United States lightship Huron (LV-103)

United States lightship Huron (LV-103)

The United States lightship "Huron" (LV-103) is a lightvessel that was launched in 1920 and now a museum ship [ [http://www.phmuseum.org/huron.html Huron Lightship Museum home page.] ] moored in Pine Grove Park, Port Huron, St. Clair County, Michigan.

Great Lakes lightships

The "Huron" Lightship is one of many lightvessels that plied the waters of the Great Lakes. [ [http://clarke.cmich.edu/lighthouses/index.htm Wagner, John L., Beacons Shining in the Night, Michigan Lighthouse Bibliography, Chronology, History, and Photographs, Clarke Historical Library, Central, Michigan University.] ]

In 1832 the first lightship on the Great Lakes was placed at Waugoshance Shoal. [ [http://clarke.cmich.edu/lighthouses/lhtime1.htm Wagner, John L., Chronology of Michigan lightship and lighthouses "Beacons Shining in the Night", Clarke Historical Library, Central, Michigan University.] ] That wooden light ship was the "Lois McLain". In 1851 she was replaced by the Waugoshance Shoal, which is at one of the most hazardous areas near the Straits of Mackinac, Michigan. [ [http://www.terrypepper.com/lights/michigan/waugoshance/waugoshance.htm Terry Pepper, Seeing the Light, Waugoshance Shoal Light.] ]

In Lake Huron, "Huron" was the third ship to be placed at Corsica Shoals, a station established in 1893, replacing a gas buoy that was "somewhat ineffective". Three vessels bore the designation of "'Huron" Lightship' from 1893 to 1970. The first was Lightship No. 61, a wooden-hulled ship, painted red with white lettering saying "Corsica Shoals" on her sides. No. 61 served from September 1893 until 1921. She was lost during the November Great Lakes Storm of 1913, which destroyed at least 12 ships and over 250 lives. That lightship was torn from its moorings and forced onto Point Edward on the Canadian shore. [ [http://www.uscg.mil/History/Lightship_Index.asp U.S. Coast Guard's "Lightships of the U. S. Government" site] ] Its being off the assigned site was a contributing factor in the loss of the Matthew Andrews at Corsica Shoals. [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=GGOxIAzg-m0C&pg=PA57&lpg=PA57&dq=Matthew+Andrews+ship&source=web&ots=bBl6m_kLp4&sig=nDs-9lYEVx7I19B3XXExCK6AA0w&hl=en Barcus, Frank, "Freshwater Fury: Yarns and Reminiscences of the Greatest Storm in Inland Navigation", (1986: Wayne State University Press) 166 pages. ISBN 0-8143-1828-2.] ] In any event, she was reclaimed and repaired, and remained in service until 1920, when she was retired and sold at auction. [ [http://www.uscg.mil/History/weblightships/LV61.asp "LV61", U.S. Coast Guard.] ]

In the same storm, Lightship "LV 82 Buffalo" foundered near Buffalo in Lake Erie, with the loss of six lives. [ [http://www.buffalohistoryworks.com/light/light-vessel.htm Vogel, Michael N. and Paul F. Redding "Maritime Buffalo", "Buffalo" History, Lightship "LV 82".] ] See Shipwrecks of the 1913 Great Lakes storm and List of victims of the 1913 Great Lakes storm. "LV82" was salvaged and saw service with the Coast Guard until 1936. [ [http://www.uscg.mil/History/weblightships/LV82.asp "LV82", U.S. Coast Guard.] ]

In 1921, Lightship No. 61 was replaced by Lightship No. 96, the first vessel to actually be called "Huron" Lightship. [ [http://www.uscg.mil/history/WEBLIGHTHOUSES/LHMI.html U.S. Coast Guard on lighthouses and lightships.] ]

In 1925, there were ten lightvessels on the Great Lakes. 15 years later, that was reduced down to one, the "Huron". [ [http://clarke.cmich.edu/lighthouses/lhhist1.htm Clarke Historical Library, Beacons of the Nights, a History of Lighthouses in Michigan.] ]

A list of Great Lakes lightvessel assignments is available. [ [http://www.terrypepper.com/lights/lists/lighsthip1.htm Great Lakes Lightvessel assignments, Terry Pepper, Seeing the Light.] ]

Lightship No. 103 construction and service

"Huron" was built in the Consolidated Shipbuilding Company in Morris Heights, New York. Her keel was laid in 1918. Completion cost $147,428. 96 1/2 feet long, convert|24|ft|m in the beam, drawing convert|9.5|ft|m, and weighing 312 tons. Ship #103 was powered by a single compound reciprocating steam engine, driven by two coal-fired Scotch boilers. They put out convert|175|hp. [http://www.terrypepper.com/lights/huron/huron/huron.htm "Huron" Lightship page from Terry Pepper's Seeing the Light.] ]

