This is an old blog that I started in 2006. I keep it because it has a lot of historical data and people still come here. As of September 2016, no new updates will be made here. All new blog posts and writing/publishing related news will be posted over on my new site at

Path of Freedom, Quilts of Love series

1858 North Carolina - When Quakers Flora Saferight and Bruce Millikan embark on the Underground Railroad, they agree to put their differences aside to save the lives of a pregnant slave couple..

Highland Sanctuary, (Highland series - Book 2)

1477 Scotland - A chieftain heir is hired to restore Briagh Castle and discovers a hidden village of outcasts who have created their own private sanctuary from the world.

Highland Blessings, (Book 1 - Highland series)

1473 Scotland - The story of a highland warrior who kidnaps the daughter of his greatest enemy and clan chief to honor a promise to his dying father.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

God's Promise Through the Rainbow (See Beautiful Photo)

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Genesis 9:14-16


"It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”

Monday, June 10, 2013

Lighthouses on The Great Lakes to Visit

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Lighthouses are beautiful and full of history. I enjoy visiting them when I can, and when I can't, I collect miniature lighthouses and paintings of them, including those collector plates. Below is a list of lighthouses on the Great Lakes that I would love to visit. 

1. Split Rock Lighthouse

Built in 1909 on a rocky cliff overlooking Lake Superior, the lighthouse is known to be the highest point on The Great Lakes at 130 feet. It's located on the northern side of the lake in Split Rock Lake Park in Minnesota. The lighthouse was equipped with incandescent oil vapor lamp rated at 370,000 candlepower, weighing 5,000 lbs and floats in 250 lbs of mercury. In 1939, the lighthouse was switched to electric power  with a 1,000 watt bulb until it was retired in 1969. The area contains 3 light keeper homes. 

2. Point Iroquois Lighthouse

Named for the Iroquois warriors massacred in 1662 by Chippewas Indians located in present day Bay Mills, Michigan on Lake Superior. The first lighthouse was built in 1855 at 45 feet tall as a rubble stone tower with a wooden lantern deck with with a flashing white Fourth Order Fresnel Lens. The original lens is on display in the Smithsonian and the lighthouse station is now a museum. In 1871 the second and current lighthouse was built on this site at 65 feet tall made of white brick with the keeper's house right beside it. At the height of operation, it housed 3 families, the head light keeper's family and those of the 2 assistants. A beautiful wall surrounds the premise constructed of various colored rocks found along the Superior Lake shore area. 

3. Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse

In 1891, the lighthouse was built as a castle style construction on a foundation of ashlar limestone on Lake Huron. The tower rose to a height of 45 feet and is attached to the light keeper's house, also made of limestone. When the Mackinac Bridge was built in 1957, the lighthouse was no longer needed. The tower is open to the public and a museum is onsite in Michillimackinac State Park. 

4. Sturgeon Point Lighthouse

Built in 1869 on Lake Huron, this lighthouse was intended to warn mariners from the reef that extends 1.5 miles. The original lens was replaced in 1887. The tower is made of white brick at 70 feet tall and attached to the light keeper's house. It is still operating and open to tourists, including a museum and store. 

The rooms in the house are decorated as they would have been in the late 1800's. In 1874 the Life Saving Station opened and the first lighthouse keeper became the first captain of the surf team. In 1915 the station became part of the U.S. Coast Guard. In 1940 the lighthouse became fully automated and personnel was removed by 1941. It's currently located in Michigan State Park. 

5. Tawas Point Lighthouse

The first lighthouse on this site was built in 1853 in Saginaw Bay, Michigan on Lake Huron. The light was fueled by lard oil and later changed to kerosene. Shifting sands and other issues caused several problems and so it was replaced by a second lighthouse in 1875, which is the current lighthouse. 

The original name was Ottowa Point, but it was officially changed to Tawas Point in 1902. The current tower is 70 feet tall and constructed of brick with an inner and outer wall. The keeper's house is being remodeled. The downstairs will be a museum and the upstairs available for rent to the public. The lens is still in operation. 

