Three lighthouses you might know nothing about!
Below are brief histories about three lighthouses you might not know anything about! St. Joseph North Pier, Morris Island and South Haven Pier Light.
ST. JOSEPH NORTH PIER, MICHIGAN
– Before the towers of St. Joseph North Pier were built, Captain Pickering hung lanterns from his home window to warn passing ships on Lake Michigan to turn inland to head up the St. Joseph River. Captain Pickering’s lanterns lighted the way for ships from 1832 until 1859 when the first lighthouse was erected. This lighthouse was used for 47 years until a new pier light replaced it in 1906. In 1907 a sister light was constructed so that the two beacons could accurately line up with the channel.
MORRIS ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA
– The first sentinel on Morris Island was completed in 1876. Sadly, this lighthouse was a casualty of the Civil War. After the war, funds were appropriated for the rebuilding of the lighthouse. Because of the constantly shifting tides, all the buildings around Morris Island Lighthouse have been destroyed. Even so, the lighthouse was automated in 1938 and the first order Fresnel lens was removed. In 1962, the lighthouse was decommissioned due to the fact that the over 1600 feet of land around the lighthouse has been swept away. The lighthouse was due to be destroyed, but local citizens fought to protect it. To this day, it still stands as efforts are still continuing to help save the beacon.
SOUTH HAVEN PIER LIGHT, MICHIGAN
– The Black River in Michigan was the primary source for moving logs to the mill’s at the river’s mouth. The demand was high, so it was important for the area to make improvements to the harbor to make sure business flourished. In 1861, a group of business men decided it was time to make some improvements . Two piers were constructed to protrude out into the lake. The channel between the piers was then dredged to accommodate the many lumber hookers. Then in 1870, the construction of the South Haven Light began. It was an open 30’ wood tower topped by an octagonal cast iron lantern. To protect the keeper from storms and provide a lifeline for the length of the pier, a 75’ long wooden walkway was also constructed. The lighthouse has since been replaced with a prefabricated steel tower and the piers have also been improved. South Haven is still an active aid to navigation today.