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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

For Lighthouse Lovers

I am fortunate to live near a big, beautiful, blue inland sea...otherwise known as Lake Michigan. It's vast. It's treacherous. It's very deep. And it's quite breathtaking. For centuries, lighthouses along the coastline of Lake Michigan warned ships of danger and guided them to safe harbor. In the state of Michigan, there are 115 lighthouses. These historical structures were a feat of architectural and engineering ingenuity...built to withstand the savage elements of wind, water and weather. Many of the lighthouses are no longer in official operation. Some have been converted to tourist attractions, bed and breakfasts or even private residences. Yet, today each lighthouse still stands proudly as a silent but majestic reminder of its unwavering service.
A beacon of brilliance, a shining light in the darkness,
a reassuring hope for seafarers of long ago.

Here are some photos I took of the 2 lighthouses on the pier at Grand Haven, Michigan on a recent sunny May day. The structures were built between 1875-1905. The square shaped building at the end of the pier housed the fog signal. The more traditional tower contained the guiding beacon. They are still in operation. A high, black steel catwalk connects the two lighthouses. Back in the day, the lighthouse keeper crawled or walked along the catwalk to access the structures in order to avoid being swept out to sea by crashing waves that washed over the pier.




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14 comments:

Oklahoma Granny said...

Just breathtaking! Those were some brave lighthouse keepers to crawl across the catwalks.

I would love to visit a real lighthouse someday. They've always fascinated me.

Willow said...

I love lighthouses, you are so lucky to live near one. The pictures are so beautiful.

Willow

Coffeypot said...

I understand that no two lighthouses are painted alike. Each has it's on distinct color and design. Sailors would know their location along the shore without a chart by the color of the lighthouse.

ReformingGeek said...

Ah, very nice!

The sun's out but it's still cold, right?

I'm fairly certain there are monsters below the lighthouses. ;-)

Sarah said...

love that beautiful red ligthouse.

ChrisJ said...

Beautiful photographs. Such a change for me to see a red lighthouse because the one near where I lived for many years is white.

Inspector Clouseau said...

I went to grad school in Ann Arbor for 3 years, and spent lots of time in Chicago on Lake Michigan. A very special place.

Joanne said...

Pretty cool! Lighthouses are fascinating!

J.P. Travis said...

Like many Grand Rapids residents, I've spent many summer days swimming at Grand Haven. Last time I was there, maybe eight years ago, I joined some young whippersnappers who were jumping off the pier (south pier, jumping south) and landed between two big wave troughs... hence there wasn't enough water to cushion my landing. I hurt my ankle so badly I could barely get back to my car. One of the dumber things I've done in my life.

Colonel Andy Weddington, U. S. Marines (Retired) said...

Beautiful! I have painted the lighthouse in Hope Town, Bahamas many times. I guess I need to pack my paints and head to Michigan.
www.weddingtonartgallery.com

Boomer Pie said...

J.P. Live and learn. And thankfully, you survived. Lots of nitwits jump off and drown or are swept off the pier by high waves and don't live to tell the tale. Not that you're a nitwit...hope that ankle healed nicely.

Dawn said...

Love the saturated colors of these photos! And the stories...very nice!

Kristen said...

I love Grand Haven!! Heading home to Michigan this weekend to hit the beach in fact. Great pictures. And thanks for stopping by my blog :)

Marla said...

Your pictures are amazing!

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