After a nearly five year effort by the members of the Crisp Point Light Historical Society’s (CPLHS), Michigan’s Crisp Point Lighthouse is now the proud caretaker of a number of old U.S. Coast Guard aids to navigation. The effort finally came to a conclusion this past April when volunteer Carl Jahn was able to make arrangements to pick up and deliver three, five-foot by eleven-foot, channel marker buoys to the Crisp Point Lighthouse.
Additionally, this past November, Rick Brockway, president of CPLHS, acquired an Ice Buoy (torpedo style) from the U.S. Coast Guard in Sault Ste. Marie. Brockway said that the CPLHS is grateful to BM2 Robert Rafferty of the US Coast Guard, who assisted us in obtaining the buoy and to MK3 Maurice Thompson, who helped him get the buoy secured for the trip to the lighthouse. After being cleaned and primed for paint by CPLHS volunteer member John Raths, the 700 pound buoy will be displayed on the lighthouse grounds. This particular buoy has the letters “USLHS” stamped on the bottom, which indicates that it was used during the time of the U.S. Bureau of Lighthouse, which operated under the name U.S. Lighthouse Service, which managed our nation’s lighthouses and aids to navigation from 1910 until 1939 when all of its duties were taken over by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Brockway was also quick to point out that CPLHS also owes a special thanks to CWO Craig Coburn D9 of the U.S. Coast Guard in Cleveland, Ohio OH for his assistance in helping the folks at Crisp Point Lighthouse to officially obtain all of the buoys.
To top off the exhibit, a U.S. Lighthouse Establishment buoy anchor that was at the home of the late Don & Nellie Ross (CPLHS co-founders) is also now part of displays around the Crisp Point Lighthouse visitor center that was constructed in 2009 based on blueprints from the original fog signal building. An unexpected bonus was 92 feet of buoy anchor chain with links that are 1-½ inch in diameter.
Another activity at Crisp Point this year is the addition of another section of boardwalk to connect the visitor center and tower areas. Visitors will now be able to walk or wheelchair the entire area without having to go back and forth thru the parking lot. Additionally, there are several platform spaces with benches for visitors to enjoy the peacefulness that truly is Crisp Point.
It’s hard to imagine that back in 1997 Lighthouse Digest declared Crisp Point Lighthouse as the “Most Endangered Lighthouse in the United States.” It proves the dedication of the late and current volunteers and members of the Crisp Point Lighthouse Historical Society. They are to be congratulated for having made a difference in preserving a vital part of our nation’s lighthouse heritage for all future generations.
The CPLHS Annual Conference is held the third Saturday in July. This year it is July 21. The event starts out at the Whitefish Township School in Paradise, Michigan at 10am and moved to Crisp Point Lighthouse in the afternoon. For more information you can visit their web site at www.CrispPointLighthouse.org.
This story appeared in the
Jul/Aug 2012 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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