Zdjęcia

Photographer's Note

In 1867 lumbering was the main business in Golden Township, where Little Sable Point Lighthouse is located. Since there were few roads, most of the lumber was shipped by boat. Shipwrecks in the area led to calls for a lighthouse. Since ships had very limited navigational equipment, lighthouses were an important contribution to safety, enabling mariners to determine their position. The need for a lighthouse at this location was first mentioned by the Lighthouse Board in their 1870 annual report. Congress approved funding for construction of the lighthouse in 1872 and land was reserved. Plans were drawn by Major of Engineers, O.M.Poe, and building began in April of 1873. The crew and supplies were brought in by boat. Construction of the 115 feet tower and 2 1/2 story brick dwelling was completed in the spring 1874. The light shone for the first time at the opening of navigation that year.

The light was produced by a lamp with three concentric wicks which initially burned lard oil, but later burned kerosene. A lens made of hand-ground glass prisms intensified the light so it could be seen for 19 miles out into the lake.

In order to make the tower more visible as a day-mark, the tower was painted white in May, 1899.

In 1911 the house was enlarged to better accommodate the keepers' growing families. Dormers on the north and south sides and windows in the attic were added.

In 1915 the light was changed to an incandescent oil vapor lamp, similar to the kerosene-burning Coleman lanterns which use a mantle. This produced a brighter light.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt abolished the U.S. Lighthouse Service in 1939 and jurisdiction for lighthouses was transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Electricity became available to the lighthouse in 1954. The Coast Guard then electrified and automated the light, eliminating the need for a keeper.

Keeper Henry Vavrina left on December 31, 1954, and the following spring the Coast Guard demolished the keepers' dwelling and outbuildings.

A land exchange between the U.S. Federal Government and the State of Michigan was approved in 1973. Michigan received the deed to the lighthouse and land in 1974.

To reduce maintenance, the Coast Guard removed the white paint from the tower in 1976.

The Sable Point Lighthouse Keepers' Association received a lease from the State of Michigan in 2005 and restoration began. In 2006 the tower was opened to the public.

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Additional Photos by Zbigniew Kalinowski (fotka) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 717 W: 10 N: 2220] (9139)
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