GSA auctions of three Great Lakes lighthouses underway
Online public auctions of three Great Lakes lighthouses have begun under the guidelines of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act. The lighthouses are Lake Huron’s Poe Reef Lighthouse, six miles east of Cheboygan, Michigan; Ontonagon Breakwater Lighthouse, Michigan, at the entrance of the channel leading to the Ontonagon River from Lake Superior; and Superior Entry Lighthouse, Wisconsin, between Superior, Wisconsin, and Duluth, Minnesota. The lights remains active aids to navigation; the lighting equipment itself will continue to be maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard.
As of July 18, Poe Reef has a high bid of $50,000, Superior Entry has a high bid of $10,000, and Ontonagon Breakwater has a high bid of $5000.
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Saginaw River Marine Historical Society offers rare tours of Saginaw River Rear Range Lighthouse (MI)
The first Saginaw River lighthouse went into service in 1841, during the period when large quantities of lumber were being harvested and shipped from the heart of Michigan to the East Coast of the United States via the Erie Canal and Hudson River. In 1867, the Saginaw River was dredged to enable the passage of larger ships, and in 1876 a pair of range lights were built to provide improved navigation. The rear range lighthouse was located south of the river mouth.
The historic lighthouse will be open for a rare public viewing from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Friday and Saturday in conjunction with a Tall Ship Celebration, which runs Thursday through Sunday in Bay City. A traveling fleet of more than 10 ships will enter the Saginaw River near Bay City for the event on Thursday, marking the beginning of the weekend’s festivities.
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Lighthouse keeper gets “honorary” street sign in South Haven, Michigan
After being wounded twice in the Civil War, Vermont native James S. Donahue had one of his legs amputated at the thigh. In spite of that, he went on to serve 35 years as the celebrated keeper of the South Haven South Pier Lighthouse in South Haven, Michigan. He was credited with rescuing at least 17 people from drowning during his long career. He earned a silver lifesaving medal from the government, but local residents fashioned him a gold medal.
Water Street in South Haven now has a new sign giving it the honorary name of Donahue Street. The idea came from local folk singer Pam Chappell, who wrote a song about Donahue.
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Florida specialty license plate features Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse
Beginning August 1, Floridians will able to get a specialty license plate called “Visit Our Lights” that features an image of the popular attraction. Built in 1860, the lighthouse — which has views of the Loxahatchee River, Atlantic Ocean and Jupiter — towers 108 feet high and has 105 steps to climb.
The Jupiter lighthouse joins more than 100 specialty plates in the state. In 2008, a plate featuring a Florida lighthouse was introduced to the program.
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If you have items of interest to the lighthouse community and its supporters, please email them to Jeremy at Jeremy@uslhs.org
Jeremy D’Entremont is the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history. He is the president and historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation and founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and he has lectured and narrated cruises throughout the Northeast and in other regions. He is also the producer and host of the U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, “Light Hearted.” He can be emailed at Jeremy@uslhs.org