Traversing between Lake Huron and Lake Superior has always been fraught with reefs, shoals, and islands found in the St. Mary’s River threatening shipping to this day. This painting is about one of them.
Detour Reef Lighthouse is located at the mouth of the St. Mary’s River in northern Lake Huron between Detour and Drummond Island, Mi. A lighthouse stood on on the west side of the St. Mary’s River shore from 1857-1931 and it was similar to the open structure of Whitefish Pt. Light. Because of increased shipping running aground on Detour Reef, it was felt that the light should be on the reef itself.
The Detour Reef Lighthouse currently stands about a mile off-shore on Detour Reef in about 24’ of water ( normally). The light became operational in November 1931. The 39’ square light is two stories tall and constructed of masonry covered in steel and cast iron. The first floor is the upper part of the engine and machinery area below. The second story is the keeper’s quarters. A square tower rises from the center of this structure. The tower featured a unique 3 1/2 Order Fresnel Lens in the lantern room with a watch room below. The tower is 74’ above water level. The Coast aGuard took it over in 1939, but a civilian keeper stayed on until 1962. The light was automated in 1974.
The Fresnel Lens is displayed at the Detour Passage Museum in Detour Village. The Detour Reef Preservation Society has restored the light with much volunteer effort and now owns and offers tours and an overnight keeper’s program. For more details about the program go to : www.drlps.com
For more history go to:www.lighthousefriends.com
For a print or cards go to my website: www.michiganlighthouseart.com
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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.