Tag Archives: Great Lakes

Lighthouses of Michigan’s Upper Thumb


 

Port Austin Reef Lighthouse

The light was first lit in 1878, and its pier was modified in 1899. It is still operational and is automated. The foundation materials are a pier, and the tower is constructed of yellow brick, with buff markings. It is an octagonal, 60-foot tall tower, with an attached keeper house. However, the focal plain is 76 feet (23 m). It originally had a fourth-order Fresnel lens  by Henry Lepaute of Paris and installed in 1899. In 1985 the lens was replaced by a 12-volt solar-powered Tideland Signal 300 mm acrylic optic,which eliminated the need to maintain the submarine cable.

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Photo by Douglas Glancy via Flickr

Charity Island Light

The octagonal cast iron lantern displayed a fixed white Fourth Order Fresnel lens light which was constructed in 1857 with a 39-foot tower which provided a 13-nautical-mile range of visibility. The Charity Island Preservation Committee of the Arenac County Historical Society is restoring the tower. The original keeper’s house was razed, and a new restored private residence has been built in its place and on its foundation.It is being operated as a restaurant and a bed and breakfast.

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Photo by headclown8 via Flickr

Port Aux Barques Light

The Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse ranks among the ten oldest lighthouses in Michigan. It is an active lighthouse maintained by the US Coast Guard remotely, located in Lighthouse County Park on Lake Huron near Port Hope, Michigan in Huron County. “Pointe aux Barques” means ‘Point of Little Boats’, a descriptor of the shallow shoals and reefs that lurk beneath these waves, presenting a hazard to boats as they round Michigan’s Thumb.

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Harbor Beach Lighthouse

The Harbor Beach Lighthouse is a “spark-plug lighthouse” located at the end of the north break-wall entrance to the harbor of refuge on Lake Huron.The break-wall and light were created by the United States Army Corps of Engineers to protect the harbor of Harbor Beach, Michigan, which is the largest man-made freshwater harbor in the world. Harbor Beach is located on the eastern edge of the Thumb of Huron County, in the state of Michigan.

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Great Hints for a Day at Cheeseburger in Caseville


The 19th annual Cheeseburger in Caseville is well underway. While rain on Monday dampened some of the evening festivities the weather looks promising for the rest of the week. In years past, official estimates were that  over 100,000 people visited Caseville during its 10 day festival. It’s a family friendly event during the day but offers a bit of craziness that true Parrot Heads appreciate. Here are some hints provided by those who frequent the event each year.


Be Prepared – This includes having your own water, a rain jacket and comfortable walking shoes. Have a small Cheeseburger in Casevillebackpack with snacks, sunscreen and even a change of clothes. Double on this point if your bringing kids!!


Gas Up Before You Arrive – If your getting here on fumes gas up in Elkton, Kinde, Bay Port, Port Austin or Bad Axe. Main street in Caseville gets busy and packed. You will feel better knowing you can get out without waiting an hour in line for a few gallons of gas.Cheeseburger in Caseville


Set Up a Base Camp – Park your car and plan on walking around. Park a few blocks away from Main so you can get easy in and out. Parking is crazy in the Caseville County Park or near Main Street. Do not park on someones lawn.


Do Not Drink on the Street – This is not New Orleans Mardi Gras. Open alcohol containers are a no-no. You will see the un-informed with a open beer walking down the street. They are a target for a ticket. Drink in designated areas.

 


Be Informed of Events – Grab a free Event Calendar from Caseville Chamber of Commerce. There are also several Smartphone apps available.

 


Set up For the Parade of Tropical Fools Early – This is the highlight of the whole festival. By late morning on Wednesday Cheeseburger Paradeyou should claim a spot for your clan with chairs and ribbon. Be cool about it. There will be up to 50,000 friends with you.

 


Support Your Local Firefighters – The Caseville Fire Department only offers its famous Firehouse Burgers on the first Saturday. Its for a great cause and they are delicious.


Use the Porta Pottys – Guys and Gals, public urination will get you arrested.Fortunately there are hundreds of portal toilets.


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Relax and Have Fun – Make a new friend, help a senior citizen, take crazy pictures and post. Its Key North and the best part of the summer.


Plan B- Do Something Else – If you, or your kids have had enough #CheeseburgerFest and crowds, try something else. Our 13 Things to Do When Your Bored with Cheeseburger in Caseville. has several fresh ideas.

“All Hands On Deck”


The term “All Hands On Deck” is used to indicate (the need for) the immediate involvement or efforts of all the members of a party, or of a large number of people, especially in an emergency. The rapid and determental changes proposed by the current Administration against the ongoing funding to restore the Great Lakes have alarmed the entire region. There is a grass roots effort now underway to generate awareness and action that we can clearly see other people are concerned and share the value of keeping and restoring the Great Lakes for generations to come. 

great-lakes-spaceThe Great Lakes –Superior, Huron, Michigan, St. Clair, Ontario and Erie – make up the largest body of fresh water on Earth, accounting for one-fifth of the freshwater surface on the planet. 40 Million people get their drinking water from the Great Lakes.

