Photographer's Note

Two lighthouses sit on a pier that reaches into Lake Michigan from the shore of Grand Haven at the mouth of the Grand River, Michigan's longest. The inner light, the near one in this photo, is sheathed in steel painted fire engine red. The outer one was built in 1875. That one contains a fog horn as well.

The original lighthouse was on shore but was destroyed in an 1852 storm. A new one was built in 1855 on higher ground but then replaced by this one in 1905. The light keeper's house was kept on shore and sold off in 1956. The light of the 1855 tower was able to penetrate 18 miles into the lake and revolved once per minute. That light is visible today in a museum in town.

The building at the end, the outer light, looks like it contains a light keeper's house but in fact it does not. The building at one time contained boilers that powered a powerful fog horn. Today the horn has been replaced with a whistle type of sound. There is a warning that says to stay 100 ft (30 meters) from the horn when it blows. Of course it then goes on to say it could sound at any random moment.

The pier itself was built over time with numerous additions. Starting at shore it began moving into the lake and finally reached its current 1151 (350 meter) length with the the construction of the new lighthouse. It was shaped to resemble the prow of a ship at its end to help it weather the lake's storms. The catwalk was built to allow access to the two buildings during all kinds of weather, which can swamp this pier with ferocious waves.

And if you look carefully on the horizon on the right side you can see a lake freighter. I will let you see that ship up close in the future.

You can also take a look at this lighthouse in some impressive winter photos here.

Another member of TE,
Smiley, has some great photos of this pier and the pier adjacent to it in stormier conditions. One such photo is this one.

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Additional Photos by Paul Mastrogiacomo (pamastro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2679 W: 164 N: 2696] (7296)
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