The first "Lighthouse" was a 11 meters high iron pole (old rail bar) with a barrel for the fire on top, which was erected in 1862. It was decided to build a real lighthouse, but soon it was experienced how difficult it was to fight against the elements. Building materials were dropped on the rock and workmen landed and constructed barracks that were 'nailed' to the rocks, to be used for their temporary shelter.

When the first storm came, all the building materials and the barracks for the workmen were washed from the rock. Three workmen lost their life and the others were able to get into their boat and fixed it to the still existing old lighthouse pole. Later they could be rescued.

Although in 1836 a real light house was already planned, it was until 1885 when a lighthouse made of stone was built by the Russians, who then ruled Finland. Once the lighthouse was completed, the barrel was replaced by a real lamp, which used petroleum as fuel and the rotation mechanism had to be re-winded every 3 hours by the lighthouse staff.

In 1955, a diesel generator was installed and the lighthouse and adjacent buildings were powered by electricity. In 1976 the rotation mechanism of the lighthouse lamp was rebuild so it could be driven by acetylene and hence it could operate automatically. The lamp itself was also replace and has now a light intensity of 85.000 candela and has a range of 19.2 nautical miles. The lamp is 16.9 meters above sea level and its character is 0.13 + 2.87, which means one signal every 3 seconds. In one of the storage buildings, a large number of acetylene cylinders provided the gas for this mechanism. The old lamp can still be seen in the Maritime Museum in Marihamn, the capital of the Aland Islands. The last lighthouse keeper was Karl Erik Eriksson, better known as Kee OJ0MA or presently OH0NA (Aland Islands).

Because the lighthouse was now operating automatically, no permanent attendance was needed anymore and the lighthouse keeper left the rock. Presently, the lighthouse also maintains a weather station that transmits 23 different measurements to the Meteorological Service Department of Finland.

Call: PA0GAM/OH0/OJ0
Start: 26-07-1983
End: 01-08-1983
Island: Market reef

by acls us
Go to top