Charlevoix Light, entrance to Lake Charlevoix, Charlevoix, Michigan
Location: ENTRANCE TO LAKE CHARLEVOIX, CHARLEVOIX, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1884
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1948
Foundation Materials: PIER
Construction Materials: STEEL
Tower Shape: SKELETAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE WITH BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPERATE
Original Lens: FIFTH ORDER FRESNEL
- In 1873 the Pine River was cut and dredged to allow shipping between Lake Michigan and Lake Charlevoix. Engineers knew if they didn’t protect the shores of Pine River the lake would fill it full of the sand they had removed. A pier was built to the north of the river to break the action of the waves.
- In 1884 a lighthouse was built at the end of the pier. It was a skeletal 30-foot structure. The upper part was enclosed to serve as a storage room and shelter. There was no keeper’s quarters at the site so if a keeper was caught in bad weather, they had some shelter. The lighthouse was first lit in September of 1885.
- An oil shed was built in 1890. A lifesaving station was built just north of the lighthouse in 1900.
- Due to deterioration, the pier was rebuilt in 1904. During reconstruction the light was raised on blocks. It was lowered back into place with new crossties and decking.
- Extensions and improvements were done to both the north and south piers in 1914. The lighthouse at the end of the north pier was relocated to the south pier. A red 56-foot tall tower was built on the north pier. It was lit on April 14, 1914.
- In the early 1980’s, the Fresnel lens replaced by a 300 mm acrylic optic, The light remains an active aid to navigation. The pier is open to the public but the light is not.
Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.