Located at the top of the Old Mission Peninsula in Michigan, the Mission Point Lighthouse is a reminder of what life was like for lighthousekeepers at the turn of the century.
To reach the lighthouse you travel the M37 from Traverse City up the Old Mission Peninsula. The 18 mile drive is beautiful with vineyards and orchards lining both sides of the road. There are also many wineries where you can stop and taste some wine. The photo above shows the first view we had of the lighthouse after we left the parking lot.
An interesting fact about Mission Point Light is tha is is located on the 45th parallel of latitude. That is halfway between the north pole and the equator. There is a sign at the lighthouse grounds showing other cities that also lie within the 45th parallel. It is interesting that many of them are also known for their wines.
On the lighthouse grounds there is a log cabin that was built in 1856. You can step inside and get a hint of what life was like in northern Michigan in the 19th century.
The photo below is the Hessler cabin.
At the lighthouse visitors can tour the building and if they are interested climb the tower for a view of Traverse Bay.
This photo shows the bay from the lighthouse.
There is plenty of hiking to be done on the miles of unspoiled trails surrounding the lighthouse. The photo below is shot looking back at the lighthouse from the beach area
We really enjoyed our day visiting the Old Mission Lighthouse. It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
The White River Light Station is located on the west coast of Michigan near Whitehall. This charming old light station was built in 1875 to help ships maneuver the channel between White Lake and Lake Michigan. There were many sawmills built around White Lake near the great pine forests. Lumber schooners would travel this route to bring their lumber to market. The light station aided in navigating the ships through the narrow channel.
When we visited the Michigan coast in July, I was able to visit the light station. It was decommissioned in 1960 and is now open as a museum. Visitors can climb the tower for a view of the chanel as it goes into the lake.
The museum in the light station is small but interesting. It has several scale models of the lighthouse that have been made over the years. There is memoriablia from the keepers that lived in the lighthouse over the years. It also houses the original fourth order fresnal lens from the light station.