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« Chicago Harbor Lighthouse stands guard near Navy Pier | Main | Photo Friday: Grand Teton sunset »

November 12, 2009


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As an Erie native, I would also point out you overlooked a not too minor episode in Presque Isle history. The flagship Niagara, used by Oliver Hazard Perry during the War of 1812, is housed here across the bay from P.I., and within sight of the Perry Monument out on the end of P.I.


Boston-Thanks for stopping by!

We didn't get out to the Perry monument this trip (my photos of that part of the park are from about eight years ago).
Our purpose during this most recent trip out to Erie was to check out lighthouses along Lake Erie, so most of my articles from this trip stuck strictly with the history that strictly related to the lighthouses themselves.
We're hoping to get back out to Erie one of these days and spend some more time. The Perry Monument, and the history related to that probably deserves its own article, don't you think? :)

Orville C Barr

Perhaps I am misinformed, but I thought Presque Isle PA was first automated in December, probably 1948. I think I lived in the light March to Dec 48 (could be off a year) when my father, Herman N Barr, BM 1st class, USCG, was the last keeper. My only memory being the light flashing on the fog outside the bedroom window, I've no real first-hand info. Does anyone have any info to fill in gaps or correct my memory? I could have all details wrong.

Dominique King

Thanks for stopping by Orville. Fascinating that you lived in the lighthouse at one time!
I consulted several sources, including the U.S. Coast Guard http://www.uscg.mil/history/weblighthouses/lhpa.asp - and they all have automation coming to the light in 1962.
The last civilian light keeper appears to have left in 1944, after which time enlisted Coast Guard members tended to the light http://www.lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=290
The flashing light you remember may be explained by this site http://www.seathelights.com/pa/presque_isle.html - which says the flashes happened when the lens revolved on a system of ball bearings with red panels attached to the outside of the lens .The lens revolutions were powered by a clockwork mechanism and a chain-and-weight system operated by the light keeper.
Hope this helps!

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