Lighthouses I have Known and Loved

tawas lighthouse

National Lighthouse Day can’t sneak past me without a mention of my experiences with those stately structures. I didn’t truly understand, while growing up in a small town on the shores of Lake Huron, in Michigan, how lucky I was to have such easy access to Tawas Bay and the beautiful lake, with its moaning fog horn and elegant lighthouse. Years ago, the light wasn’t open to visitors, as it is now, but I loved the hot summer days when my parents would drive all the way out to the end of Tawas Point so that my siblings and I could gawk. Many a rainy night I fell asleep to the comforting sounds of the foghorn, in the distance.

lake_huron lighthouse map
As an added bonus, we often traveled north along the lake shore toward Rogers City, to visit relatives. This gave us a chance to view several other pretty lighthouses along the way, such as the one at Sturgeon Point, and when we reached our destination, near Forty Mile Point.


Michigan isn’t the only state to sport lovely lighthouses, of course. I had the opportunity to visit several that are situated along the Atlantic coast of the United States while living in North Carolina, such as the lights of Bodie Island (left) and Cape Hatteras (right). Quite the tourist destinations.

Bodie Island light NC                                      north carolina lighthouse

Years later, when a teaching job brought me back to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, I discovered an entirely new group of lighthouses to explore along the shores of Lake Superior. Several that had become private enterprises, such as at Sand Bay and Big Bay, even rented out rooms to overnight guests, which was great fun!

One of my favorite Michigan lighthouses, and possibly the last one I visited before moving to Texas, is pictured below at Ontanogan. It offers an impressive museum area to show visitors what life might have been like for early “keepers of the light.”

lighthouse Ontanogan

Although my writing was prompted by our country’s National Lighthouse Day, the title of this piece also opens its arms to encompass an important spot in Ontario, Canada, as well. I spent several lovely vacations there, near Bruce Mines (below), and couldn’t complete this post without including that memory.

lighthouse in Bruce Bay Canada

30 thoughts on “Lighthouses I have Known and Loved

  1. I love lighthouses too, and I’ve visited many of the ones you mention. What great memories are brought back by your photos, some very bittersweet. Now that I live in Illinois, I miss the Michigan and Wisconsin lighthouses, as well as many other things about those two enchanting states.

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  2. At first glance, I thought the photo was of our favorite lighthouse – Au Sable Light – near Grand Marais, MI. Probably used the same blueprint for many in the Great Lakes. Beautiful photos. Loved this piece.

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  3. Thanks for the post on lighthouses. Maintaining and restoring them is a labor of love by many. We recently visited several that carry our children’s books IF I WERE A LIGHTHOUSE and BIG SHIPS. Crisp Point Lighthouse on the shore of Lake Superior was a twenty mile drive down a rutty, chatter bump ridden dirt road, but the destination was well worth it. A blustery day of squalls made it even more magical as Rick (the caretaker) and I exchanged stories of the ghosts that haunt the tower. We also visited the White Fish Point Light Station (The Michigan Lighthouse Festival) and the Mackinac City Lighthouse Museum to deliver signed copies of our books to be sold in their gift shops. It was a Great Lakes adventure through a window when ships moved by the stars and with the help of those welcoming lights. There are still many operational lights on the Great Lakes.

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    1. I love beautiful Crisp Point, challenging road and all:) White Fish Point is special in its own way, of course. I’ve stayed overnight in the Coast Guard quarters out there where they rent out rooms. Very fun! I wish you much success on your wonderful books!

      Liked by 1 person

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