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White River Light Station & Museum

White River Light Station & Museum

Hours: Tuesday - Sunday 10am to 5pm

Closed Mondays

2024 Season Dates: May 21 – Oct 27
Climb the Light: $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for students 17 and under.

Children must be at least 40" tall to climb. For the safety of our guests, children may not be carried up the stairs.

The White River Light station was built in 1875, just four years after the Great Chicago fire. A channel was dug in 1870 between Lake Michigan and White Lake to facilitate the access of lumber schooners. The ship captains were headed to the sawmills which were located on White Lake, a tributary of the White River and adjacent to the majestic pine forests. Eventually, passengers traveled on steamships from Chicago to enjoy the summer resort activities of the White Lake area.  The beautiful brick building still reverberates with the character and stories of such prominent residents as the first keeper. Captain William Robinson came from England and served 47 years with his wife Sarah and their large family of thirteen children. Many significant keepers followed, including a woman offering years of brave and dedicated service Frances Marshall. Frances also holds the distinction of serving as the last female lighthouse keeper in Michigan. The light station was decommissioned in 1960 and opened its doors as a museum in 1970 under the ownership and management of Fruitland Township. Today, it is managed by SPLKA. You can climb to the top of her tower or wander around the museum and grounds. Don’t miss viewing the original Fourth Order Fresnel lens on display in the museum.