Here’s hoping that you get a chance to enjoy some of Michigan’s gorgeous scenery this Labor Day Weekend & also that it’s the LAST lost summer for a state that relies so heavily on tourism & travel & fun in sun!
Terry Pepper’s Seeing the Light has an extensive entry on the history of the Manistee Pierhead Light with copious information and historical photos. Terry goes deep on Manistee’s history as a lumber port:
Although the first sawmill had been established on the banks of the Manistee in 1841, settlement in the area was not widespread until the Chippewa relinquished their reservation by treaty in 1849, and the federal government offered lands along the Manistee for public sale. It did not take lumber interests long to realize the incredible potential of the Manistee which snaked a hundred miles into the forests, and lumbermen soon began lobbying for federal funding to improve the harbor and to erect a lighthouse at the river mouth. With no appropriation forthcoming, the businessmen of Manistee took the matter into their own hands, erecting a pair of short stub piers at the river mouth in an attempt to stem the deposition of sand and silt.
In 1861, Congress instructed the Army Corps of Engineers to dispatch an Engineer Officer to Manistee to conduct a survey of the river entrance. Water depth in the opening between the piers was found to be from seven to eight feet, and a 250-foot long sand bar with a water depth of less than five feet above it was identified 600 feet off the end of the piers.
…To serve this burgeoning maritime commerce, the piers were extended an additional 150 feet in 1875, and the channel between them dredged to a minimum depth of ten feet. With the main light now standing a considerable distance to the rear of the pierheads, the decision was made to replace the shore light on the north bank with a pierhead beacon on the outer end of the longer south pier. Click to view enlarged image The new south pierhead light consisted of a timber-framed pyramidal beacon typical of the type being erected on pierheads throughout the Great Lakes. With its lower half open, the upper half immediately below the gallery was enclosed to provide a small service room for lamp maintenance. Equipped with windows, the service room also served as a sheltered area in which the keeper could stand watch during inclement weather. Standing 27 feet in height, the beacon was capped with a square gallery with iron handrails and an octagonal cast iron lantern installed at its center.
Read on for a whole lot more.
About the photo, Heather writes:
I still can’t believe I managed to drag myself out of bed this morning. There were 8 minutes of pink light – and a stunning sunrise to the east that I completely ignored – followed by about 90 minutes of interesting (if not sunrise) light.
While Michigan hasn’t become the movie mecca that was envisioned when the state created its film incentive – in large part because it was abruptly gutted – movies are still being made here. Pirate’s Code: The Adventures of Mickey Matson, was filmed in Manistee and Muskegon and premiers October 16 at the Grand Rapids Public Museum to kick off their 160th year. If you click that link, you can check out the movie trailer! It’s opening weekend of their new exhibition “Real Pirates: The Untold Story of the Whydah from Slave Ship to Pirate Ship.”
Here’s a production skill showing Christopher Lloyd, one of the film’s stars, on the pilot deck of the SS City of Milwaukee, a car ferry that is now a museum in Manistee that plays a big role in the film.
PS: Every Friday & Saturday night in October, the City of Milwaukee does a really cool haunted Ghost Ship that’s a blast!
Today’s post might win the 2013 Incomprehensible Garbledegook Award…
Almost all of the photos on Michigan in Pictures are those added to the Absolute Michigan pool on the excellent photo sharing site Flickr, with occasional photo posted to the Michigan in Pictures Facebook mixed in. While that’s very convenient for me, there’s a whole lot of great photos on Twitter and Instagram too.
If you’re interested in sharing your photos and aren’t into Flickr, please feel free to use the “michpics” hash tag: #michpics on Twitter and #michpics on Instagram. If your photo is in some other place, you can tweet it with that hash tag.
Thanks everyone for sharing and I hope you get a chance to enjoy some of Michigan’s beauty this weekend!
Jiqing Fan took some amazing photos this fall. View his shot from Brockaway Mountain on the Keweenaw Peninsula bigger and see more in his slideshow. Past features of Jiqing Fan on Michigan in Pictures.
