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Little Sable Point Lighthouse

Work began on Little Sable Point Lighthouse in April of 1873. The 39 acre parcel that was  Little Sable Point Lighthouse selected to build the lighthouse was in an isolated area not accessible by any roads. A dock and temporary house were built for use during construction. Build nearly as a twin of its sister at Big Sable Point near Ludington, the lighthouse was completed in 1874. The conical red-bricked tower stands 107 feet tall. At the top of the tower is a black cast-iron parapet with curved supports. 139 cast iron steps lead up to the cast iron lantern room which contained a third-order Fresnel lens.

A one and a half story brick keepers dwelling was built behind the tower and was connected to the tower by an enclosed walkway. The first floor contained  Little Sable Point Lighthouse a living room, kitchen, bedroom and an oil storage room for the lamp. The second floor contained the sleeping quarters. A brick lean-to was attached to the back of the building for wood storage. In 1889, a barn was added, in 1892 a circular 360 gallon oil storage tank was installed, an in 1893, a boat landing and boathouse on the shore were built. In 1990, the tower was painted white after mariners indicated that the red-bricked lighthouse could not be seen during the daylight hours.

In 1902, a trail was made to the area, and wooden boardwalks were installed leading from the trail to the lighthouse. This made it was possible to bring supplies to the lighthouse by land. A brick oil storage shed was constructed during this same year. In 1911, dormers were added on both sides of the roof, adding a third floor to the keepers building.

Electrical power was brought into the lighthouse in December of 1954. The original kerosene lamp was replaced with a 250-watt electrical lamp within the Fresnel lens. In 1955, all but the tower was torn down.

The lighthouse appears today much as it did 120 years ago. In 1977, the white paint on the tower was removed by sandblasting.

Large rocks have been placed in front of the light to prevent erosion. The tower is covered by dunes, including several large ones a few hundred yards inland from the light, between the lighthouse and the parking area.

Directions: From US-31 exit onto Shelby Road and go west 6.3 miles to Scenic Drive (16th Avenue). Turn right (north) onto Scenic Avenue and follow the paved road, which changes to Buchanan Avenue then 18th Avenue, about 3.5 miles to where it dead ends at Silver Lake Road. Turn left (west) onto a narrow, curvy gravel road and follow it about 1/2 mile to the light tower parking area.

More Pictures of Little Sable Lighthouse...

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