Sunday, October 22, 2017

GRAND HAVEN SOUTH PIERHEAD LIGHTHOUSES

GRAND RIVER/LAKE MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1839
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1905
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1969
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: PIER
Construction Materials: CAST IRON; Second Tower: CAST IRON OVER WOOD FRAME
Tower Shape: CONICAL; Second Tower: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: RED
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE; Second Tower: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: SIXTH ORDER, FRESNEL

Historical Information:

  • 1839 – Original tower completed. Sometime later, a winter storm undermined the keeper’s house.
  • 1855 – New lighthouse built on a bluff.
  • 1857 – Breakwater built.
  • 1875 – Fog signal building built.
  • 1881 – Lighthouse constructed on pier.
  • 1883 – South pier lengthened.
  • 1895 – Light added to fog signal building, forming front range.
  • Circa 1900’s- cast iron tower built to replace rear tower.
  • 1905 – Rear light moved to inner end of pier. As a result, the 1855 lighthouse was discontinued and its 4th order Fresnel relocated to the new lighthouse.
  • 1910 – The 1855 lighthouse was razed and its masonry walls used to build a two-story keeper’s house.
  • 1921 – Cast iron catwalk built to replace wooden one.
  • 1922 – Fog signal building covered with corrugated metal sheeting.
  • 1988 – Lights added along the length of the catwalk.
  • 1995 – Piers and breakwaters placed on National Register of Historic Places.

Keepers:

  • Nehemiah Merritt (1839 – 1847)
  • William Haucland (1847 – 1849)
  • George Torrey (1849 – 1853)
  • Peter Vanderberg (1853 – 1858)
  • Jebediah Gray (1858 – 1861)
  • J. Belger (1861)
  • H. Miller (1861 – 1875)
  • Harry Smith (1875 – 1883)
  • Emanuel Davidson (1883 – 1900)
  • Frank Fraga (1900 – 1911)
  • Joseph Kilgore (1911 – 1920)
  • Charles Bavry (1922 – 1926)
  • Nels Enberg (1926 – 1940)

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