Book Review – Three Ultimate Guides to Michigan Lighthouses

From time to time I plan to review books on Lighthouses that I have found interesting and helpful to my Lighthouse Hunting Hobby. Today I am reviewing three books that have been essentials for me as I have visited Michigan lighthouses.

As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, my first love in photography was lighthouses. Since 2000 I have visited and photographed over 150 lights in 9 states and Canada. During the early years I spent many hours searching for lights, and finding myself lost along the coast of one of the Great Lakes. In my blog post on Lighthouse Hunting, I recommend that any lighthouse hobbyist should bring along printed instructions when hunting lighthouses. If you plan to visit more than a few, you must have a good guide to lights in your travel kit.

Since 2007, I don’t leave on a Michigan lighthouse trip without one of Jerry Roach’s books in hand. Jerry has written three books on Michigan lighthouses:

  • The Ultimate Guide to West Michigan Lighthouses (Bugs Publishing – 2005)
  • The Ultimate Guide to East Michigan Lighthouses (Bugs Publishing – 2006)
  • The Ultimate Guide to Upper Michigan Lighthouses (Bugs Publishing – 2007)
The three Ultimate Guides to Michigan Lighthouses

These three books combined create a comprehensive guide to 123 lights in Michigan.

Layout of the Books

The front of each book includes a map of Michigan, with numbers indicating the location of the lights. These numbers correspond to the chapters of the books containing the details of those lights. The numbering sequence is continuous across the three books making it easy to track which lights you have visited regardless of the region of the state.

This is the map from the front of the East Michigan guide.

The books also contain several journal pages for you to record your own visits to the lights.

Features of the Books

For each of the lights there is a brief history of the light. Included are details on the construction of the light, its importance to lake navigation and commerce, and other interesting historical facts.

For each of the lights there are directions, and also GPS Waypoints. I have found the directions to be accurate when I have used them. Because the lights are often on relatively untraveled paths by land, the roads are not always accurately marked. Also, changes occur to both the path and conditions of roads along the coast. What sets these books apart from many others is that you can use the GPS Waypoints to flawlessly navigate to the light – even if the roads have changed.

The author – Jerry Roach. I took this picture while traveling with Jerry around the Northern Lake Michigan Lights.

Another handy feature of Jerry’s books is that he includes Attractions and Events near the lights. These are arranged by month, so that an enthusiast can plan a trip out to a light that also includes visits to seasonal festivals, museums, nature centers and many other points of interest.

Photos of the lights

If you appreciate good photography, you will also be inspired by the photos of the lights. For each light there is a black and white picture accompanying the light’s entry. In addition, each of the books includes a section of full-color pictures of several of the lights.


These books are a must-have for any Michigan Lighthouse enthusiast. You can find them at most Michigan lighthouse museums, and also online at But, if you want to do some good for the lights you visit, buy them at the Lighthouse Central Bookstore. When you do, 10% of all proceeds are donated to various lighthouse preservation societies. With these books in hand, you are sure to have many days of fun and adventure in your future.

The books are also available for your Kindle , or you Nook. Here are the links to purchase those versions:


The Ultimate Guide to West Michigan Lighthouses for Kindle

The Ultimate Guide to Upper Michigan Lighthouses for Kindle

The Ultimate Guide to East Michigan Lighthouses for Kindle


The Ultimate Guide to West Michigan Lighthouses for Nook

The Ultimate Guide to Upper Michigan Lighthouses for Nook

The Ultimate Guide to East Michigan Lighthouses for Nook

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