6. Grosse Point Lighthouse

The lighthouse was built in 1873 after several maritime disasters. Shoals continued to be a hazard and shipping traffic increased. In 1860 the sinking of the Lady Elgin claimed over 300 lives, but the Civil War prevented the construction of needed lighthouse until after the war. The 113 foot tower is one of the tallest on the lakes and the Second Order Fresnal Lens is the most powerful on the US side of The Great Lakes and is still in operation. It's located on the northern edge of Northwestern University campus next to a small beachfront park in Evanston, Illinois on Lake Michigan. 

The tower stands on a concrete foundation with wooden piles that reach to a depth of 30 feet. The tower's 2 outer walls include an inner air space between them. The tower lantern is of glass and iron construction and is topped by a copper sheeting roof. The building is designed in an Italianate architecture. This lighthouse tower and building is open to visitors. 

7. Wind Point Lighthouse

One of the oldest and tallest active lighthouses on the Great Lakes at 108 feet is located at the north end of Racine Harbor in Wisconsin. Dating back to 1880, the beacon was originally powered by a 3-wicked kerosene lamp and magnified by a Third Order Fresnel Lens. It was converted to an electrical operation in 1924, and replaced by a DCB-24R airport beacon in 1964. The Village of Wind Point maintains the lighthouse and grounds and uses the old keepers' quarters as the village hall and police headquarters. 

The Kate Kelly was a schooner that sank in 1895 off the coast of Wind Point, WisconsinOn the morning of May 13, a storm broke out across Lake Michigan, sinking several ships including the Kate Kelly. There were no survivors and the bodies of the crew were never found.

8.  North Point Lighthouse

The current station sits on a bluff overlooking the entrance to the Milwaukee River from Lake Michigan. The first lighthouse was built in 1855 of cream city brick and it burned mineral oil. A new lens was installed in 1868 and is still in use. Due to erosion, another lighthouse made of cast iron was built on the site in 1888. It was not tall enough and trees obstructed the light. A new tower was begun in 1912 and the original tower was lifted on top of it at a total of 74 feet tall. The place where the 2 towers merge is clearly visible by the center horizontal ridge shown in the photo. The present light is a 25,000 candlepower lamp rotated electrically and controlled by an automatic time clock, visible for 25 miles. 

9. Cana Island Lighthouse

This lighthouse was established in 1870 just north of Baileys Harbor in Door County, Wisconsin on Lake Michigan and is still operational with the original Third Order Fresnel lens. The keepers quarters, privy and tower were made of cream city brick, but the brick of the tower quickly deteriorated due to storms and icy winters. In 1902, a steel cladding was wrapped around the original brick of the 89 foot tower to protect it from further deterioration. The stone foundation goes below ground 4 feet and is set on bedrock. There are 102 cast iron steps in the circular staircase leading to the watch room.

The keeper's house is attached and made of cream-colored Milwaukee brick. The cast iron lantern at the top of the tower has 2 levels--a watch room at the top of the tower with the lantern room above containing the lens. It used to be fueled by lard, later by kerosene, then by acetylene.  The round ball at the top is the vent that removed the smoke and soot from the oil lamp. Each night oil had to be carried to the top of the tower by the keeper or his assistant to keep the light fueled until electricity was installed in 1945. 

10. Point Betsie Lighthouse

The lighthouse was built in 1858 at on the northeast shore of Lake Michigan at 52 feet above lake level. In 1875 the life saving station was built. The light was originally equipped with a Fourth Order Fresnel lens Fourth Order with bullseye, which was upgraded to a Third Order in 1880. The cylindrical tower is 39 feet tall on a dune. It is attached to the Lighthouse keeper's house, which was upgraded to an attractive gambrel roof design. Point Betsie was manned for 106 years and was the last lighthouse on Lake Michigan to lose its keeper when it succumbed to automation in 1983. 

