Two RV Gypsies: Full-Time RVers
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The two RV Gypsies went to
Lighthouse Park - Mission Point Lighthouse
and stood at the 45th parallel north,
halfway between the North Pole and the Equator,
for the third time
(at three different places - and all are shown below).
September 14, 2015

sign: Lighthouse Park sign: Lighthouse Park & Miission Point Light
sign about Mission Point Lighthouse
45th Parallel sign old poster of the lighthouse

History BookMission Point Light is a lighthouse located in the U.S. state of Michigan at the end of Old Mission Point, a peninsula jutting into Grand Traverse Bay 17 miles north of Traverse City. When it was built in 1870, it was an exact copy of the Mama Juda Light (now destroyed), which was built on the Detroit River in 1866.

The wooden structure is painted white with black trim. The square tower is attached to a dwelling.

A fixed white Fifth Order Fresnel lens was installed. The building was only one and one half stories tall. However, its placement on a sand bank 14 feet above the lake's surface created a lens focal plane of 47 feet. It was visible from 13 miles at sea. Maintaining the dune and protecting it and the lighthouse from the deleterious effects of wave action has been a constant struggle.

For 67 years the light served to warn mariners about the shoals off the point. However, new techniques in offshore construction and the automation of lighthouse illumination made it possible to build a navigation aid on the shoal itself. In 1938, work began on a pier for the new light in 19 feet of water, about 2 miles northwest of Mission Point. The light ran on batteries. It was on a 36-foot tall tower, and its focal plane of 52 feet help make it visible for 13 miles. It had a 30-second dwell time between flashes, in order to conserve power.

Famously, the lighthouse stands a few hundred yards south of the 45th parallel north, halfway between the North Pole and the Equator. The lighthouse was deactivated in 1933 and purchased by the State of Michigan. There are a pair of signs that denote its location on the parallel, and it is one of 29 places in the U.S.A. (six are in Michigan) where such signs are known to exist. (see the photos below this paragraph).

Below: The two RV Gypsies at the 45th parallel for the third time

the two RV Gypsies at the 45th parallel in 2015 sign about the 45th parallel

Below: FLASHBACK - September 19, 2000
in Quebec

Below: FLASHBACK- September 5, 2009
in Yellowstone

Karen Duquette at the 45th parallel in 2000Yes Karen Duquette at the 45th Parallel in Yellowstone 2009

Old Mission Lighthouse

Old Mission Lighthouse Old Mission Lighthouse
Old Mission Lighthouse Old Mission Lighthouse
Old Mission Lighthouse

Below: The Hesler Log House is located on the same property as the Old Mission Lighthouse.

sign: Hesler Log House
sign about The Hesler Log House The Hesler Log House
inside The Hesler Log House inside The Hesler Log House
look below

back to the Michigan menu button Please return to the Lower Peninsula of Michigan menu: Grand Traverse Bay, and the exhausting Dune Climb at Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, plus the link to the state of Indiana.