May 23, 2011

The Colony

location- Clay Township, MI
players-Jen, John, Lincoln, Spencer, Jackson and Grandpa

John was out of town for a few days and the boys were done with pre-school for the summer, so we decided to pack up and head to Manya and Grandpa's.  We did have a couple lighthouse visits over the winter, but we were definitely ready for some spring explorations.  We don't get to the east side of the state very often anymore, so we wanted to make the most of our visit!  We got our our trusty lighthouse map, made a plan and off we went.  The plan was to check out the range lights on Harsens Island & the Peche Island Lighthouse in Marine City.  On the way to the Harsens Island Auto Ferry we spotted an unknown lighthouse shaped tower.  It wasn't on the map and we have never heard of it, but we immediately pulled over to check it out.  What a cool find! 

In the 1920's, a real estate developer named, Will St. John, founded a subdivision called, The Colony.  It was a secluded residential community on the St. Clair River.   At the entrance to the subdivision is this very cool tower.  It's actual original purpose was a water tower, but it was disguised as a light tower.  It's 136 feet tall and housed a 60,000 gallon water tank.  It did have a light on top for airplane and boat navigation, but sadly the light was only lit for twelve years.  It was extinguished in 1937 due to high operating costs.  From what I could find on the Clay Township website, it was restored in 2004, by the Kessler Tank Co. and hundreds of volunteers.  Way to go!  Awesome job!!!

Gramps and the boys

mommy and the boys - in front of the tower

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