In the late 1800s, the US boasted over 2000 lighthouses. That number dropped to 950 by 1995 and to just 600 today. Michigan has 116 lighthouses – more than any other state. The Detroit News has an excellent article looking at how automated lights, modern navigation equipment and shrinking budgets have contributed to the decline in both numbers and condition of Michigan’s lighthouses.
As the lights became unnecessary for safe navigation, the Coast Guard ceased to staff them and began to give or sell them to private organizations. In regards to preserving these structures, Kirk Lindquist, president of the Michigan Lighthouse Fund says “Money is everything. Some (privately owned lighthouses) are doing well but others go month to month, year to year.”
Read Turning the lights off in the Detroit News, learn more about how you can help preserve our lights at the Michigan Lighthouse Fund and read a bunch more about Michigan lighthouses from Absolute Michigan.
If you’d like some lighthouse pictures, try a search for lighthouse on Michigan in Pictures and/or lighthouses in the Absolute Michigan pool on Flickr!