2021 55¢ Mid-Atlantic Lighthouses – Erie Harbor Lighthouse, Pennsylvania
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: August 6, 2021
First Day City: Highlands, NJ
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 40,000,000
The black-and-white striped Presque Isle North Pierhead Light (also called the Erie Harbor Pierhead Light) has been a mainstay on Lake Erie since 1857. It was originally 26.5 feet tall with an open lower portion.
The Erie Harbor Pierhead Light was first built behind the pier. However, in 1882, the iron tower was moved to the outer point of the pier and a fog bell was added. The light was also changed from fixed white to fixed red after the tower was moved. In 1891, the pier was elongated 450 feet, and an additional 470 feet in 1900. The Erie Harbor Pierhead Light had to be moved after each addition. Electricity was added to the lighthouse in 1923, with power reaching the light station through a submarine cable. In addition to the main light, there were two others in the nearby vicinity to further help mariners navigate the harbor. These were known as Erie No. 1 and Erie No. 2 Lights.
Erie Harbor Pierhead Light was moved for the last time in 1940 and equipped with its modern-day heavy steel plates. When the United States Coast Guard took over operation of the light in the late 20th century, they switched the fixed red beacon to an automated flashing red light. The lighthouse continues to keep mariners safe to this day.