My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

Memorial Day weekend, the Lake Huron lighthouses

These are the photos I took of three Lake Huron Lighthouses over the Memorial Day weekend, 2013. I shot so many, and varied photos this weekend that I have to break them up into several posts. The lighthouses are the easiest ones to post quickly, so I’m starting with those.

I’ll have several more posts about this weekend, one of the flowers I saw, one on each of the two state parks I visited, and birds galore! I’m still working on Identifying many of the species of birds that I photographed, that may take me some time, as many are warblers or shorebirds, both of which can be very hard to ID.

Anyway, I’ll do the lighthouses here, and I’ll post a link to more information and detailed directions for any one interested, starting with the Sturgeon Point Lighthouse.

Sturgeon Point Lighthouse

Located just off US 23, just a few miles north of Harisville, Michigan.

The Sturgeon Point Light Station is a lighthouse on Lake Huron in Alcona County. Established to ward mariners off a reef that extends 1.5 miles (2.4 km) lakeward from Sturgeon Point, it is today regarded as a historic example of a Cape Cod style Great Lakes lighthouse.

History: In 1854, Perley Silverthorn established a fishing station and cooperage at this site. The dangerous reef that extends 1½ miles east from Sturgeon Point presented a serious hazard to ships so one of the earliest lighthouses in Michigan was built in 1869 and placed in operation in 1870. Mr. Silverthorn, the first Keeper, served from 1870 until 1874. In 1939 the lighthouse was electrified and automated and in 1941 the last personnel departed. The lighthouse fell into disrepair due to neglect and vandalism. In 1982 the Alcona Historical Society, under the leadership of Floyd Benghauser, leased the Keeper’s house and Lighthouse and restored it to its 1890s grandeur, using mostly volunteer labor. The light with its 3.5 order Fresnel lens, no longer used by the Coast Guard, is kept operational by the Alcona Historical Society for boaters.

Sturgeon Point Lighthouse

Sturgeon Point Lighthouse

Sturgeon Point Lighthouse

Sturgeon Point Lighthouse

Sturgeon Point Lighthouse

Sturgeon Point Lighthouse

Sturgeon Point Lighthouse

Sturgeon Point Lighthouse

Old lifeboat at the Sturgeon Point Lighthouse

Old lifeboat at the Sturgeon Point Lighthouse

Sturgeon Point Lighthouse

Sturgeon Point Lighthouse

For more info…

http://www.us23heritageroute.org/alcona.asp?ait=av&aid=6

The Old Presque Isle Lighthouse

Located just off from US 23, roughly 15 miles north of Alpena, Michigan.

The Old Presque Isle Lighthouse is one of the oldest surviving lighthouses on the Great Lakes. Built in 1840 by Jeremiah Moors of Detroit, the harbor light operated until 1871 when the keeper transferred to a new, taller, coastal lighthouse a mile to the north. The Old Presque Isle Lighthouse park is a complex composed of two main structures, a keepers dwelling and a light tower. The stone and brick tower measures thirty feet tall and eighteen feet in diameter. Visitors can climb the hand-hewn stone steps for a panoramic view of the Lake Huron shoreline and Presque Isle Harbor. Nearby is the one-story side-gabled brick keeper’s dwelling which serves as a hands-on museum. Here, visitors can blow foghorns and examine other interesting artifacts. They can also ring the bell from the Lansing City Hall clock tower. Tipping the scales at an impressive 3,425 pounds, this bronze behemoth is much bigger than the Liberty Bell, which weighed 2,080 pounds when cast. Visitors may also pose for the perfect photo opportunity with head and hands in an old set of punishment stocks.

