Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Sturgeon Point Lighthouse

Next up on my tour of the eastern part of the state was the Sturgeon Point Lighthouse.  This is another lighthouse that I haven't been to in a long time.  Kind of a shame because it's a nice lighthouse in a pretty nice location.
 One of the first differences that struck was the the fact there weren't as many trees in the way.  Apparently they had fallen prey to Dutch Elm Disease (or something else).  While it made for better pictures, it is still a shame to see trees destroyed because of the various diseases.  But that sort of highlights why we shouldn't move wood around or whatever.
 The lighthouse was constructed in 1869 by the lighthouse construction board.  Lighthouses were popping up all around the Great Lakes as shipping expanded.  This particular location was fairly dangerous as many ships were sunk and the area has a reef.  Just north of this light is a bay called Sanctuary Bay because it was a place where ships could seek shelter.  The bay to the north of that is called Misery Bay for some reason.
 The tower is 71 feet tall and is equipped with a 3.5 Order Fresnel lens.  It is one of only 70 3.5 order lenses operational in the United States and one of 16 on the Great Lakes.
 In 1875, a Lifesaving Service Station was opened nearby.  In 1915, the station became part of the Coast Guard.  1939 saw the merging of the Lifesaving Service with the Coast Guard. 
 In 1941, the lighthouse was automated and the Lifesaving Station was closed.  This lighthouse remains an active aid to navigation though.
 In 1982, the light was leased by the Alcona County Historical Society and they began to restore aspects of it.
 The light is currently owned by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources under the terms of the National Lighthouse Preservation Act.  It is maintained and operated by the Alcona County Historical Society.
It is a really cool light.

No comments: