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Maumee Bay Straight Channel Range, OH  Lighthouse destroyed.   

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Maumee Bay Straight Channel Range Lighthouse

1852 – August 31 $5,000 for lighthouse

1853 – The aids authorized for the mouth of Maumee river have received the attention of the inspector; and some progress has been made towards the preparation of plans adapted to the wants of navigation at this point. So soon as they are perfected the work will be commenced.

1854 – Examinations made, and site selected.

1854 – Proposals for building were solicited by advertising one month in two of the papers in this city, and in two papers in Toledo, Ohio; but no bids were presented.
The detailed drawings were placed in the bands of the pattern maker, and it was hoped that the castings could have been completed by the middle of October next, that the work might be prosecuted this autumn. It is now found to be impossible to have them so soon as that time. To commence the erection of the building at a later period in the season would be inexpedient.

1856 – In the tenth light-house district, embracing Lakes Erie and Ontario, and the rivers St. Lawrence and Niagara, the important and difficult work on Horseshoe reef, in the Niagara river, has been completed and the light exhibited. The works at Maumee have been completed; a fog-bell has been placed at Buffalo light-house, and twelve light-house stations have been refitted with lens apparatus during the past year.

1857 – No title has been obtained to the site for the small light authorized to be erected in Maumee bay, Ohio. Negotiations have been commenced with the proprietors of the land.

1857 – The iron piles of the foundation of the Maumee Bay light-house, which was destroyed by the floating ice of last winter, have been removed.

1883 — Maumee Bay Range-Beacons, Maumee Bay, Ohio.—An appropriation of $20,000 was made on August 7, 1882, for the establishment of a light and range-beacons at the turn of the channel through Maumee Bay, Ohio. Titles for the proposed sites were obtained, and contract was made for furnishing all the material and labor needed to build and sink three cribs. The work of building the keeper’s dwelling upon the large or centre crib will be deferred until next spring, so that the crib can settle during the winter. The same course will be taken with the two range-cribs. After the cribs are sunk in place and completed, a temporary light will be maintained upon each of them until the permanent lights are displayed.

1884 – Maumee range beacons, Maumee Bay, Ohio.—An appropriation of $20,000 was made on August 7, 1882, for the establishment of a light and range beacons at the turn of the channel through Maumee Bay, Ohio. Contracts were entered into for the building and sinking of three cribs. These cribs were completed last fall, and the work of building the dwelling and buoy-house and of erecting shafts on the east and south cribs was deferred until this spring. Proposals were invited for furnishing the metal-work for the dwelling and ranges. The work being in such an exposed locality, it was deemed advisable to erect the dwelling, buoy-house, and the shafts by day’s labor, and to make the purchase of the lumber and hardware in open market.
NOTE.—The station was lighted for the first time on August 1, 1884, when a notice to mariners was issued.

1885 – Maumee Bay Ranges, Ohio, three lights, August 1, 1884 - new lights.

1885 – Maumee range beacons Maumee Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio.— The work of building the keeper’s dwelling and the buoy-house on the central crib, and erecting shafts on the east and south cribs, was completed, and on August 1, 1884, the lights were shown. A boat-launching apparatus was placed upon the crib of the main light-house, and a small store-room was built on the crib, under the dwelling. The metalwork of the shafts, which was broken by the ice, was extensively repaired. The keeper was provided with a filter for filtering the river water to fit it for cooking and drinking purposes. The illuminating apparatus of each of the ranges was provided with a new reflector.

1887 – Maumee Bay range beacon (main), Maumee Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio.— The rolled plate-iron for additional sheathing of the crib was purchased and stored at Toledo, Ohio, also a cistern of wood, all of which will be put in place at an early day.

1887 – Maumee Bay range beacon (east), Maumee Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio.— The rolled plate-iron for additional sheathing of the crib was purchased.

1887 – Maumee Bay range beacon (south), Maumee Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio.— The rolled plate-iron for additional sheathing of the crib was purchased.

1890 – Maumee Bay Range-beacon (main), Maumee Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio.—The steam-barge Josephine, of Toledo, Ohio, damaged the buoy house and dwelling, on the evening of November 13,1889. The owner of the barge repaired the damage at his own expense.

