November 20, 2012

Mariners' Memorial Light

location-River Rouge, MI
active beacon-yes
players-Jen, Lincoln, Spencer, Jackson and Grandpa

Our 2011 lighthouse season got off to an early start.  It turns out that we didn't have to wait until spring to start our explorations this year, we had a 54 degree day in February.  It worked out perfectly, because two days later we got hammered with another snow storm and had two snow days at school.  
We visited our first lighthouse on the east side of the state.  Since it's winter we wanted to pick one that is not tourable in the summer and we wanted something else fun to do nearby.  We picked Mariners' Memorial Light in River Rouge.  It was built in 2003 and is the newest lighthouse in Michigan.  It's located in a very industrial part of the city inside Belanger Park.  The park itself is very nice and very clean.  It has a great playground, although we didn't get to play in it today. Even though it was warm out, it was really windy and pure mud.  It was still great to be able to get outside with the kids and not have to deal with snow pants.

checking out the Ambassador Bridge
watching to Coast Guard boat go by

mommy and  boys
all the boys

checking out the train driving by next door

we ended with an innocent swing ride
that turned into a teary wipe out
On the way to the next part of our adventure we passed the apartment building Grandpa lived in when he first moved to Michigan in 1970.

The next part of our adventure brought us about 20 minutes away from the lighthouse to the Detroit Children's Museum.  It was recently reopened and remodeled.  It has some really cool displays and the kids loved it.  We picked a great day to go.  I think most kids were in school, so it was not crowded at all.

Children's Museum I am at


Wright Brothers airplane
proud to be an American!

the doctor is in

amazed at the planetarium

why don't they ever do this at hom
car ride home at 1:30

When we got back to Manya & Grandpa's house, Manya already left for work.  But, her homemade macaroni and cheese and homemade brownies were hot and ready.  Ummmmm.


July 19, 2012

Huron Lightship

location-Port Huron, MI
active beacon-no
stamp- yes
players-Jen, Lincoln, Spencer, Jackson and Grandpa

"Lightships were like floating lighthouses anchored in areas where it was too deep, expensive or impractical to construct a lighthouse. Lightships displayed a light at the top of a mast and in areas of fog also sounded a fog signal and radio beacon. The fog signals used over the years consisted of bells, whistles, trumpets, sirens, and horns. Fog horns were powered by steam in the early days and later by air compressors. The Huron Lightship sounded her fog horn signal in a 3 second blast every 30 seconds and was known locally as "Old B.O." because of the familiar sound her horn made." This is a direct quote from the Huron Lightship web page.  Check out their page for more details.

Thomas Alva Edison memorial boulder

This was actually our first stop of the day, but when we arrived there was a school field trip in progress. So, we then changed plans and went to the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse and the Thomas Edison Depot Museum.  It was perfect.  By the time we returned, we were the only ones on board and got a personal tour.

passing frieghter

The Huron Lightship was officially retired in 1970, after 50 hard working years.  She was the last of the lightships at that time.  In 1990, she became a National Historic Landmark.  She is the only Great Lakes lightship to have that honor.  She is now permanently moored in the sand on the banks of the St. Clair River.  It's a fun visit with kids.  My kids love lighthouses and boats, so to have a combo was pretty cool!


getting our passports stamped

After getting our passports signed, our private tour began.  It was really detailed.  He explained what all of the artifacts were, how the ship worked, the duties of the sailors and more.   He was great with the kids.  They got to ask questions, see things up close and even ring the bell.

captain's quarters
captain's office

getting our private tour

the boys got to take turns ringing the bell

on board the Lightship Huron

eating area-the sailors used to place their plates
 on wet towels, so they wouldn't slide off the table
Seaman Robert Gullickson memorial