Originally commissioned as Lightship Number 103, it operated primarily in southern Lake Huron near Port Huron and the mouth of the St. Clair River. [http://www.uscg.mil/History/weblightships/LV103.asp U.S. Coast Guard Vessel Designation:: LV 103/WAL 526.] ] "Huron" spent the 1924, 1925, 1926 and 1929 seasons lighting Grays Reef. She was assigned in 1934 and 1935 seasons to the North Manitou Shoal. In 1935 she was transferred to the Eleventh District for one year, seeing duty as a relief ship. In 1935, the "Huron" was repainted (with "Huron" on her sides, starboard side painted red and the port side painted black) and transferred to Corsica Shoals, approximately convert|6|mi|km north of the Blue Water Bridge (connecting Port Huron and Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.)

The "Huron" was equipped with one acetylene lens lantern, 300 mm, a 10" steam whistle fog horn, and a hand operated bell

During World War II, she was renamed the "Manitou" and stationed in California, although the U.S. Coast Guard website says otherwise.

After 1945 as the "Huron", she was the only lightship that was painted black.

In 1948, she was refitted to diesel power with twin six-cylinder GM 6-71 engines at the Defoe Shipbuilding Company of West Bay City, Michigan. [ [http://defoenet.com/shipbuild/defoe_menu.html Defoe Ship Building Co.] ] The cost was $168,000. After this conversion, her top speed was nine knots.

On May 7, 1958, Coast Guardsman Robert Gullickson perished when a wave swamped a tender from the "Huron" Lightship that he was aboard. He is memorialized on the ship, as he was the only casualty during its many years of service. [ [http://www.boatnerd.com/museums/huron/uprice.htm Arnold, Wayne, "Huron" Lightship Museum, Port Huron, Michigan. "The Ultimate Price" boatnerd.com.] ]

On August 20, 1970, she weighed her anchor the last time from Corsica Shoal. She was decommissioned at Detroit on August 25. Upon decommissioning, she was replaced by an unmanned warning buoy light. Ownership of "LV-103" was transferred to the City of Port Huron the following June.

Retirement, honors and museum service

The following honors have been indicated:
* National Register of Historic Places, listed July 12, 1976
* National Historic Landmark, listed December 20, 1989
* State Register, listed May 17, 1973
* State Historical Marker, erected 1973. [http://www.michigan.gov/hal/0,1607,7-160-15481_19267_20424-54594--,00.html Michigan History and Arts on "Huron" Lightship.] ] The text of the 1973 historical marker aptly notes:
*Commissioned in 1921, the "Huron" began service as a relief vessel for other Great Lakes lightships. She is ninety-seven feet long, twenty-four feet in beam, and carried a crew of eleven. On clear nights her beacon could be seen for fourteen miles (21 km). After serving in northern Lake Michigan, the "Huron" was assigned to the Corsica Shoals in 1935. These shallow waters, six miles (10 km) north of Port Huron, were the scene of frequent groundings by lake freighters in the late nineteenth century. A lightship station had been established there in 1893, since the manned ships were more reliable than lighted buoys. After 1940 the "Huron" was the only lightship on the Great Lakes. Retired from Coast Guard Service in 1970, she was presented to the City of Port Huron in 1971. [ [http://www.michmarkers.com/Frameset.htm Michigan Historical Markers.] ]

As an icon of the Great Lakes, a needlepoint illustration of Lightship No. 103 has been designed. [ [https://www.dataleap.com/secure/pin/orderpage.htm Needlepoint of "Huron" Lightship.] ]

The ship is exceptionally well-preserved, and has an operable light and fog horn still on board. [ [http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/lighthouse/miel.htm The Lighthouse Directory Lighthouses of the Eastern Lower Peninsula, including Sturgeon Point.] ] Her twin General Motors diesel engines are fully operational, having been brought back to life through the efforts of volunteer mechanics. [ [http://greatlakesshipwatchers.com/site/2007/12/17/lightship-huron%E2%80%99s-twin-gm-diesels-to-roar-again/ Clark, Sue, "Lightship Huron’s Twin GM Diesels To Roar Again", Lighthouse News, December 17, 2007.] ]

She was the last of her kind. It is the smallest surviving lightship, and is representative of the convert|96|ft|m|sing=on class.


