The Holland Pier light started out in 1870 with a white wood structure with enclosed top and open bottom. It had a 5th order Fresnel lens. In 1875 an elevated wood catwalk was installed. This was upgraded in 1901 to a white steel structure with metal walk. Then in 1907, a white very large metal fog signal building with a large loud fog steam whistle and an apartment for 2 assistants above in the gabled upper story and a connective passage connected to adjacent pier light with new 4th order Fresnel lens. In 1936, a smaller square tower was erected between the pair of gables on the fog signal and entire building was painted cream with maroon trim!
The change to “Big Red” occurred in 1956 when the entire building was painted bright red. to meet Coast Guard requirements that right side pier lights must be all red. The light was decommissioned and finally signed over to Holland Historical Preservation Society. The 4th order Fresnel lens is in Holland Museum for all to visit. The light had faded to “Big Pink” in 2012 and there was no money to paint it. Two local business stepped up and painted it for free!
Go to www.lighthousefriends.com for more detailed history.
For prints and cards of Big Red go to website www.michiganlighthouseart.com
Above 1913 sketch of white metal pier tower and new fog signal building
Current “Big Red” light
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.