Jim Sisko

Jim Sisko

Posted on 09/05/2013


Photo taken on August 14, 2013




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Grand Island East Channel Light

Grand Island East Channel Light
First lit in 1868, the Grand Island East Channel Lighthouse is located on Lake Superior just north of the Upper Peninsula town of Munising, Michigan. Constructed of wood as opposed to the more common brick or stone materials used in such structures elsewhere to minimize cost, it sits on the southeast shore of Grand Island on private property. By 1904, the number and size of the vessels entering Munising Harbor had increased to the point that a set of range lights were determined to be more appropriate. The constant maintenance of the existing light contributed to the decision. The Munising Range Lights were put in operation 1908 and the picturesque Grand Island East Channel Light was deactivated and abandoned in 1913. Over the years the lighthouse was severely neglected and was in danger of being washed away due to erosion. In 1999 the Grand Island East Channel Lighthouse Rescue Committee was officially formed in an attempt to save the historic structure. Working with minimum funding, the group was able to install a protective crib of cedar posts in front of the light to keep the wave action away from the foundation. Rocks have been placed in the crib and the sand beach is slowly rebuilding itself around the building. The roof has been replaced with replica shingles and some siding has been replaced. The theory behind the lack of paint (it was originally painted white) is to make it more picturesque and attractive to tourists and passing photographers. Not much has been done to the building’s interior which has suffered the ravages of time and vandals. As two commentators noted in Lighthouse Digest: “It is seen and photographed by thousands of tourists via the Picture Rocks Cruises and Grand Island Charters Glass Bottom Boat tours which make it their first stop on their numerous tours. It appears on sweatshirts, t-shirts, coffee mugs, post cards, advertisements, and calendars. It is positively one of Michigan's most recognizable landmarks."

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