One of Michigan’s most-photographed lighthouses sits along the breakwater of Holland Harbor. “Big Red,” as it is affectingly known, has welcomed boaters and visitors to Holland for over 135 years. The first Holland Harbor lighthouse was erected in 1872; however the structure as we now know it became a reality in 1936.
It was originally painted pale yellow, but in 1956,... its color was changed to satisfy a Coast Guard mandate that all structures or lights on the right side of any harbor entrance must be red. Fifteen years later, the Coast Guard declared Big Red to be surplus. Local townsfolk united and formed the Holland Harbor Lighthouse Historical Commission, taking ownership of Big Red in 1974 and installing a new light that shines for 20 miles.