Thursday, July 16, 2015
CRISP POINT LIGHTHOUSE-MICHIGAN
Crisps Point Lifesaving Station was originally known as Station #10, but it later took the name of Christopher Crisp, its second keeper, who served there from 1878 to 1890. As happens with a lot of places named after a person, the name has morphed over time, changing from Crisp’s Point and Crisps Point to the now more common Crisp Point. In 1896, the Lighthouse Board requested $18,000 for a light and fog signal at Crisps Point using the following language: This is a dangerous point for vessels bound down the lake in thick weather. These vessels all try to make Whitefish Point, but a slight variation in their course from the nearest point of departure will run them ashore near Crisps Point. Several wrecks have occurred here. The Board repeated its request each year until Congress appropriated $18,000 for the station on June 28, 1902. Crisp Point Lighthouse is a circular, brick lighthouse that stands fifty-eight feet tall and gracefully tapers from a diameter of fourteen feet at its base to nine feet before flaring out to support a gallery that encircles the tower’s octagonal lantern room. A redbrick, two-story duplex was built sixty feet west of the tower for the head keeper and his first assistant, and a small, one-room, ten-and-a-half by sixteen-foot house, painted maroon, was built for the second assistant. A rectangular redbrick building was erected on the shore 100 feet north of the tower for a ten-inch steam whistle. Besides the barn and boathouse, other outbuildings included a brick privy and brick oil house. After receiving word from Whitefish Point, Keeper Smith and his assistants exhibited the fixed red light from the station’s fourth-order, Sautter, Lemonnier & Cie. Fresnel lens for the first time on the night of May 5, 1904. In 1905, the machinery for a second fog-signal plant was installed, and a ten-inch chime whistle replaced the original standard whistle so the tone at Crisp Point could be distinguished from that at Whitefish Point. At the same time, a brick service room was built and connected to the tower by a passageway, and 750 feet of cement walks were laid. In 1907, a landing crib, twelve feet wide and 132 feet long, was built on the west side of the boathouse, filled with stone, and decked over. After two years of planning, Crisp Point Lighthouse was electrified and automated in 1941. In addition, an electrically lighted bell buoy of 1,475 candlepower was established 10 degrees from Crisp Point near where steamer’s changed their course and the fog signal was discontinued, before the last keepers were withdrawn. In 1965, the Coast Guard razed all the buildings at Crisp Point save the lighthouse and its attached service room. The Coast Guard decommissioned the lighthouse after the 1992 season. In 2012, Crisp Point Light Historical Society received a permit from the Coast Guard to operate the light as a private aid to navigation. A 300mm lens was installed in the lantern room on November 23, 2012 and will be active each year between May 1st and November 1st.