Range Lights are Shining Again at Ridges Sanctuary

Thanks to the perseverance of Ed Miller, a member of the Ridges Sanctuary’s Board of Directors, the upper and lower range lights at the environmental preserve near Baileys Harbor are shining once again. Constructed in 1869, the lights were considered the most effective way to protect sailors traveling near the reefs and shallows at the entrance to Baileys Harbor. The Ridges Sanctuary has maintained the lights since 1937 but, in 1969, the lanterns were removed from both buildings. For many years, the upper range light housed the organization’s business office, but the recent opening of the new nature center off Highway 57 has allowed the old facilities to once again be used for their intended purpose. Enter Ed Miller. Actively involved in the restoration of the lower range light, he now serves as Chairman of the Ridges Lighthouse Committee. In December, Miller turned his attention to relighting the two lights. After applying to the Coast Guard and working closely with the Cleveland Coast Guard station, he received permission to relight the ranges as private aids to navigation in April. With the acquisition of a red lens lantern for the lower range light, the signal beacons were brought back to life on June 11th. Both of the lights are featured as part of guided hikes at the Ridges Sanctuary. Later this summer, a ceremony will be held to celebrate the fact that the lights are operational once again.

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