Lighthouses: Purely Michigan

Ken Painter By Ken Painter, 9th Aug 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>North America>United States>Michigan

America's 26th state, Michigan, boasts more lighthouses than any of the other 50. There's a reason for that. Pick one out and go visit, They're leaving a lighthouse on for ya . . .

Lighthouses: Purely Michigan

Have you seen those ads on TV extolling the beauty of our 26th state the Wolverine one, with the tagline Pure Michigan. I sure hope so. I can’t think of any other state in recent memory which has gone to such lengths as to grab a film star as my fellow native Michigander Jeff Daniels who hails from the next county over as me to promote the scenic wonders and virtues of our blessed homeland. But then Michigan really needs you to go and visit, and unfortunately when you’re driving down the interstate, due to an unfortunate accident of geography while being great for the scenery makes it's all too easy for you travelers to miss. When you’re driving along I-80 in either direction east-west or vice versa you actually have to turn north to get into Michigan to see all the goodies, and then it’s fun galore!

I was lucky to be born there, and I spent two-thirds of my life there and still miss it tremendously. Michigan is where I began my love affair with lighthouses. After all the Wolverine State is home to more lighthouses than any other state in this nation. Yup, 161 of them in all! No other state else even comes close, but then Michigan possesses the longest freshwater coastline of any political subdivision found in the world. This would be due to its geographical location as two peninsulas situated among four of the five Great Lakes. The only one it doesn’t touch is Lake Ontario. Due to all of the shoreline with precarious shoals, reefs, inlets, river mouths, plus storms which crop up from seemingly out of nowhere on the lakes, lighthouses have long been a necessity to aid in the navigation of lake traffic for boats both large and small. Many of them are open to visitors. Photograph hounds like me love to seek them out. They seem to present to me a picture of that eternal beacon providing relief, safety, and security for lost souls seeking shelter from the storm, and God knows the Great Lakes have seen more than their fair share of them. Just play Gordon Lightfoot's rendition of The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and you'll know what I'm talking about.

Through the years I’ve visited perhaps over two dozen lighthouses around the state, maybe more. I’ve lost count. However, I’ve circumnavigated Lake Michigan and traveled the shoreline for a decent amount of both Lakes Superior and Huron on both the Michigan and Ontario side. Lighthouses abound, as well as native artifacts. During the summer, the weather is cool and comfortable making it enjoyable for all types of pleasure seekers.

Michigan’s motto when translated from the Latin reads, “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.” So true. Why not find a lighthouse or two and check them out? Some of them are on great beaches. You haven’t found a Michigan beach yet? Where have you been?


Lighthouses, Michigan, Travel, Travel Desination

Meet the author

author avatar Ken Painter
Retired Chicago public school teacher. Singer, songwriter, musician, author, & opinionated old curmudgeon. Married to my husband & living in Colorado, USA. Also a father & grandfather.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
9th Aug 2013 (#)

Michigan is beautiful, it is my home state. I am sure if you asked most people would not have thought Michigan had more lighthouses than any other state.

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author avatar Ken Painter
9th Aug 2013 (#)

Thanks Mark for this comment. I appreciate the insight. You raise a good point that I'd not considered. Yeah, when folks think of lighthouses first mentioned is usually Maine because of its rocky coast or Massachusetts because of Cape Cod. Folks miss us in Michigan because they never turn north off the interstate, and it IS lighthouse heaven!

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