BEAVER HEAD (BEAVER ISLAND)

Year Established:
1851
Existing:
Yes
Download:
File Type:
jpg (image/jpeg)
Photo Date:
2007
Photo Courtesy of:
US Lighthouse Society Archives
Collection / Donor:

LOCATION

Location:
MACKINAC STRAITS APPROACH/LAKE MICHIGAN
Latitude:
45° 34'26"
Longitude:
85° 34'27"
City / Town:
SOUTH OF ST. JAMES
U.S. State:
Michigan
Location County:
CHARLEVOIX
Country:
United States

OWNER & ACCESS

Open to Public:
Yes
Light List Data:
  1. BEAVER HEAD (BEAVER ISLAND)
Light list data courtesy Gary Riemenschneider

STRUCTURE

Year Discontinued:
1962
Year Tower Established:
1858
Tower Construction Material:
BRICK
Tower Foundation:
REINFORCED CONCRETE
Height of light above mean high water, in feet:
103 FT ABOVE WATER
Height, in feet, from base of structure to center of lantern:
40 FT
Tower Shape:
CYLINDRICAL
Fog Signal Building?:
Yes
Year Fog Signal Building Constructed:
1914
Fog Signal Bldg Construction Materials:
RED BRICK
Keeper's Quarters?:
Yes
Year Keeper's Quarters:
1866
Keeper's Quarters Style:
VICTORIAN
Keeper's Quarters Construction:
YELLOW BRICK
Other Structures:
FRAME ADDITION ADDED TO KEEPERS TO ACCOMODATE ASST. KEEPERS, OIL HOUSE, GARAGE, STORAGE BUILDING, RADIO BEACON (1962)

OPTICS

Active Aid to Navigation?:
No
Current Optic:
REMOVED
Original Optic Type:
FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL
Year Original Lens Installed:
1870
Private Aid:
No
USCG Access to Optics:
No

Comments:
  • Historical Information:
  • 1850: $5,000 was approved for the construction of the light.

  • 1850: A 158-acre tract of Federal land was set aside for the lighthouse which was completed in 1851.

  • 1858: The lens was upgraded to a revolving fourth order Fresnel with a flash every 90 seconds. Range was 16 miles.

  • 1866: The current Keeper’s quarters were constructed.

  • 1888: It was determined that increase in traffic would benefit from a fog signal being placed on the island. An additional 10 acres was acquired and $5,500.00

  • 1890: The siren used at Skillagallee light station was transferred to Beaver Head Light.

  • 1915:  The fog building was replaced due to extensive deterioration of the original building.

  • 1917: The illuminating apparatus was upgraded to an incandescent oil vapor system. The characteristic changed to a fixed white light with single flash every 20 seconds.

  • 1933: The fog signal was upgraded to an air “Tyfon” powered by diesel engine.

  • 1938: The illuminating apparatus was again changed – this time to an electric arc lamp.

  • 1939: The fog signal was replaced by an air diaphragm horn emitting two blasts every 30 seconds.

  • 1962: The light was decommissioned. The lens was removed and is on display in the keeper’s dwelling.

  • 1975: Ownership of the light and surrounding 64 acres of land were turned over to the Charlevoix Public School System who used the restoration of the light as an educational program.


Entered by:
t.wheeler
Entered Date:
Jul 20, 2017