PENNSYLVANIA LIGHTHOUSES – All of the lighthouses referenced in the other secitons are ones where Jack and Tobi have served as volunteer docents. But since this is “Pennsylvania” Jack’s website, and there are actually lighthouses in Pennsylvania, it is only fitting and proper that they be mentioned here too, even though we have not acually “served” at them. The photos below are of the THREE lighthouses in Erie, Pennsylvania. Lake Erie is of course one of the “Great Lakes.” In addition to these, a number of smaller “Range Lights” (not shown) were once in service on the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers in the Philadelphia area.
The left photo above is of the “Erie Land Lighthouse,” so named because it is on the mainland in the city limits. The other two are on the long peninsula named “Presque Isle” that extends in a long arc several miles out into Lake Erie. This lighthouse, dating from 1818, was one of the first two ever built on any of the Great Lakes. It is now owned by the City of Erie. The right photo shows the Presque Isle Pier light, located on the peninsula (all of which is now Presque Isle State Park). It is owned by the U.S. Coast Guard.
The photo below is of the 1873 Presque Isle lighthouse, also located within Presque Isle State Park. For many years, the attached “keeper’s house” served as a residence for state park staff. The lighthouse, now operated by a historic preservation group under lease with the state park, has been significantly restored and is once again open to visitation. Visit the lighthouse website at: www.presqueislelighthouse.org
This second photo shows the lighthouse as it was first built. Note the tower is shorter than in the first photo above. The tower was raised and additional 17 feet in 1896 to make the light viewable from a greater distance out over Lake Erie.
As an interesting bit of information, the term “Presque Isle” (from the French who were the first occupants of this area) means “Almost an Island” – describing the long peninsula of land that extends out into Lake Erie. The “Isle” here is pronounced like “Aisle” – think supermarket. There are at least TWO other places named “Presque Isle” on the Great Lakes. One of them is on the north shore of Lake Ontario, in the Canadian Province of Ontario. I don’t know if it has a lighthouse or not, nor how it is pronounced. The other is on the west shore of Lake Huron in the state of Michigan. (See the “Michigan” section of this site.) It has not one but two lighthouses. The “Isle” here is pronounced “Eel”. There is also a third “Presque Isle” – this one in northern Maine, far from the ocean or the Great Lakes. No lighthouse there either to my knowledge.