Near Frankfort in Benzie County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Fog Signal Building
On December 12, 1891, the Lighthouse Board issued a "Notice to Mariners" informing them that a long sought steam-powered fog signal, featuring two 10-inch whistles similar to those then used on locomotives, had been installed at Point Betsie. This 22 by 40-foot building, utilizing corrugated iron siding and roofing and smooth iron lining, contained two sets of boilers and machinery to protect against an equipment breakdown. The building's current exterior is replicate, while the interior walls are original.
The boilers were wood and coal-fired until the early 1920s, when electricity reached Point Betsie and the equipment was replaced with a more powerful compressor-driven diaphone. Mariners guiding their ships through thick fogs welcomed the greater protection provided by nearly instantaneous two-toned sound blasts every 30 seconds. Doubtless, the change also made life somewhat less burdensome for the light station's three-man crew.
Another important technological innovation came to this building in the mid-1920s, when a radiobeacon was installed, utilizing two tall antenna towers erected immediately north of the building.
Advancing navigational technological gradually rendered the diaphone and radio beacon obsolete, and most of the equipment was removed from the building in the mid-1970s.
Erected by The Friends of Point Betsie Lighthouse.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Communications • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Lighthouses series list. A significant historical date for this entry is December 12, 1891.
Location. 44° 41.496′ N, 86° 15.298′ W. Marker is near Frankfort, Michigan, in Benzie County. The Fog Signal Building and marker are on the Point Betsie Lighthouse grounds. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3701 Point Betsie Road, Frankfort MI 49635, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Oil House (a few steps from this marker); Gravestone at Point Betsie (within shouting distance of this marker); First Congregational Church (approx. 4.1 miles away); War Memorial (approx. 4.1 miles away); Marquette's Death (approx. 4.2 miles away); Crystal Lake (approx. 8.9 miles away); Mills Community House (approx. 9.2 miles away); Bruce Catton (approx. 9.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Frankfort.
Also see . . . Point Betsie Lighthouse. Lighthouse website homepage (Submitted on October 1, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on January 17, 2022. It was originally submitted on October 1, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 363 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 1, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.