32¢ St. Joseph Lighthouse, Lake Michigan
Issue Date: June 16, 1995
City: Cheboygan, MI
Printed By: Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: 11.2 vertically
With the American Colonies’ dependence on trade from across the Atlantic, the need for lighthouses was immediate. North America’s first lighthouse was put into use in 1716, but it was not until 1818 that the first lighthouse was built on the Great Lakes.
Lake Michigan’s St. Joseph’s Harbor is so treacherous that countless vessels have been wrecked there – often just yards from safety. The U.S. government built the harbor’s first lighthouse, a circular stone tower, in 1831. In 1846 an additional wooden tower, which shined a white light over the water, was built at the end of a pier. A wooden tower built on top of the keeper’s house replaced the stone tower in 1859. Yet another tower, with a modern steel design, was built in 1898. It included a steam-powered fog horn. The wooden tower on the pier was replaced by a steel one in 1907.