The keeper's house has been converted to apartments for Coast Guard Personnel and is not open to the public. The beach must take an unusually harsh pounding from Lake Michigan storms, because there has been much shoring up with concrete and steel breakwaters and aprons.

11. Marblehead Lighthouse

At the entrance of Sandusky Bay on Marblehead Peninsula sits the oldest active lighthouse on the US side of the Great Lakes on Lake Erie. Built in 1822 of native limestone, the tower was originally 50 feet tall, but was raised to it's present 65 feet between 1897 and 1903. Over the years 15 lighthouse keepers served the tower beacon, two of whom were women. The first keeper was Benajah Wolcott, a Revolutionary War veteran and one of the first settlers on the peninsula. He and his family lived in a small stone home on the Sandusky Bay side of the peninsula. Each night, he lit the wicks of the 13 whale oil lamps, the original light fixture. Upon his death in 1832, his wife Rachel took over his duties. In 1858 the whale oil lamps were replaced by a Fresenel lens lit from a single kerosene lantern

A lifesaving station was built 1 1/2 mile west of the lighthouse in 1876. Lucien Clemons and his 2 brothers saved 2 sailors from a shipwreck off the peninsula on May 1, 1875. In 1880, the lighthouse keeper's household moved to a wooden frame home next to the lighthouse. An electric light replaced the kerosene lantern in 1923 and the beacon was automated in 1958. 

The current lens projects a green signal that flashes every 6 seconds and is visible for 11 nautical miles. The distinctive green distinguishes the lighthouse signal from white lights coming from planes. It is part of the Marblehead Lighthouse State Park and the victorian style keeper's home is open as a museum and the tower is open to visitors. 

12. Lorain Harbor Lighthouse

Constructed in 1917 by the Army Corps of Engineers, the lighthouse has stands on Lake Erie. It was taken out of service in 1965 and replaced by an automated light on nearby breakwater. It is built on a concrete pier and reinforced with steel. It is 51 feet tall with a Fourth Order Fresnel lens. The original fourth order Fresnel lens was removed in 1965 and the lighthouse was nearly demolished. Local residents saved it, however, and today the light is owned by the Port of Lorain Foundation.

13. Fairport Harbor Lighthouse

Located in the village of Fairport Harbor on Lake Erie, Ohio, the lighthouse was built in 1871 and has a 60 foot tower with a detached keeper's house. The light was decommissioned in 1925In 1945 the Coast Guard turned over ownership to the town. 

The tower is open to the public and the keeper's house serves as a museum and gift shop. Visitors can climb the lighthouse for a view of the harbor. 

14. Barcelona Lighthouse

The 40-foot tower was constructed of natural fieldstone in 1829 on Lake Erie overlooking Barcelona Harbor in the Town of Westfield, New York in response to increased shipping traffic after the opening of the Erie Canal.  The light was lit by 11 lamps with 14-inch reflector. It was the first lighthouse in the world to be powered by natural gas, which the keeper transported from a burning spring about a mile by wooden pipes. In 1859, the lighthouse was deactivated, but still stands in private ownership. 

The image to the left was taken around 1900. 

15. Fort Niagra Lighthouse

In 1726, the French built Fort Niagara at the mouth of the Niagara River on the south shore of Lake Ontario in New York state. The fort itself resembles a castle structure. The early lighthouses on this site were built  on top of the fort, placed there after the British captured the fort in 1759 during the French and Indian War. Therefore, the first lighthouse on the site was established around 1782. In 1872 the current octagonal limestone tower was put into service with a Fourth order Fresnel lens. In 1900 the tower was raised in height by 11 more feet to a total of 61 feet. 

In 1993, when trees grew to a height that obscured the light, a modern beacon was put into service and Fort Niagara Light was deactivated. Today the fort and lighthouse are part of Fort Niagara State Park. A gift shop and museum are part of the lighthouse display, and the fort features excellent examples of early military architecture and engineering.

Photos of Fort Niagra and Fort Niagra Lighthouse were taken by Rudy and Alice from there great website on lighthouses. here