Detroit Hidden Gem

Lighthouse & Ice

When planning our Belle Isle trip, Chris did some research into other photo-worthy spots in Detroit. One spot he found was the Windmill Point Lighthouse in Mariner Park, which is right on the border of Detroit and Grosse Point Park. This area is sometimes referred to as the “Venice of Detroit” and as we drove in, I could see why. The homes are situated on canals that run to the river. Every home seemed to have a boat on a lift. I never knew anything like this existed in the city! If I’ve piqued your curiosity, check out this photo feature on Daily Detroit from a few years ago.

So, I had no idea this “Canal District” or this lighthouse existed. And it seems like no one else knows it exists either. We visited on an unseasonably warm Saturday in January and it was just us and a border patrol agent on his lunch break. If you search online for Windmill Point Lighthouse, it doesn’t seem like a lot of photographers have discovered this spot either.

Like many Michigan lighthouses, this one has an interesting history. The original lighthouse with an light-keeper’s quarters was built on this spot in 1848. In the 1920’s the Public Health Service acquired the land for a new Marine Hospital. The main tower of the light was left standing and was converted to an electric light while the keeper’s quarters were demolished to make room for the hospital. The hospital was torn down long ago and the area is now known as Mariner Park. Looking at old photos, both the lighthouse keeper’s quarters and the hospital were beautiful buildings. I wonder what they would look like today if they were still standing. (LighthouseFriends.com)

About the Photo:
When we made this trip, I really wanted to get a shot of the ice in the river (I did get this one). When we got there, I really wanted to get both the ice and the lighthouse in one shot. Well, both the fence and my lens made that kind of difficult. This was one instance where I wish I had a wider lens! This was a single RAW exposure, with basic edits done in Ligthtroom.

Camera Gear:
Nikon D3100 with 18.0-55.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens handheld

Date Taken:
January 2016

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