- Associated Press - Monday, April 11, 2016

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) - A southwestern Michigan lighthouse has gotten its smokestack back after nearly seven decades.

The return of the smokestack at St. Joseph’s red-roofed inner light has drawn some criticism for being unsightly, The Herald-Palladium reported (https://bit.ly/1VhV1sy ), but St. Joseph City Manager John Hodgson said it serves historical and practical purposes.

The original smokestack, present from 1907 until 1949, served as the exhaust for coal-fired boilers that powered a steam fog signal. Now, the smokestack will be used to improve air circulation, preventing rust inside and reducing future maintenance.

“I was born here and grew up here and in my memory the lighthouse has always looked the same. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about seeing changes to something that had seemed constant throughout my life,” said Hodgson, who has guided the restoration of St. Joseph’s lighthouses since they were made available from the federal government in 2007.

“Over the course of the project I was surprised to learn how much the inner light had been altered over the years,” he said, adding: “The lighthouse I grew up seeing was only part of the lighthouse that had been built.”



The lighthouses are being restored to their 1932 appearance, since a 1931 overhaul made a number of needed safety improvements to the pier. Other exterior changes as part of the renovation include revealing and replacing windows and doors that had been covered up or removed, repairing openings that were cut and installing a replica fog whistle.

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Information from: The Herald-Palladium, https://www.heraldpalladium.com

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