There are three lighthouses on the Lake Erie shore within the state of Pennsylvania. The first of the three, Erie Land Lighthouse, was erected to mark the entrance to Presque Isle Bay. It has the distinction of being the earliest commissioned light station on the American side of the Great Lakes. The present 49-foot tower was built in 1867 of Berea sandstone.
Presque Isle Lighthouse began service in 1873, and Erie Harbor North Pierhead Light has stood since 1940. All three of these lighthouses are now managed by the Presque Isle Light Station, also known as Lake Erie Lights of Pennsylvania, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the preserving these historic structures, educating the community on their value, and interpreting them for future generations. Averie Shaughnessy-Comfort, interviewed in this episode, is the executive director of the Presque Isle Light Station.
The 66-foot tall cast-iron Chicago Harbor Lighthouse began service in 1893 to help guide shipping traffic in and out of the busy harbor. A new organization, Friends of Chicago Harbor Lighthouse, has been formed to preserve the historic structure. In this episode the organization’s president, Kurt Lentsch, is interviewed by Ralph Krugler.
Jeremy D’Entremont is the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history. He is the president and historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation and founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and he has lectured and narrated cruises throughout the Northeast and in other regions. He is also the producer and host of the U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, “Light Hearted.” He can be emailed at Jeremy@uslhs.org