Friday, August 18, 2017

MICHIGAN CITY LIGHTHOUSE

Location: LAKE MICHIGAN 
Station Established: 1837 
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1858 
Pierhead Tower Lit: 1904 
Operational? NO (Pierhead Tower Operational)
Automated? NO (Pierhead Tower Automated: 1960)
Deactivated: 1904 
Foundation Materials: NATURAL/EMPLACED; Pierhead Tower: CONCRETE PIER 
Construction Materials: WOOD; Pierhead Tower: STEEL/BRICK 
Tower Shape: SQUARE (REPLICA); Pierhead Tower: OCTAGONAL ON FOG SIGNAL BLDG 
Markings/Pattern: WHITE TOWER ON BRICK DWELLING; Pierhead Tower: WHITE TOWER
W/BLACK LANTERN 
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL; Pierhead Tower: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FIFTH ORDER, FRESNEL 1858; Pierhead Tower: FIFTH ORDER 1904

Historical Information:

  • 1837 – Original post light replaced by 1st lighthouse built on this site.
  • 1858 – New lighthouse built 100’ East of previous tower.
  • 1887 – Light in lantern first lit all year around rather than just April to November.
  • 1902 – Improved kerosene lamps installed.
  • 1904 – Extensive rebuilding done to the lighthouse – including enlarging the single keeper’s dwelling to a duplex. Light tower removed from the roof and the lens was transferred to an iron tower above fog signal building.
  • 1904 – 1940 – Inactive lighthouse served as keeper’s house.
  • 1960 – U.S. Coast Guard abandoned the light.
  • 1973 – Replica light tower and lantern installed.
  • 2003 – Spiral stairway rebuilt.

    Keepers:
  • John M. Clarkson (1858-1861)
  • Harriet E. Colfax (1861 – 1904)
  • T.J. Armstrong (1904 – 1918)
  • Phillip Sheridan (1918 – 1930)
  • Walter Donovan (1930 – unknown)

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.