Marblehead Lighthouse is the oldest, continuously operational lighthouse on the Great Lakes. It has been featured on a U.S. postage stamp, has appeared on the license plates of Ohio’s drivers, and has been added to the Ohio State Parks system. Found on the northernmost tip of the Marblehead Peninsula, this popular lighthouse’s history began in 1819 when the fifteenth U.S. Congress decided that the area was too dangerous to be navigated without some sort of beacon. The sum of $5,000 was allocated for the construction of a light tower at the entrance to Sandusky Bay at Bay Point, Ohio, hoping that the lighthouse would help vessels travel safely through Lake Erie’s nor’easters and the clusters of small islands on the southernmost coast of the lake.
Tours of Marblehead Lighthouse are offered on weekday afternoons from 1:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. from the day after Memorial Day until the Friday before Labor Day. They are also offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary on the second Saturday of the month from May through October. Call (419) 734-4424 x 2 for confirmation of tour times. A museum in the adjacent keeper’s dwelling run by the Marblehead
Lighthouse Historical Society is open during the same hours. The grounds surrounding the tower are great for picnicking and offer lovely views of Lake Erie, Sandusky Bay, Kelleys Island and South Bass Island. This is also the only area of the United States where the tiny “Lake Side Daisy,” a protected species, can be found.