|Take a short cruise from Caseville to Big Charity Island,
just one hour to get to this vacation paradise.
The island was named by the lake mariners for its location,
placed “through the charity of God” midway
between the city of
Au Gres and the
Thumb, at the
The walking trails are marked (and rare flora and fauna identified) and the picnic area has tables, grills and a
pavillion. Spend the day and make believe it’s your own
private island or that you’re the keeper of the lighthouse.
The light was constructed in 1857, and then replaced by
the Gravelly Shoal Light and abandoned in 1939.
|The lighthouse was constructed in 1878, abandoned in
1953, and left to rapidly deteriorate.
It is now under lease to the Port Austin Reef Lighthouse
Association until the year 2020.
After a truly heroic effort by the
group to oust the resident flock
of at least 500 pigeons the
re-roofed, bird proofed and
reclaimed for mankind. Interior
renovation began in 1990. This
ongoing labor of love, determination and perseverance is
conducted on the reef light, two miles off-shore.
|President Polk ordered this lighthouse built in 1857
to guard ships from some of the most treacherous
shoals in the Great Lakes. Many sailing ships were
destroyed here “cutting the corner” into Saginaw
These shipwrecks provide adventure for divers in
the Great Lakes State Bottomland Preserve just off
the shore. The lighthouse was automated in 1957
and is still in service, but the keeper’s residence is
now a museum, and the grounds are a lovely, 120-
acre county park with modern camping.
Museum hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 7 days a
week, Memorial Weekend to October 1st. Donations
|This light, constructed in 1885, is still active.
It is automated now, which is not nearly as
romantic as crews rowing out from the
Harbor Beach Life Boat Station.
Duty here wasn’t as exciting or fraught with
danger as it was on the shoal-guarding lights
to the north. More mundane duties, such as
bringing sick crewmen to shore from passing
ships, were the norm here. The old surfmen
used to say “You have to go out, but you
don’t have to come back.” - it makes you
realize that, in some line of work, “boring” is
Because this is still a working light, tours are
not available. But you can view the light from
Waterworks Park and the Harbor Beach