Manistee Life Saving Station
Manistee, MI. Lake Michigan

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Station Manistee, Michigan
Coast Guard Station #264


North side entrance Manistee Harbor, Mich.; 5/16 mile east southeast of Pierhead Light;

Date of Conveyance


Station Built:



Still in operation

Station Type:



James N. Morgan was appointed keeper on 25 OCT 1879 and resigned 11 APR 1881.

Henry Finch was appointed keeper 11 APR 1881 and transferred to Station Michigan City on 22 APR 1889.

John Hanson was appointed keeper on 22 APR 1889 and was still serving in 1915.


A new page in United States Coast Guard history was turned Monday, June 4, 2001, when Station Manistee was honored at an establishment ceremony. Station Manistee will now be the parent command to Stations Ludington and Frankfort as part of the Coast Guard’s reorganization plan.

The three stations will oversee about 118 nautical miles of coastline and cover 2,876 square miles of operating area. The three stations will have 38 regular crew members, 21 part-time personnel and 61 auxiliary members. The stations have switched some crew members, with Ludington’s crew dropping from 16 to 9, Frankfort’s dropping from 14 to 9 and Manistee’s growing from 5 to 20. Chief Warrant Officer Tim Monck, commanding officer at Station Manistee, joked to the large crowd on hand for Monday’s ceremony that it was like “déja vu” all over again, referring to his first tour of duty at Station Manistee which began in 1994.

“It would be a huge understatement to say that the station has undergone a metamorphosis since I was here the first time,” Monck said. “We went from the threat of the station being closed down in 1996 to now operating as a year-around station.” Monck said the changes that have come about are driven by technology and the Coast Guard’s desire to continue to be good steward’s of the taxpayers’ money. “We need to focus on the positive,” Monck told the crowd. “Our newer boats will require less maintenance, which will allow our crews to be out on the water more and allow them to receive more training. The consolidation of management functions to the station here will also free up more personnel to be out on the water.

“The new boats afford our crews more protection and that’s very important for our crew members. The new stations will be smaller and more energy efficient and that will reduce our operating costs. These all add up to a plus in my book.” Monck said the changes for Stations Manistee, Ludington, and Frankfort were actually beginning to be considered at about the same time the Coast Guard was threatening to close Station Manistee.“I know it doesn’t make sense but it was,” he said. “But then officials began to look at Manistee in a different light and today is a product of that forethought.”

Commander Roger Dubuc, commander of Coast Guard Group Grand Haven who devised the reorganization plan, said Manistee “jumped right off the map” at him as the logical place to have the regional station. “The plan made sense to me, but then we had to be creative in our sell to those in charge in Washington, D.C.,” Dubuc told the crowd. “But after four years in the making we did.“And now today the Coast Guard passes another major milestone with a handpicked chief and crew that we feel are up the challenges in the days ahead,” he added.

As part of the reorganization plan the Coast Guard will replace 17 44-foot motor life boats - like the one that was stationed at Ludington - with 13, 47-foot motor life boats. Station Manistee is scheduled to receive the 47-foot boat in July. Station Ludington is now equipped with a 21-foot rigid hull inflatable and a 30-foot Zodiac boat. Manistee will cover an area south of Ludington to north of Frankfort with the new 47-foot boat. It is a heavy weather boat, is much faster than the 44-footer and requires less crew to operate.

New, smaller stations will be built in Manistee, Ludington and Frankfort. The stations are scheduled to open in January or February of 2003. No dates have yet been set for construction to start. CAPT John Currier, chief officer of search and rescue for the Ninth Coast Guard District, said the reorganization of the area’s Coast Guard stations is a blending of new technology with the consideration of what was the biggest threat to the boating public on the water. “Change is hard on everyone but we looked at the area’s history of search and rescue cases and it made perfect sense to us to place the heavy weather boat in the middle and put the faster boats on the wings,” Currier said. “The new 47-foot boat is a regional boat and we feel our response times are going to be faster and more efficient now than ever before.” [5 June 2001 article, Ludington Daily News, by Cheryl Higginson]











Copyright © 2001-2002 Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy. All rights reserved.
Revised: 01/12/07.