Wawatam Lighthouse in 2010
|Location||St. Ignace, Michigan|
|Year first constructed||1998|
|Year first lit||2006|
|Markings / pattern||White, with red trim|
|Tower height||52 feet (16 m)|
|Focal height||62 feet (19 m)|
|Current lens||250 millimetres (9.8 in) Fresnel lens|
|Range||13 miles (21 km)|
|Characteristic||White flash 5 seconds|
Wawatam Lighthouse is an automated, modern lighthouse that guards the harbor of St. Ignace, Michigan in the Straits of Mackinac. It was originally erected near Monroe, Michigan as an iconic roadside attraction in 1998, and was first lit as an aid to navigation in St. Ignace in August 2006.
A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses and to serve as a navigational aid for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways.
Saint Ignace, usually written as St. Ignace, is a city near the tip of the Upper Peninsula of the US state of Michigan, on the northern side of the Straits of Mackinac. It sits on the shore of Lake Huron at the north end of the Mackinac Bridge, opposite Mackinaw City, serving as the gateway to the UP for travelers coming from the Lower Peninsula. It is one of two ports with ferry service to Mackinac Island, and is the only mainland city accessible from the island when Lake Huron is frozen over. St. Ignace Township is located just to the north of the city, but is politically independent.
The Straits of Mackinac are narrow waterways in the U.S. state of Michigan between Michigan's Lower and Upper Peninsulas. The main strait flows under the Mackinac Bridge and connects two of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. The main strait is 3.5 miles (5.6 km) wide and has a maximum depth of 295 feet (90 m). Hydrologically, the two connected lakes can be considered one lake, which is called Lake Michigan–Huron. Historically, the native Odawa people called the region around the Straits Michilimackinac. The Straits of Mackinac is "whipsawed by currents unlike anywhere else in the Great Lakes".
The current lighthouse was originally built in 1998 as an architectural folly at the Monroe Welcome Center on Interstate 75 near Monroe, Michigan in the southeastern corner of the state near the Ohio border. It was a functional lighthouse structure that was constructed far away from navigational waters as an element of the tourist heritage of the state.In 2004, the Michigan Department of Transportation decided to renovate the center and declared the structure obsolete. It was scheduled to be demolished. After concerns were raised about this decision, the state government agreed that the structure should be dismantled and moved to a location where it would be useful. Serendipitously, while attending a conference for municipal officials, St. Ignace civic leaders learned of its availability.
In architecture, a folly is a building constructed primarily for decoration, but suggesting through its appearance some other purpose, or of such extravagant appearance that it transcends the range of garden ornaments usually associated with the class of buildings to which it belongs.
Welcome centers, also commonly known as visitors' centers, visitor information centers, or tourist information centers, as known in the United States, are buildings located at either entrances to states on major ports of entry, such as interstates or major highways, e.g. U.S. Routes or state highways, or in strategic cities within regions of a state, e.g. Southern California, Southwest Colorado, East Tennessee, or the South County region of Rhode Island. These welcome centers, which first opened on May 4, 1935 next to U.S. Route 12 in New Buffalo, Michigan, are locations that serve as a rest area for motorists, a source of information for tourists or new residents that enter a state or a region of a state, and a showcase for the state. These features make welcome centers, visitors centers, and service plazas, which are similar to welcome centers, distinct from rest areas. In Alaska and Hawaii, their unique geographical locations preclude them from having welcome centers as known in the rest of the U.S.
Interstate 75 (I-75) is a part of the Interstate Highway System that runs north–south from Miami, Florida, to Sault Ste. Marie in the Upper Peninsula of the US state of Michigan. I-75 enters the state from Ohio in the south, north of Toledo and runs generally northward through Detroit, Pontiac and Bay City, crosses the Mackinac Bridge, and ends at the Canadian border in Sault Ste. Marie. The freeway runs for approximately 396 miles (637 km) on both of Michigan's major peninsulas. The landscapes traversed by I-75 include Southern Michigan farmland, northern forests, suburban bedroom communities, and the urban core of Detroit. The freeway also uses three of the state's monumental bridges to cross major bodies of water. There are four auxiliary Interstates in the state related to I-75, as well as nine current or former business routes, with either Business Loop I-75 or Business Spur I-75 designations.
