Woman Buys an Abandoned Lighthouse for $71,000 and Spends Over $300,000 Making it a Home

Sheila Consaul, a 65-year-old communications consultant, embarked on an extraordinary journey when she purchased the Fairport Harbor West Lighthouse in Ohio for $71,000 in 2011. Intrigued by the U.S. government’s auctions of historic lighthouses, Consaul, who had previously restored a historic home, saw an opportunity to turn this abandoned structure into a unique residence. Built in 1925, the lighthouse, with its three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and three floors, spans nearly 3,000 square feet. Abandoned since the late 1940s, Consaul made history by becoming the first person to call the lighthouse home in over seven decades.

Motivated by the challenge and inspired by the potential of preserving a piece of maritime history, Consaul utilized a home equity loan of $200,000 to fund the purchase and initial renovations. The restoration journey began in the summer of 2012 and has continued for over a decade. The remote location of the lighthouse, situated half a mile from the nearest parking lot in Headlands Beach State Park, presented unique challenges during the renovation process. Large appliances, including a stove and refrigerator, had to be transported by boat and then delicately delivered by crane onto the platform of the lighthouse. Despite the logistical hurdles, Consaul’s commitment to the project has been unwavering, resulting in a laborious but ultimately rewarding transformation of the historic structure.

Consaul’s dedication to reviving the lighthouse as a living space has not only preserved a piece of architectural heritage but has also brought life back to a once-abandoned maritime beacon. With an estimated investment exceeding $300,000, her meticulous restoration work has breathed new life into the Fairport Harbor West Lighthouse, turning it into a truly unique and captivating home.

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