PRESQUE ISLE HISTORY AND TID-BITS #3

December 9, 2016 9:07 am Published by Leave your thoughts
Mature couple hiking with backpacks

A WALK ON THE PARK – – – E.WARE

 

  1. The Presque Isle Light Station tower was originally left brick until 1899 when the tower was white washed at the request of Sea Captains out on Lake Erie. This was done to make it visible during daylight hours.  It was found that the brick color blended into the onshore trees surrounding the lighthouse.
  2. Lake Superior is huge. In fact, if you took all of the other four Great Lakes, and added three more lakes the size of Lake Erie, they would all fit inside of Lake Superior.
  3. The brick and metal small building next to the sand dunes at Presque Isle Light Station is a storage shed for the oil used to power the lamps of the lighthouse, and was built in 1898.
  4. The living quarters of the Light Station are about 2,760 square feet and are similar to the average home in this area.Summer Light - E. Ware
  5.  Presque Isle has officially become an island at least five times when Lake Erie breached its western end.  At times, this new channel was over a mile wide and 20 feet deep.  The following is a history of those breaches:

Opened           1832                    Closed       1865

Opened          1874                    Closed       1875

Opened           1890                    Closed       1895

Opened           1917                    Closed       1922

  1. In 1909, Congress approved the transfer of a large number of acres of land with ponds to the Pennsylvania Department of Fisheries. This transfer was made to allow the department to develop the world’s largest freshwater fish hatchery.   At the time, there were seven large ponds contained within the land transferred.  A dredge was brought in to connect the ponds into a single united waterway in 1910.  This part of the project was finished completely and on time, but either the state lost interest in the project or simply ran out of money, so none of the rest of the project was ever completed.  What it did gain for Presque Isle is a huge natural lagoon area which now serves as a natural fish hatchery for many species of fish.  It is now also used by non-powered boaters for recreation.
  2. If not for the Straits of Mackinac, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron might be considered one lake. Hydrologically speaking, they have the same mean water level and are really considered one lake.Floor Plan of Lighthouse
  3. The largest salt mine in the world is located 500 meters under much of Lake Huron and is named Goderich Mine.
  4. During the years that oil was used to power the Presque Isle Light Station, the keeper was required to climb to the top of the tower and go into the lamp room and clean the light’s Fresnel Lens every 2 ½ to 3 hours.
  5. 10. During the first thirty years of service, there was no running water at the Presque Isle Light Station. Plus, there was no indoor plumbing installed in the Light Station until 1957.  The outhouse was finally removed in 1959.
  6. In the 1890s, the area at the neck of Presque Isle, near where Sara’s is today, was always a hub of activity. There were three small hotels plus a very large one with a dance hall located there. The area itself was a large mass at least four times the size that remains there today. There was a large land-locked bay that had steamboat docks serving the various hotels in the area.  At one time, it has been said, nine steam-powered boats made trips between these docks and the Public Steam Boat Landing which is now Dobbins Landing..
  7. At one time, a 300-foot-long stone and wood jetty was constructed out into Lake Erie by the Lighthouse Service to protect the lighthouse location and provide a mooring for supply ships. A portion of this jetty is still in place today in front of the lighthouse a short distance to the east.

See you on the Park!!


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