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Sandusky Bay Inner Range, OH  Lighthouse destroyed.   

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Sandusky Bay Inner Range Lighthouse

1893 – 1083,1084, 1085. Sandusky Bay Ranges, on the outer bank at the elbow of the dredged channel, Sandusky Bay, Ohio.—As it was found that the beacons could be better lighted with lens lanterns, the use of gasoline at these ranges was discontinued and the beacons were lighted with 5-day lens lanterns. The gasoline machines were both sold at public auction and the net proceeds were turned into the United States Treasury. Various slight repairs were made. The new straight channel will, it is understood, be completed by midsummer, 1894, and may be ready for use in the fall of 1893. As it is wider, deeper, and more direct than the old channel the latter will be no longer needed. The range lights marking the old channel should, therefore, be moved at once, so as to mark the new channel. There are now two ranges formed by three beacons. Only one range of two beacons will be needed to mark the new channel. The third beacon may be discontinued. This range is very important, as the entire commerce of Sandusky is dependent upon it. The two beacons should be built anew and a dwelling for the keeper should be built near one of the beacons. The beacons should be located on the bar, in water from 5 to 7 feet deep, and on a good foundation. It is estimated that this work can be done at a cost not exceeding $25,000, and the Board recommends that an appropriation of this amount be made therefor.

1894 – 1105, 1106,1107. Sandusky Bay ranges, on the outer bank at the elbow of the dredged channel, Sandusky Bay, Ohio.—The main crib and the boat harbor were repaired and strengthened, and five rooms in the dwelling were papered. The following recommendation made in the Board's last annual report is renewed:
The new straight channel will, it is understood, be completed by midsummer, 1894, and may be ready for use in the fall of 1893. As it is wider, deeper, and more direct than the old channel, the latter will he no longer needed. The range lights marking the old channel should therefore he moved at once, so as to mark the new channel. There are now two ranges formed by three beacons. Only one range of two beacons will be needed to mark the new channel. The third beacon may be discontinued. This range is very important, as the entire commerce of Sandusky is dependent upon it. The two beacons should be built anew and a dwelling for the keeper should be built near one of the beacons. The beacons should be located on the bar, in water from 5 to 7 feet deep, and on a good foundation. It is estimated that this work can be done at a cost not exceeding $25,000, and the Board recommends that an appropriation of this amount be made therefor.
The new straight channel from Cedar Point to the east end of dock channel has now been practically completed. It is wider, deeper, and more direct than the old channel; the three beacons of the present ranges are of no value for the new channel and the old channel will hereafter be very little used. A new range of two beacons is needed at once to mark the new straight channel and when completed the old ranges of three beacons will be no longer needed. The new beacons should be located on the bar, in water from 5 to 7 feet deep. The recommendation for an appropriation of $25,000 for the purpose is therefore renewed.
NOTE.—An appropriation of $25,000 was made in the sundry civil appropriation act approved August 18, 1894, for moving and rebuilding the range lights and building a keeper’s dwelling. The work will be taken in hand at an early day.

1895 – 1124, 1125. Sandusky Bay range, Lake Erie, Ohio.—Contracts were made for building the crib foundations, the keeper’s dwelling, and both beacons for this light-station, to be completed during the present season. The act approved August 18, 1894, appropriated $25,000 for moving and rebuilding the range lights and keeper’s dwelling. Designs for the buildings and foundations were prepared, contracts were made for the construction of two cribs and stone foundations for the keeper’s dwelling and front and rear beacons. The contract for the first named provides for the completion of the work by October 30, 1895, and that for the second-named by April 1, 1896.

1896 — Sandusky Bay ranges, on the outer bank at the elbow of the dredged channel, Sandusky Bay, Ohio.—The lights of these ranges were discontinued on the establishment of the Sandusky Bay Range (straight channel) light-station, Ohio.

