Title: Journey through the History of Ohio's Lighthouses
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
New from Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series is Ohio Lighthouses. In over 200 vintage photographs, local authors Wil and Pat O'Connell share the history of the area's lighthouses.
Ohio Lighthouses reveals a multitude of stories about the structures along Lake Erie. It chronicles renovations such as the transformation of the 1821 Marblehead Lighthouse from ugly duckling to beautiful swan. It also documents heartbreaking tales like the story of the fire at the Green Island Lighthouse that started during a New Year's dinner while the lighthouse keeper's son watched from a mile away on South Bass Island; he, along with friends, unable to come to the rescue in a snowstorm.
It touches on the strength of Mother Nature such as late one fall when a blizzard struck as two lighthouse keepers were preparing to leave the Ashtabula Lighthouse for the winter. For three days, waves washed over the lighthouse in sub-zero temperatures and water froze as it fell. The sun came out on the fourth day, but the men found themselves unable to open the door. Other interesting histories include those of the lost lighthouse, a disappearing lighthouse sinking into Lake Erie, a Romanesque lighthouse 8 miles from shore, the wood lighthouse on a slightly sinful island, the lighthouse built to last forever but slated for the wrecking ball, and more.
Highlights of Ohio Lighthouses include:
• World Famous Shipwrecks
• Lighthouses at Famous Cedar Point
• Most Beloved Lighthouses
• Haunted Lighthouses and Entombed Keepers
Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at (888)-313-2665 or www.arcadiapublishing.com.
Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States. Our mission is to make history accessible and meaningful through the publication of books on the heritage of America's people and places. Have we done a book on your town? Visit www.arcadiapublishing.com.
Title: Book illuminates Marblehead lighthouse
Author: Ron Simon
Publisher: Mansfield News Journal
It has been way too long since I've driven up to Marblehead's old lighthouse.
Provided the place is not overrun by tourists, it's a great place to set up a chair and watch the waves roll into the rocks.
One reason I've put that trip off has been weather. The other is the trip up through the lake plains is downright boring.
The reason this idea popped up is a new book called "Ohio Lighthouses." A review copy of the book, which just became available last Monday, was stuffed into my letterbox at the News Journal. I may have retired, but the mailbox stays pretty active.
The authors of this book are Wil and Pat O'Connell. It was one of those "Images of America" books that are filled with old black-and-white photos.
Nearly every corner of Ohio, not to mention the U.S., has been featured in these local history books.
One of them, "Mansfield" by Tim McKee, is already on my shelves.
I must have two or three dozen of these "Images" books. Most of them are photo albums of old-time railroad depots in Ohio and some books on city streetcar systems in Akron and Toledo plus other cities like Erie and Buffalo.
When I pass through a new area and see a bookstore, I stop in to see if there is an "Images" book about that area's local history. Railroads and streetcar systems are what I prefer.
But lighthouses are a pretty good subject for me. I love the lake shore as do so many of you reading this. Marblehead is one of our favorite stops.
According to a news release from Arcadia Publishing, the O'Connells have spent the past 20 years photographing Ohio's Lake Erie lighthouses.
But most of the photos in this book date back as far as the Civil War. The book focuses on 14 lighthouses along the coastline from Toledo to Conneaut.
According to the authors, the most loved of these places is the Lorain Lighthouse. Local historians and residents went to a lot of trouble to save that building from being razed. They managed to save it from the wreckers and have it beautifully restored.
From the mouth of the Maumee River to the breakwater at Conneaut Harbor, each lighthouse has a story that needs telling.
One of those houses at Fairport Harbor was a final station on the Underground Railroad before the Civil War.
The pictures are not just of lighthouses, but of ships, harbors and storm damage.
One chapter is devoted to bootleggers who brought in whiskey from Canada during the Prohibition Era of the 1920s and early 1930s.
Another chapter is all about the development of Cedar Point, from a swampy arm of land to the fabulous pleasure resort it has been for the last 150 years.
Yet another chapter describes the lighthouses perched on the rocky shores of Ohio's Wine Islands. Photos also tell the story of Put-in-Bay's development.
There are more stories about storms, rescues and other heroic deeds performed by lighthouse keepers and Coast Guard personnel.
Besides Marblehead, my favorite lighthouse is on the rocky coast of South Bass Island. I had no idea that at least two people died when they fell off the edge of the cliff where the lighthouse was built.
I just know it is possibly the most scenic place on that island and has a fabulous view of lake sunsets.
One of the loneliest places along the Ohio coastline is out on Green Island, where a lighthouse was manned for many years. At least nobody had to man that light once winter and ice set in.
I'm keeping my review copy of this book to add to my Ohio history collection. I enjoyed leafing through it, and I hope you do to. If you would like a copy, it costs $21.99. That sounds a little like the price system at the gasoline pump.
I'm sure copies will soon be available at the Barnes & Noble or other local retail book outlets.