The first lighthouse, made of wood and built in 1871, was replaced by a steel lighthouse in 1903.
On October 6, 1903, a crew of ten men, employed by the U.S. Lighthouse Service, arrived in South Haven from Muskegon to begin work on the foundation of the new steel lighthouse. This construction work was expected to take approximately two weeks. The crew then planned to do some work in Holland and return later to complete the steel tower, which would reach 36 feet above the water.
The United States lighthouse tender Hyacinth, Captain E.B Marquette, arrived in South Haven on October 21, 1903, with the new lighthouse on board. This was to replace the wooden structure that had been in service for 31 years.
6th in Series – Excerpts From The Harbor Light 1872-1940 by Jeanette Stieve, published by the Michigan Maritime Museum