The lighthouse opens May 23.

Things are popping at the Presque Isle Lighthouse. The lighthouse is getting ready to open for 2019. Many changes are in store for this year's members and visitors. After a banner year where we welcomed visitors from all 50 states and 41 countries, we begin the lighthouse season for visitors on May 23 at 10 a.m., and will be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The 2018 season saw over 18,500 people tour the lighthouse and many more walk the grounds and visit the gift shop. The lighthouse is a wonderful snapshot of the 1800s on Presque Isle and has a rich and interesting history.

Currently, the lighthouse brickwork and all the exterior areas are being cleaned and receiving many smaller overall restorations. Last week the old summer room which was added in the 1950s was torn down. Over the next few weeks, a deck similar to the one that was once in this part of the old lighthouse will be built, and a new ADA compliant ramp added where that room stood.

In the fall, a new roof and gutter system will be installed on the lighthouse. We will be using either a new type shingle that looks like and feels like slate or cedar-shake shingle roofing. Slate was what originally cover the lighthouse roof. The goal of all this work is to take the look back to the 1910-1920s era.

The gift shop, new shelving and wooden display areas are being added, and a sand-resistant entryway floor installed. New merchandise is arriving daily, and new is still being ordered. Our gift shop was exceptionally busy last year, and we are looking forward to 2019 to be even better. Quality at a fair price is our goal in the gift shop and our clients last year appreciated that.

The Presque Isle Lighthouse could not be opened to the public without a corps of loyal and wonderful volunteers. It this point in time; we need a few new volunteers to have a full staff on hand for opening day. We have openings for ticket takers, gift shop clerks, docents (guides) for the tower, and house and ground guides.

Our volunteers usually work a 3½- to 4-hour shift per week but even that is rather flexible. All new and older volunteers will receive training before opening day. We are holding a registration and information session about volunteering on April 22 and April 23 at 6 P.M. These sessions usually last 1½ to 2 hours. All will be held at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center.

For more information or questions, call 833 3604 or email at presqueislelightststion@gmail.com

See you at the Lighthouse!!

Gene Ware is a published author of 8 books and is on the boards of the Presque Isle Light Station, the Tom Ridge Center Foundation, and the Presque Isle Partnership. He is also a goerie.com contributing writer. Send questions and comments to ware906@gmail.com.