Old Presque Isle Lighthouse

Old Presque Isle Lighthouse

Scenery at the Old Presque Isle Lighthouse

Scenery at the Old Presque Isle Lighthouse

Old Presque Isle Lighthouse

Old Presque Isle Lighthouse

Scenery at the Old Presque Isle Lighthouse

Scenery at the Old Presque Isle Lighthouse

Scenery at the Old Presque Isle Lighthouse

Scenery at the Old Presque Isle Lighthouse

Old Presque Isle Lighthouse

Old Presque Isle Lighthouse

IMG_4231

Light keeper’s quarters at the Old Presque Isle Lighthouse

Scenery at the Old Presque Isle Lighthouse

Scenery at the Old Presque Isle Lighthouse

Scenery at the Old Presque Isle Lighthouse

Scenery at the Old Presque Isle Lighthouse

Old Presque Isle Lighthouse light

Old Presque Isle Lighthouse light

Lake freighter passing by the light

Lake freighter passing by the light

A link to more info…

http://www.us23heritageroute.org/presque_isle.asp?ait=av&aid=326

The new Presque Isle Lighthouse

Presque Isle Light Station is a complex of three historic buildings including a lighthouse tower and two keeper’s residences. Located on the Lake Huron shoreline near Presque Isle Harbor, the “New Presque Isle Light” is the tallest lighthouse tower accessible by the public on the Great Lakes. Built in 1870, it replaced the 1840 harbor light. The light station complex is part of a 99-acre township park that includes a playground, picnic area, pavilion and nature trails. A gift shop is located in the original keeper’s quarters connected to the tower. Visitors, for a nominal fee, may climb the 130 steps to the top of the tower for a spectacular view. An unattached 1905 keeper’s dwelling has been painstakingly restored. It is now a museum that provides visitors with an opportunity to learn about local history, as well as how keepers and their families lived.

The new Presque Isle Lighthouse

The new Presque Isle Lighthouse

The new Presque Isle Lighthouse

The new Presque Isle Lighthouse

Lightkeeper's quarters at The new Presque Isle Lighthouse

Lightkeeper’s quarters at The new Presque Isle Lighthouse

The new Presque Isle Lighthouse

The new Presque Isle Lighthouse

The new Presque Isle Lighthouse

The new Presque Isle Lighthouse

The new Presque Isle Lighthouse

The new Presque Isle Lighthouse

Lifeboat

Lifeboat

Canon

Cannon

Lake Huron at the new Presque Isle Lighthouse

Lake Huron at the new Presque Isle Lighthouse

A link to more info…

http://www.us23heritageroute.org/presque_isle.asp?ait=av&aid=20

Well, that’s about it for this one. I had photographed the lights before, using my old Nikon and the lens I had for it, but wasn’t completely happy with the results. This time, I used my Canon and my 15-85 mm lens, and I’m still not completely happy with my photos. I tried to compensate for the distortion that I knew I was going to get with the wider angle lens, but the buildings still look somewhat askew. Sorry, I am not going to buy a tilt-shift lens just to photograph a few lighthouses. 😉

Thanks for stopping by!

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17 responses

  1. plantsamazeme

    Nice shots! Looks like you had a fun trip, I look forward to the flower and bird photos.

    May 28, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    • Thanks, it will take me a while to sort through all the photos, so it may be a week before I get them all posted.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:53 am

  2. I liked the lightkeeper’s quarters a lot.

    Verticals are a pest.

    May 28, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    • Thanks Tom, I tried getting the angle so that the distortion wasn’t as bad, but it still happened.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:54 am

  3. I think the photos are fine-I especially like the ocean views from the lake. I would love to be a lighthouse keeper, and even better on a lake where there isn’t any salt spray to harm the wildflowers.

    May 28, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    • Thanks, I think that you would love it, for it is like a freshwater ocean, as you will see.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:59 am

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  5. Looks like you had a beautiful day for visiting light houses! I hope you enjoyed your long weekend and look forward to seeing your other photos!

    May 29, 2013 at 8:41 am

    • Thanks Amy, it was a great weekend, the weather was good, I got a few good photos, and most of all, I avoided all the crowds.

      May 30, 2013 at 1:25 am

  6. Oh wow, such wonderful lighthouses you have been able to visit. I love your images and really makes me feel as if i was there with you.

    May 29, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    • Thanks Emily, Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state, unfortunately, few of them were built in particularly scenic settings when compared to those in Maine, Oregon, or Washington as examples.

      May 30, 2013 at 1:39 am

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  9. I love lighthouses & their history, I think you captured yours nicely!

    June 3, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    • Thanks Donna, I probably should have taken a few shots inside the keeper’s quarters, but they were filled to the gills with artifacts and I was short of time.

      June 4, 2013 at 1:40 am

  10. Great post, love the photos! Great Lakes Lighthouses have always held a special place in my heart since my grandpa was a keeper at Cabot Head (Ontario). Love the old lifeboat pic at Sturgeon Point!

    June 6, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    • Thank you! I am going to try to photograph most, if not all of the Michigan lighthouses over time. I’ll bet that your grandfather had a few interesting stories to tell.

      June 7, 2013 at 2:19 am