For over two hundred years, lighthouses have served as a beacon of light on American coastlines. The lighthouse symbolizes safety and security for ships and boats at sea. On August 7, 1789, Congress signed into law an act establishing federal control and support of lighthouses. But in 1939, the United States Coast Guard took over. Lighthouses have declined due to the expense of upkeep and modern navigational systems. The oldest lighthouse in the nation is the Boston Light on Little Brewster Island in Boston, Massachusetts. It was built in 1716 and is still operational. The Fort Gratiot Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in Michigan and it keeps watch over Lake Huron at the entrance of the St. Clair River. Want to learn more? Check out these resources about lighthouses from our collection!
Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state, with more than 120 dotting its expansive Great Lakes shoreline. Many of these lighthouses lay claim to haunted happenings. Former keepers like the cigar-smoking Captain Townshend at Seul Choix Point and prankster John Herman at Waugoshance Shoal near Mackinaw City maintain their watch long after death ended their duties. At White River Light Station in Whitehall, Sarah Robinson still keeps a clean and tidy house, and a mysterious young girl at the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse seeks out other children and female companions. Countless spirits remain between Whitefish Point and Point Iroquois in an area well known for its many tragic shipwrecks. Join author and Promote Michigan founder Dianna Stampfler as she recounts the tales from Michigan's ghostly beacons.
With rare archival blueprints and stories of daring adventure, Lighthouse captures the romance and awe-inspiring history of these isolated, life-saving towers, along with the incredible feats of engineering and invention it took to create them. Beginning in the 18th century and ending in the mid-19th century, this book examines these iconic buildings from every angle, chronicling the evolution of lighthouse design; the tremendous obstacles overcome during construction and upkeep; the thrilling tales of heroism and mercilessness of the seas; and the daily lives of the dedicated and often long-suffering keepers. With over 350 illustrations, this seasonless gift book provides the tales and original architectural plans for beloved lighthouses found throughout the world, including Eddystone, Sandy Hook, Montauk Point, Stannard Rock, Borkum Grosser, Green Point, Tillamook Rock, Cape Hatteras, Erie Harbor, and many more.