PS: Because I know someone out there is wondering: Yes, people have swum across Lake Michigan:
Vicki Keith from Kingston, Ontario, Canada swam across Lake Michigan during the summer of 1988 as part of an event that saw her become the first person to swim across all five Great Lakes. She completed this task in a 2 month period and raised $548,000 to help kids with disabilities.
To date, Vicki hold’s 16 world records in marathon swimming, and has raised over $1,000,000 to help develop programs for kids with physical disabilities.
A number of other people have swum across Lake Michigan, including a fellow Canadian Paula Stephanson, and American Jim Dreyer. Jim Dreyer is from Byron Center, MI. He crossed Lake Michigan in 1991, from Two Rivers to Ludington, and raised money for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America mentoring program. He got involved with the program when he was in his 20s.
Jim Dreyer followed triathlon rules as opposed to marathon swimming rules and therefore wore a wet suit for his crossing.
More beaches on Michigan in Pictures!
Michigan has 16 nationally designated Wild & Scenic Rivers. The Wild & Scenic Rivers Act of October 2, 1968 provided for federally designated rivers that “possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural or other similar values.” A 26 mile section of the Manistee River was added in 1992 from the Michigan DNR boat ramp below Tippy Dam to the Michigan State Highway 55 Bridge. On the Manistee’s page at the Wild & Scenic River website they say:
The Manistee Wild and Scenic River is well known for beautiful scenery, excellent fishing and a variety of recreational activities. In the spring and fall, high numbers of anglers are attracted to the superb salmon and steelhead runs. During the summer, walleye and pike fishing become the primary recreational activity. The river supports a variety of other recreational uses including wildlife viewing, hiking, canoeing and hunting.
Private businesses and government agencies have developed a variety of facilities and services to meet the expanding recreation demands of the public. Commercial guided fishing is one of the most popular activities on the Manistee River. The amount of recreational use fluctuates from year to year, mostly based on the fishing runs and local economic factors. There are eight developed river access sites within the wild and scenic river corridor. The Forest Service maintains sites at High Bridge, Bear Creek, Rainbow Bend and Blacksmith Bayou. The state of Michigan operates a river access site at Tippy Dam. Private recreation sites include Big Manistee Riverview Campground and Coho Bend Campground. The Forest Service developed recreation sites along the Manistee River require a vehicle parking pass under the Recreation Enhancement Act.
The Ludington Daily News reports that Michigan filmmaker Michael Moore was in Manistee yesterday morning announcing that his new State Theatre Project will support a community-driven effort to restore and reopen the 72-year-old theatre located in the heart of the City of Manistee:
“The people of Manistee are about to see what a popular, thriving movie palace can do for their downtown,” said Moore. “They will return the Vogue to being the crown jewel of Manistee. We will turn on the Vogue’s marquee lights, bring in some jobs, pump money into the economy and do it with a nonprofit venture staffed mostly by volunteers. The Vogue will show first-run movies plus documentaries, foreign films, kids movies and classics — something for everyone. The Vogue will be Manistee’s new town square.”
Moore explained that the Vogue perfectly fits the profile for his State Theatre Project, a nonprofit endeavor he’s funding to help replicate throughout the State of Michigan following his success with Traverse City’s State Theatre. Moore said, “It’s a wonderful, iconic theatre in the center of a downtown and the community is behind the revitalization and prosperity of both. This will provide the spark for the continued resurgence of Manistee and will serve as a model for other small, aspiring communities throughout the nation.”
Click through to read more. There’s also an interview with Travis Alden on Interlochen Public Radio about plans for the Vogue.
Water Winter Wonderland’s page on the Vogue Theatre has some great photos and a timeline. Michpics favorite Marjorie O’Brien has a photo in her excellent Michigan Theater Project gallery and writes that the Vogue opened in 1938 and was designed by Pereira & Pereira, architects.