When I lived in Holland for two years, I made it down to the sandy beach at Holland State Park and saw Big Red a dozen times, but I never really learned the history behind one of Michigan’s most famous lighthouses.
On a tour of the Pump House Museum and Learning Center, I learned all about Big Red’s iconic story, as well as The Pump House, which is the last surviving structure of the Hotel Ottawa Complex. The museum’s structure dates to 1901 and was originally built as an Edison Electric Power Plant to provide lighting for the hotel and grounds.
Today, you can tour the museum during the summer from June 1 through Labor Day. The museum has become a central feature of the Historic Ottawa Beach Park’s “Black Lake Boardwalk,” linking the Mt. Pisgah Dune stairs to the Holland Harbor fishing access to Lake Michigan, which is accessible through Holland State Park.