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Sunday, August 16, 2015

A Rare View-- A Day Spent on Top of the South Haven Lighthouse

Peering over the lighthouse's beacon at the Friends Good Will in the distance

   Every once in a while, an opportunity to cross off a "bucket list" comes along.  August 7th was just such a day. 

    If you have followed my work for any amount of time, you have realized that I spend a lot of my free time photographing scenes of the lighthouse in South Haven, Mi.  Growing up in the area and spending time as a kid on the pier, I always wondered what the view looked like from the top of the lighthouse.  So, two years ago, I added seeing inside the South Haven lighthouse and taking photos from the top to my bucket list.  On Thursday the 6th, the opportunity to cross of an item on my list came to me in the form of a text from a fellow photographer.  

The first ever Lighthouse Sit


She was invited to take part in the first ever Lighthouse Sit.  An event created by the Historical Association of South Haven (H.A.S.H.) during the start of the annual Blueberry Festival to raise awareness and funds to aid in restoring South Haven's iconic lighthouse.  Unfortunately for her she could not stay for her entire 2-hour shift and she needed someone to fill-in for her.   How could I say no to a friend in need, right?  Not only would I get a chance to be inside the lighthouse but also hopefully help raise some money for the restoration efforts.  Please browse through the images and if you can, donate to H.A.S.H. to help them restore the lighthouse.  I will provide links at the end of post on how you can contact HASH and make a donation.

   Upon entering the lighthouse, it was easily apparent the see the lighthouse was in need of a serious overhaul.  The white  interior gave contrast to paint peeling from the wood work and the stains of metal rusting were to be seen everywhere in lighthouse's interior.

View from the ground floor at the rusted steel
ladder that gives entrance to the
second level of the lighthouse.

  Rusted rivets,  bulged seams and holes in the metal flooring show the urgency of the restoration efforts 

Holes in the second floor as seen from below
Holes rusted through the second floor

Corrosion growing between the riveted metal seams
This small ladder on the second floor leads to a small opening to gain access to the third floor beacon room.

The beacon

I must admit,  I never would have thought the beacon to be so small.  I don't think that it is much more than 12 inches in diameter

The Spire on top of the lighthouse's roof

I have countless images of the lighthouse and every one the spire appears to be a smooth sphere.  But being this close to it tells a different tale.  It too has seen better days

Corrosion around the metal frames that hold the glass
in place in the beacon room

The folks that get the nod to do the restoration will have their work cut out for them.  It was really hard to find and area of the lighthouse that did not need attention in some form or another

Ok,  Now that I have depressed you all with scenes depicting the state of the lighthouse, here are some images that hope you will enjoy from my second visit to the lighthouse in the evening on Friday night.

A light rain passed through a gave us a small double rainbow.

The Friends Good Will Heading out for its sunset cruise

A Fishing boat coming in
The Day's Catch
A parting shot before making my descent back to ground level--  a sunset on Big Blue

If you are able to donate to the lighthouse fund, please do!  Your efforts will help ensure South Haven's lighthouse will be around for generations to come.  


Historical Association of South Haven Facebook page

Historical Association of South Haven GoFundMe link:

New HASH website:

You can visit any of these links to get information on the restoration progress and how to donate.

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