First lighthouse in WV set to go up soon - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

First lighthouse in WV set to go up soon

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The pieces are coming together and crews are preparing the site to stand West Virginia's only lighthouse vertical next month.

Donna and Steve Keblesh of the Summersville Lake Retreat have been working hard on the conversion of an old, damaged wind tower. They expect the lighthouse to be erected in mid-October.

The Keblesh family has said they longed dreamed of owning the lighthouse and are excited it will finally be going up.

"Why do we do it? People ask us that, and I love to joke with them that ‘we've had all this commercial shipping traffic bumping into us' and they give me a strange look," Keblesh said in an interview last year. "But it's tourism. There's been a large branding effort to include this four-county region as the New River Gorge region."

Keblesh hopes to attract tourism to the area, including attracting the attention of Boy Scouts who will be swarming the area in 2013 during the National Boy Scout Jamboree.

The 100-foot tall lighthouse is designed to be authentic, including a 36,000 lumen working light for the top.

The 128 steps of the lighthouse will have plaques commemorating donors to the project. For donations of $500, once can secure a plaque in the lighthouse. Those donating $5,000 or $10,000 will earn, respectively, a landing plaque and a gallery deck plaque.

Several opportunities to purchase the plaque remain.

While the lighthouse will be stood up sometime in October, the grand opening will not actually take place until June 20, which is West Virginia day.

For more about the lighthouse recycled from a damaged wind tower, read The State Journal story from last year here.