I could not resist painting “Wash Day” on Menagerie Island. We forget that the families that lived in the lights had to wash clothes and tend to every day chores. This backyard was a little different than most. The light was built in 1875 of native sandstone, the tower was 61’ tall with a 4th order Fresnel Len attached to a two story house by a 12’ long entry way. John Malone, a bachelor was made head keeper, but he was single and told to find a bride. He did find a 19 year old young lady and they married and had 12 children during their stay. The family could only raise radishes and lettuce on the island, but had a garden on nearby Wright Island. Records show that seagull eggs played an important part of their diet totaling almost 1,500 a year. The keepers and assistants stayed on the island May-November. They wintered in Duluth, MN. The island was automated in 1913. For more information go to www.lighthousefriends.com
Leave a Reply.
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.