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, SPLKA, a non-profit that proudly manages four lighthouses along Lake Michigan’s shoreline, operates the White River Lighthouse. 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. To get to the museum take US-31 to White Lake Dr exit. Turn right (heading west) on to South Shore Drive. Turn left and continue following Museum Signs to the end of Murray Road.
Summer days are for unwinding and what better way to enjoy a summer’s evening than relaxing along the water on the lawn of the White River Light Station.
These family friendly events are free to the public. Bring your blankets or lawn chairs and enjoy time together watching a movie, or listening to folk inspired music while visiting and exploring the White River Light Station. The museum and tower will be open for the standard admission charge.
***IN CASE OF RAIN, EVENTS WILL BE HELD AT THE FRUITLAND TOWNSHIP OFFICE***
July 9th Concert featuring Rough and Tumble" Concert Time: 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Prolific song writers, performers and born travelers; Pennsylvania-born Mallory Graham and California-born Scott Tyler have lived in their 16’ camper since 2015, making tire tracks nationwide since 2011 as a traveling Folk-Americana duo. Their history goes back as far as New England in the fall of 2007 and as close as going from friends to bandmates to married bandmates. The story is as linear and circular as any. This Americana duo is excited to be part of our lighthouse concert series.
July 16th Concert 7 pm Featuring “Chris Kennedy and Eric Michael"
In the acoustic tradition, Eric and Chris perform a diverse repertoire of pop, folk, and country tunes. Whether singing in harmony or playing instrumentally, Eric and Chris are an engaging and dynamic duo."
July 24 Dulcimer Concert at 2 pm. Featuring the “Western Michigan Dulcimer Friends”
Come enjoy a Saturday afternoon with a group of acoustic musicians that between them have decades of experience playing folk music, the music of our ancestors handed down thru time. This is the music played in grange halls for square dances. The musicians will be playing dulcimers, guitars and fiddles to mention a few. They play for the love of music. Bring your family, your blankets or lawn chairs and enjoy an afternoon of folk inspired music while visiting and exploring the White River Light Station. The museum and tower will be open for the standard admission charge.
July 30th Concert 7pm Feature “Joe Irlan.”
Come and enjoy the mellow sounds of local guitarist Joe Irlan as he plays
popular cover songs and some originals as well. Well known in the area for
his many performances at the Fetch Brewery.
August 6th Concert 7 pm Featuring “Ark Harbor”
60’s Folk guitarists from Old Town Chicago, Jim Novak and Paul Cerny reunite to bring their unique blend of soft rock, blues folk and hauntingly beautiful ballads that will touch you heart.
August 13th Concert with Music and Beer from 6pm to 8pm Featuring “Catfish and the Man”
Come enjoy your favorite Fetch Beer and the music of Catfish and the Man on the grounds of the White River Light Station. This family friendly event is a fund raiser for the Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers, caretakers of the lighthouse. Beer and Wine as well as water will be available for purchase. Proceeds will continue to help support the mission to preserve, promote and educate the public and to make our lighthouses accessible.
The rain location for all of the music events is the Fruitland Township Hall.
Concerts start at 7 pm and go until 8:30pm: Free
Tower is open for climbing during the music events.
Admission is only for the tower concerts are free.
White River Light Station's Regular Summer Hours Are:
Monday through Sunday 10 am to 5 pm
Tower & Museum Tours - Adults: $8.00, Students 17 & Under: $5.00