Beloved lighthouse celebrates 150 years

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ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) - Escanaba's iconic Sand Point Lighthouse celebrated it's 150th anniversary today.

Charles Lindquist is the President of the Delta County Historical Society.

"I would say this is probably the number one building, not just historic building, but the number one building that people relate to in Escanaba."

Part of todays ceremony was a presentation on the life of a lighthouse keeper. Many today have a very idealized vision of what it must have been to be a lighthouse keeper but Lindquist says that's far from reality.

"The lighthouse keeper was about the opposite of romantic. It was hard, steady but important work. The number one responsibility was maintaining and keeping the fresnel lense going every single night during the ship season."

Sand Point Lighthouse was manned from 1868 until it was decomissioned in 1938. Over that period the light came to be able to make a claim that not many can.

"In this bay, Little Bay de Coc here, we have never had a collision or accident of ships here that wasn't caused by storms. This lighthouse has done it's job."

That was Elizabeth Keller. She is the V.P. of the Delta County Historical Society but is also known as one of the "lighthouse ladies".

In modern times the lighthouse has become a very popular site for tourist and a favorite for those who just love visiting lighthouses.

"People are really surprised, pleasantly surprised, that they have total access to this lighthouse, with exception of the basement. They can go to the top. They can go to the lantern room. They have free access to the cat walk and that's an usnusual thing" says Keller.

It hard to overstate the meaning of Sand Point Lighthouse to the Escanaba community.

"It's a pretty special lighthouse just in terms of lighthouses. It kind of makes us proud and ready and willing to keep working on it and keep it up" says Lindquist

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