Fifty-third Lighthouse Expedition

From lighthouses

Jump to: navigation, search


[edit] September 14 - 15, 2010 -- Chicago Boat Tour with USLHS & Beyond

The United States Lighthouse Society offered the opportunity to join the Southern Lake Michigan Tour for a Cruise of Chicago & Indiana Harbor Lights. Since most of these lights are best viewed from a boat, and we had not yet been able to photograph them, we were eager to join the tour for the day.

We left home a few days earlier to visit with Diana's sister, Cynthia, and her family in Goshen, IN before heading to Chicago.

[edit] September 11, 2010, Saturday

11:10 am

We left home and made a stop in Ann Arbor, MI at our son David's home.

1:30 pm

Lunch at McDonalds in Marshall, MI

3:20 pm

We arrived at Cynthia's in Goshen, IN.

[edit] September 12 - 13, 2010, Sunday – Monday

While in Goshen we enjoyed visits with Diana's sister and niece and family, went to a concert at Goshen College presented by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band from New Orleans, attended church on Sunday morning and went to Manchester College on Sunday afternoon to help grand-niece, Elizabeth, celebrate her 20th birthday. Monday afternoon Diana & Cynthia went to Shipshewana.

[edit] September 14, 2010, Tuesday

9:05 am (Eastern Daylight Saving Time)

We left Cynthia's in Goshen Indiana.

10:00 am (Central Daylight Saving Time)

We crossed the IN/IL state line

10:25 am

We reached the East Parking garage on Navy Pier in downtown Chicago. We wandered around the pier. It was a very nice day – sunny and it continued to warm up as the day progressed. The Chicago Harbor Southeast Guidewall Light and the Chicago Harbor Lighthouse are both very visible from Navy Pier. We had seen these lights before on our 13th trip back in 1992.

11:45 am

We probably picked the worst place to have lunch on Navy Pier, Billy Goat's Tavern & Grill. I really didn't know they made hamburger patties so thin. It was high priced and not very good! We did however enjoy some good Italian Ice for dessert later on.

1:30 pm

We gradually began to see other lighthouse enthusiasts gather on the pier around the Anita Dee I boat. The group on the Southern Lake Michigan Tour arrived by bus and it was great to see Skip and Mary Lee and many others we have traveled with on previous trips. There were 22 people on the full tour and 38 of us joining them for the boat cruise.

2:00 pm

The boat left the dock and we left the harbor with the Chicago Harbor Light and the Guidewall Light guiding us out into Lake Michigan.
There are four "crib lights" offshore from Chicago Harbor. These structures collect water from close to the bottom of the lake to supply water-pumping stations onshore. Chicago and its suburbs get their drinking water from these cribs. The tunnels leading from the cribs are close to 200 feet beneath the lake and vary from 10 to 20 feet in diameter. Lake water enters the cribs and flows through the tunnels to pumps at water purification plants on shore. Crib Tenders, much like Lighthouse Keepers lived on the cribs – usually four man teams staying aboard for one week at a time. After 9/11, the Chicago cribs were designated a security zone and systems, including video cameras, motion detectors, etc. were installed with direct links to the police.

2:30 pm

We first traveled to the most northern crib, the Wilson Avenue Crib built in 1915 which is located about 3 miles offshore from the eastern end of Wilson Ave. and five miles north of downtown Chicago.

2:50 pm

We then headed back south and passed the William E. Dever Crib. Here there are two interconnected buildings. The older structure was built in 1900 and is the Carter Harrison Crib, while the newer, William E. Dever, was completed in 1935 to replace it. With the increased demands for water, both were kept operational until 1997. Both cribs are named for former Chicago mayors. The Harrison Crib replaced the first 1865 Two-Mile Crib.

3:05 pm

The Four Mile Crib was named because it is located 4 miles offshore. It was built in 1891.
The boat slowed down briefly at each crib light for photographs. We then headed to the most southern part of the trip to Gary, Indiana. The water became much choppier and walking around the boat became more of a challenge!

4:40 pm

We reached the Gary Breakwater Light. Elbert H. Gary, president of US Steel, made the decision to build a new plant along the Southern Lake Michigan shore, in response to the growth in the Midwest, and where the large ore boats from mines in Minnesota could offload their ore. The site, 26 miles from Chicago was a barren waste of drifting sand. An artificial harbor was created and the Gary Breakwater Light became operational in 1911. The lighthouse is 30 feet tall and had a sixth-order Fresnel lens. The active beacon is now a modern light positioned above the old tower. Since this harbor is surrounded by steel plants, the setting is not very attractive and the light is only visible to the public by boat.

