Originally commissioned in 1921 as Light Vessel No. 103, the Huron was built by Charles L. Seabury Company of Morris Heights, NY at a cost of $147,428. The vessel is 97 feet long with a beam of 24 feet, 9 foot draft and displacement of 340 tons. The mushroom anchor weighs 5,000 pounds.
Went into service as a relief vessel for Lake Michigans Twelfth District. As RELIEF she served at various times at Grays Reef and at Manitou Shoals in Lake Michigan.
She permanently became the Huron Station Light Vessel, assigned to Corsica Shoals, 6 miles north of Port Huron, Michigan, in Lake Huron in 1936. Corsica Shoals is one of three shallow areas near the Lake Huron Cut, which is the entrance to the St. Clair River. No.103, with the name HURON painted on her side, served at this location until she was decommissioned in 1970. When decommissioned, she was the only American lightship on the Great Lakes for the last 30 years of service.
In 1949, she was modernized at the Toledo shipyard: diesel engines replaced the steam one, and radar, a radio beacon and a fog signal were added. After 1945, when the Coast Guard made red the standard color for all lightship hulls, No.103 was the only black hull lightship in the Coast Guard. Reportedly the black was retained to indicate it was on the port side of the channel, which is designated black.
In 1971, the Coast Guard turned the lightship over to the City of Port Huron, where it had spent the winter months for 35 years.
Now a restored museum located in Port Huron's Pine Grove Park along the shore of the St. Clair River, just down river from the Blue Water Bridges. Open for public tours. Check their website for current hours of operation or telephone (313) 982-0891. A great place to watch the traffic in the St. Clair River.
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