Thursday, April 30, 2015

Lighthouses and Small Towns--Eagle Harbor, Michigan

Last month I blogged about the real historical town of Eagle Harbor, Michigan, which is tucked into the woods on a little slat of land that juts up into Lake Superior. I lso mentioned I had a novel out about the very real Eagle Harbor Lighthouse, and a fictional lightkeeper. Of course writing about a fictional lightkeeper led to some rather interesting research about lighthouses.

 Did you know that lighthouse location was very important to lightkeepers? Even though Eagle Harbor, Michigan was small and isolated in the late 1800s (which hasn't changed much between then and today), being appointed to the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse was still considered a very desirable position for a lightkeeper to have.

The Eagle Harbor Lighthouse is located at the edge of an actual town. A lot of historic lighthouses are in far less pleasant locations. Simply put, wherever there was danger of a ship running aground, a lighthouse was constructed. Sometimes this meant lighthouses sat on little slats of rock in the middle of one of the Great Lakes. Below is a picture of the Gull Rock lighthouse, which is no longer operational today. There's no town surrounding the Gull Rock lighthouse. In fact, even going to to the mainland to get help could be risky and impossible at times. There's one story about the lightkeeper's wife giving birth to a child inside the boat her husband was rowing to the mainland.

To a lightkeeper's way of thinking, the very best lightkeeping positions were located in towns with church and schools and stores. They offered a lightkeeper the chance to raise his family in a community rather than in complete isolation. Eagle Harbor, Michigan was one of those towns, as were several other locations along the Great Lakes. The lighthouses at Copper Harbor, Michigan and Ontonagon, Michigan were also considered good posts to have for this same reason.

Historical lighthouses, along with the ones still active today, served one of two purposes. They either worked as a beacon to guide ships to a harbor entrance, or they worked as a warning signal to keep ships away from dangerous stretches of water. The Gull Rock Lighthouse served as a warning to keep ships away from the rock ridge several miles off the shoreline. The coastline surrounding Eagle Harbor is rocky and rather treacherous, which made the light at Eagle Harbor doubly important. The lighthouse served the duel functions of not only marking where the harbor entrance was but also marking the rocks that rim the harbor. If a ship's pilot missed the safe entrance, then the ship would wreck. And yes, there are accounts of ships wrecking off the coast of Eagle Harbor in calm waters.

Do you enjoy lighthouses? Have you ever toured one before? Have you ever read a novel set at a lighthouse? What about the nature of lighthouses appeals to you?


On Sale for $2.99
Tressa Danell is finished with men—from the wastrel who left her a widow, to the smelly trapper who keeps proposing, to the banker who wants to repossess her bakery. Every hour is spent working to payoff her late husband’s debt and keep a roof over her son’s head, though it’s doubtful she can do both for very long. But one thing’s certain—she’ll never be beholden to a man again. 

Tired of living in a small town that blames him for actions his father committed ten years ago, Mac Oakton is scheduled to leave Eagle Harbor. So why does the pretty widow at the bakery keep tugging at his heart? He can’t get involved in her predicament when he’ll only be around for two more weeks. 

But when Tressa’s burdens overwhelm her, they both face a decision. Can Mac set his own plans aside to help? And can Tressa accept his support if that means giving up her independence ... and being obligated to a man again?

View Love's Unfading Light on Amazon--on sale for $2.99. For more information about Naomi Rawlings and her Eagle Harbor Series, visit


  1. I love lighthouses! I looked at your book on Amazon, Naomi, and I bought a copy for my Kindle! Looking forward to reading it.

  2. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE lighthouses because of the nostalgia they bring. The paint colors and architecture and history is so very intriguing. I belong to the Lighthouse Asso. and have a Passport book for lighthouse stamps when I visit one. I have visited them mostly in Florida. Your book sounds so very good and I would enjoy winning it. sm CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com