1892 – Maumee Bay Range, Maumee Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio.—The landing was extended by building a platform with new material over an area of double row of piling.

1892 – Maumee Bay Ranges, Maumee Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio.—The practical completion of the new Straight Channel makes changes in these ranges necessary. The Board thinks that range lights should be established at or near Grassy Point, and that the east beacon should be built farther to the eastward to make this new Straight Channel useable at night. When this is done the Outer and Middle Maumee Range lights can be discontinued. It is estimated that the proposed lights can be established for not exceeding $4,100, and it is recommended that an appropriation of this amount be made therefor.

1893 – 1090, 1091, 1092. Maumee Bay Ranges, Maumee Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio.—The metalwork for a fireproof oil house was delivered on the east pier, Cleveland Harbor, Ohio, from whence it is to be transferred by the light-house tender to the station. The new straight channel through Maumee Bay was dredged to a width of 200 feet and a depth of 17 feet, and, though somewhat shoaled by drift and sediment, it is better than the old channel. It is about 8 miles long. The Maumee Bay range was not built with reference to the present conditions, but was to light a part of the old channel only 2 miles long. Instead of lighting this single stretch of 2 miles, this range also lights a second stretch of 3 miles in length leading seaward into the lake. As the site of the range is between these two stretches, vessels coming in or going out must pass around the side of the range by a special channel. It is therefore necessary to arrange the beacons so that the channel may be lighted in both directions. The present front beacon is a common portable lantern with small reflectors. At night the lantern is placed on a small platform on the roof of a shed close to the keeper's dwelling, which stands on a crib. The present rear beacon is a lantern on an iron column standing on a crib filled with stone. The distance between the lights is only 1,035 feet. The arrangement is inadequate for future necessities. The channel may be ultimately made 300 feet wide, but the present plans contemplate a width of only 200 feet for the longest reach. The distance between the beacons is already too small for a good range in so long and narrow a channel. The beacons should be made to serve as day marks. This is not the case with the present arrangement. It is therefore necessary to build a new beacon at each end of the range, with lenses to light the entire arc of 300°, and so arranged that both lights will mark the range both outward and inward on the line of the channel. The distance between the beacons may be increased by this arrangement to about 1,240 feet. The keepers must live in a dwelling on a crib at one end of the range, which is now inclosed by a double row of piles and waling pieces extending the entire distance and uniting in points beyond the lights at each end. The place is in the open bay, and a walk between the lights will be a necessity. This range is the most important in this district. When it is completed the light now maintained for the south range may be discontinued. It is estimated that the new range beacons and walk can be built for not exceeding $15,000, and it is recommended that this amount be appropriated for that purpose.

1894 – 1112,1113,1114. Maumee Bay ranges, Maumee Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio.— Two new lens lanterns and one tubular lantern, each of 360°, were ordered for increasing the light at the beacons and showing lights to mark the straight channel in the direction of the lake. Steps were taken to change the beacon lanterns to accommodate the modified lights. A circular iron house for oil storage was erected upon a concrete foundation on the crib at the northeast beacon of the ranges. A substantial boathouse resting upon heavy oak piling was built east of and adjacent to the main crib. As the main and east cribs are very badly decayed above water, material has been purchased to rebuild them. The new straight channel was completed as originally designed, 200 feet wide and 17 feet deep. The outer end is, however, still unlighted by a range and is therefore difficult to navigate at night. Plans were made to partially remedy the difficulty by removing the gas machines and substituting lens lanterns at the main and east cribs and a tubular lantern at the south crib.
The following recommendation, made in the Board's last annual report, is renewed:
The Maumee Bay range was not built with reference to the present conditions, but was to light a part of the old channel only 2 miles long. Instead of lighting this single stretch of 2 miles, this range also lights a second stretch of 3 miles in length leading seaward into the lake. As the site of the range is between these two stretches, vessels coming in or going out must pass around the side of the range by a special channel. It is therefore necessary to arrange the beacons so that the channel may be lighted in both directions. The present front beacon is a common portable lantern with small reflectors. At night the lantern is placed on a small platform on the roof of a shed close to the keeper's dwelling, which stands on a crib. The present rear beacon is a lantern on an iron column standing on a crib filled with stone. The distance between the lights is only 1,035 feet. The arrangement is inadequate for future necessities. The channel may be ultimately made 300 feet wide, but the present plans contemplate a width of only 200 feet for the longest reach. The distance between the beacons is already too small for a good range in so long and narrow a channel. The beacons should be made to serve as day marks. This is not the case with the present arrangement. It is therefore necessary to build a new beacon at each end of the range, with lenses to light the entire arc of 360°, and so arranged that both lights will mark the range both outward and inward on the line of the channel. The distance between the beacons may be increased by this arrangement to about 1,240 feet. The keepers must live in a dwelling on a crib at one end of the range, which is now inclosed by a double row of piles and waling pieces extending the entire distance and uniting in points beyond the lights at each end. The place is in the open bay, and a walk between the lights will be a necessity. This range is the most important in this district. When it is completed the light now maintained for the south range may be discontinued. It is estimated that the. new range beacons and walk can be built for not exceeding $15,000, and it is recommended that this amount be appropriated for that purpose.
The estimated cost in the last annual report is considered too small to provide substantial beacons for so exposed a situation. An appropriation of $25,000 is recommended for constructing the beacons. At present it is not considered feasible to connect the beacons by a walk. The commerce of Toledo is now entirely dependent upon the new channel, and its proper lighting is a matter of great importance.

