Blue Hour at the St Joseph Pier

Blue Hour at the St Joseph Pier

Untitled, photo by Spencer D Hughes

If you want to take a look at the Pier from the beach, check out the St Joseph webcam. Have a great weekend everyone!!

View Spencer’s photo bigger and see more of his awesome St Joseph photos. Some seriously cool ice shots in there.

PS: Here’s a link to more information and a photo of the St. Joseph North Pier Outer & Inner Lights from almost exactly a year ago – lots more ice.

PPS: I’d love it if you’d become a patron of Michigan in Pictures. Thanks to all who have so far – I really appreciate it!

Promise Fulfilled

Promise Fulfilled

Promise Fulfilled, photo by Heather Higham

Although I just featured a sunset photo by Heather … Wow!

She took this last night and writes: A break at the horizon that spouted god rays all afternoon hinted a the potential for a lightshow at sundown. We were not disappointed, though we were very cold.

View the photo bigger, see more in her Sunsets slideshow, and follow Heather at Snap Happy Gal Photography on Facebook.

Click for more about the Frankfort Pier Lights and a super cool winter photo by Jason Lome.


Ice is Nice at the Menominee Light Lighthouse

Ice is Nice Menominee Light Lighthouse

Ice is Nice, photo by cohodas208c

I’ll never miss a chance to tout Terry Pepper’s Seeing the Light as one of the premier resources for information about Michigan’s lighthouses, as well as others on the Great Lakes. He packs them full of the history including the political maneuverings and economic reasons for lighthouse development and closure and peppers in (sorry – couldn’t resist) historical photos and pictures from his own visits.

The entry on the Menominee North Pier Light details the lumber boom that led to the construction of the first lighthouse in 1877 and the development of the iron ore rich Menominee Range. He continues:

The town of Menominee continued to reap the benefits of the Range, and as a result significant harbor improvements were undertaken in the 1920’s, At their completion in 1927, a prefabricated octagonal cast iron tower was delivered by vessel, and lowered onto the pier.

The thirty-four foot tower was painted white, and integrated with an attached fog signal building. An elevated wooden catwalk stretched along the wooden pier to provide the keepers with safe access to the light during periods when waves crashed across the surface of the pier. The octagonal cast iron lantern room was outfitted with a Fourth Order Fresnel lens of unknown manufacture.

At some point thereafter, the wooden pier was replaced by a concrete structure with a forty-foot diameter circular crib at its offshore end. At this time, the fog signal was eliminated with the inclusion of an automated electrically operated signal in the tower. With automation of the light in 1972, the need for daily maintenance of the light was also eliminated, and the iron catwalk was removed from the pier.

The tower was painted bright red, and relocated to a white painted concrete platform in the center of the crib. Its elevated position on the pier provided a focal plane of forty-six feet.

While the catwalk no longer snakes its way along the pier, the iron tower still stands guard over the harbor entrance, its jewel-like Fresnel lens replaced by a stark modern 300mm plastic lens.

Read on for more at Seeing the Light.

View the photo background bigilicious and see more in cohodas208c’s Big City Breakout – Dec 2015 slideshow.

Lots more Michigan lighthouses and more winter wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures!

Ten Years of Michigan in Pictures

Ludington Lighthouse by RJE

Ludington Lighthouse, photo by RJE

10 years ago today, I posted “A Pond in Bald Mountain” as the very first photo on Michigan in Pictures. 3000+ posts later, I’m still at it. RJE has been sharing photos with me for almost all of those 10 years – thanks to him and everyone else who helps make Michigan in Pictures something that is fun and exciting for me and to all of you for staying with me for so long!

View the photo from November of 2005 background big and see more of RJE’s lighthouse shots on Flickr.


