Visit the Gladstone Lighthouse, One of Michigan’s Newest Beacons
We love Michigan lighthouses and are always on the hunt to visit ones we haven’t been to before. On a trip to the Upper Peninsula this summer, we stopped at Gladstone’s harbor and Van Cleve Park on our way to Escanaba and were able to visit the Gladstone Lighthouse. This is one of Michigan’s newest lighthouses, and an excellent addition to a waterfront park that is one of the top draws in the area.
Information about this lighthouse was hard to come by on the internet, so we reached out to Jason Davis, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Gladstone. Mr. Davis was incredibly helpful and nailed down some information for us that we’re happy to share with you today.
The lighthouse was part of a Phase 1 Harbor Point project that started in late 2009 and ended in July of 2010. This project involved building a new fish cleaning station, adding and improving sidewalks, the parking lot, flower beds, and replacing the metal tower navigation light with the current lighthouse. The work was done by Olsen and Olsen Building Contractors of Manistique. With a 2010 erection date, this lighthouse is even newer than the Wawatam Lighthouse in St. Ignace.
The Gladstone lighthouse stands tall in the harbor with a height of around 30 feet. Its lantern is an electric powered “breakwater light with a FA-249 Marine lantern, class “C” with green array.”
There is a sculpture located next to the lighthouse that was added to the site in 2016. It is called “The Captain and the Kid,” and is a 700 pound bronze sculpture by local artist Andy Sacksteder. This is the third casting of this statue, you can read about where the other two are located and what the inspiration was for this piece at https://www.dailypress.net/news/local-news/2016/11/the-captain-and-the-kid-comes-to-gladstone-shore/. We felt this was a perfect addition to the park, as its nautical theme fit perfectly with the lighthouse and an area that is incredibly popular for fishing. If Sacksteder’s name sounds familiar, that’s because we love his Ernest Hemingway statue in Petoskey and his work that has been displayed at ArtPrize.
In addition to the lighthouse, Gladstone’s harbor “offers amenities for both transient and seasonal boaters, including wireless internet. The harbor is officially open from May 26th through Labor Day. Find out more at http://www.gladstonemi.org/community/parks_and_recreation/harbor.php.
Other attractions at Van Cleve Park include a beach, a large playground for kids, an island gazebo, fields and courts for sports (horseshoes, volleyball, softball, basketball), a skate park, a fitness course, and bathhouse facilities. Lighthouse fans checking out this area will want to visit the Sand Point Lighthouse in Escanaba as well, nearby waterfalls include Rapid River Falls and Haymeadow Falls.