SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN ( S. Haven, St. Joseph) - May, 2003

Updated: 11/09/08


After the Good Sam Spring Samboree, we headed for Lake Michigan to spend a few days before joining our church group for our Memorial Day weekend campout. We thought, why go home if you don't have to when Lake Michigan is nearby.

South Haven, MI

St. Joseph, MI

Michigan Maritime Museum


South Haven, MI

We arrived here on a beautiful Sunday evening. The temperature was cool but the wind was still.

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sj risk sign.jpg (20400 bytes)While you are warned about your safety, the pier is the place to be. It was very pleasant (almost deserted) as it was the off-season and the end of a weekend. A local couple we spoke with said they stay away from mid-June until mid- September due to the crowds. 




The views looking into Lake Michigan and into South Haven are great. It provided a very peaceful evening's entertainment.

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The South Haven Lighthouse is fully automated.
The last lighthouse keeper served until 1940.

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sh from shore.jpg (22403 bytes)The view shows how far the pier reaches into Lake Michigan. The pier was extended to a total of 1,200 feet in length in 1940.





sh rough shore.jpg (21394 bytes)The next day the wind was roughing up Lake Michigan.

South Haven State Park is located just to the left of the power station seen in the distance.




sh boat going out.jpg (32206 bytes)Even with the rough water, these boys were heading out for a ride in a small boat with an outboard engine. They enjoyed the waves for a while but didn't stay out long.



Others, used the power of the wind as a source of power. 

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St. Joseph, MI


The St. Joseph pier  also has an automated beacon. The walk into Lake Michigan was tough on this day because of the high wind. It felt good to use the lighthouse as a windbreak.


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The view into town ...              Their city waterfront park ...

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sj boat tlc.jpg (42298 bytes)We stopped by the municipal marina. This sail boat was getting its TLC for the season ahead. A fresh paint job and more - we could hear the power tools being used inside.

We all know the definition ... BOAT, a hole in the water into which you pour money.



The U. S. Coast Guard has a station here also.


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Michigan Maritime Museum        (South Haven, MI)


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The museum was interesting. One of the videos explained the demise of Michigan's commercial fishery and there were many exhibits in the various buildings.


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A rope fender


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A ship in a light bulb


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A dugout in progress



And a three piece boat ... it could be hauled to the lake without using a trailer.

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The lifesavers of South Haven ...

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Rescue Boats

mmm boat house.jpg (26555 bytes)The Herbert Van Oort U.S.C.G. Boathouse contains the nation's only complete and restored collection of the last three types of wooden rescue boats used by the United States Coast Guard.



mmm psb pic.jpg (39501 bytes) The Pulling Surf Boat    

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                         This Pulling Surf Boat was found in a farmer's field.



mmm sb pic.jpg (28707 bytes) The 26-foot Motor Surfboat 

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mmm msb pic.jpg (31484 bytes) The 36-foot Transport Boat

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A wide variety of classes and programs are offered year around in the Padnos Boat Shed. This is also where a lot of the restoration work is accomplished.

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If in the South Haven area, a visit to the Michigan Maritime Museum would be a worthwhile way to spend a couple hours. Cost is only $2.50 per person.


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