Further reading

* [http://www.michiganlighthouse.org/bibliography.html Bibliography on Michigan lighthouses.]
* Crompton, Samuel Willard & Michael J. Rhein, "The Ultimate Book of Lighthouses" (2002) ISBN 1592231020; ISBN 978-1592231027.
* Floca, Brian, "Lightship" A Richard Jackson Book: Atheneum Books for Young Readers. Simon & Schuster Children's Books A Junior Library Guild Selection. ISBN 1416924361.
* Hyde, Charles K., and Ann and John Mahan. "The Northern Lights: Lighthouses of the Upper Great Lakes." Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1995. ISBN 0814325548 ISBN 9780814325544.
* Jones, Ray & Bruce Roberts, "American Lighthouses" (Globe Pequot, September 1, 1998, 1st Ed.) ISBN 0762703245; ISBN 978-0762703241.
* Jones, Ray,"The Lighthouse Encyclopedia, The Definitive Reference" (Globe Pequot, January 1, 2004, 1st ed.) ISBN 0762727357; ISBN 978-0762727353.
*"Light Vessel ‘No. 103.’" Lighthouse Service Bulletin II, 29 (May 1, 1920), p. 125; II, 37 (Jan 3, 1921), p. 161.
* Noble, Dennis, "Lighthouses & Keepers: U. S. Lighthouse Service and Its Legacy" (Annapolis: U. S. Naval Institute Press, 1997). ISBN 1557506388; ISBN 9781557506382.
* Oleszewski, Wes, "Great Lakes Lighthouses, American and Canadian: A Comprehensive Directory/Guide to Great Lakes Lighthouses", (Gwinn, Michigan: Avery Color Studios, Inc., 1998) ISBN 0-932212-98-0.
* Penrod, John, "Lighthouses of Michigan", (Berrien Center, Michigan: Penrod/Hiawatha, 1998) ISBN 9780942618785 ISBN 9781893624238.
* Putnam, George R., "Lighthouses and Lightships of the United States", (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1933).
* United States Coast Guard, "Aids to Navigation", (Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1945).
* [http://www.uscg.mil/History/weblighthouses/h_lhbib.asp United States Coast Guard, "Aids to Navigation Historical Bibliography".]
* Wagner, John L., "Michigan Lighthouses: An Aerial Photographic Perspective", (East Lansing, Michigan: John L. Wagner, 1998) ISBN 1880311011 ISBN 9781880311011.
* Wright, Larry and Wright, Patricia, "Great Lakes Lighthouses Encyclopedia" Hardback (Erin: Boston Mills Press, 2006) ISBN 1550463993.

ee also

*Lighthouses in the United States
*Lightvessels in the United States

External links

* [http://www.absolutemichigan.com/dig/michigan/the-huron-lightship-a-lighthouse-that-floats/ Absolute Michigan, "The Lightship "Huron": A Lighthouse that Floats".]
* [http://kuh-chik.blogspot.com/2007/01/huron-lightship.html Blue Water Bridge and "Huron" Lightship Museum photograph.]
* [http://lighthouse-news.com/2007/12/16/lightship-hurons-twin-gm-diesels-to-roar-again/ Clark, Sue, "Lightship Huron’s Twin GM Diesels To Roar Again", including link to an interview and to hear the engines.] , Port Huron Times Herald.
* [http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080520/SPECIAL01/80519001 Detroit News, "Huron" Lightship.]
* [http://www.boatnerd.com/museums/huron/history.htm History of the "Huron" Lightship from the boatnerd website]
* [http://www.boatnerd.com/museums/huron/ "Huron" Lightship Museum from the boatnerd website; includes photographic history and virtual tour.]
* [http://www.lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=166 "Huron" Lightship page from Lighthouse Friends.]
* [http://www.boatnerd.com/museums/huron/gallery.htm "Huron" Lightship, museum photo gallery.]
* [http://www.lighthousesrus.org/HuronW.htm Interactive map, list, information for lighthouses in North and West Lake Huron. (Includes photo of "Huron" lightship, black side.)]
* [http://www.lighthousecentral.com/lighthouse_gallery.php4?lighthouse=Lightship%20Huron Lighthouse Central, Photographs, History, Directions and Way points for United States lightship "Huron" ("LV-103"), "The Ultimate Guide to East Michigan Lighthouses" by Jerry Roach] (Publisher: Bugs Publishing LLC - July 2006).] ISBN 0974797715; ISBN 9780974797717.
* [http://www.michiganlighthouse.org/Lighthouses/lighthouse_detail.php48.htm Michigan lighthouse fund, "Huron" lightship.]
* [http://www.nightbeacon.com/zlightships/LV103_(Huron)_Lightship.htm Night Beacon page on "Huron" Lightship/]
* [http://www.phmuseum.org/huron.html Port Huron Museum information on the "Huron" Lightship (including hours and a virtual tour of the Lightship).]
* [http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=42.989546,-82.426611&spn=0.00266,0.005509&t=h&z=18&om=1 Satellite view of "Huron" Lightship, Google earth.]
* [http://www.uscg.mil/History/Lightship_Index.asp U.S. Coast Guard's "Lightships of the U. S. Government" site]
* [http://www.uscg.mil/History/weblightships/LV103.asp U.S. Coast Guard Vessel Designation:: LV 103/WAL 526.]
* [http://lighthouse.boatnerd.com/gallery/StClair/lightshiphuron.htm Wobser, Davie, "Huron" Lightship, Boatnerd,com.]

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