Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Lake Erie Lighthouses Shine On-- Part 6: Revolutionary War Vet First Keeper at Marblehead

The Marblehead Lighthouse is at the entrance to Sanduskey Bay in Ottawa County and began operations at Rocky Point (go there and you will see why they call it that) in 1822 and has had 16 keepers in the past, including two women.  In the early days, the light was lit with whale oil.

The state of Ohio took over ownership in 1972 and it became a state park in 1973.  So far, some $3 million has been spent to rehabilitate it and the keeper's house.  It also has the original Fresnel Lens.

BENAJAH  WOLCOTT, FIRST KEEPER

The first keeper was a Revolutionary War veteran and an early Marblehead settler who received a $350 a year salary to nightly light the whale oil lamps.  Metal reflectors helped project the light out into the lake.

He built a limestone house 3 miles away and it is the oldest house in Ottawa County.  The Ottawa County Historical Society manages it.  Wolcott died of cholera in 1832, and his wife Rachel assumed the job.

They have a Lighthouse Festival on the second Saturday in October.

We'll Leace the Light On.  --RoadDog


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