Lighthouses

Big Sable Point Lighthouse

featuring Kenny G's "Seaside Jam"

Big Sable Point Lighthouse is one of the tallest on the Great Lakes, and one of the most popular for its location within Michigan’s Ludington State Park, a popular summer getaway. The light stands on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan and requires a two-mile hike (or bicycle ride) across sandy terrain or through the nearby woods.

The light was first lit in 1867. The original lens has since been removed, but a 300-millimeter plastic lantern continues to shine from the 112-foot tower.

Kenny G is a contemporary smooth jazz saxophonist and the most commercially-successful and well-known artist in the genre. His albums have sold more than 48 million copies in the United States alone. Kenny G currently holds four Grammys, and he once held a single saxophone note for 45 minutes and 47 seconds.

Links

Big Sable Point Lighthouse on LighthouseFriends.com
Terry Pepper’s Seeing the Light: Big Sable Point Light
Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association
Michigan DNR: Ludington State Park
Kenny G Official Site


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Key West Lighthouse

featuring The Rippingtons' "Weekend In Monaco"

Built in 1847, the Key West Lighthouse is one of the oldest in the country. In order to reduce the threat of hurricanes, which had destroyed the previous lighthouse at Key West, this tower was placed a half-mile inland. As the surrounding trees grew, along with the city of Key West, the tower needed to be heightened twice– once in 1873 and again in 1895.

The light was deactivated in 1969. Today, visitors can climb the tower, which is still tall enough to see across the Key West Historic District and out to sea. The lighthouse grounds also include a restored keeper’s quarters, which now functions as a museum.

The Rippingtons is a Grammy-nominated American contemporary jazz band. Since its formation in 1985, the band has hosted many well-known musicians that have launched successful careers. In fact, guitarist and band leader Russ Freeman is the group’s only permanent member. Notable past members include Kenny G, David Benoit, and Dave Koz.

Links

Key West Art and Historical Society: Key West Lighthouse
LighthouseFriends.com: Key West Lighthouse
Florida Keys Official Tourism Site
Rippingtons Official Site


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Marblehead Lighthouse

featuring Kirk Whalum's "My Father's Hope"

Ohio’s Marblehead Lighthouse on Lake Erie is the oldest and one of the most popular lighthouses on the Great Lakes. This lighthouse has been in continuous operation since 1822, and, like many, has undergone several transformations in its history. Visitors to the original lighthouse would have seen a rougher limestone tower, ten feet shorter, and a clear fresnel lens lit with a whale oil lantern. Today, a green lens sets the tower’s electric light apart from nearby air beacons. Now completely automated with modern technology, the light is managed by the U.S. Coast Guard and open to the public.

Nearby, sightseers can also visit the stone home of the original lighthouse keeper, Benejah Wolcott, a Revolutionary War veteran, and a museum adjacent to the lighthouse containing exhibits and artifacts from the light’s history.

Kirk Whalum is a jazz and R&B saxophonist known for his soulful songwriting and performances. Early in his career, Whalum was taken on tour by Bob James, eventually collaborating with him on several albums, including the Grammy-nominated Joined at the Hip. Whalum has also been a session musician for top artists including Barbara Streisand and Whitney Houston, and notably appeared on the latter’s mega-hit “I Will Always Love You.” An ordained minister with a Masters of Art in Religion, Whalum won a Grammy award for Best Gospel Song in 2011.

Links

Marblehead Lighthouse State Park
LighthouseFriends.com: Marblehead Lighthouse
Marblehead Lighthouse Historical Society
Kirk Whalum Official Site


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Old Presque Isle Lighthouse

featuring Adam Haines' "Erin's Poem"

Michigan’s Old Presque Isle Lighthouse was first lit on Lake Huron in 1840 to mark a natural harbor important to Great Lakes steamships. In the early 19th century, the harbor was a refuge for ships escaping storms and a source of wood for ship engines.

