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Historic Light Station Information
& Photography

MICHIGAN


ALPENA LIGHT

Location: ALPEAN, MICHIGAN; LAKE HURON; THUNDER BAY RIVER ENTRANCE
Station Established: 1877
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1914
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1974
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: BREAKWATER
Construction Materials: CAST IRON
Tower Shape: SKELETAL
Height:    80-feet
Markings/Pattern: RED SKELETAL TOWER, UPPER PART ENCLOSED
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER
Foghorn:

Historical Information :

This bright red, steel frame structure has been nicknamed "Sputnik" by the people of this northern Michigan City. Resembling the Russian space satellite, it is believed to be the only lighthouse of this type in the United States. The current structure is believed to be the 3rd lighthouse in the area, following two others built during the 1800’s.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

ALPENA LIGHTHOUSE

ALPENA LIGHTHOUSE, DIFFERENT VIEW


AU SABLE LIGHT

Location: AU SABLE POINT/LAKE SUPERIOR; 31 MILES EAST OF MUNSING; 13 MILES WEST OF GRAND MARIAS, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1874
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1874
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1958 (Solar)
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: WOOD PILINGS
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Height:   
Markings/Pattern: WHITE W/BLACK LANTERN
Characteristics:    Fixed White
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: THIRD ORDER, FRESNEL 1874
Foghorn:    Steam whistle and airhorn (removed).

Historical Information :

  • This light was called Big Sable Light until 1910.
  • The National Park Service is in the process of restoring the lighthouse. The tower and red brick building keepers dwelling and matching red brick fog signal building are still standing. The boarded lantern area is an impressive sight.
  • The third order fresnel lens is on display at the National Lakeshore’s Nautical and Maritime Museum in Grand Marias.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

AU SABLE LIGHTHOUSE


BAY FURNACE LIGHT 
(GRAND ISLAND RANGE LIGHTS)

Location: Lake Superior, near Christmas, Alger County, MI
Date Built: 1868 (Original Structure); 1914 (Existing Lighthouse)
Type of Structure: Original rear range lighthouse was a wooden keeper’s house with lantern on top. Original front range light was wooden frame tower. Existing tower is a black conical steel tower with a white lantern room.
Height: existing tower is 62 ft.
Status: decommissioned in 1969; front light taken down.
Source: Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy Web site

The above was researched and drafted by Bill Simms, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Light House Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

BAY FURNACE LIGHTHOUSE


BEAVER HEAD (BEAVER ISLAND) LIGHT

Location: South end of Beaver Island
Date Built: 1851
Type of Structure: Brick tower, iron lantern room, keepers house attached via covered walk.
Operational: No
Date Automated:
Deactivated: 1962
Height: 46’
Foghorn: added in 1888
Builder: John McReynolds
Appropriation: $5,000
Foundation Material: Reinforced concrete
Construction Material: brick
Tower Shape: conical
Relationship to Other Structure: Attached
Original Lens: 14 Lewis lamps and reflectors
Characteristics: Fixed white
Range: 16 miles after 1858 upgrade.
Status: decommissioned

Historical Information:

Much of the following history was compiled by Terry Pepper and is on his web site. www.terrypepper.com/lights/michigan/beaverhead/beaverhead.htm

The above was researched and drafted by Bill Simms, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Light House Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

BEAVER HEAD LIGHTHOUSE


BEAVER ISLAND HARBOR LIGHT

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

STATION WITH KEEPER'S QUARTERS

STATION WITHOUT THE KEEPER'S QUARTERS


BELLE ISLE LIGHT

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

BELLE ISLE LIGHTHOUSE


BIG BAY POINT LIGHT

Location: Southern Shore of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Station Established: 1896
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1896
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1941
Deactivated: 1961-1990
Foundation Materials: STONE
Construction Materials: BRICK/REINFORCED CONCRETE
Tower Shape: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: RED BRICK WITH WHITE LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: THIRD ORDER

