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Trip Planner: USA / Michigan / Benzie County / Frankfort / Point Betsie Lighthouse
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.
Point Betsie Lighthouse reviews
Great tour! Mark our tour guide was awesome! The tour was a nice length with good information without being too much information and being overwhelmingly boring. The tower is an easy climb with...
Great tour! Mark our tour guide was awesome! The tour was a nice length with good information without being too much information and being overwhelmingly boring. The tower is an easy climb with... more »
You are able, for a fee, to get a guided tour of the house and lighthouse and then able to climb to the top to see the great view. They have a cute gift shop with a few things to see and things to..... more
You are able, for a fee, to get a guided tour of the house and lighthouse and then able to climb to the top to see the great view. They have a cute gift shop with a few things to see and things to..... more »
Absolutely gorgeous! This is one of the prettier lighthouses in Michigan! We spent quite awhile here just exploring, touring the lighthouse and browsing in the gift shop! Put this lighthouse on your bucket list…you won’t be disappointed!!!
Beautiful Lakeshore lighthouse and property. Nice gift shop and visitor center, too! Scenic views of the lake, it's a must stop. We were on motorcycles. Lots of sand on the road. Dead end and turning around was a little challenging.
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