Silver Lake Sand Dunes, Lake Michigan
According to the specifications of the architect, 109 one-foot diameter pilings were driven into the sand nine feet down. Twelve feet of cut stone was placed on top of the pilings to build the brick tower upon. Walls at the base were five-feet thick, with the upper walls two-feet thick. Work had to stop due to the harsh winter coming on, but was resumed the following Spring. With the completion of the lighthouse, it became the tallest of the Lake Michigan lights, at 115 feet.
By the early 1900s, the tower had deteriorated severely and so was encased in iron plates, with cement poured between the original brickwork. To make the tower a good daymark, the keepers painted the lantern and the middle third of the tower black and the upper and lower sections white. The light was automated in 1985 with a 300mm plastic lens. Big Sable today is part of Ludington State Park.
One of the amusing and alarming stories of the
construction concerned the blasting crew and their efforts to level the
cliff for the lighthouse. While the day crew rested, the blasters would fill
holes in the rock with dynamite, cover the area with a mat of brush and logs
and trigger their explosion. The log cushion was not 100 percent effective
and stone and wood missiles of various sizes often rained over the camp, No
one, however, was seriously injured by these blasts. Countless holes were
punctured in the roofs of the three new barns, though!
On October 16, 1880, the schooner J.H.Hartzell, carrying 495 tons of iron-ore from L'Anse to Frankfort, was wrecked about a mile south of Frankfort Harbor. All crewmembers, except a female cook, were rescued by the professional crew of the lightsaving station and were aided by the townsfolk. The heroics were detailed in the 1881 Annual Report of the Lightsaving Service.
of 1880, a wooden steamer named the Marine City caught fire
near Sturgeon Point. She was carrying 121 passengers and a cargo of shingles. Several tugboats in the area converged to help the Sturgeon Point Life Saving crew save 101 of the passengers on board. On the grounds
you can see the rudder retrieved from the wreckage of the Marine City.
Built of brick, the ornate 110-foot tower, attached two-and-a-half story Victorian keepers' quarters and carriage house were completed in 1896. The Cleveland Lighthouse was torn down in 1895 and its lens, lantern and ornate metalwork were added to Braddock Point, giving it a highly-detailed gallery, lantern room and scrolled bracket supports. Cleveland's third-and-a-half order Fresnel lens was installed and illuminated the same year, making it one of the brightest lights on Lake Ontario. In 1954, the U.S. Coast Guard decommissioned the light, removed the optic and dismantled the upper two-thrids of the tower due to heavy damage sustained over the years from storms, harsh winters and later, vandalism.
"In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness".
John 1:4, 5