: This color image shows an exterior view of Marblehead Lighthouse, located at the tip of Marblehead Peninsula on Lake Erie's Ohio coastline. The lighthouse stands in the center of the image, framed by a blue sky and lush green trees.
The commanding view from the top of the lighthouse showcases several Lake Erie islands, a glacial alavar below, and a view of the Cleveland shoreline on clear days.
Built in 1821, the lighthouse is constructed of limestone covered with white stucco. In its early days the lighthouse guided ships into Sandusky Bay using 13 whale-oil lamps and 16-inch reflectors. Technological improvements have included a single kerosene lamp and Fresnel lens (1858); a mechanism to rotate the lantern; electric light (1923); automation (1958); and a 300 mm beacon that flashes a green light (ca. 1969). For many years it was the only lighthouse in the Sandusky Bay area.
Benajah Wolcott (1762-1832) was the first keeper of the Marblehead Lighthouse (originally called the Sandusky Bay Light). After his death, the U.S. government appointed his widow, Rachel Miller Wolcott, to the post, making her the first female lighthouse keeper on the Great Lakes. The second female lighthouse keeper was Johanne McGee, who held the position after the death of her husband, keeper George McGee. She served from 1896 to 1903. A total of fifteen civilian keepers have tended the light.
The United States Coast Guard has been responsible for the maintenance of the beacon since 1946. Beginning in 1972, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has maintained the property surrounding the lighthouse. The area became a state park in 1998.
The keeper’s house was built in 1880 and is now a museum staffed by historical society volunteers. View on Ohio Memory.
: AL06630 Subjects
: Marblehead Light (Ohio); Lighthouses; Erie, Lake, Coast (Ohio); Women--Employment; Ships; Marblehead (Ohio); National Register of Historic Places; National parks & reserves Places
: Marblehead (Ohio); Ottawa County (Ohio)