They successfully applied to serve as the location of the small tower, and the lighthouse was disassembled into five pieces and trucked more than 330 miles (530 km) from Monroe to East Moran Bay in St. Ignace.
East Moran Bay is a small, historic harbor in the Straits of Mackinac adjacent to the city of St. Ignace in the U.S. state of Michigan. The harbor is used as a commercial port for Star Line Ferry and Shepler's Ferry ferry boats from St. Ignace to Mackinac Island, a tourist center of the Straits of Mackinac. The bay and its harbor are guarded by the Wawatam Lighthouse.
When it was at the Welcome Center, the hexagonal tower was painted white, with green and red trim. 36 foot (11 m) tall structure, but he went to the larger height of 52 foot (16 m) to "challenge himself". The lighthouse was one of three that he built for Michigan Welcome Centers. The other two were at New Buffalo, Michigan and Clare, Michigan. Morris worked with eight men and it took about three months to complete the projects. As Morris explained to the St. Ignace News, "His lighthouses were to be designed as museum-quality attractions at welcome centers ... to make an imposing first impression on visitors." They had a 12 foot (3.7 m) diameter base. Morris opined that anything in excess of 16 m was beyond his bailiwick. He also suggested that its steel structure should make it highly resistant to storms.The original lighthouse was welded by a single man: Ed Morris, owner of the Morris Machine Shop in Bay City, Michigan, was chosen because of his skill as a welder. The original plans called for a
In geometry, a hexagon is a six-sided polygon or 6-gon. The total of the internal angles of any simple (non-self-intersecting) hexagon is 720°.
Bay City is a city in Bay County, Michigan, located near the base of the Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 34,932, and is the principal city of the Bay City Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Saginaw-Midland-Bay City Combined Statistical Area. The city, along with nearby Midland and Saginaw, form the Greater Tri-Cities region of Central Michigan, which has more recently been called the Great Lakes Bay Region.
A welder is a tradesperson who specializes in fusing materials together. The term welder refers to the operator, the machine is referred to as the welding power supply. The materials to be joined can be metals or varieties of plastic or polymer. Welders typically have to have good dexterity and attention to detail, as well as technical knowledge about the materials being joined and best practices in the field.
Transporting the structure by truck north from Monroe to St. Ignace cost $20,000. The move, repair and erection cost $50,000. Half was provided by the Michigan Waterways Commission. Small community donations paid the rest.The lighthouse was reassembled using a crane in 2006. Based upon a survey of residents, it was named Wawatam Lighthouse in honor of a railroad car ferry that had been home-ported in St. Ignace for many decades, SS Chief Wawatam . After reassembly, the Wawatam Lighthouse was relit on August 20, 2006. The lighthouse is now an official United States Coast Guard privately maintained aid to navigation, USCG 7-12608, on Lake Huron. Maintenance is by the city of St. Ignace. Public access is by walking the pier.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the agency of the state of Michigan charged with maintaining natural resources such as state parks, state forests, and recreation areas. It is governed by a director appointed by the Governor and accepted by the Natural Resources Commission. Currently the Director is Keith Creagh. The DNR has about 1,400 permanent employees, and over 1,600 seasonal employees.
A train ferry is a ship (ferry) designed to carry railway vehicles. Typically, one level of the ship is fitted with railway tracks, and the vessel has a door at the front and/or rear to give access to the wharves. In the United States, train ferries are sometimes referred to as "car ferries", as distinguished from "auto ferries" used to transport automobiles. The wharf has a ramp, and a linkspan or "apron", balanced by weights, that connects the railway proper to the ship, allowing for the water level to rise and fall with the tides.
