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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
East Tawas in Iosco County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

The Changing Shape of Tawas Point

Shifting Sands and a New Lighthouse

 
 
The Changing Shape of Tawas Point Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 24, 2018
1. The Changing Shape of Tawas Point Marker
Inscription.
The point has steadily made to the southward and westward, and the extremity of it is now more than a mile from the light.
Report of the Light-House Board, 1873

Blowing, shifting sand on the point forced the construction of the current lighthouse in 1876.

Between the building of the first lighthouse in 1853 and the early 1870s, Tawas Point grew more than a mile to the southwest, making the light useless as an aid to navigation. Congress appropriated $30,000 for the construction of a new lighthouse in 1875 to replace the outdated light.

It is intended to guide into the harbor of Tawas, which, from its situation so near the mouth of the much-dreaded Saginaw Bay, is of great value, and much resorted to for refuge.
Annual Report of the Light-House Board, 1873

Schooners such as Boscobel and Buckeye State carried vast amounts of lumber from Tawas sawmills. Increasing amounts of vessel traffic carrying lumber, iron ore, grain, and other commodities made lighthouses such as the one at Tawas Point critical for safe navigation.
 
Erected by Michigan Historical Center & Michigan Historical Museum.
 
Location. 44° 15.247′ N, 83° 
Marker detail: This 1880s photo shows water surrounding the wooden "crib" protecting the lighthouse image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of Neil Thornton
2. Marker detail: This 1880s photo shows water surrounding the wooden "crib" protecting the lighthouse
26.943′ W. Marker is in East Tawas, Michigan, in Iosco County. Marker can be reached from Tawas Beach Road 3 miles east of U.S. 23. Touch for map. Marker is located inside Tawas Point State Park, at the end of Tawas Beach Road, along the walking path on the northeast side of the lighthouse. Marker is at or near this postal address: 686 Tawas Beach Road, East Tawas MI 48730, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A New Light on the Horizon (here, next to this marker); Preserving the Light (here, next to this marker); Tawas Point Light Station (within shouting distance of this marker); Double Dwelling (within shouting distance of this marker); Tawas Lighthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Oil House (within shouting distance of this marker); Konotin-Iosco (approx. 3 miles away); Alabaster (approx. 6.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in East Tawas.
 
More about this marker. This is a tall, metal, triangular, "kiosk-style" marker.
 
Also see . . .  Tawas Point Light. In 1867, the Inspector of the lighthouse said that the lighthouse was wearing down to the point where they should consider renovating it. The Lighthouse Board ignored his request to put more money in the lighthouse because they had bigger
Marker detail: Nautical Chart, Tawas Point, 1997 image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Nautical Chart, Tawas Point, 1997
This nautical Chart produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows Tawas Point as it appeared in 1997.
problems at hand. The waves caused sand build-up by the Point, which added almost a mile more of land. The lighthouse was so far inland that mariners were unable to see the lighthouse's light. To add to the problem this lighthouse was known for its dim light. With all these problems combined, it caused a shipwreck from Captain Olmstead's schooner "Dolphin". This caused the Lighthouse board to reconsider. In 1875 Congress approved a $30,000 amount for a brand new lighthouse. They finished building the lighthouse sometime in 1877. (Submitted on October 1, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels
 
Marker detail: Tawas Point Continues to Grow image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: Tawas Point Continues to Grow
These aerial photographs show how Tawas Point has continued to grow in the 20th century. The middle photo shows Tawas Point in 1963 during a period of low water level on the Great Lakes.
The Changing Shape of Tawas Point Marker (<i>tall view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 24, 2018
5. The Changing Shape of Tawas Point Marker (tall view)
The Changing Shape of Tawas Point Marker (<i>wide view; Tawas Point Lighthouse in background</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 24, 2018
6. The Changing Shape of Tawas Point Marker (wide view; Tawas Point Lighthouse in background)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 3, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 29, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 30 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 1, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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