Visit Ohio’s Marblehead Lighthouse
By Paola Santiago

Visit Ohio’s Marblehead Lighthouse

The Great Lake's Oldest Lighthouse

Marblehead Lighthouse: Find It Here

Iconic and breathtaking, Marblehead Lighthouse sits on the tip of Marblehead Peninsula on Lake Erie.

The 13.5- acre Marblehead State Park is east of Toledo and west of Cleveland, making it a popular detour from the Lake Erie Coast Ohio Trail.

Marblehead is open dawn to dusk and year round, but summer buzzes with picnickers, shore fishers, and the 20,000 fans climbing the 77 steps to the top of the tower each year.

Marblehead Lighthouse: History and Culture

First lit in 1822, the Great Lakes’ oldest lighthouse  became the first female-operated Great Lake Lighthouse in 1832 with Rachel Wolcott, after the first lightkeeper and her late husband, Benejah Wolcott.

Built from locally quarried limestone and clay bricks, the light tower originally stood 50 feet tall, and keepers tended 13 wick lamps fueled with whale oil.

Light station improvements included adding a Fresnel lens in 1858, constructing a two-story keepers’ home next to the tower in 1880, raising the light tower to 65 feet in 1897, and electrifying the beacon in 1923.

The Coast Guard automated the light in 1958.

The Marblehead Lighthouse Historical Society formed in 1998, when the state assumed ownership of the light. The group opened a museum at the keepers’ home in 2000.

Marblehead Lighthouse: Amenities

Park amenities include picnic tables, portable restrooms and coin-operated binoculars so visitors can get a closer view of nearby Lake Erie landmarks.

The museum and light tower is closed in the winter months and open for tours from spring through fall. The schedule varies, so call the park to ensure. There is a $2 charge to climb the tower for adults and children 6 years old and older.

You can find a quiet spot along the shore at Marblehead Lighthouse any time of year and enjoy the scenic views of Lake Erie. See if you can spot Cedar Point, or on a really clear day, Cleveland!

Check out the music video for “Vanilla Twilight” by Owl City from 2010, which features the Marblehead Lighthouse and its distinctive green beacon.

Banner Image Credit: Richard Gregurich
To see more iconic Ohio Landmarks, visit Ohio History at Ohio.org.

About the Author

Paola is the social media coordinator behind Ohio. Find It Here.'s social media handles. She loves writing stories that matter, especially when they're about food and travel! You can usually find her trying out Columbus' new restaurants or experimenting with her own culinary concoctions at home. Find her living her best life on Instagram at @paolasantidc.