Thursday, August 23, 2018

Reviewing Lighthouses in Erie Pennsylvania

Erie Land Lighthouse
My husband and I were traveling north on Hwy 90 on our way from St. Louis to New Hampshire.  Hwy 90 is a great way for us to travel to the east coast with lots of places to stop near the Great Lakes and lots of lighthouses to visit.  On this visit we stopped for the night in Erie Pennsylvania and were able to visit three lighthouses.  I had stopped at the visitor center when entering Pennsylvania and picked up a brochure on Lake Erie Lights.  In this brochure I found directions to the lighthouses and the facts about the lighthouses that I refer to in this post.

Erie Land Lighthouse

Erie Land lighthouse was built in 1818 and was the first lighthouse on the Great Lakes.  The lighthouse sits high on the bluff at the end of Lighthouse street.  The first lighthouse was built of wood but after forty years it was replaced by one made of brick.  This one only lasted for nine years when it began to sink.  The present lighthouse is made of sandstone with a brick lining and was built in 1867.  It was decommissioned in 1898 because the beacon on Presque Isle was better able to warn mariners. In 2003 the lighthouse was restored for visitors who are welcome to walk the grounds.  I saw beautiful views of Presque Bay from the grounds and was also able to see the North Pier light from the bluff.

Old boat on lighthouse grounds

Presque Isle Lighthouse


When we arrived in Erie we first took a drive to Presque Isle state park.  This beautiful state park is home to two of Erie's lighthouses.  In the photo above you see Presque Isle lighthouse which is located on the north shore.  From 1873-1944 this lighthouse was home to nine lighthouse keepers and their families.  This lighthouse which is 57 feet high has 78 steps to the lantern.  The lighthouse was just closing for the evening when I got there but I was able to walk the grounds and take photographs.

North Pier Light

North Pier light as seen from across the bay


The North Pier light is located at the east end of the channel that leads into Presque Bay.  It was originally built in 1830 but was replaced in 1855 when it was destroyed by a sailing vessel impact.  Over the years it was moved several times as the peninsula grew and extended into the channel.  It has been in it's current location since 1840 and continues today to be used as an aid to navigation.  I was able to walk out to the light and take several photos of the lighthouse.  The second photo shows some interesting house boats that were in a lake on the road to see the lighthouse.

Stop by Lighthouse Musings for more photos on these lighthouses. 

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6 comments:

  1. Well Mary Beth it seems that I need to take more road trips. These lighthouses are beautiful. I can picture myself sitting on the shores in the evening watching the twinkling of the lights and the boats that ply the waters. It must be magical. Thanks for showing me a new place to visit.

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  2. Over the last few years, you have certainly given me a new appreciation for lighthouses through your photography Mary Beth. The history of each is fascinating. It never occurred to me that a lighthouse could sink, but it makes sense if I think about it for just a moment. Also, houseboats are something I have seen on television, I've never been on one in real life. My husband has a good friend from work who lives on a houseboat now. Because of that, I've recently started thinking about that concept in housing. I think I would be too afraid of snakes and/or alligators to be able to sleep well. Still, a very intriguing thought regardless.

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  3. Always great fun to learn more about the lighthouses you visit on your travels, Mary Beth. I've been to Erie, PA (having grown up in NY State), but did not know the background of the lighthouses situated there. Therefore, your history through words and photos was fascinating.

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  4. As always Mary Beth your pictures are outstanding. we live in Western New York which is just outside of Erie Pennsylvania and we've visited these three lighthouses. We've also taken the time to drive up Rt. 5 into New York and visit several other lighthouses from Erie to Niagara Falls. I love the history of each of them. Thanks!

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  5. Wow, these are absolutely gorgeous. Your entire lighthouse collection of photos has been educational. We've driven through Pennsylvania many times and if I do again, I'll be sure to take note of the lighthouses you've informed us on. So pretty!!

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  6. We stayed in a cabin on the shore of Lake Erie one night with the kids a few decades ago. Wish I'd known about these lighthouses then. They weren't visible from where we were. You've done a beautiful job of photographing them for us.

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