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99. White River Light Station & Museum

April 9, 2011

The White River Light Station is a gem tucked away from busy roads and the quick scenic drive by. You have to follow the White Lake shoreline to get back into the White River Light Station. If you are up for a scenic drive and a short walk of the legs this is a good place to stop. The lot is paved and right next to the channel to walk along the river channel to Lake Michigan. If you are looking for quite spot to fish or hang out at the beach this is a good place as well. If the museum is having a special event like a wedding or something the lot maybe full but their is parking down the road. To finish the day off I recommend a nice scenic drive south to North Muskegon along scenic drive and stop at Bernnie-O’s for some great pizza.

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A Towering Symbol of Michigan´s Maritime History

By the close of the civil war, Michigan´s lumbering era was in full swing.In that time the Muskegon/White Lake area was known as “The Lumber Queen of the World”, and contributed substantially to the nation´s rapid growth.

Shipping over the Great Lakes was the primary means of transporting this lumber. Such intense commerce demanded better ports, waterways and aids to navigation. Lighthouses played a central role in Great Lakes commerce by serving as essential guides through the dangerous and stormy waters of the “inland seas”.

The WhiteRiver Light Station now serves as a reminder of the importance of our past, as well as the contribution and sacrifices our ancestors made in shaping the present we now live in. The stately old building made of Michigan Limestone and brick, reverberates with the character of such figures as Captain William Robinson, his wife Sarah and their children. William was instrumental in the building´s commissioning and construction. As the first keeper of the light, he served for 47 years, making him one of Michigan´s eldest keepers. The museum offers an opportunity to visualize a life that was centered around the Great Lakes.

The Exhibits
Photographs, paintings, artifacts and stories can instill a renewed sense of our Maritime History, which is rich in folklore. The bustling enterprises of the age; shipping, logging, the Lighthouse Service, the fishing industry and the resort center activities are depicted in numerous exhibits. They chronicle local activities, while placing them in the larger perspective of regional Great Lakes Maritime history.

The collection of artifacts entice one to discover and learn firsthand about the nautical and navigational devices including: a binnacle, compasses, bilge pump, chronograph, sextant and a ships helm among many items. Listen to a fog horn, see the original Fresnel lens which reflected the source in the tower, and climb the spiral stairs for a glimpse of Lake Michigan´s unique sand dunes that stretch along the coastline to azure waters.


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