Saginaw River Rear Range Light

1841 original light / 1876 Range Lights

(This is the 1876 Rear Range Light)

Saginaw River Marine Historical
Society Photo

(This is the Front Range Light circa 1900)


The Sagana Bay Light was built in 1841, after residents from Sagana County sent petitions to Congress about their unlit river entrance.
(Note: Until the 1870's Sagana was the early spelling for Saginaw.)
By the 1870's the original light was in poor condition, so it was replaced by the Range Lights in 1876.

LOCATION: West bank Saginaw River mouth, Saginaw Bay, SW side of Lake Huron

CURRENT TOWER LIT: Front Range Light was rebuilt in 1915 and Rear Range Light was rebuilt in 1911

CURRENT USE: Dow Chemical & Saginaw River Marine Historical Society plan to operate a museum inside the lighthouse once restoration is complete

AUTOMATED: Yes (USCG Light List, 1954, has both Range Lights with electric reflectors)

DEACTIVATED: 1960 --- property was at some point sold to Dow Chemical Company who is now working with the Saginaw River Marine Historical Society to restore this lighthouse to the way it looked in the 1950's.

FOUNDATION MATERIALS: 1841 --- Unknown / 1876 --- Front Range was on crib and Rear Range was unknown

LIGHTHOUSE MATERIALS: 1841 --- Wood / 1876 --- Front Range was unknown and Rear Range was Brick

TOWER SHAPE: 1841 --- Square integral / 1876 --- Front Range was Square, pyramidal open framework and Rear Range was Square

COLOR(S)/MARKINGS/PATTERN: 1841 --- White / 1876 --- Front Range was red and Rear Range was yellow

ORIGINAL LENS: 1841 --- Sixth Order, Fresnel 1856 / 1876 --- Front Range had a Sixth Order, Fresnel and Rear Range had a Fourth Order, Fresnel

NEAT CHARACTERISTICS: The concept of Range Lights was born here --- Dewitt C. Brawn, the 15 year-old son of the keeper, had an idea that two oil lamps could be hoisted atop two towers, and captains could line them up and be guided into the river. It was very successful, and now this system is used worldwide.