1896 – 1237,1238. Sandusky Bay Range, on the bar, entrance to Sandusky Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio.—Congress, by act approved August 18, 1894, appropriated $25,000 for the moving and rebuilding of these range lights and the keeper’s dwelling. The structures consist of a keeper’s dwelling and the tower, which is the front beacon, on cribs 50 and 40 feet square, respectively, and about 1,500 feet apart. The station was completed sufficiently to be occupied and lighted. The lights were exhibited on the opening, of navigation in 1896. The cribs were surrounded with brush mattresses weighted with stone. It was thought best to place additional mattresses and stone to cover a wider distance from the cribs. This work is to be done by contract, and will be completed in the ensuing summer.

1897 – 1237,1238. Sandusky Bay Range, on the bar, entrance to Sandusky Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio.—A 5-day lens lantern was installed in the rear beacon lantern. Additional stone was placed about the cribs of both beacons under contract to prevent the undermining of the foundations by lake action. Various repairs were made.

1897 – Sandusky Bay Ranges, on the outer bank of the elbow of the dredged channel, Sandusky Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio.—With the exception of the two iron shafts with their balconies, and lanterns of the rear beacon, the old structures on the cribs were removed.

1898 – 1259,1260. Sandusky Bay, Inner Range, on the bar, entrance to Sandusky Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio.—A rain-water tank lined with copper was built in the cellar of the keeper’s dwelling. Boat davits were provided on the east side of the front beacon foundation. A new well was provided by driving a 1 1/4-inch iron pipe inside of the iron casing of the old well, and some three feet below its lower end. Repairs were made.

1901 – 112, 113. Sandusky Bay inner range, on the bar, entrance to Sandusky Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio.— An iron life rail was put up around the rear beacon crib about 5 feet above the water level. The color of the keeper’s dwelling and both towers was changed from a yellowish drab to a bright yellow, and the foundation crib was painted red. Various minor repairs were made.

1902 – 114-115. Sandusky Bay, inner range, on the bar, entrance to Sandusky Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio.—General repairs have been made to both beacons and the keeper’s dwelling. Some 125 vertical fender strips of lumber were placed 2 feet apart on sides of both cribs to protect the rails of boats when lying alongside from being torn by projecting lag screw heads. The towers and crib foundations were painted. A 90° lens was substituted for the 180° lens heretofore used for showing the front light, to confine the light rays to narrower limits, and to remedy the reflection of the light by the lantern interior. Various repairs were made.

1903 – 115-116. Sandusky Bay, Inner Range, entrance to Sandusky Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio.—The landing platform on the north side of the front crib was rebuilt. Various repairs were made.

1905 – 115-116. Sandusky Bay inner range, on the bar entrance to Sandusky Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio.—A five-day lens lantern was substituted for the sixth-order lens. Various repairs were made.

1914 – Sandusky Bay—Intensity of Range Lights Increased. On October 7, 1914, the illuminating apparatus in the Sandusky Outer and Inner Range Lights was changed to reflectors, greatly increasing the efficiency of these lights. The Outer Range lights are now about 2,000 candlepower each, and the Inner Range lights of about 600 candlepower each.

1914 - Frank Ritter, keeper, towed to safety disabled launch with 1 occupant, and motor boat with 4 occupants. Occurred in August 1914.

1917 – F. Ritter, keeper, Sandusky Bay Inner Range Light, towed launch to safety.

1917 – F. Ritter, keeper, Sandusky Bay Inner Range Light, towed disabled launch, with 7 persons aboard, to Sandusky, Ohio.

1922 – On May 22, 1922, Frank Ritter, keeper, Sandusky Bay Inner Range Light Station, Ohio, towed, a disabled sailing yacht with five persons aboard to port.

1925 – Sandusky Harbor, Ohio. - See Annual Report, 1923, page 69. An allotment of $50,000 was made under the act of May 28, 1924, for commencing work on this project. The following work has been accomplished during the fiscal year by the district construction force and plant: A reinforced concrete base for the pierhead tower at outer end of jetty completed; structural steel for four range towers and for the pierhead light and fog-signal tower fabricated at Buffalo depot shop and transported to the site; plans for concrete power house approved, materials ordered, and construction commenced; steel for pierhead tower partially erected; electric generator units ordered. Further progress on this project after this season is contingent upon additional funds. Amount expended to June 30, 1925, $26,512.56.

