A new “Lease” on life for one of Erie’s historical maritime gems. The Land Lighthouse has been off limits to the public for years, but new management has big plans.
The Port Authority owns the property, but now the daily operations of the lighthouse will be run by the Presque Isle Lighthouse staff. On Wednesday, Presque Isle Lighthouse signed a two-year lease that will go into effect on April 1st.
The Presque Isle Lighthouse was sitting vacant for years and was transformed into a popular museum. The board of directors has similar plans for the Erie Land Lighthouse.
“We will have someone on site. We will have tours, long range plans would be great if we could operate a gift shop here and do some educational programs as well.” said Eric Dahlstrand.
While COVID-19 may put a damper on plans, Dahlstrand says they hope to have the lighthouse open for tours on the weekends for a small fee. He says it was lighthouses that gave safe passage to ships coming into the bay during bad weather.
“We have got a rich history tied into the navigation of this lake that is right at our footsteps, but I think that the more people understand that and get a better historical perspective on the city, it’s good for everyone.” Dahlstrand said.
Bob Boyd has lived by the Erie Land Lighthouse for years. He says he’s excited to be able to go back inside.
“I think it’s a beautiful view from up on the bay, or on the bay when you get up there because you can see clear out over the peninsula. It’s high enough that you can see over the peninsula and the lake behind it.” Boyd said.
“Just giving people the opportunity to go to the top and to look over the harbor and kind of get a feel for why this was built in the first place back in 1818. I think it’s going to be a big draw for lighthouse lovers and people that follow maritime history.” Dahlstrand said.