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~ Standing By ~
Lighthouses of the Great Lakes
A Friday's Journal subscriber who lives in Michigan wrote to suggest that I consider doing a
page on Great Lakes' lighthouses.  Since I've loved lighthouses as long as I can remember, I
was happy to oblige.  The writer said the Great Lakes had many beautiful lighthouses
and she spoke the truth.  I've truly enjoyed this week's hunt for images.
 -- Nancy
The Eagle Harbor lighthouse is at the top of the page;
above is the Split Rock lighthouse; below, Point Betsie.
Cheboygan Crib lighthouse
The Great Lakes, on the Canada-U.S. border, form the largest group of
freshwater lakes on earth, containing 21% of the world's surface fresh water.
Betta Grise lighthouse
New Presque Isle lighthouse
Canal North Pierhead lighthouse
The large size of the Great Lakes increases the risk of water travel and storms
and reefs are common threats.  The lakes are prone to sudden and severe storms,
especially in November and December.  The Great Lakes' lighthouses have stood
Point Iroquois lighthouse
by through the years as faithful sentinels, and they've guided many out of harm's
way, but hundreds of ships have been lost to unpredictable storms and treacherous
reefs.  On the Great Lakes, lighthouses and shipswrecks both abound.
A few weeks after the ship sank, singer/songwriter, Gordon Lightfoot, touched by the tragedy, wrote the
stirring ballad, "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."  Every year, in the days leading up to the anniversary
of the loss of the ship, there are commemorative services to remember the men who perished.  In the
Mariners Church in Detroit - the "Sailors' Cathedral" - the bell tolls 29 times, as it did at the first event.
Big Sable lighthouse
Old Presque Isle lighthouse
Old Mackinaw Point lighthouse
North Point lighthouse
Grand Traverse lighthouse
Holland Harbor lighthouse
Chicago Harbor lighthouse
I'm creating this page on November 9, 2012, the same date, in 1975, that the largest freighter on the
Great Lakes, the
SS Edmund Fitzgerald, left WIsconsin, bound for Michigan, carrying a full cargo of ore.
By the next day, a massive storm was churning on Lake Superior, with near hurricane-force winds and
waves 35 feet high.  The
Edmund Fitzgerald sank that night, taking all 29 crewmen on board with her.
Excerpt from Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot
Algoma lighthouse
Marblehead lighthouse, located on southern Lake Erie, is the oldest continuously
active lighthouse on the Great Lakes.  The keeper's house is now a museum.
Big Bay Point lighthouse
Fort Gratiot lighthouse
A lighthouse off the coast of Minnesota
Tawas Point lighthouse
The Canadian vessel John B. Aird passes Menominee's North Pier lighthouse
~ This page is dedicated to the memory of the men of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald. ~
Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours?
The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay if they'd put fifteen more miles behind her.
They might have split up or they might have capsized; they may have broke deep and took water;
And all that remains are the faces and names of the wives and the sons and the daughters.
In a rustic old hall in Detroit they prayed, in the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral.
The church bell chimed til it rang twenty-nine times for each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down of the big lake they called
Gitche Gumee.
"Superior," they said, "never gives up her dead when the gales of November come early."
Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings in the rooms of her ice-water mansion;
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams; the islands and bays are for sportsmen;
Farther below, Lake Ontario takes in whatever Lake Erie can send her.
But the iron boats go, as all mariners know, with the gales of November remembered.