Manistique East Breakwater
One of the few lights on northern Lake Michigan, this light was built in 1915, although the Lighthouse Board had recommended a light here almost 20 years earlier. This is the only light between the Seul Choix Point and Poverty Island Lights, some 44 miles. There is nice park and boardwalk, but, as you can see, the weather was awful, so I didn't venture out to the pier.
Seul Choix Point
Early French explorers could find only one safe harbor along this stretch of Lake Michigan's northern shore, and they named it Seul Choix--"only choice." The tower was completed in 1895, and the attached keeper's house, which is occupied, set on an ashlar stone foundation and are in excellent condition. One unusual feature of this lighthouse is the birdhouse, which is a replica of the tower and keeper's house! Seul Choix is located about 65 miles west of the Mackinac Bridge.
Charlevoix South Pierhead
In 1885, the first pier light was square and constructed of wood. This structure was moved to the south pier in 1914 and the current light was built. The skeletal base was built to enable the light to withstand the crashing waves during inclement weather. The pier is accessible from a public beach.
Old Mission Point
Located at the tip of Mission Peninsula in the Grand Traverse Bay, this light was built in 1870. No longer an active light, the residence is private, however the grounds are accessible, also, there is a small picnic area and you can go down to the sandy beach.
First erected in 1853, this light, situated at Cat's Head Point, is now part of Leelanau State Park and houses a museum. The setting is fantastic and you can climb the tower for a spectacular view! Several of the buildings still remain, including the brick fog signal building. Oh, and this light also has a birdhouse version of itself!
This lighthouse is not a navigational aid, it was built in 1991 as a memorial to Robert H. Manning, a lifelong resident of Empire. Mr. Manning was an avid fisherman and often commented upon his return from the lake that a lighthouse would sure help him find his way home. After his death in 1989, his family decided to honor him by erecting this light. It is located on the grounds of a public park in the village of Empire.
Only 37 feet high, this light has been in service since 1858 and wasn't automated until 1983, making it the last manned lighthouse on mainland Michigan. In an effort to save the light from erosion, steel breakwalls encased in cement were constructed from the base of the tower toward the lake. You can feel the cement shake as the waves crash against it, and more likely than not, you'll get thoroughly sprayed if you stand there long enough! ( I decided not to post the other pics I have with the water drops on them!)
Frankfort North Breakwater
There has been a lighthouse on the breakwater at Frankfort since 1873, but the current structure was erected in 1932. The 72 feet square tower is constructed of steel and has a door halfway up, which suggests at one time there was a catwalk on the pier.
Manistee North Pierhead
In 1860, Congress authorized a light to be at the mouth of the Manistee River, but it wasn't constructed until 1870 and destroyed by fire in October, 1871. The replacement light was built on the south pier in 1873 and a new light was placed on the north pier where it remained until replaced by the current structure in 1927. There are public parks and beaches on both sides of the river, which allows for fantastic view of the light.
Big Sable Point
The only way to get to this lighthouse is a 1.5 mile walk up the beach from the Ludington State Park campground. Standing 112 feet tall it was erected in 1867. Around 1900, the tower's brick started deteriorating so it was encased with iron plates and cement was poured between the plates and brick. There is a small gift shop and museum on the premises and you can climb the tower.
A light station was established here in 1871, and the current light was built in 1927. The lighthouse itself is constructed of steel in a pyramid shape. The concrete base is very unique, shaped like a ship's bow to withstand the crashing waves during storms and in the winter. The light is at the end of a pier accessible from a public park. As you can see, the sun was setting when I was there, so I didn't venture out on the pier for a closer look.... next time!!
Built in 1874, this is one of the oldest brick lighthouses on the Great Lakes. The 107 feet tower is part of Silver Lake State Park and was originally built with a keeper's dwelling, however when electricity was finally extended to the light in 1957, it was automated and the keeper's house was torn down. It is located in the dunes, and is a spectacular place to visit!
This inactive light was built in 1875 to mark the entrance to a channel that was cut from Lake Michigan to White Lake. It is currently a museum, open to the public Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Muskegon South Pierhead
The original light was built in 1852 and was attached to the top of the keeper's dwelling on shore, but in 1903 the current structure was erected on the south pier next to Pere Marquette Park. Standing 53 feet tall, it is one of the "red" lights of Lake Michigan and marks the entrance to the narrow strip of water that connects Lake Michigan with Muskegon Lake.
To me this is the most beautiful of all the lights! The outer light is
atop the keeper's house which also houses a fog horn, and the inner light stands 51 feet tall. The inner light was originally built on shore in 1839, then moved and rebuilt in 1905. The lights and horn were automated in 1970, which was sad in a way, as I had many friends in the Coast Guard that manned the light and spent much time out there at the end of the pier! The foundation at the front of the house is concrete shaped in a V, as the bow of a ship, to weather the waves than can really come crashing across the pier, which gives the reason for the catwalk. The lights in winter are an absolutely incredible site, being covered in ice and snow. The pier stands at the north end of Grand Haven State Park and is connected by a boardwalk to the downtown area of Grand Haven.
Down the road about 30 miles south of Grand Haven is "Big Red", a large three story structure, topped by a square tower rising another 2 stories built in 1936 to replace the original wood structure that was built in 1872. The building was made this large to house the huge boiler needed to create the steam needed for the fog horn. Across the channel from Holland State Park, Big Red marks the entrance to Lake Macatawa from Lake Michigan.