1930s to Present
Recognizing the importance of Huron's harbor, a group of Huron and Milan businessmen formed the Huron Harbor Company to make improvements to the harbor. The project was partially funded by the sale at public auction of one half of the town plat of Huron, which consisted of 120 acres. When the Huron Harbor Company exhausted its funds in 1827, the federal government assumed control of the project.
In addition to dredging the mouth of the river, two parallel piers and the first Huron lighthouse were constructed. Made of wood, the lighthouse was battered by the storms of Lake Erie and began to fall apart. It was rebuilt in 1857 at the end of the west pier, where the blockhouse still stands. Constructed of iron, the new lighthouse contained a spiral staircase that wound through the middle of the structure to the tip, where the light and foghorn were located.
The lighthouse was maintained by a lighthouse keeper who was responsible for keeping the eight oil-burning lamps lighted at all times. To do so, the keeper had to trek back and forth to the lighthouse several times a day.
In the 1930s a $471,519 harbor project was begun, which included deepening and widening the Huron River, extending the west pier, dismantling the east pier and building a new lighthouse.
Constructed in the art deco style popular
at that time period, the pyramidal structure rose 65 feet above a concrete pedestal at the end of the newly extended pier, three quarters of a mile from shore. The lighthouse was powered by an ice-protected cable running alongside the pier and equipped with a fog detector and horn, and a light that could be seen 18 miles away on a clear night.
The Huron lighthouse became one of the most impressive and modern lighthouses on the Great Lakes, and contributed significantly to Huron Harbor's continued success as one of Lake Erie's busiest ports.
Today the lighthouse remains unchanged from when it was first built, with the exception of the removal of the lantern room and other minor modifications.