Promote Michigan Blog

Tragedy on South Manitou Island

Lighthouse keeper Aaron Sheridan was a Civil War soldier who lost the use of his arm in battle and as such, he was able to get his wife — Julia — appointed his assistant keeper oft his important beacon in the norther part of Lake Michigan. Given his injuries, when he needed to make the trip across the waters to the mainland, Aaron would often hire a local fisherman named Christ Ancharson to man the 25-foot Mackinaw sailboat. During such a trip, on Friday, March 15, 1878, high waves and bad weather overturned the boat just as it was approaching the harbor on South Manitou Island. Sadly, the Sheridans — including their infant son, Robert — died that day.

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