Meet Sheila Consaul, a 65-year-old who loves preserving old things. She wanted a cool place for summer and heard that lighthouses were being sold by the government. So, she bought one in Fairport Harbor, Ohio, for $71,000 and spent over $300,000 fixing it up.
Living in a lighthouse is different. You can’t just drive up to the door; you have to park far away and carry everything by hand – food, water, and even gas for the generator. But once you’re there, it’s pretty amazing.
The lighthouse Sheila bought was in bad shape — broken windows, falling plaster, and needed a lot of paint. But she didn’t give up. She got a loan and started fixing it.
Fixing the lighthouse was hard. Everything had to be brought in by boat and lifted with a crane because the lighthouse is in a remote place. The lighthouse also didn’t have regular electricity; Sheila had to redo the whole system and use a generator for power.
Despite all the problems, the changes Sheila made are incredible. The lighthouse now has a nice kitchen with modern stuff, and the windows, which were once broken, are now working and look beautiful with stained glass.
But it’s not just about making it look nice; Sheila wanted to keep the history. The lighthouse still has its original iron staircase and old brown floors. Even the water tank, which used to hold water for the lighthouse keepers, now collects rainwater for the house.
The lighthouse is not just Sheila’s home; it’s also a part of the community. Sheila opens it to the public every year so people can see it. The Coast Guard takes care of the lighthouse’s light, which still shines every night.
Would Sheila do it again? Probably not. It was a lot of work, and she’s happy with her unique summer home. She doesn’t plan to rent it out, but maybe she will in the future.
For now, Sheila is enjoying what she made and the special experience of living in a lighthouse.
Her story shows that when you really want something and work hard, you can make it happen. Sheila didn’t just buy a house; she bought a piece of history and made it beautiful for the next generation.