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Light House Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

BIG BAY POINT LIGHTHOUSE


BIG SABLE POINT (GRAND POINT AU SABLE) LIGHT

Location: Eastern shore of Lake Michigan; nearest Town or City is Ludington, Michigan
Date Built: 1867
Type of Structure: This lighthouse was originally a brick conical cast iron tower white with middle third black; it was encased in steel plates in 1900.
Height: Tower height was 112 feet with a height of focal plan of 106 feet
Characteristics: Fixed White
Lens: Original third order Fresnel lens (now at Rose Hawley Museum at White Pine Village) and was automated in 1968.
Status: Light is operational with current use active aid to navigation

Historical Information:

Keepers: 

Researched and written by Catherine (Kitty) Price, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Light House Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

BIG SABLE POINT LIGHTHOUSE


BOIS BLANC ISLAND LIGHT (OLD)

STRAITS OF MACKINAC, LAKE HURON, BOIS BLANC ISLAND, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1829
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1868
Operational? NO
Automated? N/A
Deactivated: 1924
Foundation Materials: EMPLACED
Construction Materials: YELLOW BRICK
Tower Shape: 
Markings/Pattern: NATURAL WITH WHITE LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

The above was researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Keepers: 

The above was researched and written by Catherine (Kitty) Price, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Light House Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

"OLD" BOIS BLANC ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE


CHARITY ISLAND LIGHT

Location: Big Charity Island, Saginaw Bay entrance on Lake Huron, Michigan
Station Established: 1857
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1857
Operational: NO
Automated: N/A
Deactivated: 1939
Foundation Materials:
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Height: 45’5” above mean high water
Markings/Pattern: WHITE WITH BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Characteristic: Fixed White
Original Lens: KEROSENE

Historical Information:

  • The original keeper’s quarters was a duplex built of wood. The tower was attached by a walkway.
  • The light was discontinued in 1939 and replaced with a light at Gravelly Shoal.
  • The lighthouse is now privately owned. After being abandoned, the dwelling fell into severe decay and was razed in the spring 2003, leaving only the cellar remaining. A replica of the house was built on the old foundation.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Light House Society volunteer.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

NO PHOTOGRAPH AVAILABLE


CHARLEVOIX LIGHT

Location: ENTRANCE TO LAKE CHARLEVOIX, CHARLEVOIX, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1884
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1948
Operational? YES
Automated? N/A
Deactivated: N.A
Foundation Materials: PIER
Construction Materials: STEEL
Tower Shape: SKELETAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE WITH BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPERATE
Original Lens: FIFTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

CHARLEVOIX LIGHTHOUSE


CHARLEVOIX SOUTH PIER LIGHT

Location: ENTRANCE TO LAKE CHARLEVOIX, CHARLEVOIX, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1914
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1948
Operational? YES
Automated? N/A
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: PIER
Construction Materials: WOOD
Tower Shape: SKELETAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE WITH BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPERATE
Original Lens: FIFTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

CHARLEVOIX SOUTH PIER LIGHTHOUSE


CHEBOYGAN CRIB LIGHT

Location: CHEBOYGAN HARBOR ON LAKE HURON, CHEBOYGAN, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1857
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1901
Operational? NO
Automated? 1920
Deactivated: UNKNOWN
Foundation Materials: OAK RING
Construction Materials: CAST IRON
Tower Shape: OCTAGONAL 
Markings/Pattern: WHITE WITH RED LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

CHEBOYGAN CRIB LIGHTHOUSE


CHEBOYGAN RIVER RANGE FRONT LIGHT

Location: CHEBOYGAN RIVER, LAKE HERON, CHEBOYGAN, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1880
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1880
Operational? YES
Automated? UNKNOWN
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: 
Construction Materials: WOOD
Tower Shape: SQUARE 
Markings/Pattern: BROWN THEN LATER CHANGED TO WHITE
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: SIXTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

