Clipped From The Escanaba Daily Press
hair and a and D. assistant Hermansville for A. the Mrs. and Mrs. Mrs. and and the common by the y net LAST OF OLD LIGHTHOUSE LAMPS — A kerosene-powered lamp, one of few remaining on the Great Lakes, is lighted by assistant assistant keeper Henry Vavrina at Little Sable light near Hart, Mich. The big lens on the mantle-type provides a beam visible as much as 20 miles into the lake. (AP Photo) BY HERB AUER The Muskegon Chronicle Hart, Feb. 28 I#)—Boasting one of the few remaining kerosene kerosene illuminated lights still in op- eiation on the Great Lakes, the Little Sable Light Station near here has proved a guiding beacon te Lake Michigan shipping for nearly three-quarters of a century. century. Established in 1874f the station is situated on the most westerly promontory of land jutting into the lake from the eastern shore. Its beacon, visible as far as 20 miles out into the lake, has guided guided shipping since the days ot the windjammers. The first record of numerous shipping disasters that dot the log of the old station was made Aug. 6, 1875, when the lumber schooner, schooner, “Blackhawk” was grounded near the tower. The log entry, “Crew all saved," was recorded by James Davenport, Davenport, the light’s first keeper. Records of shipwrecks became numerous in the late 1800's when western Michigan was the lumbering lumbering capital of the world and schooners carried Michigan lutn- j bei to Chicago and other lake ; points. The log bears mute testimonev j of the heroism modestly recorded by the light keepers of those days j •—Gabriel Bourisaw, Lawrence j Kilmurry, George Buttars, Joseph Hansen, and J. A. Hunter, who served during the first 25 years of the station’s existance. It was not until 1907 that the word “steamer” was first entered entered in the log by Hunter who tended the light from 1899 to 1922. Word of the costly Armistice Day Lake Michigan storm of 1940 was first flashed from the Little Sable station, telling that ships were breaking up off shore. The Novadoc finally was beached three miles north of Little Little Sable after the freighters William B. Davock and Anna C. Minch had been lost with a toll of 77 lives. The light first was a three-wick arrangement that required constant constant watching but in 1916 the ] kerosene-powered brass mantlc- ! type lamp was installed. The trudge up the 136 spiral steps to the top of the tower is made I more exhausting for the keeper J and his assistant because they must carry the kerosene by hand. The big lens on the lamp, more than four feet across, requires tedious hours of polishing. Each year the 108-foot tower receives a coat of white paint, adding to the keepers’ labors. A mechanism of weights keeps the light, which generates 25,000 candlepower, revolving on a clocklike pattern. Every five seconds seconds out of thirty the powerful beam flashes. Officer in charge Ray Robinette, Robinette, his assistant, Henry Vavrina, Vavrina, and their families, live in two apartments at. the station. Snowbound for 21 days last year during the big February storm, they often are isolated from the nearest home four miles away, and from Hart, the Oceana county county seat, 12 miles east. In former days all supplies were landed by a lighter in the fall, but a rough road now provides access to the tower along Silver Lake, a popular resort area. Hospital Henry DeGrnnd. 429 South 14th street, is a medical patient in St. Francis hospital. Classified Ads cost nttle but do s big fob.