1895 – 1134, 1135, 1136. Maumee Bay ranges, Lake Erie, Ohio.—The gaslights of two beacons and the old lantern of another were replaced by lens lanterns, and the main range in the straight channel was modified so that the lights show in both directions. The lights were first exhibited on July 20, 1894, with the new lanterns. The superstructures of the east and main cribs were rebuilt. A contract was made for furnishing stone riprap about the main crib to increase its stability and protect it against ice. An appropriation of $20,000 was made by the act approved August 18, 1894, for establishing a new beacon at each end of the range, to form a range both outward and inward in the line of the new straight channel in Maumee Bay. As it is insufficient for the purpose no steps have as yet been taken to construct these beacons.

1896 – 1216-1218. Maumee Bay Ranges, Lake Erie, Ohio.—Some 500 cords of riprap stone were placed around the main crib and among the piles supporting the boathouse and wharf. A new cistern pump was provided. An appropriation of $20,000 was made by the act approved March 2, 1895, for establishing a new beacon at each end of the range, to form a range both outward and inward in the line of the channel in Maumee Bay. The plans and specifications for the work are being prepared by the district engineer. They had not been completed at the close of the fiscal year.

1897 – 1246, 1247. Maumee Bay, Straight Channel Range, Maumee Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio.—The keeper’s dwelling is being rebuilt by contract. The light which has been shown from the top of the buoy house, has, since the removal of the latter to a new location, been exhibited from the top of the boathouse, a few feet distant from its former position.

1897 – 1248. Maumee Bay Ranges, Maumee Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio.— The south light, which has served as the rear light of the range guiding from Turtle Island, was discontinued at the opening of navigation in March, 1897. The illuminating apparatus was removed, and the crib and lantern were left in the care of the light keeper. Bids were asked for building the two towers and for the foundations. The lowest bid, $7,740, for the construction of the towers above the foundations was accepted, and a contract for the work was made, the work to be completed September 30, 1897, unless delayed beyond that time by the noncompletion of the foundations, which were to be built under a separate contract. The lowest bidder for the foundations subsequently withdrew his bid. After a readvertisement contract was made with the lowest bidder, for $2,458.91, the work to be completed on June 30,1897. At the close of the fiscal year the work was incomplete, but the contractors were actively engaged upon the work. The work upon the towers has progressed fairly well, but their final completion at the sites will necessarily be delayed by the noncompletion of the foundations on contract time.

1898 – 1271,1272. Maumee Bay, Straight Channel Range, Maumee Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio.—The work provided for under the contract for rebuilding the keeper’s dwelling was completed. An addition to the boathouse was built to provide storage room for fuel, and the wharf was enlarged to provide improved accommodations for station supplies, care of buoys, anchors, and other articles connected with the Light-House Service. The foundations for the two iron beacons were completed on April 2,1898, some 276 days after the date provided in the contract for completion. The contractors for the erection of the iron towers have begun their work at the site, with prospect of its early completion.

