Vermilion Lighthouse . Vermilion . Ohio . Lake Erie . Watercolor . 9" x12"
... in 1847 a beacon was erected over a primitive pier, where the Vermilion River empties into Lake Erie. In 1859 a proper tower was built with an oil fired, sixth-order lens. By 1877, that all wood tower was rotting away and the decision was made to replace it with an iron tower. The new tower was cast at a foundry in Buffalo, New York, and transported to Vermilion, Ohio by barge and steamship. Assembled, the tower, with a fifth-order Fresnel lens stood 34-feet high, at the end of a 400-foot catwalk across the top of a new pier. Illumination was converted to acetylene in 1919. Unfortunately, by 1929, the underpinning foundation was badly eroded and the iron tower was listing toward the river. It was disassembled, removed and replaced by a pair of steel, skeleton tower range lights and eventually lost. The cast iron, tapered, octagonal tower illustrated, is a 16-foot reproduction of the original. It is located on the grounds of the former Inland Seas Maritime Museum, at Vermilion. In 2016, this half scale reproduction, received a replica fifth-order Fresnel lens, and was lit once again. However, the original Vermilion tower was not lost. It is sitting on a cement crib off Cape Vincent... offshore of New York State, at the entrance to the Saint Lawrence River, with a fifth-order Fresnel lens and renamed as the East Charity Shoal Lighthouse. Now... after all these years of service as the East Charity light, in 2008 it was again deactivated and this time, most likely forever by order of the US Coast Guard and sold in 2009, into private ownership.