Friday, October 31, 2014

Yooper Vacation, Day 2 Whitefish Point

After the Soo Lock tour we headed a tiny bit northwest, staying along the Lake Superior shore to Whitefish Point lighthouse and Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. Compared to many lighthouses we have been to this one looked like it was run by a for profit business, clean, shiny, well repaired, etc. They also charged a lot more to see everything as well.

First order of business was to pay our fee to climb the tower which included a guide. He didn't have to go up to the top with us, just making sure only so many went up at a time. Here is some of the view from the tower and the tower itself.

View of the grounds
The tall guy in the center is Hal
Here is Hal atop the tower.

The happy couple atop the Whitefish Point lighthouse
Looking northwest
Those big Fresnel lenses have been replaced most recently by LEDs. Not as impressive or pretty in my opinion but they seem to do the job with a lot less upkeep.
LED outside the lighthouse window
The interior of the keeper's house attached to the lighthouse was refurnished to reflect the early 1900s. Coming down the stairs one is startled to see a life size mannequin of one of the last keepers to live here. They also made one of his wife in the kitchen. At least she wasn't barefoot.

After the tower and light keeper's house we went to the museum. This huge light is a 2nd order Fresnel lens (pronounced freh-NEL). It wasn't used at this lighthouse, the plaque in the photo below mentions it being located at White Shoals 20 miles northwest of the Mackinac Straits on Lake Michigan.
 Lots of displays about shipwrecks in Lake Superior, here Hal is checking them out.
One of the big things Whitefish Point is famous for is that the Edmund Fitzgerald sank a few miles off shore in Canadian waters. The museum now houses the bell from that ship, after a diving expedition recovered it and replaced it with a replica at the wreck.
It was definitely worth the visit.

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