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Point Betsie Lighthouse (Point Aux Becs Scies Light)

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Point Aux Becs Scies Light
1858; 1880s tower replaced; 1895 lightkeeper's house remodeled; 2006–2010 rehabilitation, Quinn Evans. 3071 Point Betsie Rd. and Lake Michigan at Point Betsie, 5 miles north of Frankfort
  • (Photograph by Balthazar Korab)
  • (Photograph by Balthazar Korab)

Nestled among the sand dunes of the Lake Michigan shore at Point Betsie is one of Michigan's most beautifully sited and easily accessible lighthouses. A thirty-seven-foot-high light was constructed in 1858 at Point Betsie to mark the south end of the Manitou Passage. It was replaced in the 1880s by the present one-hundred-foot-high light tower, which is surmounted by a ten-sided cast-iron lantern. Adjoining the tower is a gambrel-roofed lightkeeper's house, enlarged with six rooms and renovated in 1895 to its present, ample double-house appearance. The tower and the house are painted white to increase the daytime visibility of the station to ships. The Coast Guard automated the light in 1983.

In 2004 the federal Bureau of Land Management transferred the lighthouse to Benzie County with the U.S. Coast Guard retaining rights to operate the light. Following a 2004 feasibility study and structure report by Quinn Evans, the lighthouse was rehabilitated. Through an operating agreement with Friends of Point Betsie Lighthouse, the county owns the lighthouse and the Friends operate it. The lighthouse received a 2010 Governor's Award for Historic Preservation. In 1917, the U.S. Life-Saving Service Station replaced a station of 1876, but it closed in 1937.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Point Betsie Lighthouse (Point Aux Becs Scies Light)", [Frankfort, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 441-441.

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