Plans to restore the old Port Clinton Lighthouse and transfer the historical structure from private ownership to the city will be the focus of a public meeting being held Jan 17 at the Ida Rupp Public Library in Port Clinton. The meeting will run from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
The Port Clinton Lighthouse Conservancy, a local non-profit organization, called the meeting to brief the public on the ongoing restoration effort and how it will impact the future of the city and its residents. The Conservancy will also provide a brief history of the lighthouse and will be recruiting motivated volunteers to assist in the restoration, distribute flyers, assist with future fundraising, and other duties.
The public meeting kicks off a grassroots campaign by the group, dubbed “Bring Back the Light,” to inform and energize the public about the historic nature of the lighthouse and its potential impact on the economic future of the city.
The Conservancy hopes to rally community support for the eventual placement of the lighthouse at the Waterworks Park where it will serve as community centerpiece and key destination for the many thousands of visitors who flock to the Vacationland area each summer.
“A million people visit Marblehead each year,” says Rich Norgard, PCLC President. “Many of them are lighthouse lovers who will delight in the opportunity to see our light, too.”
Norgard points out that the city has struggled for years to find ways to revitalize the downtown area. He believes the lighthouse could become a key city landmark and the centerpiece for future waterfront development.
“There is something symbolic and timeless about lighthouses,” Norgard says. “People everywhere are drawn to them. To paraphrase a popular baseball film, if we restore the light and place it in a highly visible location along the water, they will come.”
The lighthouse was erected in 1896 at the end of the west pier. The light operated until about 1927. In the early 1950s the lighthouse was removed from the pier and taken to Jeremy's Marina, now Brands’ Marina, on Lakeshore Drive about a half mile up The Portage River, where it has stood for over sixty years.