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Tuesday, October 21, 2014
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Published: - Updated: 3 years ago


Turtle Lighthouse

Turtle Island on the Ohio-Michigan border in Lake Erie and Maumee Bay's first lighthouse upon it has inspired wistful descriptions, including the following from Blade archives: "sleeping in the sun off the southwestern shore of Lake Erie, as forgotten as the brave man for whom it was named" and "lonely and neglected ... a reminder to boaters of an era that is slowly slipping into history." In a 1935 piece published for the Associated Yacht Clubs of Toledo, the 2-acre spit of land was a "charming little island ... while all about it sleek yachts lie at anchor, and happy folks frolic on its ample beaches." CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW FULL SIZE, START SLIDE SHOW.

Turtle Island in Lake Erie, seen in this historical photo, was named for Chief Little Turtle of the Miamis in the late 18th century. In his time it was a lush spot of more than 6 acres, two-thirds of which has been eroded by water. Enlarge Turtle Island in Lake Erie, seen in this historical photo, was named for Chief Little Turtle of the Miamis in ...
TOLEDO-LUCAS COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY
The U.S. government had sold Turtle Island in 1827 but purchased it back in 1831 for improvements. The lighthouse, seen here in 1880, was built in 1831 as the first in Maumee Bay. A new light was placed in service on Sept. 12, 1866, and a fog bell and cisterns were added in 1871. Enlarge The U.S. government had sold Turtle Island in 1827 but purchased it back in 1831 for improvements. The lighthouse,...
HISTORICAL PHOTO
The first lighthouse keeper, Samuel D. Choate, died on Turtle Island in 1834 after a cholera outbreak. His wife buried him with the help of their son Seth, who also fell ill and died. She was alone on the island with another young child and an infant until a boater noticed the light was not shining and came to the island to investigate. Enlarge The first lighthouse keeper, Samuel D. Choate, died on Turtle Island in 1834 after a cholera outbreak. His wife buried ...
HISTORICAL PHOTO
Shipping traffic on Lake Erie was growing significantly in the late 1880s, so the Toledo Harbor light was built in 1904. The Turtle Island lighthouse, seen here in ruins in 1925, was abandoned and the island was put up for public auction. Enlarge Shipping traffic on Lake Erie was growing significantly in the late 1880s, so the Toledo Harbor light was built in ...
BLADE FILE PHOTO
The Yacht Clubs of Toledo leased the island in 1933 and made some improvements to it. This photo was taken in 1958. Enlarge The Yacht Clubs of Toledo leased the island in 1933 and made some improvements to it. This photo was taken in 1958.
BLADE FILE PHOTO
By 1958 a Toledo transportation company owned the island, its ruins seen here on May 28 of that year. Enlarge By 1958 a Toledo transportation company owned the island, its ruins seen here on May 28 of that year.
BLADE FILE PHOTO
In 1958 ruins sit on the Turtle Island site where the Miami once collected bountiful clutches of gull eggs. Enlarge In 1958 ruins sit on the Turtle Island site where the Miami once collected bountiful clutches of gull eggs.
BLADE FILE PHOTO
Only a few steps remain of the spiral stairway in the lighthouse. Enlarge Only a few steps remain of the spiral stairway in the lighthouse.
BLADE FILE PHOTO
A retreat was being built on Turtle Island in 2002. Enlarge A retreat was being built on Turtle Island in 2002.
BLADE FILE PHOTO
Ice floes in 2009 wrecked a house on little Turtle Island. Enlarge Ice floes in 2009 wrecked a house on little Turtle Island.
OTTAWA RIVER YACHT CLUB
What is left of the lighthouse on Turtle Island, seen here in 2009, still serves as a landmark to Lake Erie boaters today. Enlarge What is left of the lighthouse on Turtle Island, seen here in 2009, still serves as a landmark to Lake Erie boaters today.
OTTAWA RIVER YACHT CLUB


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