Holland Harbor Quick Facts
Year Station Established: 1872
Is the Light operational? Yes
Year Light First Lit: 1936
Year Automated: 1970
Tower Height: 35 ft.
Original Optic: 4th Order, Fresnel
Present Optic: 250mm
Existing Keepers Quarters? Yes
Year Constructed: 1907
Number of Stories: 2
Architectural Style: Integral
Construction Materials: Brick
Holland Harbor Lighthouse
(6 photos, 86KB total download)
Last Visited: June, 2002
The first lighthouse built at this location was a small, square wooden structure erected in 1872. In 1880 the lighthouse service installed a new light atop a metal pole in a protective cage. The oil lantern was lowered by pulleys for service. At the turn of the century a steel tower was built for the light, and in 1907 the present structure was erected. Named the Holland Harbor South Pierhead Lighthouse, it has a gabled roof that reflects the Dutch influence in the area. The lighthouse, popularly referred to as "Big Red," was automated in 1932. When the U. S. Coast Guard recommended that it be abandoned in 1970, citizens circulated petitions to rescue it. The Holland Harbor Lighthouse Historical Commission was then organized to preserve and restore this landmark.
Holland, Michigan is famous the world over for its yearly Tulip Festival, and their lighthouse, affectionately known as "Big Red", is one of the town's premiere landmarks.
Michigan Historical Markers Web site
Internet Public Library
Nearest Address: 2351 Ottawa Beach Rd, Holland, MI
- (if coming from the south) Take I-196 north to I-196 Business Route.
- Follow I-196 Business Route for 3.3 miles into Holland.
- At the intersection where I-196 Business Route goes off to the right, continue straight on N. River Ave.
- Take N. River Ave. for 0.9 miles then take a left onto Douglas Ave.
- Stay on Douglas Ave for 5.9 miles (Douglas becomes Ottawa Beach Rd. after 1.4 miles).
- You will enter Holland State Park. During the summer you'll have to pay an entrance fee to park.
- The lighthouse is on the far left side of the parking lot, across the channel.
View Larger Map