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Grassy Island North Range, MI  Lighthouse destroyed.   

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Grassy Island North Range Lighthouse

1893 – Grassy Island North End Range, on Grassy Island, Detroit River, Michigan.—When a vessel leaves Detroit for Lake Erie it is carried by the direction of the channel and the current of the river toward the head of Fighting Island, which is low and has flats covered with water, extending 800 feet or more from the shore line toward the channel on the west side of the island near its north end. It is proposed to place range lights to mark the channel, so that vessels may take a more direct and certain course and avoid the danger of running upon the flats. In going up the river the same range will indicate the point at which the range past Grassy Island may be dropped with certainty of clearing the flats off Fighting Island. It is estimated that this range can be established for not exceeding $5,500, and the Board recommends that an appropriation of this amount be made therefor.

1894 – Grassy Island north channel range and keeper's dwelling, on Grassy Island, Detroit River, Michigan.—The following recommendation, made in the Board’s last annual report, is renewed:
When a vessel leaves Detroit for Lake Erie it is carried by the direction of the channel and the current of the river toward the head of Fighting Island, which is low and has flats covered with water, extending 800 feet or more from the shore line toward the channel on the west side of the island near its north end. It is proposed to place range lights to mark the channel, so that vessels may take a more direct and certain course and avoid the danger of running upon the flats. In going up the river the same range will indicate the point at which the range at Grassy Island may be dropped with certainty of clearing the flats off Fighting Island. It is estimated that this range can be established for not exceeding $5,500, and the Board recommends that an appropriation of this amount be made therefor.
A keeper’s dwelling is indispensable to the proper care of this station. It is estimated that it can be erected at a cost not to exceed $4,500; and it is recommended that an appropriation of this amount be made therefor.

1895 – Grassy Island north channel range, Grassy Island, Detroit River, Michigan.—For the establishment of this and Grassy Island south channel range $6,700 was appropriated by the act approved March 2, 1895. A survey was made covering an area of 2,400 feet by 200 feet; borings were made to determine the character of the bottom, and the proposed range line was staked out. A map of this survey was prepared.

1896 – Grassy Island (north channel) Range, Detroit River, Michigan.—Plans and specifications for the station buildings were completed and bids were asked for their construction. The lights are to be fixed white shown from lens lanterns.

1897 – Grassy Island (north channel) Range, Detroit River, Michigan.—The buildings, dwelling and front beacon, rear beacon and boathouse, including the foundation, were built by contract, for $5,790, exclusive of illuminating apparatus. The lights were first displayed on April 1,1897. Some additional work, not covered by the contract, was done, chiefly to an embankment about the dwelling and front beacon. This range completes the system of range lights in the Detroit River.

1898 – Grassy Island (north channel) Range, Detroit River, Michigan.—The embankment between the front and rear beacons was graded and a plank walk built thereon. The embankment about the front beacon and the dwelling was improved, and a plank walk was built about the dwelling. Repairs were made.

1899 – Grassy Island (north channel) range, Detroit River, Michigan.—The channel side of the embankment, forming a walk between the front and rear beacons, was riprapped with stone for a distance of about 720 feet. Various repairs were made.

1900 – Grassy Island, north channel range, Detroit River, Michigan.—The slopes of the embankment between and about the beacons were riprapped with about 100 cords of stone. The sheet piling under the boathouse and front side of wharf were battened where necessary to retain the earth idling. The old boat slip was filled up with earth and overlaid with a floor inside of the boathouse, and 6 feet outside, with an inclined platform provided with oak rollers for taking in the keeper’s boat.

1901 – Grassy Island north channel range, Detroit River, Michigan.—Some 5 cords of riprap stone was placed on slopes of the embankment between the beacons to prevent washing away of earth. Various repairs were made.

1902 – Grassy Island, north channel range, Detroit River, Michigan.—An ice house was built. Some 39 cords of riprap stone were placed on the east side of the embankment between beacons to prevent washouts. The color of the keeper’s dwelling and towers was changed from yellowish drab to light straw color, with white trimmings, on the opening of navigation, 1902. Various repairs were made.

1905 – Grassy Island north channel range, Detroit River, Michigan.—An iron oil house was erected. Some 150 running feet of concrete walk was built. Some 741 tons of riprap were placed around the rear beacon and on the slopes of the embankment between the beacons.

1905 – A square iron oil house of about 540 gallons capacity was erected at each of the following-named light-stations: Rock Island, N. Y.; Tibbetts Point, N. Y.; Buffalo, N. Y.; Conneaut, Ohio; Port Clinton, Ohio; Grassy Island north channel range, Michigan.

1906 – Grassy Island north channel range, Detroit River, Michigan.—Some 5,000 cubic yards of earth were placed on the embankment between the beacons over a distance of 800 feet northeasterly from the rear beacon. Some 598 tons of riprap stone were placed on the banks to protect them from damage by water and ice. Various repairs were made.

1916 – E. Van Natta, keeper south range, and H.W. Noel, keeper north range, towed disabled motor boat owned by L. Cuneaz, with 8 passengers aboard to shore.

1917 – Grassy Island North Channel Range. Rebuilt concrete base for tower; discontinued Ecorse Rear Range, steel tower in its place; built concrete shore protection around dwellings at upper end of range; rebuilt wharves.

1923 – Clement E. Richardson, keeper of Grassy Island North Channel Range Light Station, Mich., on June 21 rescued two occupants of a rowboat which capsized in the vicinity of the light station. See LSB Aug 1923.

1924 – C. E. Richardson, keeper of Grassy Island, North Channel Range Light Station, Mich., on October 27 went to the rescue of a woman in a sinking rowboat near the station.

1933 – Wyandotte Light Station, Mich. Consolidation of Grassy Island North Channel Range and Grosse Isle Light Stations. The site in Wyandotte has been purchased, plans for the dwelling, boathouse, etc., are complete, and lighting equipment for Grassy Island Range has been purchased, also a steel tower has been fabricated and the necessary dredging done. Cost to June 30, 1933. $8,834.

1934 – Wyandotte, Mich. The keepers’ dwelling and boathouse have been built. Project completed. Total cost, $20,960.

1954 – Grassy Island electrified and candlepower increased.

Keepers: George A. Dillon (1897 – 1901), Andrew J. Bruce (1901 – 1911), Ralph Heater (1911 – 1912), Henry W. Noel (1912 – at least 1916), George H.A. Burzlaff (1916 – 1920), Clement E. Richardson (1921 – 1927).


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