Years later, the lighthouse was deemed an insufficient aid to ships and a New Presque Isle Lighthouse was built at the opposite end of the same peninsula. Additionally, a pair of range lights was added to the harbor entrance. Now a public park and museum, visitors can view a restoration of the keeper’s house, learn about the site’s history, climb the original tower, and, of course, tell ghost stories (Old Presque Isle Light is rumored to be haunted).

Adam Haines is a solo piano instrumentalist. “Erin’s Poem,” featured in this episode, is from his first commercially available album, Divine Whispers.

Links

Presque Isle Township Museum Society
Terry Pepper’s Seeing the Light: Old Presque Isle Light
LighthouseFriends.com: Old Presque Isle Light Visitor Information


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Duluth Canal Lighthouses at Sunrise

featuring Acoustic Alchemy's "Something She Said"

The Duluth-Superior Harbor on the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin is the busiest bulk cargo port on the Great Lakes. But, in the early hours of the day, the waterfront becomes a therapeutic escape from the frantic activity of the rest of the day.

The entrance to the Duluth-Superior ship canal is marked by two historic lighthouses: the Duluth North Pierhead Light and the Duluth South Breakwater Light. The southern light has served the port’s freighters since 1874, but the narrowness of the canal and frequent foggy conditions necessitated a second light to the north, first lit in 1910.

Acoustic Alchemy is a smooth jazz group from London. Originally a duo of acoustic guitarists, the band has expanded and renewed itself over the decades to accommodate artistic choices and lineup changes. Now a group that mixes genres, styles, and influences, Acoustic Alchemy is a favorite adult contemporary and new age act.

Links

Terry Pepper’s Seeing the Light: Duluth North Pierhead Lighthouse
Inventory of Historic Light Stations: Duluth South Breakwater
US Army Corps of Engineers: Duluth-Superior Harbor
Acoustic Alchemy Official Site


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Point Cabrillo Lighthouse (Sunset)

featuring Chris Botti's "Midnight Without You"

The Point Cabrillo Light Station, located in Mendocino County, California, is a California State Historic Park. The lighthouse indeed has a long and interesting history. First lit in 1909, it was a guide for a record number of ships carrying lumber to rebuild San Francisco after its 1906 earthquake. It later adopted new technology when it became a monitoring station for the now-defunct LORAN electronic navigation system.

Since its construction, the lighthouse has been maintained by a variety of owners and keepers, and is now owned by California State Parks and managed by the Point Cabrillo Lightkeepers Association. The grounds includes several outbuildings including vacation rental homes. The intricate lantern uses the original third-order fresnel lens, which was refurbished in 1999.

This video features the beautiful natural setting surrounding the light, including its thick golden fields and the Pacific Ocean waves swirling in the headlands below.

Chris Botti is a contemporary jazz trumpeter who has become one of the top-selling instrumental artists of the 21st century. His performances blend pop, jazz, and classical music– resulting in a style that reaches beyond only jazz audiences.

Links

Point Cabrillo Light Station
Inventory of Historic Light Stations: Point Cabrillo
Mendocino County Official Travel Site
Chris Botti Official Site


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South Haven Lighthouse

featuring Paul Hardcastle's "Peace On Earth"

South Haven, Michigan is known for its harbor on Lake Michigan, and its harbor is known for its South Pierhead Lighthouse. Since 1903, this lighthouse has stood on the lakeshore, but not always with its distinctive appearance. The lighthouse was originally painted white, and had a wooden walkway instead of the black metal catwalk of today. Before 1903, a completely different wooden lighthouse stood in its place.

The elevated walkway allows access to the lighthouse in severe weather. As this eScapes video demonstrates, rough conditions at the light can be dangerous, but also amazingly beautiful. Strong winds off Lake Michigan create a spectacular show of waves crashing onto the pier, sometimes even riding above the 35-foot tower.

Long held by the U.S. Coast Guard, the South Haven Lighthouse was transferred at the end of 2011 to the Historical Association of South Haven.

