I worked as a tour guide for two summers at the Umpqua River Lighthouse in Oregon. This opportunity enabled me to learn more about this lighthouse than any of the others I've seen. Although I have personally visited 302 lighthouses in the United States and three Provinces in Canada, the Umpqua River Lighthouse has special meaning for me.
The Point Betsie Lighthouse is located at the southern end of Manitou Passage at Frankfort, MI. It was built at a cost of $3,000 in 1858. The original name given was "Pointe Aux Becs Scies." This was such an important light that the original thirty-seven foot tower was replaced with a new 100 foot tower. The cylindrical light tower is surmounted by a ten sided cast iron lantern and produces a lens focal plane fifty-two feet above the mean low water level of Lake Michigan. It contains a fourth order Fresnel lens with flash panels. It was the last staffed light station on the east shore of Lake Michigan when the Coast Guard automated the light in 1983. The crystal lamp originally burned coal oil and later kerosene. At the time of my visit in 1998 this lighthouse had been electrified and the light automated. The lighthouse was owned by the Coast Guard and the old keepers quarters were being used for Coast Guard family housing.