1899 – Straight Channel ranges, Maumee Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio.—The two iron towers the construction of which was begun last year were completed, and from their three lanterns fixed white fifth-order lights were exhibited on October 12, 1898, on which date the two lens lantern lights before in use were discontinued. An iron oil house was erected. Four iron oil houses were provided, one for each of the following named light stations: Manhattan, Ohio; Maumee Bay Ranges, Ohio; Dunkirk, N. Y., and Fairhaven, N. Y.

1900 – Maumee Bay Straight Channel ranges, Maumee Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio.—A metallic reservoir with mechanical appliances and lamp connection was made and installed in the outer beacon lantern, to furnish a continuous supply of oil sufficient to keep the light burning for three to five days, or for such times as the weather conditions in Maumee Bay may prevent the light-keeper from visiting the light. A walk about 64 feet long was built along the old row of piles from the outer or easterly beacon to the crib occupied by the oil house. Some 248 tons of stone were placed about the foundation of the tower. Minor repairs were made.

1902 – Maumee Bay, straight channel ranges, Maumee Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio.—Some 300 tons of riprap stone were placed about the east tower foundation to secure it against the ice movements in the bay when the present protection pileway, which is rapidly going, has been carried away. Various repairs were made.

1905 – Maumee Bay straight channel ranges, Maumee Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio.—By the act approved on March 3, 1905, an appropriation of $6,000 was made for repairs and improvements to protect the towers marking the channel for entering and leaving the harbor of Toledo, Ohio. Plans and specifications for the work have been prepared.

1906 – Maumee Bay straight channel ranges, Maumee Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio.—The superstructure of the crib on which the keeper’s dwelling is situated was rebuilt with concrete. The act approved on March 3, 1905, appropriated $6,000 for repairs and improvements to protect the towers of this range. The only bid received was rejected as being in excess of the amount of the appropriation. The work will be done by hired labor. The iron work required was delivered at the station and a portion of the cement, gravel and sand, and some 23 concrete blocks were made. All large stones were removed and tie rods were put in to keep the piles in place.

1907 – Maumee Bay Straight Channel Ranges, Maumee Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio.—The act approved on March 3, 1905, appropriated $6,000 for repairs and improvements to protect the towers of this range. In August, 1906, the work, consisting of a concrete superstructure at the inner beacon, was completed. At the outer or easterly beacon the work, consisting of a rubble mound protected by large stone up to mean lake level with a concrete superstructure, is nearly completed. The entire length of this work is some 158 feet, with a width on top of 40 feet.

1923 – Maumee Bay Ranges Light Station, repaired tower foundations and buoy wharf, $4,348.

1934 – Provide radiobeacon at Cleveland, and replace obsolete fog-signal equipment at Toledo, radiophone installation to Maumee Ranges and Manhattan Ranges to be provided. Most of the equipment has been delivered at station, awaiting installation. Cost to June 30, 1934, $7,709.

1931 – approximately 125 tons riprap were placed at Maumee Bay Range Lights, Ohio.

1932 -The color and intensity of lights at Maumee Bay Ranges Lighthouse were changed by the installation of electricity and improved apparatus, as follows:
Maumee Bay Outer Front and inner Rear Straight Channel Range Light was changed to fixed green, of 180,000 candlepower.
Maumee Bay Outer Rear and Inner Front Straight Channel Range Lights were changed to fixed green, of 220,000 candlepower. The candlepower of the Inner range Front Light was later reduced to 180,000 candlepower.
Maumee Crib Outer Northerly, Maumee Crib Inner Northerly, Maumee Crib Inner Southerly and Maumee Crib Outer Southerly lights were increased in intensity to 200 candlepower.

1935 – Radiophone communication facilities between Toledo and Manhattan Range Lights stations were installed during the month of November, 1935. It is proposed to include Maumee Bay ranges Light Station in this system, the radiophone to be installed at Maumee Ranges early in the spring of 1936.

Keepers: A.H. Cromwell (1855 – 1857), William H. Jennings (1884 – at least 1921), Chancie Fitzmorris (1924 – 1942), Arthur G. Bauman (1942 – 1956).


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