Grosse Ile North Channel Front and Rear Range Lts. 1906 Detroit River, Michigan. Watercolor by Anita Saviko
I have taken artistic license with this painting as no photograph exists showing the front and rear range lights with the keeper’s quarters. From my research this is how they would have looked in 1906. I really enjoy solving these types of mysteries.
In 1894, range lights were established on Grosse Ise to mark the downbound shipping lanes. The front range light was described as a six sided wooden lantern room on top of a four sided wooden pyramid, no photos seem to exist of it.
In 1906, the current front range light was built. It is an octagon 50’ white wooden tower on a concrete pier. The old 1894 front range light it replaced was removed and disappeared. An old photo of 1906 shows the new Victorian style 2 1/2 story keepers quarters with the upgraded rear range light beside it. The rear range light stood until 1940, just the keeper’s quarters still exists as a private residence. However, if you look closely you can solve the mystery of where the original 1894 front range light wound up. It would appear that it was placed on top of the old rear range light base to give it more height. What do you think?
The interior of the front range light is tongue and groove varnished pine with an impressive circular wooden staircase. The light may be viewed by appointment with the Grosse Ile Historical Society. For more details go to www.lighthousefriends.com and for prints and cards go to my website: 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.