The "Only Choice" stands in the northern end of Lake Michigan. What does this mean, you ask? Seul Choix means "Only Choice" in french. This rugged coastline has very few safe places to take refuge if a harsh storm whips up on the mighty lake. That's exactly why early French explorers nicknamed the harbor that the Seul Choix lighthouse stands guard over the only choice.
The lighthouse stands seventy-eight feet tall and once housed a third-order Fresnel lens that was later removed in favor of a rotating airport style beacon. The tower was automated in 1972. This photograph was contributed by Dennis Kent. He also supplied some wonderful information:
As promised, here are photos of lighthouses in Michigan's upper peninsula. The first is Seul Choix (pronounced "Sis Shwa" A French word meaning "only choice". Along this part of Lake Michigan are few protected harbors for fur traders in canoes to take refuge in a storm.
This lighthouse is beautifully restored and well cared for by the Gulliver Historical Society. It was built in 1895 and the tower has 96 steps to it's lantern room. Originally, it had a third order Fresnel lens. Most of the original buildings are still here. There is the fog signal building, and explosives storehouses.
Volunteers report the strong smell of cigar smoke and dishes being moved from where they were left the evening before. A former keeper is not just "former". It is suspected that the old spirit is not happy about having so many people in what used to be an isolated peninsula. There was no road and supplies all came by boat like most lighthouses. Today this beautiful structure brings lots of assistant lighthouse keepers to admire its construction and romanticize about a way of life that the old keepers found to be hard work. - Dennis
Directions: From US-2 in Gulliver, take Route 432 south and east 4.2 miles to Route 431. Follow Route 431 south 4.1 miles to the end.
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