Coast Guard Station Charlevoix History

Station Charlevoix has served in the waters of Lake Charlevoix and Lake Michigan for over 100 years. The station originated in 1898 on the south break wall of the Pine River Channel, leading into Lake Michigan. It was officially commissioned as a United States Lifesaving Service Station on July 5, 1900.

Coast Guardsman Earl Cunningham lost his life on February 8, 19036 in the performance of his duties. Cunningham, a Boatswain's Make Second Class, died while trying to save two of five fishermen marooned on an ice cloe in lake Michigan. He volunteered to take a small boat out to the floe, after Coast Guardsmen had rescued three of the fishermen earlier. He reached the flow and took the two off, but heavy wind, snow, and choppy waters prevented his boat from escaping shore. One man escaped to tell the story, but Cunningham and the other man were found four days later, frozen to death.