1840 MEMORIAL of THE LEGISLATURE OF MICHIGAN, praying the erection of a lighthouse, and the improvement of the harbor at the month of the Clinton river, on Lake St. Clair. MARCH 3, 1840.
To the honorable the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States, in Congress assembled:
The memorial of the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Michigan, convened in the city of Detroit, at their regular session for the year 1840, RESPECTFULLY REPRESENTS:
That, in the opinion of your memorialists, a portion of the expenditures of the public moneys of our General Government can in no way be made to contribute, in a greater proportionate degree, to the general good, than by applying the same to the improvement of such harbors on our lakes, and the building of such light-houses, as will contribute to the general safety, convenience, and prosperity of that portion of our commerce whose operations are particularly confined to these waters.
The vast amount of goods and produce transported upon our western lakes, and the great number of our citizens and others almost hourly exposed to the perils of this navigation, seem to us fully to warrant the conclusion that such objects are worthy the attention and patronage of Congress. While it is admitted that, probably, some of the appropriations for similar objects have been granted without sufficient previous examination, it is confidently believed that others have been withheld to the serious injury of the general interests of western commerce and navigation; and of this latter class may justly be ranked the proposed light-house and harbor improvements at the mouth of the Clinton river, (at Belvidere,) on Lake St. Clair, in this State. The position of this harbor, being about midway on the western shore of said lake, and being the only harbor on this lake; in connexion with the fact that said lake is too shoal for navigation, except by following the channels which pass through it; and that the best, and, indeed, the only, channel by which the larger classes of vessels and steamboats can pass through this lake, is that, called the north channel, which passes close to the mouth of said Clinton river, and, by a serpentine course, connects with the upper navigation; taken in connexion, also, with the important consideration that this is the only channel of connexion or communication between the upper and lower lakes, through which channel no vessels can at present pass, in the night season, for want of a lighthouse at Belvidere to guide them: all seem to indicate this point as one peculiarly meriting the early and favorable action of Congress, in a general and national view of the subject. This harbor has, moreover, from the first settlement of that part of our State, been looked upon as the natural channel through which must pass the exports and imports of one of the richest portions of this peninsula: and now, since the surrounding country, rich in agricultural products, has greatly increased, and is still rapidly increasing, in population and wealth; and more especially since the location of that great and important State work, the Clinton and Kalamazoo canal, (which is located to cross the State from the Clinton to the Kalamazoo rivers, thus connecting Lake St. Clair on the east with Lake Michigan on the west,) this subject has been greatly increased in importance.
The project of improving the harbor above referred to is not liable to the objection that sufficient preliminary surveys and examinations have not been made, as, by reference to the War Department of the United States, there will be found in the Topographical Bureau a full report of the survey made of this harbor by Lieutenant Colonel Anderson, of the engineer corps, in January, 1834, accompanied by an appropriate map and plan; by reference to which, it will be seen that the whole estimated expense of the proposed improvements for this harbor, including the erection of a light-house, amounts only to the comparatively trifling sum of $10,000.
1847 For a light-house at Clinton River, in the State of Michigan. March 3, 1847, $3,000.
1850 Clinton River, Lake St. Clair, June 28, 1850 The dock at this place has been repaired since my last, and I consider it now in good order. The privy was carried off by the sea previous to repairing the dock, which wants to be replaced. Estimated cost $15. The tower wants some repairs, which may cost $10. This house is built on a dock away from the mainland, and in this respect is situated similar to those in Detroit river. It is devoid of a wood-house, and as it is much exposed. I would respectfully recommend that one be built like those put up in the Detroit river this spring. The estimated cost is $75. Conduct of keeper good.
1855 Keeper L.M. Trombly $350
1855 Five sets of illuminating apparatus and three steamer lens lanterns have been received, which have been applied as follows: At Milwaukee, a 4th order revolving lens light; at Grand river, the same; at Round island, a 5th order fixed light, varied by flashes; at the mouth of Portage river, a 5th order revolving light; at La Pointe harbor, a 4th order fixed light; at the outlet of Winnebago lake, a steamer lens lantern, and a similar one substituted for the old reflectors in the lighthouse at the mouth of Clinton river.
1859 Congress at its last session having empowered the department, upon the recommendation of the Light-house Board, to discontinue from time to time such lights as may become useless by reason of mutations of commerce and changes of channels of harbors, and other causes, the following lights have been dispensed with, viz: Clinton River, Round Island, Rock Harbor.
1910 Isolated oil houses were erected at the following-named stations during the fiscal year 1910 from the appropriation Oil houses for light-stations.
1918 Clinton River Range Lights, Lake St. Clair. On October 24, 1918, the characteristic of Clinton River Range lights was changed as follows: Front Light shows flashing white every second, flash 0.3 second duration, of 30 candlepower. Rear Light shows occulting white every 2 seconds, light 1 second, eclipse 1 second, of 30 candlepower.
1928 A new steel tower was erected at this station.
Keepers: S.B. Axtell (1848 1849), George Kellogg (1849 1851), Jerome Wild (1851 1853), Robert Meldrum (1853 1855), Lewis M. Trombly (1855 1856), Robert Meldrum (1856 1859), Jerry Smith (1908 1911), David Peltier (1912 ), Jerry Smith (at least 1913), W.A. Smith (at least 1915).