Thanks to current technology and some dedicated folks in South Haven you can now catch a glimpse of the historic South Haven Lighthouse anytime you wish through a newly installed panoramic camera, offering a first-of-its-kind look at the popular lighthouse on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Whether you’re three blocks away or three continents away, the Historical Association of South Haven is offering the amazing new views of the lighthouse and catwalks online.
The sight of the iconic Lake Michigan lighthouse, with its unique catwalk that extends the entire length of the south pier, has thrilled residents and visitors alike for many decades, but that panoramic view is no longer limited to on-site visits to South Haven’s lakeshore.
Thanks to wireless technology, the view of the lighthouse and its catwalk is available to a worldwide audience thru the installation of a viewer-operated 360-degree camera.
The installation of the camera has been made possible through the work of members of the South Haven Historical Association (HASH), and is accessible at this link: http://SouthHavenLight.org.
Donald Goodwillie, the HASH board member who was put in charge of the lighthouse with a mandate to find a way to “share it,” says, “We have been fortunate in recent years to have several cameras pointed with live views of South Haven’s beaches, including the lighthouse, but none are like this.”
Goodwillie had an idea of putting cameras on the lighthouse itself and was lucky enough to be put in touch with Phil Poole and Jared Knapp who coordinate Information and Technology for the City of South Haven. That is when Goodwillie learned of the possibility of installing a 360 degree camera controlled by the user.
Goodwillie says, “As far we know this is the first time anyone has used the 360 camera in this way before,” and adds, “Phil and Jared went to work and were absolutely the ones that made this idea possible. They should have all our gratitude.”
Denise Hartman of i-Create Web handles the website design and hosting for HASH. She was instrumental in working with Phil and Jared in solving the technical challenges of hosting the interactive camera on the Historical Association’s website.
The viewer is able to operate the camera for a 360 degree customized view of all that is happening in every direction. That includes the lighthouse, the catwalk and everything from the sunset to the river to the beaches.
Goodwillie adds, “We all hope that everyone, everywhere will now be able to experience the storms, the sunsets and all that happens at this special place we all love and share.”
The South Haven lighthouse has been a beacon to boaters since 1872. The current lighthouse replaced the original wooden tower in 1903. The catwalk is original and one of only four remaining on the Michigan shore. Lights on the catwalk are maintained by the City of South Haven.
The lighthouse was acquired by the Historical Association of South Haven (HASH) in 2012. In recent years the lighthouse has been restored by HASH.
The photo of the South Haven light accompanying this story on Moody on the Market is courtesy of Professional Photographer Tom Renner of South Haven.