In 2006 the Keepers of the Erie Lights, a newly formed committee, began working to uncover information about the three light stations on our shores. The structures include the Presque Isle Lighthouse, the Land Lighthouse and the North Pier Lighthouse. The committee's focus for the present is on the Presque Isle Lighthouse.
In June of 2007, the Historic Structures Report for the Presque Isle Lighthouse was completed through a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The Report outlines the restoration and preservation process and describes the chronological timeline in the development and operations of the lighthouse dating back to 1872.
The specific recommendations include restoring the lighthouse to the way it looked between 1899 and 1911 when all elements of the complex were in place. An accurate picture of this period was created through physical evidence, historic photographs, archival records and period drawings.
The restoration of the exterior of the lighthouse and surrounding area is the committee's main goal. The focus for the immediate future includes replacing the roof, repairing the windows, repointing the bricks/foundation, repairing and restoring the porch, oil shed, oil room, the tower, lantern room and the fence. The development of a Lighthouse Museum is an important element in the preservation process and will be done in cooperation with the Maritime Museum and other local agencies.
Since September of 2006, the Presque Isle Partnership has been selling an official Pennsylvania specialty plate for motor vehicles with an image of the Presque Isle Lighthouse. This project is designed to generate funds for preservation and education dedicated to maritime lighthouse history. The goal is to sell 5,000 plates in the next 5 years to Pennsylvania residents throughout the entire state. Applications are available on line by clicking here or at the Maritime Museum and the Tom Ridge Environmental Center. The fee for the plate is $39.50 of which $15.50 goes directly toward the preservation efforts and the promotion of maritime lighthouse history in Erie, PA.
In summary, the main goal of the Lighthouse Committee is to restore the Presque Isle Lighthouse to the way it looked in the early 1900's using the guidelines detailed in the Historic Structures Report. A complete copy of the Report is available for review at the Maritime Museum or the Tom Ridge Environmental Center. This project is being done in cooperation with the Presque Isle Partnership and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). Anyone wishing to participate in the lighthouse activities can contact the Presque Isle Partnership (814) 838-5138 Ext #3 and leave your name and daytime phone number. The Historic Structures Report is supported jointly by a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and funds from the Presque Isle Partnership.