Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Lighthouse’s 100th

The view from Hot Waters this past Sunday afternoon
Well, the big 100th Anniversary celebration of the Lorain Lighthouse is this week, with the dedication of a Historical Marker this Friday, June 30, 2017 at 11:00 am at the mile-long pier on the east side. There's also a special presentation down at the Lorain Historical Society that evening (more on that at the end of this post).

It's a big day for the city of Lorain, and the media coverage should do wonders to attract some tourists this summer.

But for me, though, it means I’ve run out of time.

Back in March, I began searching old newspaper microfilm to hopefully locate an ad or article about the original dedication of the lighthouse. It bugs me that I've never seen any newspaper coverage from the early days of the Lighthouse. Unfortunately, despite my hours of squinting at microfilm from 1917 – 1919, I failed to shine a light on any lighthouse dedication.

While reading old newspaper microfilm at the library, I thought it was interesting reviewing some of the coverage from July 1965, when it was first announced that the Lighthouse was to be demolished.  “Historic Lighthouse To Be Torn Down” was the headline splashed across the top of page 17 (!) of the Journal on July 12, 1965. The article matter-of-factly noted that “One of Lorain’s most venerable landmarks, the old Lorain Coast Guard-operated lighthouse situated on the tip of the west break wall, is scheduled to be torn down late this year in connection with the $22 million federally-sponsored harbor improvement program begun in 1962.”

From Gene Patrick’s
Passing Scene
An editorial the next day observed, “If this must be, then farewell, old friend.” It included a few suggestions as to how the lighthouse could be put to use if it was saved – as a museum, restaurant or as headquarters for the Lorain Yacht Club. The editorial noted that “there is still time to save the lighthouse, and the time for those interested to start action is now.”

Thank goodness it was saved. (You can read the whole story of how it was saved here on the Lorain Lighthouse Foundation website.)

Anyway, Valerie Smith of the Lorain Public Library will present "Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Lorain Lighthouse” on Friday evening, June 30th at 7:00 p.m. down at the Lorain Historical Society's Carnegie Center.

It's a wonderful thing that Lorain still has its lighthouse a hundred years later, and that the beloved landmark is finally the star of a big celebration.

1 comment:

Wireless.Phil said...

Lorain's east pier: However, locally, it
is referred to as the
“East Pier” or “Mile
Long Pier.” In fact,
the structure is
2,332 feet in