Guardians of the Great Lakes begins winter speaker series.

January 9, 2019

The Ludington North Breakwater Lighthouse.

Guardians of the Great Lakes begins winter speaker series.

PERE MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP — The Mason County Historical Society and Sable Point Lighthouse Keepers Association are presenting a winter speakers series titled “Guardians of the Great Lakes”, beginning Thursday, Jan. 17, 7 p.m. at Ludington United Methodist Church, 5810 W. Bryant Rd.

“Guardians of the Great Lakes” is a PBS special presentation on 30 of Michigan’s wonderful lighthouses. The presentation is put together by Dennis Serra and Tom O’Boyle, known for their PBS show “Great Getaways.”

Like moths attracted to an evening light, sailors have searched for the welcoming beacons of Michigan’s Great Lakes Lighthouses since 1825. Most of these early navigational aids consisted of a light keeper’s residence and tower for the light, often rising 80- to 100-feet. There are thousands of shipwrecks documented on the Great Lakes, but it is the countless number of lives saved by the tirelessly working keepers of the light that we honor with our visit to some of Michigan’s Mysterious Lighthouses. Whether it was the shoals, the rolling fog or the fiercest of storms that put the seaman and their ships in danger, it was the lighthouse keeper’s responsibility to sound the warning and keep the beacons beaming through it all.  As we tour these historic guardians of the lakes, we will discover the mysterious, solitary lives led by the lighthouse keepers and how their tales take on a life of their own, as though the walls and towers could talk.

This is the fourth year that SPLKA and the historical society have partnered together to bring speakers of local historical and maritime interest to the community to start off the New Year.

“The speaker series has been and is a great chance for us as a community to get together and celebrate our rich heritage,” said SPLKA Executive Director Peter Manting.

 The three-part series presentations are open to the public with a small donation of $5 to cover costs.

This series will continue on Thursday, February 21, with speaker favorite, maritime explorer and author Valerie VanHeast presenting on The 1940 Armistice Day Storm and conclude on Thursday, March 21, with author John Kotzian author of “Sky Pilots of the Great Lakes.”

For information about this presentation or any of the subsequent presentations in the speaker series, please call SPLKA at 845-7417, or MCHS at 843-4808, or email Peter Manting at or Eric Harmsen at


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