Holland Harbor (South Pierhead) Light
"Big Red"

1872

LAKE MICHIGAN LIGHTS

USCG PHOTO

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This light, commonly known as "Big Red", was not always as such. The first structure here was a white wooden one built in 1872.
Then in 1907 a keeper's dwelling and a much larger skeletal tower were built.
But in 1936 that tower was removed and the light was placed atop the keeper's dwelling and painted red to appear as it does today.

LOCATION: Outer end of S pier, on Black Lake, SE side of Lake Michigan

CURRENT TOWER LIT: 1936

CURRENT USE: Active aid to navigation

AUTOMATED: 1932

FOUNDATION MATERIALS: Pier

LIGHTHOUSE MATERIALS: Wood covered with steel plates

TOWER SHAPE: Square frame structure with 8-sided lantern room on roof of keeper's dwelling

COLOR(S)/MARKINGS/PATTERN: Originally was white (Light List, 1893) and became its infamous red in 1936

ORIGINAL LENS: Sixth Order, Fresnel 1907 --- this lens has been removed and the light now has a 250mm plastic lens.

NEAT CHARACTERISTICS: I found conflicting information about the lens at this light: 1893 Light List --- Fifth Order, Fresnel / 1954 Light List --- Fourth Order, Fresnel / USCG website --- Sixth Order, Fresnel. The Sixth Order, Fresnel is the one I listed above because it can be found on display at the Netherlands Museum, located at the corner of 10th St. & River Ave. in downtown Holland.