Erie Land Lighthouse . Lake Erie . Pennsylvania . Watercolor . 12" x 9"
... approved by Congress in 1810, but delayed by the war of 1812, the first Erie lighthouse was built on a high bluff overlooking the Presque Isle Harbor and first lighted in 1815. Its 27-foot stone tower and lantern room with 10 oil-fired lamps lasted until about 1857, when settlement was deemed terminal. A second tower of brick, 25 feet tall and now with a Frensal lens, was built in 1858. That tower lasted less than 10 years, when cracks were found in the brick and the foundation was again discovered to be settling. A third tower was constructed and completed in 1867. This time... a massive 20-foot deep oak, crushed limestone and concrete foundation was poured further in from the edge of the bluff. This new limestone tower stood 49 feet tall and housed a third-order Fresnel lens. When a new lighthouse was built in 1873, on the peninsula of Presque Isle, the Erie lighthouse was renamed the Erie Land Lighthouse. In 1881 the lighthouse was shut down and sold. In 1884, following much protest at its closing, Congress re-purchased the light, restored it and put it back into service in 1885... which lasted until 1894, when the lantern was removed from the tower again and installed for the Marblehead, Ohio, light. Between 1990 and 2004, extensive restoration work was performed on the tower and a new light installed. Presently the Erie Land Lighthouse is owned by the City of Erie and occasionally opens for tours.