Digest>Archives> May 2004

History Made at Erie’s Land Light

Restoration brings back dignity

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The headless Erie Land Light getting ready for ...
Photo by: Mary Ann Domowicz

After being headless for most of its life, Erie Pennsylvania’s Land Lighthouse finally has its dignity back with a magnificent new lantern room that will make every lighthouse in the county jealous.

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The new lantern room of Erie, Pennsylvania’s Land ...
Photo by: Mary Ann Domowicz

Sometime after the lighthouse was discontinued back in 1899, the lantern room of the historic lighthouse was removed, and it stayed headless for most of the last century. It wasn’t until 100 years after the tower went dark that a wooden lantern room was installed atop the lighthouse. That temporary lantern room never really looked right and was eventually severally damaged in a storm.

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The new copper lantern room with its newly ...
Photo by: Mary Ann Domowicz

Local lighthouse enthusiasts led by Kitty Felion and Janet Woods spearheaded a mini-movement that led Port Authority Executive Director Raymond Schreckengost to promise to look for places to find the money to restore the old beacon. He was good to his word.

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The magnificent new copper lantern room atop the ...
Photo by: Mary Ann Domowicz

The $400,000 restoration project was paid for by grants from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Fiske and Sons of Erie, PA, did all the work, which included restoring the stairs and brickwork, replacing over 200 bricks in the walls of the tower, cleaning the tower walls and the constructing of the 6,300 pound copper lantern room and lifting in into place atop the tower.

The people who were on hand to witness the new lantern room as it was lifted to its new home witnessed history and this will be a story they can pass down to future generations.

The lighthouse community nationwide, if not worldwide, can be elated over what a few strong-willed people in Erie, PA were able to do to restore and bring back to glory one of America’s most historic landmarks.

Quick Facts

1818 - a 20-foot tower originally known as Presque Light was built about 200 yards from the current structure.

1858 - Current Tower built

Deactivated - 1899

Became property of Erie in 1934

Replica temporary lantern installed 1989

Lantern room heavily damaged 2003

New lantern room and restoration completed 2004

Directions: Follow PA RT 5 (Alternate (Lake Road East) turn north at Lighthouse Road. The park is at the end of the road. FMI call 814-870-1452

Relighting Ceremony

Saturday, June 19 at Noon

Event Sponsored by:

Western Pennsylvania-Erie Port Authority

Ceremonies to include: the dedication, ribbon cutting, and blessing. With the relighting by:

Richard E. Filippi, Mayor of Erie, Pa

Raymond P Schreckengost,

Ex. Dir. Western PA-Erie Port Authority

For sale to benefit the lighthouse

Mugs $20 plus $5 shipping

Bricks $20 plus $8 shipping

Send check or money order to:

Mrs. Kitty Felion, Co-Chair

707 Aline Dr., Erie, PA 16509

This story appeared in the May 2004 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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