Crisp Point Light
By Colt Edin

Crisp Point was originally the site of the Life Saving Station Number 10 constructed in 1876. The point was named after the first keeper of the Life Saving Station, Christopher Crisp. In 1903 a fog signal was activated and in 1904 this white conical lighthouse was constructed on the site.

The tower is 58 feet high and contained a fourth order red Fresnel lens by Sautter and Lemonnier of Paris, France. The lighthouse was eventually automated. All buildings at this site were razed in 1965 except for the actual lighthouse and the service room that it was connected to.

Lake Superior had eroded much of the shoreline between the lake and the lighthouse. In November 1996 the foundation to the service room was washed away in one day during a storm. The room later collapsed into the lake.

The Crisp Point Light Historical Society was formed to save and restore this lighthouse. In 1997 the light became the property of Luce County and leased to the Historical Society. Erosion control efforts are part of the groups efforts to stabilize the structure. In 1998 stone was placed around the base of the light to protect its ten foot deep concrete foundation. Today, the Crisp Point Light Historical Society is actively engaged with maintaining, operating, and restoring Crisp Point Light.

In the summer of 2006, The Society began restoration of the service building. The restoration has been completed along with a nearby visitors center and restroom building.

2013 Update:
After twenty years of being dark, the Crisp Point Lighthouse that was first lit on May 5, 1904 will shine again starting May 4, 2013 to November 1, 2013. Starting in 2014 and each year thereafter, this grand lady will light the night along the remote beach on the southern shore of Lake Superior from May 1 to November 1. A rededication ceremony is tentatively scheduled for Memorial Day weekend 2013. 

Crisp Point Lighthouse is located in the northeast corner of Luce County in Michigan's Upper Peninsula along the south shore of Lake Superior about 15 miles west of Whitefish Point.

With Crisp Point Light Historical Society (CPLHS) lifetime member Cameron Lovett doing most of the research into the possibility of re-lighting the light, the necessary paperwork and confirmation from the State Historical Presentation Office (SHPO) was obtained.

CPLHS received a permit from the United States Coast Guard to install a light in the tower and the project was ready to go. A fundraiser was announced at the CPLHS July 2012 conference to begin raising money to purchase a 300mm LED marine light and the response was overwhelming.

The Crisp Point Light Historical Society is a non-profit 501 C3 whose sole source of income which is used to continue the restoration and upkeep of the Crisp Point Lighthouse comes from donations, membership fees and Crisp Point related merchandise sales. No state or federal funds have been used since 2001.

In addition to all the research work done by Cameron, lifetime member and board of directorís member, John Raths, manufactured all the necessary hardware needed to install the light, battery and solar panel. Over the winter the major task of installing the light in the tower, in some pretty bad winter weather, was completed by CPLHS President, Rick Brockway and two of Rickís snowmobiling buddies, Mike Allen and Tom Lander. CPLHS lifetime member and board of directorís member, Stan Klein, also assisted with the installation. CPLHS founders Don & Nellie Rossí dream that Crisp Point Light will shine again, will now be fulfilled.

The Crisp Point Light Station was deactivated in 1939 when the Coast Guard took over control of the lighthouse stations from the Lighthouse Service, but the light at Crisp Point stayed on until late 1993. Over the years, there were several updates to how the light was powered, with the last major update done in 1983 when solar panels were installed to help keep the battery bank charged. The modern light will be LED powered by a single battery and charged by solar.

The Crisp Point Lighthouse and grounds are owned by Luce County but are cared for by the Crisp Point Light Historical Society and itís 450 plus members and families. They have helped monetarily, they have been lighthouse keepers, and they have done work on the preservation effort, upkeep, and caring for the grounds, lighthouse and visitorís center.

Lighthouse fans are invited come to see what some amazing people have done to preserve one of the most threatened lighthouses on the Great Lakes. Crisp Point will leave the light on for you!

Click on images to enlarge

2013 images - Jerry Heinzel



Pre-Restoration Photograph - John Meyland

2009 view - Herm Klein

2010 view from the water - Dave Wobser

Late afternoon - Bruce Multhup

Location: Paradise, Michigan
Date Built: 1904
Active: No

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