austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Troll the ancient Pumpkin carol

I did not know that Cedar Point had a lighthouse. It's logical that it would, since it's this prominent stick of land going out into a Great Lake, but I just hadn't thought about it one way or another before. And it's got, well, modern dull navigation aides as you might expect, but it also has an actual Civil War-era lighthouse which Cedar Point's corporate overlords bought from the Federal government (or someone) around 1990, and restored, and included as one of the points of attraction for their rentable cabins. It's visible from various points on the Mean Streak roller coaster and since bunny_hugger had this newfound interest in lighthouses and this obscure little lighthouse was connected to an amusement park, how could we resist?

So when we got back from the Merry-Go-Round Museum we parked in the lot for the cabins and walked in what seemed a likely direction for the lighthouse, based on the laughable data point of looking back to verify we could see Mean Streak from there. There's very few points on the ground in that area where you can't see Mean Streak; as a navigational tool, being able to see it is kind of like finding your way back from Cedar Point to home by following the directional arrows on road signs the other way around.

Here's the real core mistake we made, though: we assumed that a lighthouse would be a prominent, visible feature. Wouldn't you? The thing is, this lighthouse was not a very tall one --- it's really just a short light tower atop an ordinary residence, almost as literally a ``light house'' as you could get --- and the trees have apparently grown in a bit since 1909 when it was decommissioned as a lighthouse. It had been used for various non-light based tasks by whoever in the government took ownership of the property for decades, although the light room itself was apparently removed at some point. After Cedar Point acquired the land --- and we were shocked to learn that there were spots on Cedar Point the geographic feature that were not the property of Cedar Point the corporate overlords as late as the first Bush's presidency --- they restored the building, and have been using it for whatever they use old buildings for, but not as something to attract attention. (It sits next to a pool that I believe is for the cabin renters; perhaps it's used as a maintenance office or something on that order.)

That's all to defend our not being able to find a lighthouse from maybe two hundred feet away. There were trees and buildings in the way. We had a fine time walking around looking for it, including forming the longing to rent a cabin and spend a couple days at Cedar Point this way some summer, and accidentally walking in the middle of the thin ribbon of road while some guys in a truck waited and ultimately lost their patience with us. I was just too interested in looking around, for what was in front of me and for spots where a lighthouse might be hiding, to notice. I didn't mean to act like I was in a college town.

While searching we wandered actually past the rim of the cabin areas, and into a little ribbon of undeveloped ground. It's undeveloped for a reason; it's just a couple dozen feet across, and a rocky surface falling off swiftly to the lake. But from this point, from this angle, you can stand inside Cedar Point and see nothing suggesting there's a major amusement park around you; all you know is the distant rattling of Mean Streak's lift chain and the attenuated howling of the crowds. And there, across some water, was an island (I suppose), with people who had lakefront houses, and wow: these people don't just have houses on the water but they can look out and see Cedar Point every day. I hope they like amusement parks.

And finally after exhausting all the possible false leads we found the part of the cabins' parking lot that lead us to the lighthouse, and the marker Cedar Point put up for it. This should enter bunny_hugger's lighthouse passport book as one of the photograph-only lighthouses, as there's no official stamp or even visitor's center, really, for it; but for seeing something which overlaps two of her greatest interests the moment was a great one.

We returned to the hotel, to stretch a little bit, and to get coffee --- bunny_hugger knows the secret spot where the coffee machines for the guests are kept --- before finally heading into the park for the rest of the night.

Trivia: In the 1650s French finance minister Nicholas Fouquet owned a renowned mirror of impressive size: 24 inches square. Source: The Essence of Style, Joan DeJean.

Currently Reading: The Number Sense: How The Mind Creates Mathematics, Stanislas Debaene.

Tags: amusement parks, cedar point, halloweekends

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