5:05 pm

In 1927, due to the demand for steel and the building of the Cement Department of the Illinois Steel Company, a 55 acre harbor basin was built and Buffington Harbor, then the deepest and most modern port on Lake Michigan, opened. The harbor is protected on the west by a 2,000 –foot pier, while a 1,200-foot breakwater extends east from the end of the pier. The Buffington Breakwater Light, appropriately built of concrete, was built at this time.

5:30 pm

The Indiana Harbor East Breakwater Light, in East Chicago, IN is located on an artificial waterway – the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal – which connects the Grand Calumet River to Lake Michigan. The first lighthouse was constructed in the harbor in 1920. The current tower was added in 1935 and is a twin to the structure placed on the Port Washington, WI breakwater the same year. Originally a fourth-order Fresnel lens was used in the lighthouse. Today a modern green beacon sits atop the art deco tower.

5:50 pm

Calumet Harbor Lights are located on breakwaters at the entrance to another artificial harbor at the entrance to the Calumet River. Originally a two-story lighthouse was built on the end of the breakwater and that was how we originally saw this light back in 1992, on our 13th trip. In 1995 the house was demolished and a white cylindrical tower with a red band has replaced it. On the nearby end of the detached breakwater is a similar tower with a green band. Fortunately for us, the boat captain decided to enter the harbor where the water was much calmer. The caterers were having a difficult time keeping the food on the serving table and it was almost impossible for anyone to walk around to fill their plates! We were ahead of schedule anyway, so the one half hour in the harbor gave everyone a chance to enjoy the wonderful dinner provided by Catered by Design.

6:45 pm

We saw our last lighthouse on the boat trip as we headed back to Chicago. It was the 68th Street (Dunne) Crib. Built in 1909, it is located 2 miles offshore. This one is also named after a Chicago Mayor, Edward F. Dunne. This crib was the main water intake for the city of Chicago for many years. While under construction, it was the scene of a disastrous fire that claimed the lives of 60 workers.
We headed back to Navy Pier while enjoying a beautiful sunset!

7:45 pm

We arrived at the dock and bid farewell to our fellow travelers.

7:55 pm

We left the parking garage at Navy Pier and headed south and then east towards Michigan. The highways around Chicago are very confusing and even with the GPS we managed to get in the wrong lane and found ourselves in South Chicago. We managed to get back on the Skyway and by 8:30 CDST (9:30 EDST) were crossing the IL/IN state line.

10:20 pm (Eastern Daylight Saving Time)

We crossed the IN/ MI state line and checked into a Holiday Inn Express in New Buffalo, MI at 10:30 p.m. It was a long day but very rewarding as we saw many new lights and enjoyed the time with other lighthouse enthusiasts!

[edit] September 15, 2010, Thursday

9:40 am

We enjoyed sleeping in this morning and after breakfast at the hotel, we left and headed north along the Lake Michigan shore.

10:10 am

We decided to take advantage of being so close to some lighthouses we had photographed before but wanted to see again and take digital photos. Our first stop was the St. Joseph North Pier Inner & Outer Lights, which were erected at the mouth of the St. Joseph River in 1907 and 1919 to replace the original light built in 1832. We left there at 10:40 am and took the A2 highway north, a nice drive with very little traffic. It was another sunny beautiful day - a little cool and breezy in the morning.

11:10 am

We arrived in South Haven and photographed the South Haven South Pier Light built in 1903. We had photographed both the St. Joseph and South Haven lights in 1988 on our third trip and then the South Haven Light again in 1996 on our twenty-sixth trip.
We left South Haven and headed toward home. We made several stops: Fenn Valley Winery, Cranes Orchard and Pies for lunch, a coin shop in Lansing and Wal-Mart.

4:15 pm

We arrived home.

Again, our thanks to the USLHS, and especially to Skip & Mary Lee Sherwood, for allowing us to join them on this cruise. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed visiting with many friends again.

Trip Totals: 12 Lighthouses (7 new), 691 miles (by car), 2 days.

Navigational Options

Return to Expedition Home Page
Return to Lighthouse Home Page
Go to Alphabetical Listing
Go to Geographical Listing

Lighthouses: A Photographic Journey

Conceived and Developed by David S. Carter
Photographs by Donald W. Carter
Text by Diana K. Carter, Donald W. Carter & David S. Carter

Copyright © 1995-2011 David S. Carter, Donald W. Carter, & Diana K. Carter. All rights reserved. Reproduction by any means, physical or electronic, in part or in full, without the express permission of the authors, is strictly prohibited.

This article was last modified on 10/10/2010.

Personal tools