1925 – Lake Carriers’ Association – Sandusky Harbor, Ohio.
Work was in active progress throughout the season on extensive improvements to aids in navigation at Sandusky Harbor. These improvements consist of the establishment of a modern light and fog signal on the outer jetty at the entrance to channel leading to the bay, the rebuilding of the four range light structures, and installing an electric power station at Cedar Point from which all the lights and the fog signal will be operated by remote control. At the close of the season the work actually completed on this project was as follows: The concrete foundation at outer end of jetty was completed, and the steel tower for the light and fog signal tower was erected. A temporary acetylene light is now maintained on this tower. A reinforced concrete power house was built at Cedar Point, and two 34-horsepower oil engine generator units were installed. The steel work for the four range towers was fabricated and delivered at the site, ready for erection.
The work remaining to be done is the purchase and installation of the submarine cables and electrical apparatus, the erection of the new range light structures to replace the present wooden buildings, and the erection of additional quarters for keepers. The completion of this project in 1926 is contingent on securing a further appropriation for the work.

1925 – Sandusky Harbor, Ohio. - For completing light and fog signal at the entrance to Sandusky Bay, Ohio, and improving existing aids, $50,000.
Note. – The entrance to Sandusky Bay and Harbor is especially difficult to locate in thick weather. The east jetty has been extended lakeward, and an efficient light and fog signal at the end of this jetty is very necessary. In addition to this need, the four wooden frame range towers marking the dredged channel into Sandusky are rapidly deteriorating and should be replaced by steel structures, and the intensity of the lights should be increased. It is proposed to operate the proposed light and fog signal at the entrance to the harbor and the four range lights by electricity with remote control from a power house located at the Sandusky Bay (Cedar Point) depot nearby. This plan will necessitate providing quarters for two additional keepers. Sandusky is a city of over 22,000 and has an extensive lake commerce, which in 1923 amounted to a traffic of 3,896,000 tons, valued at over $18,000,000. There is also an extensive passenger traffic. Under the act of May 28, 1924, an allotment of $50,000 was made for commencing this project and work is now in progress. Under this allotment the following work has been accomplished: Reinforced concrete base for pierhead light completed, structural steel for pierhead tower and four range towers fabricated in district shops and delivered at site, steel for pierhead tower partially erected, power house being constructed, and two oil-engine generator units ordered. The amount requested is for the purpose of completing work under this project.

1926 – Sandusky Harbor, Ohio. See Annual Reports, 1923, page 69, and 1925, page 28. The following work has been accomplished during the fiscal year by the district construction force and plant: Concrete power house erected and two electric oil engine generator units installed, pierhead light and fog-signal tower erected in place, one rear range tower assembled and riveted ready for erection on site and work started for second tower, and order for electric submarine cables issued. Total amount expended to June 30, 1926, $49,309.97.

1926 – Sandusky Harbor, Ohio. - For completing light and fog signal at the entrance to Sandusky Bay, Ohio, and improving existing aids, $27,000. Note. - The entrance to Sandusky Bay and Harbor is especially difficult to locate in thick weather. The east jetty has been extended lakeward, and an efficient light and fog signal at the end of this jetty is very necessary. Also the four wooden frame range towers marking the dredged channel into Sandusky are rapidly deteriorating and should be replaced by steel structures, and the intensity of the lights should be increased. The proposed light and fog signal at the entrance to the harbor and the four range lights will be operated by electricity with remote control from a power house located at the Sandusky Bay (Cedar Point) depot nearby. This plane will necessitate providing quarters for two additional keepers. Sandusky has an extensive lake commerce which, in 1925, amounted to 6,700,000 tons, valued at over $26,000,000. There is also extensive lake passenger traffic. Allotments of $75,600 from former appropriations have been made for this project and work is now in progress. Under these allotments the following work has been accomplished: Reinforced concrete base for pierhead light completed, structural steel for pierhead tower and four range towers fabricated in district shops and delivered at site, steel for pierhead tower erected and two range towers assembled, power house constructed, two oil-engine generator units installed and submarine cable ordered. The amount requested is for the purpose of completing the work, the total estimated cost of which will be $102,600.
See Annual Reports, 1923, page 69; 1925, page 28; and 1926, page 25. Four wooden range-light towers were removed and skeleton steel towers erected on same foundations; submarine cables delivered, and those between the range lights and shore were laid; concrete foundation for keepers’ dwelling completed; fog-signal and electrical apparatus purchased; and switchboard for power house built at Buffalo Lighthouse Depot. Total amount expended to June 30, 1927, $75,452.

