Riding out the storm on Poe Reef Lightship

Poe Reef Lightship LV62 riding out a storm on her station

Poe Reef lies just eight feet beneath Lake Huron’s surface between Bois Blanc Island and the Lower Peninsula mainland. Terry Pepper’s Seeing the Light shares the story of Poe Reef Lightship LV62, launched on this day in 1893:

In 1892 two contracts totaling $55,960 were awarded to the Craig Shipbuilding Company in Toledo for the construction of four lightships. Designated as Lightships LV59, LV60, LV61 and LV62, all four vessels were built to similar specifications. Framed and planked of white oak they measured 87′ 2″ inches in length, 21′ 6″ inches in the beam, with a draft of 8 feet. In a cost-cutting effort, the vessels were un-powered, outfitted with only a small riding sail carried on a short after mast. Equipped with a cluster of three oil-burning lens lanterns hoisted on their foremasts, each was also equipped with 6″ steam whistles and hand-operated bells for fog use. Work was completed on the four vessels the following year, and after sea trials, all four were commissioned by the Board and placed into service, LV59 being assigned to Bar Point, LV60 to Eleven Foot Shoal, LV61 to Corsica Shoal and LV62 to Poe Reef.

With the words POE REEF brightly painted in white on her fire engine red hull, LV62 was towed to Poe Reef by the lighthouse tender Marigold, and anchored on station to begin her vigil on September 29, 1893. For the next seventeen years LV62 spent every shipping season faithfully guarding the shoal. With the end of each shipping season, one of the lighthouse tenders would make the rounds of all lightship stations in the Straits area, and tow them into Cheboygan harbor for winter lay-up. While in Cheboygan, necessary repairs and improvements would be made in preparation for the following season. At some time in March or April, the ice would break up sufficiently to allow the vessels to be towed back to their stations to stand guard for yet another season.

Head over to Seeing the Light for more about Poe Reef Lighthouse & the stories of all Michigan’s lighthouses compiled by a champion for their preservation who has gone too soon.

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Boating Back in the Day

from a 4x5 glass negative by Bill Dolak

from a 4×5 glass negative by Bill Dolak

Bill shares:

The VanBuren County Historical Museum (a great afternoon visit, btw) is sitting on dozens, if not hundreds, of 4×5 glass negatives. Some of them were on display on a light table. I snapped a few with my iPhone and did a quick conversion of one using Snapseed (an iPhone image editor), which was perhaps the first time a “print” had been made from the negative in possibly a hundred years (these types of negatives were popular between the 1880s and the 1920s). Here are a few I “processed” in Lightroom. Sadly, I am sure that these images cannot reproduce the detail that is likely stored on those plates.

You can see more of his scans in the Michigan in Pictures group on Facebook & in his massive Michigan: Van Buren County gallery on Flickr!

Heading Home for the Night

Heading Home for the Night by TP Mann

Heading Home for the Night by TP Mann

TP took this shot a couple of years ago & shares: 

This is an example of being at the right place and at the right time. The sun had set long ago and the boat heading in for the night. The light reflections added to the pure beauty of this beautiful evening. This from the pier in Charlevoix Michigan, located along beautiful Lake Michigan.

Here’s hoping you find yourself in the right place at the right time this weekend! See more in TP’s Charlevoix, Michigan gallery on Flickr.

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Happy Independence Day 2021!

Bay City Fireworks Festival by mark5032001

Bay City Fireworks Festival by mark5032001

Wishing all of you a very happy Fourth of July!

Mark took this shot back in 2010 at the annual Bay City Fireworks Festival. See more in his Favorites gallery & enjoy your weekend!

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Macatawa Masts

Sail Boat Masts - Macatawa, Michigan by Lita Sandy

Sail Boat Masts – Macatawa, Michigan by Lita Sandy

Here’s a gorgeous shot of the masts in Macatawa’s harbor. See more in her Other West Michigan Photos gallery on Flickr & have a great day!

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Sail into the sunset … and weekend

Sunset Sailing by TP Mann

Sunset Sailing by TP Mann

TP shares: 

This shot was taken at one of my favorite places for photos, the lighthouse in Charlevoix Michigan along Lake Michigan. This is a case of perfect time and place.

Indeed!! Hope you get some of those “perfect time & place” moments this weekend & this summer.

Check out more stunning shots in TP’s Explored gallery on Flickr.

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The Age of Wooden Boats at Presque Isle Harbor

Presque Isle Harbor by John Hart

Presque Isle Harbor by John Hart

There’s some names that you see again & again in Michigan. One of these is “Presque Isle”. It means “almost island” in French so you can see why Michigan’s peninsula right coastline brought that to the minds of early French traders.

The US 23 Heritage Route shares that Presque Isle Harbor offers the only natural harbor on Lake Huron with a new marina offering water, restrooms, showers, diesel, electricity, pump-out, gasoline, launch, fishing pier, dog run, grills, and the Portage Restaurant. The Old Presque Isle Lighthouse is a short walk up the path.

Check out the US-23 Heritage Route for more great summer touring options along this northeast Michigan highway!

John shared this cool photo of Presque Isle Harbor during the age of wooden boats. Check out his mix of old & new pics on his Flickr.

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Stormin’ Norman

Stormin Normin by Jim Datema

Stormin Normin by Jim Datema

Cool shot of a tribal fishing boat in Leland harbor. See more on Jim’s Flickr!

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Fighting for Fishing

via leelanau.com

Fishtown's Joy by Mark Smith

Fishtown’s Joy by Mark Smith

The Leelanau Ticker reports that the Michigan Fish Producers Association (MFPA) has filed a class action lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to protect the future commercial fishing in Leland’s Fishtown and the rest of the Great Lakes:

In its lawsuit, the MFPA alleges that the DNR is retaliating against the industry’s opposition to a series of bills considered by the Michigan Legislature last year. The complaint also alleges that the imposition of new rules under the DNR’s Fishing Order 243.21, which took effect January 8, was an attempt to punish commercial fishers for their involvement in the political process.

Fishtown Preservation Society (FPS) Executive Director Amanda Holmes says the complexities surrounding the laws for commercial fishing is nothing new for the State of Michigan and for Fishtown. “One of the reasons that Bill Carlson and his family decided to let go of Fishtown was because of the challenges to the commercial fishing industry — they fought long and hard and then decided to let it go.” (In June of 2006, the nonprofit FPS reached an agreement to purchase Fishtown for $2.8 million for the Fishtown real estate and $200,000 for the two fishing boats, fishing licenses and equipment from the Carlson family.) Carlson’s Fishery continues to operate as a processor and distributor, buying fish from commercial fishers and selling it locally and through wholesale channels.

Holmes tells the Leelanau Ticker, “Fishtown the place would continue without commercial fishing, but one the things that makes Fishtown so exceptional and special is its unbroken and documented heritage of commercial fishing for nearly two centuries.”

If the new fishing order rules stand: “The limitations on the fishing depths and the season alone will make it a challenge to fish out of Fishtown. What this means is that…a way of life is at risk of closure,” says Holmes.

Read on for more in the Leelanau Ticker.

Mark took this photo back in December of 2018. See his latest at Downstreamer on Flickr

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Blue Skies, White Sails & Big Red

Blue Skies, White Sails, and Big Red by Bill Johnson

Blue Skies, White Sails, and Big Red by Bill Johnson

Reaching back to September of 2013 for this tasty shot of a sailboat gliding past the Big Red Lighthouse in Holland. See more in his awesome Lighthouses album on Flickr!

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