Monday, September 17, 2012

Point Betsie Lighthouse

Point Betsie Lighthouse is found on the shores of Lake Michigan just north of Frankfort, Michigan. It is located at the southern edge of the Manitou Passage.
When we visited the lighthouse, I was able to go inside and take a tour of the lighthouse and the grounds. The lighthouse had a house for the keeper on the main floor and the second floor had a small apartment for the assistant keeper. The assistant keeper's quarters is now available for rent and has two bedrooms, a kitchen and a comfy living room. I think it would be great fun to stay in a lighthouse!
This image of Point Betsie lighthouse was taken from the beach. The lighthouse was built in 1858 and has a beacon that shines 52 feet above the lake and has a range of about 15 miles. It helped ships to navigate the dangerous Manitou passage.
After touring the lighthouse, I walked down the beach a bit and was able to get this view of the lighthouse. It was a cloudy day and in fact starting raining just a short time after we left the lighthouse. This photo show the expressive clouds in the sky.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Grand Traverse Lighthouse

Grand Traverse is a beautiful lighthouse that is located at the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula in Michigan. The peninsula separates Lake Michigan from Grand Traverse Bay. The Grand Traverse lighthouse was built in 1858 and operated until 1972 when it was closed and an automatic light tower was constructed. In 1986 the lighthouse was made open to the public. In July of 2012 I was able to visit the lighthouse, take a tour of the lighthouse, and climb the tower. I found the inside of the lightouse to be very interesting. In many of the lighthouses that I have visited the keepers quarters are small and quite sparsely furnished. This was not the case at Grand Traverse. The house was rather large and was very nicely furnished for the period in which it was used. There was even a formal dining room complete with china,silver and crystal. The preserved museum in the lighthouse gives visitors a look at how the lighthouse keepers lived at the turn of the century.
The actual lantern room protrudes from the pitched roof of the building. I reached it by climbing to the second story and taking two short staircases that led up to the lantern room. The view of Grand Traverse Bay from the top was beautiful.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Big Sable Point Lighthouse

The lighthouse at Big Sable Point was my favorite lighthouse on our latest Michigan lighthouse tour. Big Sable was built in 1867 and was originally named "Grande Pointe au Sable" which means "Big Point in the Sand". In order to see the lighthouse, I had to take a two mile trek up the beach. As I rounded a bend on about the last third of the walk I saw Big Sable sticking out among the sand dunes. What a beautiful sight! The lighthouse is open to visitors and I visited the inside of the lighthouse but this time I didn't climb the stairs to the top. I'll have to admit after that long trek up the beach my legs were a bit shaky and I couldn't quite seeing climbing the 112 foot tower. I was able to walk the grounds and took photos from all different angles. The walk was definately worth it, the views of this lighthouse were stunning.
Originally the lighthouse was brick and looked much like Little Sable Lighthouse. In 1900 it was found the the brick was badly damaged by the weather and the lighthouse was covered with a steel cladding. This black and white design is what you see today.