This sequel to our enormously popular Bonfires and Beacons features 45 more lighthouses on Lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan and Superior, on both sides of the American-Canadian border. The rugged rocks and vast forests of the Great Lakes region drove early settlers and merchants to develop elaborate shipping networks. As we drive along their shores today, these lakes may appear easy to navigate, but swift currents, hidden reefs and shoals, shifting sandbars, uncharted passages and fierce, fast-moving storms made early navigation a mariner's nightmare. Remarkable stone, brick and wood lighthouses were erected to light the night and safely guide lakefarers in their schooners, steamers, brigs, barques and sloops. Any of these noble structures have fallen into disrepair or have been torn down in the name of progress, but the surviving lights have become monuments to an exciting period in our history and points of pilgrimage for millions.
So to night-wandering sailors pale with fear Wide o'er the watery waste a light appears Which on the far-seen mountain blazing high Streams the lonely watchtower to the sky
- Homer, The Iliad, 750 BC