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Birch Point Range, MI  Lighthouse destroyed.   

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Birch Point Range Lighthouse

1896 – Head of St. Marys River, St. Marys River, Michigan—Two lights are now maintained at the head of St. Marys River at private expense. It is proposed to replace them with a set of range lights to mark the channel at the entrance to St. Marys River. It is estimated that this can be done for $1,000, and it is recommended that an appropriation of this amount be made therefor.

1897 – Head of St. Marys River, St. Marys River, Michigan.—The following recommendation, made in the Board's last annual report is renewed: Two lights are now maintained at the head of St. Marys River at private expense. It is proposed to replace them with a set of range lights to mark the channel at the entrance to St. Marys River. It is estimated that this can be done for $1,000, and it is recommended that an appropriation of this amount be made therefor.

1898 - Head of St. Marys River, St. Marys River, Michigan—By the sundry civil appropriation act approved July 1, 1898, an appropriation of $1,000 was made for establishing an additional set of range lights to mark the channel at the entrance to St. Marys River. This work will be done as soon as practicable.

1899 – Head of St. Marys River range, Michigan.—Pending negotiations for title for the sites of these range lights, it was learned that by reason of hidden obstructions on the course which they are to mark out it might be necessary to change the course somewhat, and in consequence the position of the lights. Until the maps are prepared which will determine this negotiations for the land are suspended.

1900 – Head of St Marys River Range, Michigan—The act approved July 1, 1898, provided $1,000 for establishing an additional set of range lights to mark the channel at the entrance to St. Marys River. This amount being found insufficient for the erection of proper beacons and a suitable dwelling for the keeper, recommendation was made that an additional appropriation of $2,700 be secured for this work. The act approved June 6, 1900, provided the additional sum required. Surveys of the sites needed for the erection of the above-named structures were made, and maps and tracings prepared showing the locations on which the beacons should be erected. Title to the site for the front beacon was obtained. Condemnation proceedings to secure the land needed for the site for the rear beacon were instituted. Five granite monuments for marking the corners of the sites were purchased and delivered at the Detroit depot.

1901 – Head of St. Marys River Range, Michigan.—The act approved July 1, 1898, and June 6, 1900, provided the sums of $1,000 and $2,700, respectively, for the erection of proper beacons and a suitable dwelling for the keeper. Title to the site for the front beacon was obtained by purchase, and to the site upon which the rear beacon is erected by condemnation proceedings. Plans and specifications of the buildings were prepared, and the materials were purchased and delivered at the site. Building operations were commenced at the site on May 13, and the work was practically completed at the close of the year. The beacons are square, pyramidal skeletons. The front beacon is 48 feet and the rear beacon 72 feet high to the focal plane. The front range tower is erected near the extreme point of the site. The rear range tower is erected on the shore, 970 feet southeast of the front range. The dwelling consists of two rooms, with a kitchen and lean-to woodshed. The other structures are of painted wood. A sand and gravel walk was laid across the swamp and leading to the rear tower, and the grounds around the dwelling and that portion of the site extending from the beach to the rear line of the Government holdings was cleared. The building of a landing crib was in progress when the year closed. The range will probably be lighted early in July.

1901 - HEAD of RIVER St. MARY RANGE LIGHT STATION
Notice is herebv given that, on or about the 8th July, 1901, the following described range lights will be established at Birch point, southerly side of River St. Mary, to guide through the head of the river from the range line marked by River St. Mary, upper range lights to Whitefish bay.
Front light, a fixed white lens-lantern light, 53 feet above lake level, on a white, square, pyramidal, skeleton iron tower, with a white day-mark of horizontal slats, at the water’s edge near the extreme end of the Westerly projection of Birch point.
The approximative geographical position of the light is : Lat. N. 46° 26' 3" Long. W. 84° 31’ 17"
Round island old lighthouse N.E. by N. 2/3 mile; River St. Mary upper range front lighthouse, E.N.E. 3/8 E, 9/10 mile.
Rear light, a fixed white lens-lantern light, 78 feet above lake level, on a white, square, pyramidal, skeleton iron tower with a white daymark of horizontal slats, about 970 feet S. E. 5/8 S., (S. 40° 55’ E. true) in rear of the preceding.
The approximate geographical position of the light is: Lat. N. 46° 25’ 55” Long. W. 84° 31’ 07"

1902 – Head of St. Marys River Range, Michigan.—The erection of these beacons, together with a dwelling for a keeper, which work was practically finished at the close of last year, was completed in the early part of the present year. The lights of this range were exhibited the first time on the night of July 8, 1901.

1904 – Head of St. Marys River range, Michigan—A boathouse and some 63 feet of boat ways were built, and a side landing 24 feet long was placed on small log cribs.

1907 – Head of St. Marys River Range, Michigan.—A small ice house and a storm shed were built and various minor repairs were made.

1908 – Beginning with the opening of navigation, 1909, the names of ranges at the head of St. Mary’s River will be changed as follows:
Head of St. Mary’s River Range, located on the southerly shore of St. Mary’s River, westerly prolongation of Birch Point, will be officially designated as Birch Point Range Light-Station.

1908 – Complaint has been made in regard to the poor condition of the Head of St. Mary’s River range lights (known also as Bernard Range and Birch Point Range). The matter was taken up by your President and on August 20th reflector lights were substituted for the lens-lantern lights, the trees back of the range were cut down and the towers newly painted.

1910 – Isolated oil houses were erected at the following-named stations during the fiscal year 1910 from the appropriation "Oil houses for light-stations."

1915 – Moved dwelling over ice from Brush Point, extended sea wall, repaired docks, laid walks, drove well, and other minor improvements. $2,800.

1916 – Fred Warner, keeper, recovered disabled boat adrift in violent gale. Motor Boat, R.V. Duncan, owner. Happened on October 15.

Keepers: Donald E. Harrison (1901 – 1904), Fred Warner (1904 – 1909), Fred Warner (1909 – at least 1917), Robert Eldridge (at least 1919 – at least 1930).


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