The Charlevoix South Pier Light was first placed on the north pier in 1885. In 1914, the original wooden light station was moved to the south pier with it's fog bell that had to be rung by hand during foggy days. The structure had a 750' catwalk then.
In 1948, the current tower was lit with a 5th order Fresnel Lens. The tower is square steel structure 41 feet tall and is an active navigational aide. The Fresnel lens has been replaced with a plastic 300mm lens. In 2008, the custody of the lighthouse was awarded to the City of Charlevoix. The light is easily accessible by car.
In 2008 the light was still white as show in the Christmas Card, but in 2009/10, the light was painted red.
For more history go to lighthousefriends.com/Charlevoix. To purchase a print or cards go to the website: www.michiganlighthouseart.com
I have painted this light a few times, and in my research I found an issue of Great Lakes Lighthouse Keeper’s Assc. Magazine that featured photos of the top of the tower and it’s fancy Chinese Modern railings. I could not resist painting them to show the extra architectural detail that went into these lights when they were built.
White Shoal Lighthouse is the only red and white stripped lighthouse in the world. The 121’ tall conical light was erected and lit in 1910 to replace a lightship which had marked the shoal since 1891. It had one of the few 2nd order Bi-valve Fresnel Len on the Great Lakes. The light was automated in 1984 and the lens was removed to Whitefish Point Museum.
The light is now privately owned and being restored. Go to www.perservewhiteshoal.org to learn more. You may see the light on boat tours from Mackinaw City and get close enough to take pictures.
For prints and cards go the website www.michiganlighthouseart.com/gallery
I painted the lighthouse and grounds in the golds and oranges of a late afternoon fall sunlight. The foregound foliage is an old fashioned plant call "bittersweet" with it's orange berries which were growing by the lake shore.
The original light was built in 1853, but by 1870, the shoreline had extended, stranding the light over a mile inland to far to be of any use. The current light was bult in 187 5 on the end of the new point. The conical tower and keepers quarters are made of red brick. The 67 foot tall tower was painted the traditional white. The flashing white beacon was produced by a rotation 4th order Fresnel lens. The Tawas Point light was one of the first in the Great Lakes to have an occulting clock mechanism to make the light flash at specifical interval giving the light it's signature wink to mariners.
In 1953, the light again too far inland to be more than a costal light. The light was automated and closed., n 1996, the light was deeded to the DNR. It is now part of the Tawas Pt. State Park. The tower is open to the public May-October. It is an easy drive to the tower, but visitors must have a state park passport and there is a small fee to go up into the tower. Go to www.lighthousefriends.com for more history. Prints and cards available on the website. www.michiganlighthouseart.com
The Mackinaw Bridge is a lighthouse! The “Mac” was built to connect the two peninsulas and eliminate the need for a rail/auto ferry between them that had been in existence since 1923. Construction began in 1954 and the 5 mile suspension bridge opened November 1, 1957. The day the bridge opened it replaced the Mackinaw Point Lighthouse in Mackinaw City as the guide to boat traffic sailing the Straits.
It is a world class structure and must be crossed to be appreciated. For more information and an active webcam check out www..mackinawbridge.org For prints and cards check out my website www.michiganlighthouseart.com
Presque Isle is a peninsular about 19 miles north of Alpena, MI. and has an excellent harbor that steamboats used to stop for wood. But the harbor needed a light to show vessels how to enter at night. It was one of the few safe shelters from Fort Gratiot to the Straits of Mackinaw about a 240 mile distance.
in 1840, in a 31’ tall tower with a one 1/2 story keeper’s quarters built just north of the tower, the first light shown from 11 oil lamps set in 14 reflectors to guide ships into the harbor. A 4th order Fresnel Lens was added in 1857. The light was discontinued in 1870 when the new Presque Isle was built a mile north. A pair of range lights was put in place to guide vessels into the harbor.
The light was sold in 1897 to a private owner. The lantern room and Fresnel lens were removed. It changed hands several times over the years. In 1961, the owner purchased a Fresnel lens and lantern room and opened the grounds as a museum with guest keeper and wife. This guest keeper is still present as a ghost according to local legend and the light shines with no electricity in the tower.
In 1995, the light was sold to Presque Isle Township who maintains it and operates the museum from May-October. For more history about the light go to www.lighthousefriends.com/old Presque light. For prints and cards check www.michiganlighthouseart.com
Michigan Artist, Anita Saviko, Her goal is to research the histories and paint all Michigan lighthouses/range lights past and present, a total of spprox. 150 lights.