Lighthouse showing Lake MichiganI’ve been all over town this past week, a local gone tourist during leaf peeping season. Wednesday took me to the Point Betsie Lighthouse on M-22 just a few miles north of Frankfort. After I finished my cardio rehab I was less than 10 miles from the lighthouse and decided to take a ride up to see it for myself.  The picture featured for my post was from the street level and captured the lighthouse very well.

I climb the hill that the lighthouse sits on so I could see Lake Michigan in the background.  The lighthouse is open to the public during the summer months but I just missed my opportunity since it just closed for this year’s season. I’m always a day late and a dollar short….oh well. I can still explore…right?

Lighthouse showing SleepingOn the other side of the lighthouse you can see the beginning of Sleeping Bear Dunes that is just to the north of the Point Betsie Lighthouse. Earlier this week I went with my husband to explore and photograph the Sleeping Bear Dunes.  If you missed my previous post, go back here to catch the breathtaking views I captured on film.  You won’t want to miss it.  Did you know Sleeping Bear Dunes had approximately 1.5 million visitors last year?

plaque for lighthouseThe Point Betsie Lighthouse is the oldest structure still standing in Benzie County, established in 1858.  However it wasn’t transferred over to Benzie County until 2004.

The lighthouse was first lit on October 20, 1858 and has continued to serve mariners for over 150 years. The lighthouse marks the southern end of the Manitou Passage.  The lighthouse sits 52 feet above the water and shines for 15 miles.  Point Betsie, also known as  Point aux Becs Scies according to the National Register of Historical Places.  According to the website “The Friends of Point Betsie Lighthouse” the Indians named the Betsie River for the Sawbill or Merganser duck which was prevalent in the area. That identification was continued by the early French explorers, who used “Aux Bec Scies,” of comparable meaning, as the name of the river as well as the nearby point.

There’s a long history of the lighthouse keepers for the Point Betsie Lighthouse over all these years. After the transfer of the lighthouse to Benzie County the restoration of the lighthouse was done and completed in 2006.

man walking beach at lighthouseA few other people were exploring the beach and one man framed my photograph while I was climbing along the rocky shoreline at the foot of the lighthouse. The colors in Lake Michigan almost remind me of the waters around the Keys in Florida, but not nearly as warm….brrr…

You can see a really cool aireal view of the area including the Point Betsie Lighthouse (6:27 on video) taken June 2014.  The music is kind of annoying you can see the coastline of the area really good.  Here’s another aerial video of the lighthouse only that at least has the sound of the waves and is more relaxing to listen to.

After my visit to the lighthouse I started back towards home but not before I ventured around the area known as Crystalia.  This is the area that is home to the Congregational Summer Assembly.  I’ll share this part of my adventure in a separate post….stay tuned.

One thought on “Point Betsie Lighthouse

  1. Thanks Diane, I learned something new today. Interesting article and you know how much lighthouses mean to me.

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