Manistee North Pierhead Light
Congress had authorized the construction of a light at the mouth of the Manistee River in 1860, but it wasn't until 1870 when the light was constructed on the south pier. The Michigan forest fire of 1871, which destroyed much of the lower peninsular, also destroyed the lighthouse a year after it was completed.
Two piers extend into Lake Michigan from the mouth of the Manistee River, at Manistee. In 1873 new lighthouses were built on both the south and north piers. The north pier light was a combination fog signal and light tower and was located at the end of the wooden north pier. An elevated wooden catwalk running from the shore to the light was added to the new light.
Major harbor improvements were made in 1927 and both pier lights were removed. A new 39 foot tall, white, cylindrical cast iron tower was built at the end of the north pier whose light still shines out over Lake Michigan. The ten-sided lantern room contained a Fifth Order Fresnel lens which has been updated with a 300 MM lens. A reconstructed elevated catwalk connects the lighthouse to the shore, which was used by the keepers to access the light in bad weather.
Directions: From the junction of M-55 and US-31, east of Manistee, go west then south on US-31 approximately 1.6 miles to Memorial Drive, the last street before crossing the Manistee River. Turn right (west) onto Memorial Drive, which changes to 5th Avenue at a blinking light, and go one mile to the beach parking area.