Sunday, July 6, 2014

Next Up...the Big Sable Lighthouse

If you head north out of Ludington, you can get yourself to a pretty nice little lighthouse.  It is the Big Sable Lighthouse and I think it is another example of a Poe Lighthouse.
 The lighthouse itself is past the State Park and requires a hike of almost 2 miles.  I think you can drive there if you have a handicap permit.  It was actually a pretty nice little walk but I would imagine it's not so nice on a hotter day.
 The walk gives you a pretty good sample of the terrain that is along the Lake Michigan shore.  Tehre are dunes.
 Windblown trees...
 ...and a slight forest.  I believe these are Jack Pine trees but I'm not sure if they have Kirtland Warblers here.
 A little bit of a swamp too.
 The lighthouse itself is a fairly impressive structure.  The tower is 112 feet tall and is based on the Orlando Poe design used at the new Presque Isle lighthouse.
 Construction on the original lighthouse began in 1867 after the land was deeded from the State of Michigan to the Federal Government.  It was the first light station in that area.  Construction materials were brought by ship because the first road was not built until 1933.
 Originally, the lighthouse was brick but the elements took their toll on that structure and it was enclosed in steel in 1900.
 It was the last lighthouse on the Great Lakes to get electricity which was not added until the 1940's.
 It was automated in 1968 and the keepers quarters fell into disrepair after that.
 There used to be more buildings here but erosion has taken its toll on them.  This is a fairly difficult lighthouse to maintain for that reason.
 In 2002, the lighthouse was transferred to the State of Michigan and is currently maintained by the Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association (I think they also maintain the Little Sable Lighthouse).
 The lighthouse is one of the more beautiful out there and its setting particularly helps in that regard.  I just wish it were an easier lighthouse to get to but I guess that's another thing that makes it special.
 It is near a fairly nice beach.
 A fog horn tower is still there.
 The tower itself reminds me of a rocket.
 I tried to get the moon in this shot, sadly it is too small.
 I think I liked it better in this shot.
 So then I headed back.
 A small stand of jack pine trees.
One more view of the lighthouse.

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