We drove to Gulliver, MI today to visit the Seul Choix Lighthouse. It located out on a peninsula into Lake Michigan at Seul Choix Point. The French name means “only choice” and was apparently one of the few area of refuge from storms available to early French traders traveling in this part of Lake Michigan. In the late 19th Century the US Lighthouse Board wanted to mark the sheltering harbor and provide a visual waypoint for ships traveling the 100 mile stretch of Lake Michigan between the St. Helena Island lighthouse and the one on Poverty Island. The Seul Choix Lighthouse was first lighted in 1892 and was automated in 1972. It’s 77 ft. tall with 91 steps to reach the beacon room. I climbed up to the top today for the view out over the lake.
When the lighthouse was automated, it was left unmanned by the Coast Guard. The buildings were eventually taken over by the Gulliver Historical Society in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and underwent a historical restoration. The interior of the keeper’s house has been decorated with late 19th and early 20th century items to provide the appearance of that period. The lighthouse is said to be haunted by one of the previous keepers, Joseph William Townsend. Visitors and workers at the lighthouse complex have reported strange happenings, including moved silverware and other items, footsteps, the strong smell of cigars and the sound of someone climbing the lighthouse steps.
I’ve notice some of the beaches around Lake Michigan are covered with layers of shells. They are the remnants of the finger nail sized Zebra mussel that has infested the Great Lakes. The are native to Eastern Europe and Western Russia and have hitchhiked to the Great Lakes in the ballast water held in the hulls of freighters. They are a serious nuisance to power plants and water treatment plants as they can clog the intakes and shut down a plant. They can also clog boat motors. Natural resources agencies around the Great lakes are have been working to prevent their spread through advertising, education, and inspection of boats as they move from lake to lake. It looks like an uphill battle.
We’ll be leaving Lake Michigan and head toward Lake Superior tomorrow, Saturday. Our next stop is Tahquamenon Falls State Park which is some what primitive and will be out of touch for the next 4 or 5 days so won’t be making any posts here. Stay tuned.