When we helped move our daughter to Buffalo, NY, there were a few sites we wanted to take time to see along the way. One of those sites was the Presque Isle Lighthouse in Presque Isle State Park.
We spent the night in Erie, PA on the way to NY, but didn't have time to visit the Erie lighthouses until we were on our way back home. Since we drove the U-haul truck to Buffalo, I'm really glad we waited to go to Presque Isle State Park in a car instead of the truck.
The park was full of guests visiting the beaches, fishing, biking, walking the trails, and of course, visiting the lighthouses. Even though there was a lot of traffic, most of the people seemed to be there for the beaches, swimming, or other water activity. This allowed us easy parking and access to the Presque Isle Lighthouse.
While I love lighthouses, I tend to prefer the lighthouses that have a lighthouse keeper's residence. Perhaps, I romanticize the historical accounts of lighthouse keepers, but there is no doubt they served to save many lives. I consider them heroes who diligently tended the lights every night, all night long, in order to keep others safe.
Today, the Presque Isle Lighthouse is a public museum and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Guests are allowed to freely walk around the grounds, visit the gift shop, or even climb the 78 steps up to the top of the lighthouse.
A Bit of History of the Presque Isle Lighthouse
As you can see on the date brick, the lighthouse building was started in 1872, but actually put into service in July of 1873.
(You may need to click the photo to enlarge it to see the date clearly)
We were standing on these grounds and I took this picture 148 years later in July of 2021.
The lighthouse was originally lit by an oil lamp inside a Forth-order (smaller than a First-order) Fresnel lens which was removed in 1962. It currently uses an isophase light (dark & light periods of equal length).
The four bedroom house was home to a lighthouse keeper and family until 1944.
When built, the tower was 40 ft. tall. In 1896, an additional 17 ft was added to the tower. By comparing the two pictures below, you can see where that 17 feet were added. The bricks was later painted white to make the tower more visible during daylight hours.
United States Lighthouse Board, Public domain,
via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by @Sylvestermouse (2021)
I loved visiting this historical location and I loved that it was being "appreciated" by so many guests. If you find yourself near Erie, PA, be sure to stop by Presque Isle State Park and enjoy all of the surroundings and climbing the stairs to the top of the Presque Isle Lighthouse.
More Articles About the Presque Isle Lighthouse
- You can read more of the real history of Presque Isle Lighthouse by clicking here.
- Our Contributor, Mary Beth, also shared several of her gorgeous photos of the Presque Isle Lighthouse and two other Erie Lighthouses here on Review This Reviews. You can see her photos by clicking here.
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