- I worked as a tour guide for two summers at the Umpqua River Lighthouse in Oregon. This opportunity enabled me to learn more about this lighthouse than any of the others I've seen. Although I have personally visited 302 lighthouses in the United States and three Provinces in Canada, the Umpqua River Lighthouse has special meaning for me.
17 May 2012
Ohio - Marblehead Lighthouse
Fifteen lighthouse keepers, two of whom were women, have tended to the light. The original lights were thirteen whale oil lamps with sixteen-inch-diameter metal reflectors to help project the light across the lake.
At the turn of the century an additional fifteen-feet were added to the tower's height. A clock-like mechanism was installed to rotate the lantern, creating the appearance of a brilliant flash of light every ten seconds. This required the lighthouse keeper to crank the weights up every three hours through the night in order to keep the lantern turning. In 1923 an electric light replaced the kerosene lantern which dramatically increased the candle-power.
The U.S. Coast Guard took responsibility for the beacon in 1946 after the last civilian lighthouse keeper resigned. They automated the beacon in 1958. The Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources has maintained the property surrounding the lighthouse since 1972, and then in 1998 they accepted ownership of the light tower.
At the time of my visit to this lighthouse in 1998, the U.S. Coast Guard continued to operate and maintain the lighthouse beacon. The 300 mm lens projected a green signal that flashed every six seconds and visible for eleven miles out on the lake. Its green light distinguishes the lighthouse signal from white lights coming from other air beacons.