State Rep. Chris Redfern, D-Catawba Island, secured $150,000 in state funds for upgrades to the Marblehead Lighthouse State Park Keeper’s House and East Harbor State Park.
“I am pleased that we will help preserve a part of our peninsula’s history at the ‘second’ Keeper’s House for future generations,” Redfern said. “And with improvements at East Harbor, we will meet the increased demand for services from visitors and vacationers. Investments that promote access to lakeside recreation and preserve historical landmarks are fundamental to our local economy.”
Marblehead Lighthouse State Park Keeper’s House
•Planned upgrade: External repairs and painting of its wooden structure and adjacent garage.
•History: The lighthouse keeper’s house rests on the site of the original keeper’s house, which was built from native limestone in 1821.
The original house was small and used primarily during the months of navigation when the lighthouse light was on. The present keeper’s house was built in 1880 and was designed larger to accommodate both the keeper, the assistant keeper and their families. There were 15 keepers who cared for the lighthouse throughout the years, beginning with 1822 and ending in 1943, when the responsibility for the lighthouse went to the U.S. Coast Guard. Today, known as the Wolcott House, the home-turned-museum is open to the public for tours.
Source: Marblehead Lighthouse Historical Society
East Harbor State Park
•Planned upgrade: Update electrical systems at the park’s camp store and install a new floating-courtesy dock to enhance boater access to Lake Erie
•History: Situation on land stretching into the waters of Lake Erie, East Harbor State Park is situated on the fringe of Ohio’s prairie marsh zone. These wetlands are remnants of the Great Black Swamp, which once covered an area 120 miles long and up to 40 miles wide. After a period of intense lumbering and draining in the late 1800s, the swamp was nearly destroyed. Only 10 percent of Ohio’s original wetlands now remain. These wetlands produce more wildlife than any other type of habitat in Ohio. Reptiles and amphibians are numerous including the green frog, American toad, water snake, fox snake and painted turtle. Large numbers of ducks, geese, gulls, terns and other migratory waterfowl delight birdwatchers.