Thanks to the efforts of a few stubborn volunteers, Erie, Pennsylvania’s Land Lighthouse, sports a brand new lantern room and the tower looks once again like the day it was built. And, although only ceremonial, the old beacon once again has a light in its tower.
The efforts of these volunteers culminated June 19 with the
re-dedication of the lighthouse, as a new state historical marker was unveiled to a crowd of a couple hundred people.
Although the day started off dreary and overcast, it turned to bright sunshine by the time the ceremony was ready to start. Many lighthouse buffs, most of whom were subscribers to Lighthouse Digest Magazine, got to meet each other for the first time because of this historic event.
The day-long festival honoring the completion of the $400,000 restoration project was complete with the typical speeches and a variety of vendors selling their lighthouse wares and collectibles. However, those in attendance witnessed history in the making – something they can tell and pass down to future generations – as they saw another part of America’s nearly forgotten lighthouse heritage, come alive again to be saved for future generations.
However, as any of
the locals will tell you, and many told us, the restoration of the lighthouse would not have been possible if Kitty Felion and Janet Woods had not been the squeaky wheel trying to get a friend to bring them some oil. They found that friend in Ray Schreckengost of the Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority, who mobilized his staff. Eventually they had a $300,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Enhancements Program followed by a $90,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission.
This story appeared in the
Aug/Sep 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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