Grand Haven Lights, photo by Chuck Turk
Terry Pepper stands on the top deck of the lighthouse cruise boat and points to his head. My dad used to tell me “It makes no sense to put something in there if you don’t share it with other people.”
And Terry’s been sharing what he’s learned about lighthouses on the Great Lakes for over twenty-five years. His passion for lighthouses began on a fishing trip to Michigan in 1989 when he saw South Haven Lighthouse along his route and stopped to walk out the breakwater. He was smitten with lighthouses on the spot and scrapped his fishing plans, deciding to travel the coastline in search of more lighthouses.
However, when he searched libraries and bookstores for more information, he found very little. Even the Internet at that time lacked information. Soon he was spending hours of his free time traveling to lighthouses and researching them in museums, libraries and archives to discover more about the structures and the people who served at them.
Following his father’s advice, Terry decided to share what he learned by creating a website called “Seeing the Light.” Other lighthouse enthusiasts, as well as those who had served at them, contacted him and shared information. As his knowledge grew, Terry’s acquired the reputation of being a lighthouse expert.