Little Sable Point Light

DSC_1393 Security WordPressFor 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:

SS Anna C. Minch went down just north of Little Sable during Armistice Day Blizzard.

SS William B. Davock, Lake Freighter that went down 5 miles off Little Sable with loss of 32 hands during Armistice Blizzard.

SS Novadoc, freighter, went down two miles north of Little Sable during Armistice Day Blizzard.

Good, scientific info on the Armistice Day Blizzard.

Wikipedia on Armistice Day Blizzard

Edit: This is what this light looks like from the top looking down:

Published by dunelight

16 thoughts on “Security

  1. This is an interesting shot of lighthouse with its reflection. You know what, I had been searching for lighthouse in Wisconsin n North Michigan, which is at a driving distance, so that I can shoot them over weekends. Located in Minneapolis, I think Northern part of Michigan is closer to me.

    Thanks for sharing this pic and info.

      1. Thanks so much for sharing the info. I liked the concept of ‘lighthouse passport’. I would like to let you know that I plan to visit the Door County in Wisconsin this weekend and visit few lighthouses present there 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration you provided.

      2. I have been on the road; Pacific Northwest, did you see a lighthouse? I saw some in Vancouver, not nearly as tall as our coastal lights but great nonetheless. 🙂

  2. Gorgeous image. Lighthouses always have stories. A couple of summers ago I worked as a tour guide on a boat in Harbor Springs. The Harbor Point Lighthouse is off limits or even not able to be photographed, by land, to the general public except for a day every few years. Only those on watercraft are able to see its exterior. The keeper was a woman whose husband died trying to save sailors.

    1. I’ve passed that light in our sailboat. I’ll have to look up the story of the keeper.

      Harbor Springs itself appears to becoming more and more exclusive. When we were bringing our boat around from Huron I could not believe how much of the your marina was taken up by the DeVos Yacht.

      1. The little boat I worked on was docked right next to that monster. They sold it last year after he died. But Betsy’s smaller yacht took its place. It’s billionaire land for sure. The Harbor Point people are generally very nice. It’s the wannabes that are obnoxious (new money) and they have found out about this part of Michigan. I rarely go over to that area anymore and it’s only 40 minutes away. I prefer down to earth Huron side or up by Wilderness State Park.

      2. I would LOVE to camp at Wilderness and get me some good night sky.

        We looked from New Buffalo clear up to Empire looking to settle after retirement..we had to be near a Hospital..left Empire and Stony Lake (favorites) out so we chose Muskegon. I hate to say investors have found us. They do find that limited asset; public shoreline. *sigh*

      3. I went on a 12 mile hike out there last weekend. It’s a favorite for sure. Sturgeon Bay is magical. I’m cringing right now seeing all the new arrivals up here. So many douchebags.

      4. Entitlement. I hear you.
        We are in the rust belt. We’ve lost our tax base but with the closing of our stinkiest paper plant our city is courting big investors. We already have some outside wannabes and I do not want to be flooded with wannabes that have juuuuuust enough money to look good and want to be exclusive.

        We got lucky in my immediate neighborhood, mixed income and race and so many of us are civic minded, not in a ‘gonnawearmydesignergowntoexclusivefundraiser’ way but as in let us make this area better for all. People working quietly at their projects that help others. We all volunteer…well.. most of us. Some of us paint rocks and pick fights on social media. Whaddyagonnado.

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