Lost and Found features brief profiles of historic landmarks and structures, one lost and one saved.


To minister to merchant sea­farers, the Churchmen’s Missionary Association for Seamen of the Port of Philadelphia dedicated the Floating Church of the Redeemer in 1849. Fabricated on two hulls, each weighing one hundred tons, by Clement L. Den­nington at Bordentown, New Jersey, the Gothic Revival-style church, seating five hundred worshipers, was easily recognizable on the city’s waterfront with its distinctive seventy-five-foot steeple. Worshipers often became seasick and left services early and the chaplain at times had trouble keeping his balance during communion. The floating church sank once and was toppled by high winds. The structure proved difficult to maintain and it was sold in 1853 to a Camden, New Jersey, congregation which renamed it and set it on a brick foundation. It was destroyed by fire on December 25, 1868.



The Erie Land Lighthouse, erected in 1867, is the third lighthouse erected on site since Congress commissioned the first in 1812. The first light­house, in operation by 1818, and the second, functioning by 1858, grew structurally unstable because of a layer of quicksand running beneath the earth’s surface. Builders constructed the present-day sandstone tower (photographed with the caretaker’s house in 1900) on a massive foundation costing nearly forty thousand dollars. The lighthouse operated until 1899, after which the lantern room was re­moved. In 1989, the lantern room was rebuilt, restoring the tower to its original appearance, but it was tom off by a storm in 2003. A new lantern room was installed in 2004, a project partially funded by a PHMC Keystone Historic Preservation Grant.