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Setback at Toledo Harbor Lighthouse

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Postby Grover1 » Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:08 pm


From The Beacon

Sound Off - Lake

Wednesday, 15 April 2009 09:39

Several years ago, a group of individuals formed an organization called the Toledo Harbor Lighthouse Preservation Society. It was their goal to restore the one of a kind, 1904 lighthouse, located in the Maumee Bay, to its former grandeur and open it to the public. The officers and members worked diligently to apply for ownership, grants, and to have fundraisers so that the process could begin. One of the hindrances was having access to the light itself. It is on a rock crib and there were only metal rungs to climb to the top of the crib. This was difficult for many members of the society. It would be a further risk having the public try to scale their way to the top. It was then decided that a dock, ramp and platform were needed to offer easy access. A mechanism to raise the dock and ramp when not in use was necessary because of the rough seas around the lighthouse during inclement weather. Through many hours of volunteer work and fundraising, the ramp, rails, dock and lift were purchased. An engineering firm donated their time to install and fabricate the system to do the job efficiently under all conditions. This part of the restoration process was competed in 2008 and endured the winter months.

When the Coast Guard checked on the lighthouse on the Thursday before Easter, everything was fine. A fisherman took photos on Saturday and the ramp and dock were gone. The lift was stolen by vandals for the aluminum. The ramp was not insured. It is a setback for the organization that they will not soon be able to recover from. Replacing the windows and a documentary that was being prepared will all have to be put on hold.

There were probably many fishermen on the water that weekend. Someone may have seen something, or seen a boat come into port with a large aluminum ramp. If you have any information, please contact The Toledo Harbor Lighthouse Society, 419-691-3788 or e-mail sandylakeerie@aol.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Your name and any information provide will remain confidential.

Carol Lake
Carolanne@cros.net This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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Postby NoahG » Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:22 pm


That's terrible, just terrible.
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Postby ericlighthouse » Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:21 pm


We really need to have more sever penalities for stealing.
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Postby Grover1 » Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:54 am


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Postby Grover1 » Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:10 pm


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Postby CaptainJason » Sun Apr 19, 2009 4:41 pm


Did anyone check in the water right next to the crib. I can't imagine someone hauling away a 40 foot ramp for scrap metal. You would need some sort of a barge with a crane to pick it up. I can however see someone cutting the mounting bolts and dropping it in the water just to watch it go sploosh.

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Postby CaptainJason » Sun Apr 19, 2009 4:50 pm


And a 28 foot dock. Making an educated guess it was thrown in the water by a bunch of drunk teenagers, and it is still right there, or a construction tug and barge doing recent work in the area saw it on the way in, and picked it off on the way out.

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Postby Grover1 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:19 pm


Reward being offered ... from The Press

http://www.presspublications.com/from-t ... lighthouse
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Postby Terry_Pepper » Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:50 am


In conversation with Sandy Bihn of the THLPS earlier this week, she did indicate that someone has volunteered to dive in early May in the area where the ramp and dock were located.

The aluminum dock was of the floating type. It was designed to handle a large number of people making their way on and off a boat, and was designed with a high buoyancy safety factor. It is speculated that the ramp was cut down, laid on top of the dock, and the whole kit and caboodle towed to shore.

As owners of an offshore lighthouse which sits unattended for a good part of the year, we at GLLKA certainly feel the pain that this loss has caused the THLPS, and feel very strongly that it is only through identification and prosecution of the perpetrators that the message can be sent that his type of self-centered robbing of a historical assets will not be tolerated.

That is why we have thrown our support behind the THLPS, and offered to double their offered reward to $1,000.00 for the successful prosecution of the perpetrators. Somebody out there knows who did this, and hopefully the larger reward will lure someone “in the know” to step forward and help THLPS catch the perpetrators.
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Postby CHUCKX53 » Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:36 am


:( Having been to quite a few vandelized lights over the past decade, I can't say as I'm suprised at this, only disgusted. Sure as shooting these people weren't poor and trying to feed their families. Something like this just wrecks it for the rest of us.
I have been to 14 Mile Point and seen first-hand the result of the 1984 fire set in the lighthouse by vandals, and it is beyond sad -- it is outrageous.
If caught, these 'people' should be put in prison and have parts of their anatomy "Vandelized".
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Postby Terry_Pepper » Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:34 am


The following comes from today's issue of "The Press" out of Millbury, Ohio:

With the drop of an anchor, members of the Toledo Lighthouse Society have solved one mystery that’s been on their minds since April. Society members and architects were set to work on a restoration project at the lighthouse Wednesday, reports Sandy Bihn, society president. When workers dropped anchor in the water they realized it had hit something.

Divers from Toledo Fire and Rescue Operations and Jerusalem Township who were in the area agreed to investigate and found a 4-foot by 40-foot ramp that had been missing since April 11. Bihn said workers from Meinke’s Marina brought the ramp to shore.

“There is some damage to the ramp, but overall it can be fixed and will be useable again,” she said, adding the ramp cost about $12,000. An 8-foot by 28-foot dock is still missing.

“We may never know what happened between April 9th, when the dock and ramp were visible and OK at the lighthouse and April 11 when both were gone,” Bihn said. She said the lighthouse society does plan to install a security system this year.

The Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association and lighthouse society offered a reward of $1,000 for information about the missing dock and ramp.

The aluminum ramp weighs about 1,200 lbs. and had been in an elevated position with the dock during the winter months. Bihn, in April, told The Press both were in good condition and had weathered the winter very well. Because of the high content of aluminum, Society members feared they had been stolen and were destined for sale at a scrap yard. Society members worked to have the ramp and dock installed so the public could get in to see the lighthouse while it was being restored.

Bihn said the lighthouse was constructed in 1904 and sits on a crib near the Toledo shipping channel, marking where Lake Erie meets the Maumee Bay. The lighthouse society owns the facility and is completing plans for its restoration.

Once restored, “keepers” will stay at the lighthouse from mid-spring through mid-fall, allowing boaters to schedule visits, Bihn said.


I just got off the phone with Sandy Bihn, and she is understanably ecstatic. At least PART of the mystery is solved, and part of the "sunk cost" of the installation has been saved.
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Postby NoahG » Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:45 pm


That is good to hear. It's still not a happy situation but at least it hasn't been sold and melted for scrap!
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Postby LighthouseNews » Thu Jul 02, 2009 2:13 pm


Noah, I didn't think it was hauled out of there. The other is possibly still in the vicinity also.

However, someone had to "set them free." Perhaps those who did it will still be found and brought to justice. Well, I can hope, can't I?

So glad the one was found. :yay:
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Postby ericlighthouse » Thu Jul 02, 2009 6:03 pm


Good news indeed.
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