Point Betsie Light is located on the northeast shore of Lake Michigan — at the southern entrance to the Manitou Passage — north of Frankfort in Benzie County in Northern Michigan. Construction began in 1854, but it was not completed until 1858, and began service in the shipping season of 1859. The lighthouse cost $5,000 to build. In 1875, a life saving station was built for $3,000.
The light was originally equipped with a Fourth Order Fresnel lens with bullseye, which was upgraded to a Third order (with bullseye) in 1880. The latter was visible for 27.5mi, because of the high placement of the tower (focal plane of ) and the efficacy of the lens design. The Fresnel Lens was removed in 1996, and was stored for years at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It has since been returned to the original site and sits, non-operational, inside the lighthouse where visitors can see its glass combination of engineering and artistry at close proximity.
The cylindrical tower is tall, but sits on a dune. It is attached to the Lighthouse keepers house, which was upgraded to an attractive gambrel roof design.
This was one of the earliest Life Saving Stations, and was run under the auspices of the U.S. Life-Saving Service. In 1910 the United States Lighthouse Board was reconstituted as the U.S. Lighthouse Service. In 1939 these agencies were merged under the control of the U.S. Coast Guard. Use our Frankfort trip planner to add Point Betsie Lighthouse and other attractions to your Frankfort vacation plans.
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Point Betsie Lighthouse reviews
Point Betsie Lighthouse is beautiful. The colors of the lighthouse, the blue sky, and the wave action of the water all combine to make for some excellent pictures. It had been at least 5 years...
Point Betsie Lighthouse is beautiful. The colors of the lighthouse, the blue sky, and the wave action of the water all combine to make for some excellent pictures. It had been at least 5 years... more »
First off their parking situation is a joke. There's basically NO parking lot. You park along the side of the road. The lighthouse is very nice it just kinda demands attention sitting on top of a...
First off their parking situation is a joke. There's basically NO parking lot. You park along the side of the road. The lighthouse is very nice it just kinda demands attention sitting on top of a... more »
Nice lighthouse. Nice area worth about an hour or so of exploring. There’s a small Museum and gift shop and then there’s the lighthouse. There’s also a public beach next to the lighthouse it looks nice and you can enjoy the crystal blue waters of Lake Michigan. Recommend stopping by and checking everything out if you’re in the area. The Lighthouse tour was five dollars and it runs about every half hour or so. Go check it out.
A beautiful beach. Very restful. A little rock picking to be enjoyed, although not the best selection. Otherwise a very lovely beach for swimming and picnics, and a very cool lighthouse to explore.
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