Little Sable Point Light
For me, security is a lighthouse. Lighthouses stir feelings in those who take to the open seas; there is an exhilaration of ‘getting underway’ when you pass a harbor light on your way out, and a feeling of, I’m not sure what to call it, a feeling of welcome and security that warms your spirit (and eases shoulder tension) as you pass one on your way into safe harbor. That said, the Little Sable shots were what I had in a file close at hand so I am sharing her, a coastal light, today.
Little Sable sits in the dunes surrounded by the treacherous sand banks of Pt. Petit Sable (Little Sandy Point) in Oceana county. With the advent of GPS, radar, depth sounders, she is no longer needed as a navigational safety measure but she has a rich history of providing security to passing mariners.
Following the loss of the Schooner “Pride” on the sand bars off Little Sable Point in 1866, public outcries for a light were finally answered when Congress approved funding in 1871. Little Sable point was remote and construction was delayed until 1873-74 due to lack of roads to the site. A temporary pier was built on the point and everything, bricks, fresnel lens, tower stairs, 109 wood piles, foundation stone, ALL of it was brought in by sea.
Her foundations run deep and she is remarkably stable sitting there on those shifting sands. I love to sit at the top of the tower during a gale and feel her sway under me but when gales are up all bets for mariner safety are off. Five boats, three were freighters, went down in Lake Michigan with a total loss of 66 hands in the Armistice Day Blizzard of 1940. Little Sable looks serene in the photo above but it was different that day in 1940.
The light keepers and others were able to assist the freighter SS Novadoc and secure the hands safely on shore but things were different for the SS William B. Davoc and the SS. Anna C. Minch. Losing mariners on lake Michigan was tragic indeed but there was also wide spread unexpected loss of so many hunters across the upper midwest during the same storm. Men went out with fathers, brothers, sons, family and friends on a beautiful late fall day, many skipping work to go duck hunting, totally unprepared for the killer blizzard.
Ships that went down near Little Sable during the Armistice Day Blizzard of 1940:
Edit: This is what this light looks like from the top looking down: https://dunelight.wordpress.com/page/5/