UNSOLVED MICHIGAN MYSTERY: Death of a Lighthouse Keeper
In June of 1908, the body of Edward Morrison, assistant keeper of the Grand Island lighthouse, was found adrift in a small sailboat.
Townsmen from Munising felt something was wrong when they realized the lighthouse beacon hadn’t been lit for over a week. When they reached the lighthouse, they saw supplies still piled on the dock and untouched, with head lighthouse keeper George Genery nowhere to be found.
Soon afterward, the coroners arrived. The first report stated that Morrison died from exposure to the elements. A second report refuted the first and concluded that Morrison was murdered. From the appearance of the body, it looked like his head had been smashed with a club or a baseball bat. Morrison had only been working at the lighthouse for one month.
Authorities went looking for head keeper Genery at his home; his wife claimed she had no idea where he was or what happened to him…she didn’t even seem too concerned about his whereabouts. Genery seemed to have problems keeping his assistants; they never lasted more than one season, most likely due to Genery’s difficult disposition and temper. It was believed by many that Genery killed Morrison and went into hiding.
A second theory for Morrison’s death says the two men were attacked by thieves just after payday, robbed and murdered. Genery’s body was never found but Morrison’s drifted to shore. A third theory states that the two men were out checking their nets, Genery fell overboard and drowned, and Morrison’s inexperience in handling a boat left him drifting aimlessly until he died from weather exposure.
Authorities never found Genery and the mystery surrounding Morrison’s death was never solved....and of course, rumors of hauntings are abundant.
Why was Genery’s wife so non-plussed about her husband’s whereabouts? Did she kill both and keep their wages? This riddle will probably never be answered.