National Geographic : 1913 Jan
A TUG TOWING A CAISSON TO BE SUNK FOR A LIGHTHOUSE FOUNDATION (SEE PAGES 20 AND 26) cut to interlock. Dwellings for the keepers' families were built on the shore, accommodations for the men only being provided in the tower. Longfellow visited Minots light in 1871, and in a letter thus describes it: "The lighthouse rises out of the sea like a beautiful stone cannon, mouth upward, belching forth only friendly fires." SPECTACLE REEF AND STANNARD ROCK Spectacle Reef lighthouse, built on a reef near the northern end of Lake Hu ron, is a stone tower standing in a depth of ii feet of water, 10 statute miles from land. It is in a position exposed to heavy ice action. A coffer-dam was constructed at the site, the water was pumped out, the bed-rock was leveled off, and the lighthouse was constructed of cut stone, securely fastened. It was completed in 1874, and is a notable engineering work. The first year it was well tested by the ice. When the keepers returned to the tower in the spring of 1875 they found the ice piled against it to a height of 30 feet. As this was 7 feet above the door way, they had to cut through the ice to enter. Stannard Rock light, 24 statute miles from the nearest land and marking the most dangerous reef in Lake Superior, is the most distant from shore of any lighthouse in this country. It was com pleted in 1882, constructed in a manner similar to that on Spectacle Reef, and stands in the same depth of water-II feet (see page 15). WHITE SHOAL LIGHT White Shoal, a dangerous spot in Lake Michigan, at the entrance to the Straits of Mackinac, was marked for 19 years by a light vessel anchored over it. On account of the ice, this vessel could not be kept on the station during a portion of the season of navigation in the spring and fall. As the unmarked shoal was a serious menace to navigation at these seasons, an appropriation was made for building a lighthouse, and this was com pleted in 191I at a cost of $225,000. A timber crib 72 feet square and 18 feet high was built on shore and floated out to the site, where the depth of water was 22 feet. The bottom, which is of coarse gravel, was covered with 2 feet of rock, and the crib was filled with stone and sunk. Above this was built a con crete pier, which supports the lighthouse.