1926 – Lake Carriers’ Association - Sandusky Harbor, Ohio.
The work of improving the aids to navigation at this harbor was in progress throughout 1926. The project consists of establishing a modern light and fog signal on the outer end of jetty at the entrance to channel leading to the bay, replacing of the four wooden range towers with skeleton steel towers, and installing an electric power station at Cedar Point from which all the lights and the fog signal will be operated by remote control.
The work complete follows: Old wooden range towers were razed and replaced with steel towers, concrete foundation for keeper’s dwelling completed, part of submarine cables laid, and oil engine generator unit delivered at Buffalo Lighthouse Depot for transfer to site next spring. If funds are available, work on this project will be actively pushed through to completion in 1927.

1927 – Lake Carriers’ Association - Work on the project for improving the aids to navigation at this spot has been in active progress during 1927. This project is now nearing completion. The submarine cables and electrical installation, including the power house at Cedar Point, have been completed. On November 15, 1927, the electric lights in the Inner and outer ranges were placed in commission, replacing the former oil lights. This change greatly increased the luminous power of these lights. It is expected that the new electric occulting light on the pierhead tower at outer end of jetty will be in operation at the opening of navigation, 1928, and the air diaphone fog-signal also at this point will be placed in commission shortly thereafter. The project also included the building of a double dwelling for keepers at Cedar Point, which has been completed.

1928 - Sandusky, Harbor, Ohio. See annual reports 1923 - 1927. This project was completed. It included building a light and fog-signal structure of skeleton steel construction with inclosed house at top, located at outer end of jetty entrance to the dredged channel, replacing four frame range towers with steel structures, building a concrete power house, installing oil engine electric generators with complete electrical equipment, including submarine cables, and building a brick veneer dwelling for two additional keepers. The fog signal is an air diaphone, and all lights as well as the fog signal are controlled from the power house. During the fiscal year, the work accomplished consisted of completing the installation of electrical and mechanical equipment, completing all structures, including the dwelling and power house. Total cost, $104,852. 1928 – Lake Carriers’ Association – The temporary acetylene light marking the pierhead during construction operations was discontinued and the permanent light established on top of the new steel tower on march 15. The characteristic of the light is occulting white, 6 seconds, light 4 seconds, eclipse 2 seconds, of 7,500 candlepower, 66 feet above water, visible 15 miles. On June 1 the fog signal was established. It is an air diaphone sounding a blast of 3 seconds’ duration every 30 seconds. These changes mark the completion of the extensive improvement project which has been in progress at this point for several seasons. The lights and fog signal at this harbor are now electrically operated. The current is generated at the lighthouse station on Cedar Point and all aids are controlled from that point.

Keepers:

  • Head: Frank Ritter (1896 – 1929), Henry L. Waibel (1929 – 1948).
  • First Assistant: Henry L. Waibel (1927 – 1929), Walter J. Korwek (1929 – 1935), Wilson W. Ross (1935 – 1937), Robert J. Siggens (at least 1939 – at least 1940), Paul F. Prochnow (1941 – 1947).
  • Second Assistant: Walter J. Korwek (1928 – 1929), Thomas Van Meter (at least 1930), George W. Pendrell (1931), Paul F. Prochnow (1931 – 1941).

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