With the drop of an anchor, members of the Toledo Lighthouse Society have solved one mystery that’s been on their minds since April.
Society members and architects were set to work on a restoration project at the lighthouse Wednesday, reports Sandy Bihn, society president. When workers dropped anchor in the water they realized it had hit something.
Divers from Toledo Fire and Rescue Operations and Jerusalem Township who were in the area agreed to investigate and found a 4-foot by 40-foot ramp that had been missing since April 11.
Bihn said workers from Meinke’s Marina brought the ramp to shore.
“There is some damage to the ramp, but overall it can be fixed and will be useable again,” she said, adding the ramp cost about $12,000.
An 8-foot by 28-foot dock is still missing.
“We may never know what happened between April 9th, when the dock and ramp were visible and OK at the lighthouse and April 11 when both were gone,” Bihn said.
She said the lighthouse society does plan to install a security system this year.
The Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association and lighthouse society offered a reward of $1,000 for information about the missing dock and ramp.
The aluminum ramp weighs about 1,200 lbs. and had been in an elevated position with the dock during the winter months.
Bihn, in April, told The Press both were in good condition and had weathered the winter very well. Because of the high content of aluminum, Society members feared they had been stolen and were destined for sale at a scrap yard.
Society members worked to have the ramp and dock installed so the public could get in to see the lighthouse while it was being restored.
Bihn said the lighthouse was constructed in 1904 and sits on a crib near the Toledo shipping channel, marking where Lake Erie meets the Maumee Bay.
The lighthouse society owns the facility and is completing plans for its restoration.
Once restored, “keepers” will stay at the lighthouse from mid-spring through mid-fall, allowing boaters to schedule visits, Bihn said.
For information go to toledolighthouse.org.