
A small entrance fee of $2 is charged to visitors wishing to climb the lighthouse, but there is no charge to visit the museum.
The 20th Annual Lakeside-Marblehead Lighthouse Festival, a cherished fall tradition held on the second Saturday in October, will take place from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015 in Lakeside Chautauqua and throughout the Marblehead Peninsula.
This free, peninsula-wide event will include a variety of activities for the entire family to enjoy. There will be tours of the Marblehead Lighthouse, live entertainment, children’s crafts, a pumpkin-decorating contest, arts & crafts vendors, farmers’ market, hayrides, sailboat rides and much more.
The Lakeside-Marblehead Lighthouse Festival is sponsored by the Marblehead Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and Lakeside Chautauqua.
For more information about this annual event, visit the Lakeside Chautauqua website.