In 1915 the Rev. William H. Law, a.k.a the Sky Pilot of the Great Lakes, presented a book to the Keeper and crew of the Whitefish Point station. He also inscribed and signed the book. The book was a copy of Charles Dickens’ “Our Mutual Friend” that began its journey to Whitefish Point as a discard book from the Detroit Public Library (DPL). In order for Law to furnish the various Lighthouse and Life-Saving stations with enough books he had made a deal with the DPL to acquire these discard books, then he’d load them on his boat “Dream” then set sail on the Great Lakes.
Yesterday I was honored to be able to hold that very book in my own hands. I had obtain a photo of the inscription for inclusion in Sky Pilot of the Great Lakes when I had learned that Whitefish Point had it on display in the Lightkeeper’s Quarters museum. I contacted them again to let them know I would be visiting this week and asked if it would be possible to hold the book. As it is housed in a glass case carpets would have to be moved and the case pulled away from the wall to access it, so I understood if it wouldn’t be possible due to the amount of traffic the site receives. However, Site Manager Terry Begnoche was more than willing and with his help made holding the book my Great-Great-Grandfather held 99 years ago a reality. For that I am very thankful.
If you ever visit Whitefish Point, make sure to go through the Keeper’s Quarters and see the book on display.
His passion for the Great Lakes and its history grew from the stories handed down through both sides of his family about Rev. Law’s travels and relatives lost in the sinking of the S.S. Carl D. Bradley.
He currently resides with his wife, Kimberly, in Brooklyn, MI.