CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia's only lighthouse is about to go vertical.
Donna and Steve Keblesh, owners of the Summersville Lake Retreat, expect to erect the lighthouse by mid-October. They've been working since last year to convert an old, damaged wind tower into a fully functioning lighthouse.
The State Journal reports (http://bit.ly/QXwwwG) that the couple hopes to attract tourists 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 couple's retreat sits beside the state's largest lake, and visitors would be able to see sweeping views of the lake from atop the lighthouse.
The Kebleshes have 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."
The wind tower being used for the project was destined for the scrap yard when rainy weather and bad timing caused it go over a hill, leaving it structurally sound but not suitable for use as a tower.
The 100-foot lighthouse includes a 36,000-lumen working light on top. Once it's standing, the lighthouse will be visible from Route 19.
The 128 steps of the lighthouse will have plaques commemorating donors to the project.
Even though the lighthouse is expected to be standing next month, the grand opening will not take place until June 20, West Virginia Day.