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Seeking information on boathouse trolley

Forum to discuss all areas of lighthouse technology such as optics, fuels, fog signals, radiobeacons, daymarks, construction, etc.

Postby Terry_Pepper » Mon May 16, 2005 7:37 pm


The Delta County Historical Association, stewards of the Sand Point Lighthouse in Escanaba, contacted me over the weekend, looking for some information.

The Squaw Point light, which was located on the east shore of Little Bay De Noc on the north shore of Lake Michigan was automated in 1914 through the installation of an acetylene system. With this change, the station was placed under the stewardship of the keeper at Sand Point across the bay in Escanaba.

To assist the Sand Point keeper in maintaining the Squaw Point light, a motor boat was allocated to the station, and the Squaw Point boathouse was moved across the bay on the ice to Sand Point to serve as storage for this vessel that same year.

The boathouse was equipped with boatways and a trolley from which the boat was launched and hauled back into the boathouse. The Delta County Historical Association is beginning restoration of this boathouse, and would like to include replicas of the boatways and trolley. To this point, they have been unable to come up with any photographs or drawings of such a trolley to use as a guide in reconstruction, and that is why they contacted me.

Unfortunately, I do not have what they are looking for in my files, and thus this post.

Does anyone happen to have a photo or print of such a trolley in your collections, or do you have any idea where I might be able to find such an animal?

If you can be of any assistance, please feel free to post or send me an email or private message, and I will forward your information on to the appropriate individual with the Delta County Historical Association. I will, of course, give credit to the individual providing the information.

Thanks
Terry Pepper
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http://www.gllka.com

Seeing The Light
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Postby island » Wed May 18, 2005 2:38 pm


I have no idea what such an animal looked like. They may have long been extinct.

The light station boat slips in Maine that I am familar with were of wood and did not use trolleys but instead just lots of lard applied to grease the ways.

I assume the rails at this boathouse in question were metal. If this was a standard design for a number of boathouses then there may be drawings and perhaps photos in the National Archives collection. Unfortunately, boathouses and other functional structures at light stations were not greatly popular subjects for photos. Same holds true today.

Do they have plans to obtain a boat to go with the boathouse? Do they have photos of the boat that this station was provided?

A 3hp motor (make and break "one lunger"?) would not have been a great improvement over a Maine peapod with long oars, the type you stand and face forward when you row. The trip from Sand Point light to the unmanned light was about five miles. A sail might have been a plus for this journey and such was provided for light station boats before motors came along.
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Postby ron » Thu May 19, 2005 6:43 am


we have stations that use a carriage type that is winched on rails up to a boathouse. not sure if that is what your looking for
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Postby Terry_Pepper » Thu May 19, 2005 11:33 am


Ron - that is exactly the type I am looking for. Steel rails and a tressle or carriage on flanged wheels. Photos or plans would be great.
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