Coast Guard Station (Small) Harbor Beach
In 1880, Congress authorized the construction of the first Coast Guard station located in Harbor Beach, which was known then as Sand Beach. The station was completed in 1881. It was 22 feet by 48 feet, and located just north of the Jenks Company dock. The station was equipped with a surfboat, two self-righting, self-bailing English lifeboats, and a beach apparatus consisting of a wagon with spools of hundreds of yards of line with a Lyle Gun (canon). The original station underwent several transitions, including a long boardwalk that extended into the harbor to a boathouse offshore allowing the boats to be launched in deeper water.
In 1910, a new station was built on the Jenks Company dock in deep water. The deep water allowed launching and a quicker response time to ships requiring assistance. The station had a watch room located on the roof, and later a 50 foot tower was constructed on the end of the dock. This station witnessed the end of the U.S. Life Saving Service and the beginning of the U.S. Coast Guard.
In 1935, Harbor Beach once again saw a new station located near the site of the first station, approximately 300 yards offshore within the harbor. The rescue boats mounted on a cradle which rode on rails. In an emergency the men and boats rolled down the rails and into the water. When they returned to the station, the boats would be piloted onto the cradle then winched up into the boathouse. This station was also used as a training facility for the Coast Guard during World War II. Hundreds of men entered the door as a raw recruit and left a skilled Coast Guardsman. The station fell victim to Lake Huron as lake water rose and entered the first floor of the station, resulting in ice damage to the station and boardwalk during winter. The station was closed in 1987.
The fourth, and current, station is located onshore near the Harbor Beach Marine and was constructed in 1987. This unit was seasonalized in 2017.