Paul Hardcastle is an English musician who crosses genres with his synthesizer compositions. Predominately a jazz artist, Hardcastle has released instrumental pop and new wave recordings. He may be best known for his electronic dance hits “Rain Forest” and “19,” a reflection on the Vietnam War. Hardcastle also releases albums under the name “Jazzmasters.”

Links

South Haven Visitors Bureau
Historical Association of South Haven
Terry Pepper’s Seeing the Light: South Haven Pier Lighthouse
Paul Hardcastle Official Site


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Little Sable Point Lighthouse

featuring John Tesh's "Lady In Red"

Little Sable Point Lighthouse on Lake Michigan was first lit in 1874 and is one of Michigan’s most picturesque lighthouses. Not only is the lighthouse itself striking with its natural brick exterior, but the surrounding natural setting is beautiful as well, featuring sand dunes, a pristine beach, and a forest. The tower’s brick complements the landscape well, but it has only been exposed for part of the light’s career. From 1900 to 1977, the tower was painted white to make it more visible to mariners.

Little Sable Point Lighthouse is now on the ground of Silver Lake State Park, and despite its secluded location, is a popular destination for beachgoers during the summer months.

John Tesh is a composer and instrumentalist also known for his work on radio and television. Tesh left his long television career, best known for his seat on Entertainment Tonight, to pursue music in 1996. Since then, he has been a force in the classical, new age, and worship music genres and has gained even more recognition as the host of the nationally-syndicated John Tesh Radio Show in which he blends music with lifestyle advice and tips.

Links

Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association
Terry Pepper’s Seeing the Light: Little Sable Point Lighthouse
Silver Lake State Park
John Tesh Music Official Site


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Whitefish Point Lighthouse

featuring Michael Jones' "Return to Love"

The modern steel tower and well-maintained grounds of the Whitefish Point Lighthouse leave little hint that the light is 150 years old and the oldest active light on Lake Superior.

Originally built as a stone tower in 1848, the lighthouse was replaced with its current design in 1861, after the opening of the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie. The broad framework legs of the tower are designed to withstand high winds and storms from the lake.

Lake Superior’s severe storms are responsible for another feature at Whitefish Point: the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum on the lighthouse grounds. Whitefish Point neighbors the most hazardous part of Lake Superior, where the most vessels have been lost. One of these is the famous Edmund Fitzgerald, which sank on November 10, 1975, one of the rare times in 150 years that the Whitefish Point Light was out.

Michael Jones is an award-winning pianist and composer as well an author, educator, speaker, storyteller, and dialogue facilitator– all pursuits to promote personal transformation and organizational learning. The founding artist of Narada Productions, Jones has sold more than two million recordings worldwide.

Links

Terry Pepper’s Seeing the Light: Whitefish Point Light
Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum (at Whitefish Point Light)
Inventory of Historic Light Stations: Whitefish Point
Michael Jones Pianoscapes


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West Point Lighthouse, Washington

featuring Randy Jacobs' "Mi Corazon, Mi Amour"

Seattle’s West Point Lighthouse was built in 1881, marking the entrance to Elliott Bay and, in modern times, the Lake Washington Ship Canal. Now a part of the city’s Discovery Park, the West Point Lighthouse adds ambience to a public beach, where visitors can find a spectacular view of both the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges.

Though federal ownership of the lighthouse ended in 2002, the U.S. Coast Guard still occupies the lighthouse’s nearby keeper’s quarters.

Randy Jacobs is an instrumental guitarist and songwriter who has collaborated and appeared with not only some of the biggest names in jazz, but some of the biggest names in all of music. His solo career has blended jazz with elements of R&B, funk, rock, blues, and soul.

Links

Seattle Parks and Recreation: Discovery Park
LighthouseFriends.com: West Point Lighthouse
History of West Point Lighthouse
Randy Jacobs Official Site


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