This building was built in Elberta in 1887 as a station for the U.S. Life Saving Service. One man would be in the cupola while another walked the beach watching for ships or sailors in distress. The building was used until 1935 when a new Coast Guard station was built on the other side of Betsie Lake in Frankfort. The building was then used by the railroad for offices and a marine center. It is now part of Elberta’s Waterfront Park and used as a hall for wedding receptions and parties.
I can’t imagine how challenging it would have been to work in the U.S. Life Saving Service. Rowing out into a winter storm on a raging Lake Michigan. It must have been truly terrifying and physically draining. The unofficial motto of Life Service is. “You have to go out, but you don’t have to come back”
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