Digest>Archives> Sep/Oct 2023

Vacationland Lighthouse – FOUND!


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The black-and-white photo of the “Vacationland ...

In the July/August 2022 edition of Lighthouse Digest, we published a black-and-white photo of a faux lighthouse that shows the words “Vacationland 1946” cut into the lawn in front of the structure. Our headline question, Where in Maine, made total sense. Why? Because since the 1890s, Maine has been known as “Vacationland”; and in 1936, the name “Vacationland” appeared on Maine’s auto license plates and still does today, nearly 100 years later. In fact, if you type in the word “Vacationland” on a Google search, you’ll be directed to all things Maine.

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Vintage color post card of the facsimile ...

So, you can imagine our surprise when Lighthouse Digest subscriber Deborah Blakely of Sandusky, Ohio wrote to us to tell us that our faux lighthouse photo was not in Maine, but in Washington Park, in Sandusky, Ohio! Apparently, not one person in Ohio was ever told that they couldn’t use the name “Vacationland” for their state, although it might not have been as official as Maine’s claim to the name.

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The “Vacationland Lighthouse” in Sandusky, Ohio ...
Photo by: Deborah Blakely

It seems that Ohioans have referred to the region on Lake Erie from the east side of Vermilion to Sandusky Bay and beyond as “Vacationland” for years; albeit, not officially. Apparently, that all changed in 1962 when the Miss Ohio beauty pageant first elected a “Miss Vacationland” to compete in higher level contests. Jacquelyn Mayer, who won the title of the first “Miss Vacationland” in 1962, would go on to win Miss Ohio, and ultimately, Miss America.

This story appeared in the Sep/Oct 2023 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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