Since its construction in the 1870s, the Presque Isle Lighthouse has literally put Erie on the map. It’s guided ships on Lake Erie for 150 years.
The lighthouse will soon be opened for tours with some notable changes. That’s the focus of this week’s Presque Isle 100 report.
It has been one of the most recognizable landmarks on Presque Isle with a story dating back 150 years. The lighthouse is about to reopen for the season with a new, old look, work done on the interior over the winter removing the non-historic features added over the years.
“What we did this season was took a holistic approach and really did a comprehensive restoration project to take it back to what the site inside would have looked like in the 1910s to 1920s era,” said Emily Butler, Executive Director at Presque Isle Light Station.
Crews removed drywall over the plaster walls, drop ceilings, carpet and vinyl flooring. They even removed a bathroom added when the lighthouse was a residence.
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The Presque Isle Lighthouse reopened to the public in 2015. Visitors are able to tour the building and climb the tower, taking in amazing views of the Peninsula and Lake Erie. At the same time, there’s a lesson that’s not so obvious,
“I think people come away with a better understanding of jut how hard it was to be a lightkeeper, how lonely it would have been, how difficult his job really was and how important his job really was,” Butler said.
Free, unguided tours are available seven days a week beginning May 5, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For the first time, they are adding 45-minute in-depth completed guided tours.
“It’s sort of the shining beacon of Erie. Everyone knows about it. So, it’s great for them to come here and be able to learn a little about their history and just enjoy a beautiful day at the park.” Butler said.