Sand Point, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
The historic 36' Motor Lifeboat, Grand Marais - # 36528, is on display in the boathouse at the former Munising Coast Guard Station on Sand Point in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This boat was originally stationed at the Coast Guard Station in Grand Marias, MI at the eastern entrance to the Pictured Rocks and was built sometime between 1937 and 1956 in Curtis Bay, Maryland. This boat is similar to the Munising that was stationed here at the Munising Coast Guard Station.
The boathouse is open for visitors from May through October so you can see the self-bailing, self-righting, and practically unsinkable 36' motor lifeboat that was designed for the sole purpose of saving lives.
The lifeboat carried a crew of 3-5 men who rode in the forward hatch. The station had four boats: the 36' lifeboat, a motor surfboat, a surfboat, and a skiff.
The beach was patrolled by the crew who watched for vessels in trouble and launched the lifeboat on the tracks in front of the boathouse using the winch located in front of the boat. Sand Point is well named as you can see all the sand that has drifted in front of the boathouse.
The Munising Coast Guard Station was activated in 1933 and decommissioned in 1960 with the main building presently used as the headquarters for the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Future plans call for the Park Headquarters to move to the Munising Front Range Light Station and the Coast Guard building to be restored and interpreted to the 1940's era.
You might like to stop for a bit on this sandy beach or go to the end of the road and take a short walk on the Sand Point Marsh Trail . . . . A very beautiful walk along the lakeshore. Sand Point Beach is a wonderful spot to watch the evening sunsets.
Photographs: Mary Deloria
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