While researching for one of my novels, I came across a beautiful lighthouse that isn't located very far from me on Lake Michigan. As I write this, nearly the entire U.S. is on shelter-in-place orders due to COVID19. However, as soon as the restrictions are lifted and it's safe to be out and about, I plan to visit Grosse Point Lighthouse in Evanston, IL.
The lighthouse has a unique history having been constructed in 1872 at about the same time as the City of Chicago, a short distance to the south, was recovering from the effects of the Great Chicago Fire.
As the U.S. population moved westward, Chicago's lakefront became a primary port for schooners and other vessels to deliver their cargo for transport inland.
|Lady Elgin Public Domain|
The U.S. Government began construction of the lighthouse in 1872 and it was completed in 1873, but the light wasn't installed and lit until March of 1874. On a clear night, the beam could be seen from 21 miles away. It warned of the shallow water and guided arriving ships around Grosse Point and toward the Port of Chicago. In 1934, a photoelectric device provided a means to automatically turn the light on at night and a light keeper was no longer required to live there. In 1935, the site became the responsibility of the Lighthouse Park District.
To read a detailed history and more details about the lighthouse, go to www.grossepointlighthouse.net,
Sources in addition to the website include:
Color photos used by permission by Sam Padron
Pamela S. Meyers writes her historical fiction stories set in her home state of Wisconsin from her cozy condo in northern IL that she shares with her two rescue cats. She is currently writing the fourth book in her series set in her home town of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, a short drive north of her home.