BY D’ARCY PATRICK EGAN
From thousands of visitors to even crowds of avid anglers, the Marblehead Lighthouse is a must-see icon on the Lake Erie shoreline in the Village of Marblehead. The most photographed tourist attraction in Ohio, according to the Ohio Tourism Association, this coming year will even more special.
“The Marblehead Lighthouse will be celebrating it’s 200th anniversary, and we are trying to plan lots of events to celebrate when the light was first lit in 1822 to warn sailors,” said artist and local entrepreneur Rose Lucas Haninger. “I wanted to get things started with a mural of the Marblehead Lighthouse on the Radar Park building that is visible as you come into the village, reminding visitors of our big year is coming soon.”
Lucas Haninger and the Marblehead Lighthouse Historical Society took their idea to Mayor Jackie Bird and the village council. The city fathers decided to not only allow the mural, council also voted to provide the paint.
Now used for storage by the village, the Radar Park building was originally part of the Nike air defense system in the 1950s. In just a couple of weeks, said Lucas Haninger, who owns The Painted Rose Gallery and Madame Rosie’s Boutique on Main Street. She completed the mural with a little help from her friends.
The Marblehead Lighthouse usually has one major event each year, the 25th annual Marblehead Lighthouse Festival in Marblehead State Park held Oct. 9, with fun and games in the Lakeside Chautauqua resort and the Wolcott’s Keepers House just down the road from the lighthouse, where light keeper Benajah Wolcott lived.
“We’re looking to have lots of fun events all year long in Marblehead in 2022,” said Lucas Haninger. For updates on the Marblehead Lighthouse happenings coming up, visit www.marbleheadlighthouseohio.org
After a year off due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s Marblehead Lighthouse Festival drew large crowds to the Marblehead Peninsula and Lakeside. It also marked the return of schools of yellow perch to their traditional fall haunts, which lured dozens of fishing boats to the Lake Erie waters around the lighthouse, which borders both Lake Erie and Sandusky Bay.
The Marblehead Lighthouse was completed in 1821, but the light was not lit until 1822. That puts next year’s yearlong celebration in 2022 right on track for the entire Marblehead Peninsula.