Sunday, October 22, 2017

FRYING PAN ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE

ST. MARY’S RIVER, LAKE HURON, NEAR DETOUR VILLAGE, MI
Station Established: 1879
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1882
Operational? NO
Automated? N/A
Deactivated: UNKNOWN
Foundation Materials: EMPLACED
Construction Materials: CAST IRON
Tower Shape: HEXAGONAL 
Markings/Pattern: BROWN, LATER PAINTED WHITE
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPERATE
Original Lens: SIXTH ORDER, FRESNEL

Historical Information:

  • The Frying Pan Light was built on a small island to warn of the Frying Pan Shoal on the St. Mary’s River. It served as a front range light with the light on Pipe Island.
  • To keep the cost of the light station down, the tower did not have a brick lining, any type of work or storage space or a dwelling for the keeper.
  • The light was lit in September of 1882. A storage building was added to the station in 1884. It was outfitted with a bunk, shelves and cleaning table to accommodate a keeper.
  • Originally brown the tower was painted white for easier visibility in 1894. In 1902 the Lighthouse Board requested funds for a more substantial keeper’s quarters since a keeper was living in the storage building. There is no record if the dwelling was ever built.
  • At some point a pole light replace the tower. The tower was moved to the Sault Ste. Marie Coast Guard station where it was restored and displayed. It remains there today.

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