The Port Clinton Lighthouse Conservancy will host an open house at Brand's Marina this coming weekend to afford the public an opportunity to view the progress of their effort to restore the Port Clinton lighthouse. The public showing will run from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13, and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 14, at Brand's indoor facility located at the end of West Second Street. The security gate will be open for public access during those times.
This will be the first official public showing of the 117-year-old lighthouse since the historic structure was removed from the Portage River West Pier in 1952 and placed on private property at what was then Jeremy's Marina. Volunteers with the Conservancy, a local non-profit organization, began restoring the old lighthouse about two years ago. The Conservancy received tentative approval from the city last week to place the restored lighthouse in the Water Works Park north of the Derby Pond.
"We hope to complete the restoration work this winter and move the lighthouse to the park sometime in the spring," says Conservancy president Rich Norgard. "We are pleased to give the public an opportunity to view the lighthouse while it is being restored. Our restoration team, led by Bill Moon and Dr. John Smothers, has devoted hundreds of man-hours to see this project through to completion."
The lighthouse was erected in 1896 at the end of the west pier that juts out into the Portage River and for over 30 years guided ships safely into the river. The light was decommissioned in about 1927 and an automated electric light installed on the pier. In November 1952 the lighthouse structure was removed from the pier and taken to present day Brands' Marina, where it has stood for over sixty years, a familiar sight to boaters moving up and down the Portage River.