Michigan Photo Calendars

St Joseph Lighthouse by Michigan Nut

St. Joseph Lighthouse, photo by John McCormick

Time to get your 2016 Calendars! In addition to being a great way to share a daily dose of Michigan with the people on your gift list, most photographers ship them directly for you making gift-giving easier. If you are a Michigan photographer who has a calendar for sale or know of one who does, please post link to any you know of in the comments below or on this post at the Michigan in Pictures Facebook!

The photo above is for January 2016 from one of my favorites is one that a reader recently asked about: The Michigan Wild & Scenic Wall Calendar by John McCormick of Michigan Nut Photography.  You can see them all and purchase the calendar at Michigan Nut Photography. Be sure to follow Michigan Nut on Facebook too!

More about the St. Joseph Pier light on Michigan in Pictures.

Old School Efficiency at Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse, photo by Frank Wulfers

Terry Pepper’s Seeing the Light has an extensive article on Copper Harbor Lighthouse that shines a light on some solid planning from back in the day … and some that was less so:

As was the case with virtually all of the lighthouses built on the Great Lakes during the Pleasonton administration, the true costs of inferior materials and shoddy workmanship began to show. After his 1864 visit to the station, the Eleventh District Inspector remarked that the Copper Harbor lighthouse required “extensive repairs.” On subsequent investigation, the condition of the tower was determined to be beyond repair, and the following year the decision was made to raze the old tower and erect a completely new structure. With old Pleasonton-era stations needing replacement at both Marquette and Ontonagon, and new stations planned for Gull Rock, Huron and Granite Islands, the decision was made to build all six lights to the same plan. Specifying a simple brick two-story dwelling with a tower integrated into the center of one of the gable end walls, this design would eventually become known as the “schoolhouse” style, as a result of its similarity to the design of rural nineteenth century one room schoolhouses.

The lighthouse tender HAZE returned to Copper Harbor in early 1866 and deposited a working crew and materials on lighthouse point to begin construction of the new main lighthouse. Work began with the demolishing of the old rubble stone tower, and excavating the foundation for the new structure. Under normal circumstances one would assume that the old tower would have been left standing until the new station was complete. However, an archeological survey conducted by the Michigan Technological University in 1994 showed that a large portion of the stone from the old tower was reused in building the foundation of the new building. Thus it is evident that the old tower must have been demolished first. What steps were put in place to allow the continued display of a light at the station for the time period between the demolishing of the old tower and the completion of the new structure are unrecorded. However, it is almost certain that some arrangement for the display of a temporary light would have been made.

Atop the rubble stone foundation, a team of masons erected a Cream City brick building, and its 42-foot tall tower capped with a square gallery with iron safety railing. A spiral cast iron stairway within the tower provided the only means of passing between the first and second floors in addition to providing access to the lantern. Centered atop the gallery, a decagonal prefabricated cast iron lantern was installed, and the Fourth Order lens from the old tower reassembled atop a cast iron pedestal at the center of the new lantern.

Seeing the Light has much more including old photos and an account of the Pleasanton Administration’s first draft of the Copper Harbor lighthouse. Before you judge Stephen Pleasanton too harshly, however, click over to his Wikipedia entry where you will learn how this James Monroe appointee helped to save the Declaration of Independence during the War of 1812!

View Frank’s photo background big and see more in his Michigan Upper Peninsula slideshow.

More Michigan lighthouses and more Copper Harbor on Michigan in Pictures.

A Force of Nature

A force of nature

A Force of Nature, photo by Dale DeVries

Dale took this photo of the Grand Haven Lighthouse yesterday and writes:

. . . Rita, . . . Sandy . . . Lake Michigan! Like the Weather Channel commercial, this lake which is only 60-80 miles across makes some of the best Gales of November! Grand Haven was busier than a summer’s day today, kind of disappointed I could not get a Pronto Pup or a Dairy Treat!

View his photo background bigilicious and see more in his The Best of West Lake slideshow.

PS: Heres’ the strongest storm on the Great Lakes – October 2010. (also at Grand Haven Light)