South Manitou Island Light

1839

LAKE MICHIGAN LIGHTS

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This island was an excellent source of hardwood fuel for lake steamers who stopped at this natural harbor enroute to Chicago or the Straits.

LOCATION: On SE point of South Manitou Island, E side of Lake Michigan

CURRENT TOWER LIT: 1872

CURRENT USE: Historical Museum, part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore

AUTOMATED: unknown

DEACTIVATED: 1958 --- sometime later it was given over to the National Park Service. In order to protect the fragile terrain, nothing with wheels (including bicycles and wagons) is allowed on the island --- tour vehicles are present, but are only allowed on the main roads.

FOUNDATION MATERIALS: Piling

LIGHTHOUSE MATERIALS: Brick

TOWER SHAPE: Conical --- 104ft. tall

COLOR(S)/MARKINGS/PATTERN: White with black trim and lantern connected to cream-colored keeper's dwelling

ORIGINAL LENS: Fourth Order, Fresnel 1838 / Third Order, Fresnel 1871

NEAT CHARACTERISTICS: This island has miles of trails across it, pristine sand beaches around it, and virgin forest on it. The forest contains the world's largest white cedar tree which is more that 17ft. in diameter and over 5 centuries old. The wreck of the freighter Francisco Morazan is visible in the shallow waters, further testifying to the need for a light station in this area.