A Look Inside the 1910 White Shoal Lighthouse, Lake Michigan
The White Shoal Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse on the Great Lakes, standing at 121 feet. You’ll find it, still operating, about 20 miles east of Mackinac Point.
The area in which it sits is a focal point that warned all ships of three separate dangerous shallows: White Shoal, Gray’s Reef, and Simmons Reef.
As for its genesis, in 1907, Congress approved the construction and planting of a lighthouse at a cost of a quarter of a million dollars. Finally, construction started in 1908, but when the winter months rolled around, work on the tower had to be postponed thanks to the freezing, snowy winters that made continuing unbearable and impossible. When the weather warmed up again in 1909, the workers were back. After another winter of shutting down, the tower was finally completed in 1910, and began operating that September.
The White Shoal Lighthouse has a good number of levels.
LEVEL 1: Mechanical room.
LEVEL 2: Bathroom, food storage, and tool room.
LEVEL 3: Bedroom, kitchen, and living room.
LEVEL 4: Two bedrooms and a toilet.
LEVEL 5: Bedroom and living quarters.
LEVEL 6: One room.
LEVEL 7: One room.
LEVEL 8: Service Room.
LEVEL 9: Watchroom.
When 1976 rolled around, policies changed, and the [position of “lighthouse keeper” was eliminated and automation was brought in.
In 1990, the Coast Guard painted the tower to look like either a barber pole or a candy cane, with red & white stripes. To this day, not only is the White Shoal Lighthouse the tallest in Michigan, it is the only one to have this particular “barber pole-striped pattern.
Now take a look at the gallery below and see what it looks like inside!
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