The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), 21 Apr, 1874

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AN IMPORTANT WORK CONSUMMATED. - Captains J. H. Starkweather and Alex. McDougall, two well-known steamboat captains, have at their own expense, within the past three weeks, caused to be perfected a very important work which in the future will be the means of saving thousands of dollars to the shipping which in times past have suffered so much at the Lime Kiln crossing on the Detroit River and at Bar Point, a short distance beyond the outlet of the above stream. From Capt. McDougall, who has personally superintended the matter, aided by parties at Malden, the following particulars are gathered: A light-ship has been located on the outer shoal at Bar Point, on which there is fourteen feet of water; distant from the point three and one-tenth miles, and bearing south one-quarter west, and from Bois Blanc light northwest, distant one and one half miles. The color of the lights will be green above a white light and apart four feet. A large can buoy will be located between Bois Blanc light and the bar point, on which there is 13¾ feet water, rocky bottom, distant from buoy 3¼ miles, bearing from the light south by west one-quarter west. Vessels or steamers can pass on either side of this buoy, keeping a distance of about 200 feet of the same. At the Lime Kiln crossing the ranges are on the main shore, Canada side, consisting of two lights, one of which will be located on the upper side of the railroad ferry (dock), 33 feet high, consisting of red and white light, the red four feet above the white, and also at the Lime Kiln dock three green lights one above the other during the night, and a red flag during the day. These latter ranges on the river will be exhibited only when there is a low stage of water or danger is apprehended. In view of the fact that this work has been accomplished solely by the above gentlemen and at their own expense as well as the importance of the undertaking, it is expected that all thus benefited will not hesitate to contribute towards the expense of keeping it in operation until such times as permanent arrangements are made.

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Item Type:
Many privately-maintained lightships were established on the lakes in the 70's and 80's, but this is the earliest instance I have seen of a complete system of navigation markers being established by private parties. McDougall, of course, went on to gain fame as the designer and builder of the whaleback fleet.
Date of Original:
21 Apr, 1874
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Dave Swayze
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), 21 Apr, 1874