Waugoshance Morning

Waugoshance Lighthouse - Morning

Waugoshance Lighthouse – Morning, photo by lomeranger

You can today’s photo under “dedication” as photographer Jason Lome hiked 18 miles hauling his camping gear in temperatures ranging from 0 to -20F to get this shot! You can purchase right here.

The Waugoshance Shoals entry at Terry Pepper’s fantastic Seeing the Light website tells the origin of this ruined light and of the significance of this site in Great Lakes Lighthouse history:

After a number of groundings in the early 1820’s, mariners began petitioning the Federal Government to construct an aid to navigation on Waugoshance Shoal. While the construction of underwater cribs had been attempted with success on the East Coast, the relatively short shipping seasons and thick winter ice of northern Lake Michigan appeared to make such an undertaking a daunting challenge.

As an interim measure, the wooden vessel LOIS MCLANE, which had been converted into a lightship, was placed on Waugoshance Shoal in 1832, thus taking her place in history as the first lighthouse to serve on all the Great Lakes.

In 1850, the decision was made to construct a more permanent light on the shoal, and work began with the construction of a timber crib on St. Helena Island. The crib was then towed to Waugoshance and sunk in place through the addition of large rocks.

…Exposed as it was to the full fury of Lake Michigan and to the great breaking fields of ice every spring, the crib began to deteriorate. Reacting to this deterioration in 1865, the Lighthouse Board appropriated the funds required to make the repairs necessary to ensure the station’s continued structural integrity, and quickly completed the work.

While the repairs of 1865 were considerable in their scope, they were no match for the relentless fury of the lake, and by the late 1880’s the crib and the soft brick of the tower had once again deteriorated to the point where major repairs were needed.

There’s much more to found at Seeing the Light including the construction of this edition of the Waugashance Lighthouse and how it came to be a ruin.

Check Jason’s photo out background bigtacular and see more in his Lighthouse slideshow.

There’s lots more about the colorful history of Waugoshance Shoals Lighthouse on Michigan in Pictures, and dozens and dozens of Michigan lighthouses.

Waugoshance Shoal Lighthouse, Revisited

Waugoshance Lighthouse - Revision 1 by Jason Lome

Waugoshance Lighthouse – Revision 1, photo by lomeranger

I thought that Jason’s incredible HDR – plus the fact that he paddled 14 miles to get this shot – was more than reason enough to revisit one of the most storied lights in the Great Lakes, Waugoshance Shoal Lighthouse.

The Waugoshance Lighthouse Preservation Society explains:

This treacherous area of Lake Michigan was the location of the first Lightship, stationed on Waugoshance Shoal in 1832. It was used to help guide the many ships through the area, now known as Wilderness State Park. In 1851, the Lighthouse Board decided to replace the Lightship with Waugoshance Lighthouse.

Waugoshance Lighthouse served until 1912, when it’s services were replaced by White Shoals Lighthouse. In it’s glory the Waugoshance sported red and white horizontal strips on a steel encased tower and stone walls that are five and one half feet thick. Also, it has one of only three remaining “birdcage” lanterns left on the lakes and is considered one of the most endangered lighthouses in the world.

Learn much more – including how the light was used for WW II training – at Waugoshance Shoal Lighthouse at Terry Perrper’s Seeing the Light and another photo of Waugoshance on Michigan in Pictures. Also don’t miss The Joker’s Ghost, a story from this lighthouse on Absolute Michigan.

You have to check this photo out bigger and in Jason’s slideshow.

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