Four Michigan Lighthouses Will Celebrate Milestone Anniversaries in 2024

Four Michigan Lighthouses Will Celebrate Milestone Anniversaries in 2024

Little Sable Point Light Dunes

Four of our Michigan lighthouses will celebrate milestone service anniversaries in 2024, with three of them celebrating 150 years and another celebrating 100 years. Three of these lighthouse are open to the public during the summer months and will look to hopefully welcome record numbers of guests during this milestone year. Two of these lights can be found on the Lake Michigan, one is in Lake Huron, and the other is located at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula. Today we will look at the four lighthouses, take a look at planned celebrations, and tell you how to visit each one. Let’s get ready to celebrate Michigan lighthouses in 2024!

Au Sable Light Station 2023 Michigan

Au Sable Point Lighthouse – Currently maintained by the National Park Service at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, the Au Sable Point Lighthouse went into service in August of 1874. The reef here is dangerous for ships (you can visit several shipwrecks on the hike out to the lighthouse) as the water is only a few feet deep in spots near the point. Like the Little Sable Point Lighthouse, this one was designed by Orlando M. Poe, and it has a tower that stands over 85 feet tall. Other buildings at the station include a red brick keepers dwelling, an oil house, a fog signal building, and a second keepers dwelling. Tours are conducted during the summer months when a ranger is available. It is a 1.5 mile hike from the Hurricane River day use area and campground to the lighthouse, along a wide two-track. Make sure you stop down on the beach on the way out or way back! We anxiously await finding out if the NPS plans any special events for this landmark anniversary.

Spectacle Reef Lighthouse Tower

Spectacle Reef Light – Located 11 miles east of the Straits of Mackinac, the Spectacle Reef Light is more than 10 miles from the nearest point of land. Considered one of the greatest engineering feats in Great Lakes lighthouse construction, it took close to four years to complete the Spectacle Reef Light and it was the most expensive lighthouse on the lakes at that time. This beautiful light tower placed atop a concrete crib, marking a dangerous shoal in a busy shipping channel. It was chosen as the Lake Huron representative for a “Lighthouses of the Great Lakes” postage stamp series. The tower has a focal height of 86 feet, and is made of solid brick with a red-capped lantern room. Since 2020 the Spectacle Reef Preservation Society has owned the light and started the restoration process. They are always looking for volunteers to help with their work and the hope is that someday this beacon will be open to visitors in the way that the North Manitou Island Light and White Shoal Light have been. For now the best way to view this unique light is on an Extended Eastbound Lighthouse Cruise with Shepler’s.

Ludington Pierhead Light SS Badger Lake Michigan

Ludington North Breakwater Light – The Ludington North Breakwater Light hasn’t been around as long as the other three lighthouses mentioned here, but it will celebrate a 100 year anniversary at the end of 2024. This steel-plated 57 foot tall light is a white square pyramidal tower capped with a black lantern room. There is a prow-like structure under the light’s foundation, designed to help break up waves. On days when weather permits you can walk the breakwater out to the light, and during the summer months it is open for tours through the Sable Points Lightkeepers Association. Head over to the SPLKA website to snag a cool 100th Aniiversary t-shirt, and keep checking their social media for future celebratory events!

Silver Lake State Park Little Sable Point Lighthouse

Little Sable Point Light – One of our absolute favorite Lake Michigan lighthouses is also one of the earliest ones we visited. We have some great memories of Little Sable Point Lighthouse from visiting with our dad in the 1990s, swimming and kayaking in the lake here, and catching some incredible sunsets. Turning 150 in 2024, the Little Sable Point Lighthouse dates back to 1874 and is over 100 feet tall. It used to be known as the Petite Point Au Sable Light and there used to be a dwelling at the site as well. Today only the brick tower remains, and it is open for tours thanks to the Sable Points Lightkeepers Association. The beach here is also a popular spot for swimming and relaxing in the summer months. SPLKA has already announced that there will be an anniversary celebration here in the fall of 2024, and a special limited edition anniversary t-shirt is available for purchase on the SPLKA website.

Ludington North Breakwater Light

It will be a great year to celebrate big anniversaries for some of Michigan’s most recognizable lighthouses! We can’t wait to see what special events get planned for this year as we work to visit all four of these beacons. If you’re looking for specific lighthouses to add to your travel plans in 2024, consider adding any of these four and learning about their history as they celebrate standing tall for 100 and 150 years.