SS Chief Wawatam was a coal-fired train ferry and icebreaker that operated in the Straits of Mackinac between 1911–1984. Her home port was St. Ignace, Michigan, and she shuttled back and forth during her entire working life between that port and Mackinaw City, Michigan.
The chosen location for the rebuilt lighthouse was the former St. Ignace railroad pier, originally built in the 1800s as the home port of a train ferry. Operated by a joint venture that included St. Ignace's Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railway, the ferry shuttled railroad cars across the Straits of Mackinac. Starting soon after its launch date in 1911, these duties were fulfilled by the 338 foot (103 m) long Chief Wawatam. Designed by Frank E. Kirby and built by the Toledo Shipbuilding Company, the Chief "carried as many as 28 rail cars per trip between Mackinaw City and St. Ignace." The ferry boat, in turn, had been named in honor of a leading Straits of Mackinac local resident of the 1700s, the Odawa clan leader Wawatam.
The Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railway (DSS&A) was an American railroad serving the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the Lake Superior shoreline of Wisconsin. It provided service from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and St. Ignace, Michigan, westward through Marquette, Michigan to Superior, Wisconsin, and Duluth, Minnesota. A branchline stretched northward from Nestoria, Michigan up to the Keweenaw Peninsula and terminating at Houghton, Michigan, with two branches extending further to Calumet, Michigan and Lake Linden, Michigan.
Frank E. Kirby was a naval architect in the Detroit, Michigan area in the early 20th century. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest naval architects in American history.
The Odawa, said to mean "traders", are an Indigenous American ethnic group who primarily inhabit land in the northern United States and southern Canada. They have long had territory that crosses the current border between the two countries, and they are federally recognized as Native American tribes in the United States and have numerous recognized First Nations bands in Canada. They are one of the Anishinaabeg, related to but distinct from the Ojibwe and Potawatomi peoples.
The St. Ignace dock collapsed in 1984, and in 1986 the successor railroad abandoned the last rail link to St. Ignace. This ended the ferry era. A truncated stretch of tracks and the track elevator (which oriented the tracks so the cars could be loaded on the ferry) are still visible. 6 foot (1.8 m) tall wooden statue honoring Chief Wawatam. Erected in 2012 by the city, it was designed and carved by Tom Paquin and Sally Paquin, local artists.On the dock, within a short distance from the light, is a
The new Lighthouse is duly noted on newer navigational charts.The light operates year-round. It not only guides mariners, but is a beacon for snowmobilers traveling across the frozen Straits of Mackinac to and from Mackinac Island in winter. The lighthouse and harbor also serve Coast Guard ice breakers, e.g., the tug Katmai Bay and heavy duty breaker Mackinaw .
The lighthouse was the featured lighthouse of the Michigan Lighthouse festival in 2015.It is the subject of a jig saw puzzle. As of 2017, this was the latest addition to Michigan's 150 listed (including historical and now demolished) lighthouses. Prior to that, the Tricentennial Lighthouse in Detroit's William G. Milliken State Park was opened in 2003.
The Wawatam Lighthouse is located in downtown St. Ignace, at the eastern end of McCann Street near its intersection with North State Street, St. Ignace's main waterfront highway.
The Mackinac Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Straits of Mackinac to connect the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of the U.S. state of Michigan. Opened in 1957, the 26,372-foot-long bridge is the world's 22nd-longest main span and the longest suspension bridge between anchorages in the Western Hemisphere. The Mackinac Bridge is part of Interstate 75 and the Lakes Michigan and Huron components of the Great Lakes Circle Tour across the straits; it is also a segment of the U.S. North Country National Scenic Trail. The bridge connects the city of St. Ignace on the north end with the village of Mackinaw City on the south.
Mackinac County is a county in the Upper Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 11,113. The county seat is St. Ignace. Formerly known as Michilimackinac County, in 1818 it was one of the first counties of the Michigan Territory, as it had long been a center of French and British colonial fur trading, a Catholic church and Protestant mission, and associated settlement.
Cheboygan is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 4,876. It is the county seat of Cheboygan County.
