Marblehead Lighthouse

Marblehead Lighthouse
Item# marblehead

Marblehead Lighthouse, South view. In 1819, the fifteenth U. S. Congress recognized the need for navigational aides along the Great Lakes, and set aside $5,000 for construction of a light tower at the entrance to Sandusky Bay Contractor William Kelly built the 50-foot tower of native limestone on the tip of the Marblehead Peninsula The base of the tower is 25 feet in diameter, with walls five feet thick. It narrows to twelve feet at the top with two-foot thick walls

Through history, fifteen lighthouse keepers, two of whom were women, have tended the beacon The first keeper was Benajah Wolcott, a Revolutionary War veteran and one of the first settlers on the peninsula He and his family lived in a small stone home on the Sandusky Bay side of the peninsula Each night, he lit the wicks of the thirteen whale oil lamps that were the original light fixture Sixteen-inch-diameter metal reflectors helped project the light across the lake Other duties of the lighthouse keeper included keeping a log of passing ships, noting the weather conditions, and organizing rescue efforts Upon Wolcott's death in 1832, his wife, Rachel, took over these duties