This month's Magical History Tour takes us on a pleasant drive west via I-90/OH 2 to Marblehead Lighthouse, located at Marblehead State Park not too far from Kelley's Island, Put-In-Bay and Cedar Point. Hours are noon to 4 p.m., seven days a week, from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, though the park grounds are open year-round. Entry to the museums are free; for those aged 5 and older wishing to climb the lighthouse tower there is a $3 (cash only) tour charge.
On the edge of rocky Marblehead peninsula, jutting out into the gray waters of Lake Erie, a white lighthouse capped in red stands tall, the sunlight glinting off of its windows. Come nightfall, a brilliant green LED light will shine across the water, signaling vessels up to 11 nautical miles away, the same as every other night since its beginnings in 1822, though its methods of doing so have certainly changed.
The oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the Great Lakes, construction of Marblehead Lighthouse was set in motion by the fifteenth United States Congress in 1819, who appropriated $5,000 for its construction. Built by William Kelly out of native limestone, the resulting lighthouse was 50 feet high, its base 25 feet in diameter with five-foot thick walls, narrowing to 12 feet at the top with walls two feet thick.