Petite Pointe AuSable was the light’s name when it was built on a sandy point jutting into Lake Michigan in 1874. The red brick tower and adjacent 12 room, 2 1/2 story keepers quarters rose out of the sand. All supplies were brought in by barge as there was no road at the time. It is one of the five tall towers in Michigan waters, 107’ tall with 130 steps to the top. The 10-sided lantern room still houses a unique split 3rd Order Fresnel lens. The bottom and center are fixed and the top third has 10 bullseye panels that rotate and flash. The first keepers were very happy with the tower being left its natural brick color as they didn’t have to paint it. But in 1900, it had to be painted white so it stood out against the background. Its name changed to Little Sable light, still meaning “little point of sand” and out buildings and dormers were added as needed. It was the last light to be electrified in Michigan and it was soon unmanned and later decommissioned. These out buildings and the keeper’s quarters were removed in 1958 when the Coast Guard took charge. The light was sandblasted in 1974 back to the red brick to save on the cost of maintenance.
The light was leased to the care of the Sable Points Lighthouse Keeper’s Association in 2005 based in Ludington, Mi. The tower is part of the Silver Lake State Park. There are paths and a large parking lot. It is open from late May through late September for tours. It is one of the most loved and visited lights in Michigan. Many an engagement has been made by this light. For more information go to www.splka.org. For a print 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.