PAINESVILLE TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- The proud owner of some lakefront property threw a birthday bash Saturday, not for herself, but for the structure.
Hundreds of people got a rare view inside a place that has provided a beacon for maritime travel on Lake Erie for decades.
The Fairport Harbor West Breakwall Lighthouse has weathered many a storm in the past 88 years. It sits a half mile from Headlands Beach State Park and has been guiding ships on Lake Erie since the beacon was first lit on June 25, 1925.
Sheila Consaul is about to be the first person to live in the lighthouse since 1948. She hosted an open house Sunday on its 88th birthday.
"It's still considered an active aid to navigation and as such is run by the coast guard. There is also a national weather service weather station here, so the weather is recorded,” Consaul said.
Consaul bought the lighthouse from the government two years ago for $71,010 and has been fixing it up ever since.
“It needs a lot of t.l.c..It needs walls, floors done, windows. But, most of all it needs electricity and plumbing,” she said.
Laura Novotney grew up in Mentor-on-the-Lake and was excited to tour the lighthouse.
“I have watched this lighthouse my whole life. It's my first time to ever be inside. It was really neat,” she said.
The lighthouse has 3,000 square feet, three floors and circular stairs leading to the top.
"It will have three bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, fully modern kitchen, living room and a dining room,” Consaul added.
But, the best part of the lighthouse is the view from the top and the breathtaking views of Lake Erie.
While some might see such a big renovation project as a nightmare, Consaul called the lighthouse her dream house.
"It’s a dream. I love historic properties. I have wanted a summer home. It’s just a wonderful, wonderful place to be in the summer," she said