|Cedar River Light||Seeing The Light|
Work on the pierhead beacon began in September 1889. The white painted square wooden pyramidal structure, typical of pierhead beacons constructed at that time, stood 38 feet tall, and was exhibited for the first time on the night of November 20. Over the following winter, plans were drawn-up for a two-story keeper's dwelling on shore, and an elevated walk on the pier to provide the keeper with access to the light safely above the waves which crashed across the surface of the pier during stormy weather.
A site for the keepers dwelling was donated by the Hon. Jesse Spalding of Chicago in 1890, however situated as it was in a low and damp area, considerable grading was necessary before the red brick dwelling could be built. A brick oil house, barn and privy completed the station's structures.
In 1891, a tower was constructed in front of keepers dwelling to serve as a rear range to the pierhead light, with the construction completed in time for display on the opening of navigation in 1891. Work on the station, with the exception of the sinking of a well, was completed in July of that same year, with the well not drilled until 1895, when a 1,220 foot shaft was sunk and plumbed into the dwelling.
With the depletion of the forests in the area, the number of shipments began to decline during the first decade of the twentieth century, and thus when the mill burned in 1912, no attempt was made to rebuild the structure.
Today, Cedar River serves as a fishing
and vacation community, and the keepers dwelling is all that remains of
the light station, it's rear range tower and the bustling lumber trade
that it served merely a memory.