Manistee Light, Manistee, Michigan
MANISTEE LIGHT, MICHIGAN
ENTRANCE TO MANISTEE RIVER, LAKE MICHIGAN, NEAR MANISTEE, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1867
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1927
Foundation Materials: STONE
Construction Materials: WOOD
Tower Shape: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: WHITE WITH BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FIFTH ORDER FRESNEL
- The first lighthouse at the mouth of the Manistee River from Lake Michigan began shining on the first day of the navigational season in 1870. An integrated tower sat atop a wooden dwelling and a Fifth Order Fresnel lens was fitted.
- A major fire that had been ripping through area forests reached the Manistee River. It jumped across the river and burned everything in its path as it headed south. The town of Manistee was devastated.
- The Keeper, John McKee, established a temporary light on a pole until the lighthouse could be rebuilt.
- In 1873 the new lighthouse was complete and appears to be a duplicate of the original. The original lens was destroyed in the fire and a new Fifth Order was installed.
- Two piers that were constructed to mark the entrance of the Manistee River were extended 150 feet into Lake Michigan. This meant the Manistee Light was now a distance from the water. The decision was made to establish lights at the end of the piers which made the Manistee Main Light obsolete three years after it was rebuilt. The dwelling was used as the Keeper’s Quarters.
- In 1893 the Manistee Main Light was relit for use as a coastal light. In 1894 the station was officially reestablished but in 1927 the light was officially moved to the north pier. The lantern was removed and the dwelling was sold into private ownership. The structure was moved to a residential area and is unrecognizable as a lighthouse.
- The pier head lights remain active aids to navigation.