We had gone up to Alpena for the fall tour of the lighthouses in the area. We had signed up for an afternoon boat tour out to the island. But before we could go, Lake Huron became too rough to chance a trip out without guarantee of returning that evening. Staying in the keeper’s quarters without heat, electricity or food overnight didn’t sound like anything we wanted to sign up for, however it became so rough that the skipper decided not to go out at all and take on Lake Huron in a small boat.
Middle Island was originally the site of a very active life saving station built in 1881, about 10 miles north of Alpena, MI.. Behind the island was good anchorage during a storm. The Middle Island lighthouse was built in 1905 in a Victorian style buff-brick and stucco. It had a 4th order Fresnel Lens atop a 71’ tower. A Victorian brick 2.5 story duplex keeper’s quarters with 6 rooms per side was built at the same time. In 1953 the light was painted white with a black band in the middle, In 1970, the black band was repainted in reddish-orange.
The lighthouse and life saving station were de-staffed in 1961 The lens was vandalized in the 1960’s., but one panel was returned to the light in 2002 by a man that stole the panel when he was a teen. The light passed to Middle Island Lighthouse Keepers Assc. The fog signal building has been rebranded as the “Keeper’s Lodgel” and is open to overnight guests. Check out more history on www.lighthousefriends.com. For prints or cards go to: www.michignlighthoseart.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.