PI 100: Presque Isle Lighthouse

Local News

One of Erie’s most historic sites rests along the beaches of Presque Isle.

The Presque Isle Lighthouse acts as a beacon of light since it’s completion in 1873.

While the park celebrates 100 years, the lighthouse is celebrating 148 years on the peninsula.

Sitting majestically near Beach 9, the Presque Isle Lighthouse is ready to welcome visitors again this season.

“We want everyone to come down. We wanted this to be a community resource. It’s important to us unit it is open to the public and that is why we are so excited. This year we are able to open it up again to the public,” said Emily Butler, Executive Director of the Presque Isle Light Station.

Public access is fairly new. Up until 2014 lighthouse keepers, coast guard and park rangers lived in the lighthouse.

Electricity was put in 1924 and the road to the lighthouse didn’t go in until 1927.

“The peninsula like then was very wild there were no roads access to even construct. This is extremely difficult,” said Butler.

While the Presque Isle Lighthouse still operates as a functioning lighthouse, it also serves as a beacon of light shining on Erie’s maritime history.

“They really speak to the history of Erie as a port city. They speak to it’s maritime history. They’re absolutely beautiful structures just architectural in general they’re gorgeous,” said Butler.

Maintaining this beautiful structure is not an easy task as the Presque Isle Light Station Group is working to bring it back to it’s glory.

“When you walk inside the house you will be able to experience what it looked like, what it felt like to be inside this home during his time here,” said Butler.

That time is the 1920’s when Andrew Shaw was the keeper. Shaw served in that role from 1901-1927 and retired when the road went in and said too many people tried to visit.

Since the lighthouse will be open again this summer to the public, staff here hopes that you’ll take a hike up to the top of the lighthouse or maybe even volunteer.

“Volunteers are very important and we’re always accepting new volunteers,” said Butler.

If you can’t volunteer, you can help by becoming a member. This will help to ensure the lighthouse will continue to shine for another 100 years.

Opening Day is Thursday May 22nd. The lighthouse will be open for seven days a week with tours to the top of the lighthouse running every 20 minutes.

For more information on how to plan your visit, click here.

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