Lighthouses in Michigan are the stars of the shore. Today, guest blogger Sharma Krauskopf tells us the story of how she fell in love with Michigan lighthouses.
I am fascinated with lighthouses and here’s why – Lighthouse Digest. For the last 20 years, I have been writing books and magazine articles and speaking about lighthouses. I also lead tours, have lived in a lighthouse in Scotland, and now am making a movie about lighthouse keepers. I have been living in Michigan for over 30 years but hadn’t been involved Michigan lighthouse to any great extent. People have a tendency to not be a tourist in their own neck of the woods, and I guess I’m a good example.
A few years ago that began to change. Due to health issues and family responsibilities my ability to travel long distances to lighthouses came to a screeching halt. What happened next I call the “tugboat effect,” named after an antique wind-up tugboat toy we had that took off across the floor until it ran into an obstacle which caused it immediately to turned in another direction. Like the tugboat, I instantly changed directions by looking closer to home where I found Point aux Barques Lighthouse for my movie.
Recently, my husband and I took a trip to see the Saginaw River Range lighthouse only to find a sign saying “Closed to the Public”. Remembering the tugboat, we changed direction promptly traveling further north to Tawas Point Lighthouse located near East Tawas, Michigan. This magnificent lighthouse and its well maintained park have belonged to Michigan DNR since 2001. Having seen and written about hundreds of lighthouses, I can guarantee this is an extraordinary one. Being that it was the off-season, there were few people around and it was like we were living at the lighthouse. We found a motel in Tawas City so we could be at the lighthouse for sunrise the next morning which turned out to be a good decision as we got some beautiful pictures.
Upon returning home, I discovered the Lightkeeper at Tawas Point Lighthouse program. Having lived at a lighthouse for many years, I know how much fun, adventure, and beauty the job involves, and I have already submitted our application for next year. If you live in Michigan hopefully you’ll remember this blog. If circumstances dictate you can’t travel far, remember the tugboat. I don’t regret my international travel, but I do feel badly that I had not seen more of my home state when I was younger. I should have jumped in the car and experienced all the beauty, history and entertainment that was just down the road.
Sharma Krauskopf lives on a farm near Parma, Michigan. For many years, she and her husband owned Eshaness Lighthouse on the Shetland Islands in Scotland. Currently she is executive producer of a feature length motion picture about lighthouse keepers which will be filmed in the fall of 2014 at Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse in the Thumb area of Michigan. For more information on her movie, check out the website.
Do you have a favorite Michigan lighthouse? Tell us in the comments below.