Mackinaw City is a village in Emmet and Cheboygan counties in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 806 at the 2010 census; the population surges during the summer tourist season, including an influx of tourists and seasonal workers who serve in the shops, hotels and other recreational facilities there and in the surrounding region. Mackinaw City is at the northern tip (headland) of the Michigan's Lower Peninsula along the southern shore of the Straits of Mackinac. Across the straits lies the state's Upper Peninsula. These two land masses are physically connected by the Mackinac Bridge, which runs from Mackinaw City north to St. Ignace. Mackinaw City is also the primary base for ferry service to Mackinac Island, located to the northeast in the straits.
Mackinac or Mackinaw may refer to:
Wawatam was an 18th-century Odawa chief who lived in the northern region of present-day Michigan's Lower Peninsula in an area along the Lake Michigan shoreline known by the Odawa as Waganawkezee.
Mackinac Trail, or Mackinaw Trail is the name for two related, but separate, roadways in the US state of Michigan.
M-122 was a state trunkline highway in the US state of Michigan entirely in the city of St. Ignace. The highway connected US Highway 2 (US 2) to the State Highway Ferry Dock used before the Mackinac Bridge was built. It was retired and the road returned to local control in 1957.
USCGC Mackinaw (WLBB-30) is a 240-foot (73 m) vessel built as a heavy icebreaker for operations on the North American Great Lakes for the United States Coast Guard. IMO number: 9271054. She should not be confused with a namesake ship, the USCGC Mackinaw (WAGB-83), IMO number 6119534, which was decommissioned on June 10, 2006.
The buildings of the St Helena Light complex are the sole surviving structures on St. Helena Island, in Mackinac County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The lighthouse on the St. Helena Island's southeastern point was built in 1872-1873 and went into operation in September 1873. It became one of a series of lighthouses that guided vessels through the Straits of Mackinac, past a dangerous shoal that extends from the island.
Mackinaw Point marks the junction of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Founded in 1889, the Old Mackinac Point Light Station was in operation from 1890 until 1957.
The Mackinac Transportation Company was a train ferry service that shuttled railroad cars across the Straits of Mackinac from 1881 until 1984. It was best known as the owner and operator, from 1911 until 1984, of the SS Chief Wawatam, an icebreaking train ferry.
The lighthouse at Fourteen Foot Shoal was named to note that the lake is only 14 feet (4.3 m) deep at this point, which is a hazard to navigation, ships and mariners.
USCGC Katmai Bay (WTGB-101) is a United States Coast Guard Cutter and icebreaking tug.
Due to its unique geography, being made of two peninsulas surrounded by the Great Lakes, Michigan has depended on many ferries for connections to transport people, vehicles and trade. The most famous modern ferries are those which carry people and goods across the Straits of Mackinac to the car-free Mackinac Island but before the Mackinac Bridge was built, large numbers of ferries carried people and cars between the two peninsulas. Other ferries continue to provide transportation to small islands and across the Detroit River to Canada. Ferries once provided transport to island parks for city dwellers. The state's only national park, Isle Royale cannot be reached by road and is normally accessed by ferry. The largest ferries in Michigan are the car ferries which cross Lake Michigan to Wisconsin. One of these, the SS Badger is one of the last remaining coal steamers on the Great Lakes and serves as a section of US Highway 10 (US 10). The Badger is also the largest ferry in Michigan, capable of carrying 600 passengers and 180 autos.
District 9 is a United States Coast Guard district located at the Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building in Cleveland, Ohio. District 9 is responsible for all Coast Guard operations on the five Great Lakes, the Saint Lawrence Seaway, and surrounding states accumulating 6,700 miles of shoreline and 1,500 miles of international shoreline with Canada.
While many of Michigan’s historic lighthouses have been decommissioned and are mostly ornamental, Pure Michigan tells the story of how the Wawatam Lighthouse started out as an ornamental lighthouse and now actually has a job!
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wawatam Lighthouse .|