But the Great Lakes are being threatened. Some of the threats are: Invasive species like carp and zebra mussels, radioactive waste to be dumped in Lake Huron, sewage overflows in Erie and other head waterways, pipelines that leak, water bottling companies with unlimited access to our water, manufacturing waste run off, funding cut backs of the NOAA that monitors changes in the Great Lakes and Coast Guard cuts that maintain the safety of all who enjoy our Great waters.

In early March, Kimberly Simon of Charlevoix, Michigan was meditating after hearing about proposed budget cuts to the GLRI (Great Lakes Restoration Initiative) and envisioned an “All Hands On Deck” event where people would join hands all around the Great Lakes. Currently there are over 50 events planned in five states and in Canada. More than 1,400 people have joined the All Hands On Deck discussion group on Facebook.

 “The idea resonates with people across a very broad region because they all realize theimage Great Lakes are precious resources that are essential for our environment, our economies and our way of life,” Simon said. “Sites may differ by community but on beaches or boardwalks or any other places, the intention is the same; to bring people together in an expression of unified concern about something we all can agree on. We all want to take care for our Great Lakes.”

Simon said the goal of All Hands On Deck is to unite communities around the Great Lakes in a non-partisan way and demonstrate the need to base policies for regulating and researching water issues on science.

Thumb Sun RiseI personally live on an inland lake in Michigan but vacation every year on one of the Great Lakes. Nothing compares to the beauty and majesty of the Great Lakes and its beaches! I, along with my family and some friends, became involved with Kimberly’s efforts and will be Captains of events in Port Austin and Caseville. This is a nonpartisan event for all ages and we invite all to come to join us on the beach or join us in your boat on the water.

Information is available at www.allhandsondeckgreatlakes.org

I can be contacted at: PortAustinahod@outlook.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1164392330338398/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Or give me a call: 1-810-441-8378

The event is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. on July 3. Sign in starts at 8 a.m. for those who wish to come early.

Denise Rowden


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M25: the Ribbon around the Thumb


M25_SignA favorite tour for motorcyclist is the State Highway M-25. It’s a 147 mile road running from Port Huron to Bay City Michigan. With waters of Lake Huron or Saginaw Bay on one side and rolling pasture and farmland on the other it’s one of the more interesting drives in southern Michigan.

Officially M-25 is a state trunk line highway in the US state of Michigan. M-25 is part of the Lake Huron Circle Tour for its entire length. Starting at a junction with Business Loop I-69/Business Loop I-94 in Port Huron M25_Maprunning north along the coast the highway passes through Lexington, Port Sanilac, Harbor Beach and Port Hope. At Port Austin is the northern most point of M-25. From here the road turns west and south running through Caseville, Bay Port, Bay, Unionville and ending in Bay City. The section of M-25 in Bay City was named what is now called a Pure Michigan Historic Byway by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). Originally called the Bay City Historic Heritage Route you can see historical neighborhoods and large Victorian homes constructed by the lumber barons of the 1800s.


Do you love Michigan’s Thumb? So do we. However we were frustrated on not seeing cool T-shirts that M25reflect our favorite spots. So we created ThumbWind-Mercantile. This on-line shop offers T’s unique to Michigan’s Thumb and can’t be found anywhere else. Check it out.

Roadside Parks and Scenic Turnouts

One aspect that is truly unique to M-25 is the number of places to stop, rest or take in the view. There are a number of interesting turn–offs provided by MDOT to get off the highway. Most are right on the beach.

77_LkHuron_sm_263618_7Lake Huron – Located South of Port Sanilac in Sanilac County. This stop has great views of Lake Huron, with stairs from the park to the beach. Historical Marker for “Great Lake Storm of 1913” when sudden tragedy took 235 lives and 10 ships sank.

Four Mile Scenic Turnout – Location is south of Forestville in Sanilac County. Offers some of the best views of Lake Huron, with stairs from the park on the bluff down to the beach.

White Rock – Located south of Atwater Road, Sherman Twp in Huron County. Great views of Lake Huron and White Rock. Steps to beach, observation deck, walking trails connecting to non-motorized path on M-25. White Rock is a large, white, off-shore boulder used as a boundary marker to define the territory released by the Native American tribes of Michigan to the United States under the Treaty of Detroit in 1807.

Jenks – location is 2 miles west of Port Austin in Huron County. Features a spectacular view of Saginaw Bay, with beach access, restroom and picnic facilities.

Thompson Scenic Turnout – located 10 miles southwest of Port Austin in Huron County. Thompson Park features 2 large grindstones and access to sandy beach on Saginaw Bay, picnic tables and benches.

Brown – located 3 miles south of Bay Port in Huron County. Contains the historical Marker for “The Great Fire of 1881.” A million acres were devastated in Sanilac and Huron counties.


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