Welcome back to our AwayWeGo's Adventure blog. While the motorhome was getting some work done in Indiana, my wife, her granddaughter and I took a road trip to Connecticut and back in the Jeep. For todays leg of our travel journey we added lighthouses to our "to-do" list as well as geocaching counties. So climb aboard the GeoJeep and let's go for a drive...
Our first stop was along the shores of Lake Erie in Chautauqua County and the town of Dunkirk, New York. The St Hyacinth Cemetery (GC4013R) has over 4,000 internments dating back to 1880. Land was purchased for the St Hyacinth Parish in 1875 and the newly completed church dedicated in 1876. This land wasn't purchased until 1902 to become the church cemetery. The cemetery chapel was blessed in 1942.
On the north side of Dunkirk jutting out into Lake Erie is Point Gratiot. The Dunkirk Lighthouse (GC4KMHE) and Victorian keepers residence was constructed during 1875-76 to replaced an eroding first light from 1827. Bricks from the original keepers house was used for the foundation in building the new house. When the cylindrical light tower was moved next to the house, a square walled tower was constructed around it to better conform to the aesthetics of the house.
Driving down NY-5 along the lakefront, we arrived in the town of Barcelona for our next set of geocaches and another lighthouse. We first stopped by the Barcelona Harbor Pier. Took a nice look around, took some photos of the water, and grabbed a geocache here too (GC1RMBW).
Off the edge of the pier near the road stands the Barcelona Lighthouse and Keepers Residence (GC1RMBW, GC60BK0). The 40-foot tall Barcelona Lighthouse was constructed in 1829. It was the first natural gas lighthouse in the country and was part of the Federal Lighthouse System up until 1859. From then it had been under several private ownerships over the years until the early 2000's when it became a state historical site.
Moving down into Erie County, Pennsylvania, we visited our next lighthouse and geocache. Located on the shores of Presque Isle Bay on Lake Erie is the "Land Lighthouse." The 49-foot tall sandstone tower was constructed in 1866-67. There is an earthcache here due to the fossils that can be found in the sandstone (GC93AYG). This was the third lighthouse to be constructed at this location due to the previous two having structural instabilities. The light was in use until 1899.
A few blocks away is Dobbins Landing named after Captain Daniel Dobbins, an Erie Pioneer and Mariner who sailed the Great Lakes as a merchant ship master and naval officer. As we walked towards the Bicentennial Tower we got to watch a little pirate show taking place off the pier. The Scallywags Pirate Adventure Show is a tourist sightseeing ship on Lake Erie which had a pirate navigating a small dingy trying to cause trouble. This made for an entertaining few moments for those on board.
Located at the end of Dobbins Landing stands the Bicentennial Tower Observation Deck (GC890ME). It was built in 1996 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of the city of Erie. The top observation deck stands 138 feet above Presque Isle Bay and provides spectacular 360 degree views up to 27 miles on a clear day.
Also nearby is the Erie Cemetery. We stopped by there before leaving town to attempt a Geocaching Adventure Lab (AL). Of the 40,000+ internments here I want to highlight this one. The Brown Mausoleum is more commonly known as "The Vampire Crypt."
Local folklore says that a Romanian businessman was living inside the crypt. After his death of consumption, weird things began happening around Erie. The cemetery groundskeeper discovered that the man was living inside this crypt. The vault was then burned, the door chained, and the named chiseled off.
Moving over into Ohio, we continued our geocaching adventure along the Great Lakes. The first geocache was a quick parking lot park and grab cache (GC3NNRY) located in Ashtabula County.
It was getting late in the day so I found two more quick geocaches to pick up two more counties. The first was in the Mount Sinai Cemetery in Cuyahoga County (GCTNKW). There were over 2000 internments but I just found the geocache and moved on to the next. The final one was a light post cache in Geauga County (GC5FZGR).
That's it for today. Tomorrow we finish up Ohio and back into Indiana. Until then...
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