Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association-
Big Sable Point, Little Sable Point, Ludington North Breakwater Lighthouses, and the White River Light Station.
Big Sable Point Lighthouse (Open 7 Days a Week 10-5)
Take a Tour of Big Sable!
Nestled among jack pines, just a quick two mile walk along a breathtaking trail, stands Big Sable’s noble black and white tower. At over one hundred feet tall, this historic beacon is a huge attraction for its owner, Ludington State Park. The1867 lighthouse and grounds are operated by SPLKA, (Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association) a non-profit which proudly manages three historic lighthouses within a thirty mile stretch of Lake Michigan’s shoreline. Since 1987, their mission has been the restoration, preservation, education and accessibility of their lighthouse charges. SPLKA also operates a Volunteer Keepers program which allows its members the opportunity to live and work within the lighthouses completely free of charge during the seven month season, May-October. Visitors are welcome to explore the grounds, tour the original Keeper’s Quarters which have been converted into a Gift Shop, stroll along the sand dunes or climb the tower. This year, (grant match pending) SPLKA hopes to begin the first of several phases on the seawall reconstruction project.
Ludington North Breakwater Light (Open 7 Days a Week 10-5, Mondays Open Until 8)
Take A Tour of Ludington North Breakwater!
Just down the shore from Big Sable stands the Ludington North Breakwater Light, another charge of SPLKA’s and a partner with the City of Ludington. This 1924 light is also open for tours and tower climbs and boasts a vibrant green light from its tower. The Breakwater Light is at the end of a half mile walk down the pier, and is exquisite in its design. Volunteer Keepers are welcome at this light as well, and enjoy living accommodations just within Ludington State Park.
Little Sable Point Lighthouse (Open 7 Days a Week 10-5)
Take a Tour of Little Sable!
Just south of Ludington is a magical world of seventy foot sand dunes and evergreen forests. Here, burrowed amidst the Silver Lake State Park sand dunes, stands the spectacular Little Sable Point Lighthouse. Easily the busiest of these three lights, the 1874 tower stands alone at the base of Lake Michigan, over a hundred feet tall and still harboring its original 3rd order Fresnel lens. In 2010, thanks to a Federal Coastal Zone Management grant, the Pathways to Illumination project was completed. This well-paved pathway leads through what once was a steep dune that inhibited many visitors from making it to the light. Here you’ll find more friendly SPLKA Volunteer Keepers welcoming you to climb the tower and take in the extraordinary views of forest and dunes that surrounds you. All towers may be climbed for the small price of $1 for children and $3 for adults. Educational tours are available by appointment, and are warmly received by staff and volunteers who love to share their Michigan maritime knowledge.
White River Light Station (Open Tuesday-Sunday 10-5, Closed Monday)
Take a Tour of White RIver Light Station!
The White River Light station was built in 1875, just four years after the Great Chicago fire. A channel was dug in 1870 between Lake Michigan and White Lake to facilitate the access of lumber schooners. The ship captains were headed to the sawmills which were located on White Lake, a tributary of the White River and adjacent to the majestic pine forests. Eventually, passengers traveled on steamships from Chicago to enjoy the summer resort activities of the White Lake area. The beautiful brick building still reverberates with the character and stories of such prominent residents as the first keeper. Captain William Robinson came from England and served 47 years with his wife Sarah and their large family of thirteen children. Many significant keepers followed, including a woman offering years of brave and dedicated service Francis Marshall. Francis also holds the distinction of serving as the last female lighthouse keeper in Michigan. The light station was decommissioned in 1960 and opened its doors as a museum in 1970 under the ownership and management of Fruitland Township. Today, SPLKA, a non-profit that proudly manages four lighthouses along Lake Michigan’s shoreline, operates the White River Lighthouse. You can climb to the top of her tower or wander around the museum and grounds. Don’t miss viewing the original Fourth Order Fresnel lens on display in the museum. To get to the museum take US-31 to White Lake Dr exit. Turn right (heading west) on to South Shore Drive. Turn left and continue following Museum Signs to the end of Murray Road.
Contact SPLKA: www.splka.org
General inquiries- email@example.com