Captain John's Custom Photos & Framing

Michigan Lighthouses - Big Sable Point Light, North of Ludington Michigan

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Color Photograph
Color Photograph
Color Photograph

Construction of this 112 foot tower was completed in 1867 with $35,000 appropriated from Congress. Originally the lantern room used a fixed white Third Order Fresnel lens (which has since been transferred to the Rose Hawley museum in Ludington). The lighthouse is now equipped with a 300mm plastic lantern that exhibits a beacon with a lens focal plane of 106 feet above lake level.

The early years of this lighthouse were characterized by constant battles with beach erosion and brickwork deterioration, a problem not solved until the early 1900s when the tower and watchroom were encased in steel plates and the brickwork filled in with concrete.

Access improved significantly when a road was built to the station in 1933. To stem increasing erosion, the Coast Guard installed a seawall around the tower in 1943. The light was one of the last on the Great Lakes to be electrified in 1949. The light was automated in 1968

Left unmanned and virtually abandoned, the buildings deteriorated rapidly due vandalism and lack of maintenance. The original seawall was breached in 1977, and waves came perilously close to undermining the tower before it could be replaced. The lighthouse has been restored by the Big Sable Point Lighthouse Keepers Association and is open to the public from May 1 through the end of October.

Go back to the Michigan Lighthouses index page