CHEBOYGAN RIVER FRONT RANGE LIGHT

CHEBOYGAN RIVER REAR RANGE LIGHT


CHEBOYGAN MAIN LIGHT

Location: EASTERN POINT OF DUNCAN BAY, LAKE HURON, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1851
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1859
Operational? NO
Automated? NO
Deactivated: 1930
Foundation Materials: EMPLACED
Construction Materials: BRICK/WOOD
Tower Shape: SQUARE WITH OCTAGONAL LANTERN ROOM
Markings/Pattern: WHITE
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FIFTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

CHEBOYGAN MAIN LIGHTHOUSE


COPPER HARBOR LIGHT

Location: KEWEENAW PENINSULA/LAKE SUPERIOR 
Station Established: 1849 
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1866 
Operational? NO 
Automated? YES 1919 
Deactivated: 1933 
Foundation Materials: DRESSED STONE/TIMBER 
Construction Materials: BRICK 
Tower Shape: SQUARE 
Markings/Pattern: NATURAL W/BLACK LANTERN 
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED 
Original Lens: FRESNEL 1856 

Historical Information:

Keepers:

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

COPPER HARBOR LIGHTHOUSE


CRISP POINT LIGHT

13 MILES W. OF WHITEFISH POINT/LAKE SUPERIOR
Station Established: 1904
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1904
Operational? NO
Automated? YES
Deactivated: 1947
Foundation Materials: POURED CONCRETE
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: CONICAL ATTACHED TO ENTRANCE ROOM
Markings/Pattern: WHITE W/BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL 1904

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

CRISP POINT LIGHTHOUSE


DETOUR REEF LIGHT

Location: MOUTH OF ST. MARY'S RIVER/LAKE HURON 
Station Established: 1847 
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1931 
Operational? YES 
Automated? YES 1974 
Deactivated: n/a 
Foundation Materials: CRIB 
Construction Materials: REINFORCED CONCRETE/STEEL 
Tower Shape: SQUARE 
Markings/Pattern: WHITE W/RED ROOF 
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL 
Original Lens: THIRD AND HALF ORDER

Historical Information:

Keepers:

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

DETOUR REEF LIGHTHOUSE


DETROIT RIVER (BAR POINT SHOAL) LIGHT

Location: LAKE ERIE S. OF DETROIT RIVER ENTRANCE 
Station Established: 1875 
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1885 
Operational? YES 
Automated? YES 1979 
Deactivated: n/a 
Foundation Materials: WOOD/CEMENT CRIB; GRANITE PIER 
Construction Materials: CAST IRON PLATE/BRICK LINING 
Tower Shape: CONICAL 
Markings/Pattern: WHITE WITH BLACK UPPER 
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL 
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER 

Historical Information:

Keepers:

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

DETROIT RIVER LIGHTHOUSE


EAGLE HARBOR LIGHT

Location: WEST END OF HARBOR/LAKE SUPERIOR 
Station Established: 1851 
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1871 
Operational? YES 
Automated? YES 1980 
Deactivated: n/a 
Foundation Materials: DRESSED STONE/TIMBER 
Construction Materials: BRICK 
Tower Shape: OCTAGONAL 
Markings/Pattern: WHITE TOWER ON RED DWELLING 
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL 
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL 1857

Historical Information:

Keepers:

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

EAGLE HARBOR LIGHTHOUSE


EAGLE HARBOR RANGE LIGHTS

Location: FRONT RANGE ON SOUTH SHORE OF HARBOR/LAKE SUPERIOR;
REAR RANGE ABOUT 1000 FEET SE OF FRONT RANGE.
Station Established: 1877
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 
Operational? NO
Automated? 
Deactivated: 1911
Foundation Materials: 
Construction Materials: WOOD
Tower Shape: BOTH TOWERS SQUARE; REAR RANGE IN KEEPERS DWELLING.
Markings/Pattern: BOTH PAINTED WHITE
Relationship to Other Structure: 1000 FEET APART.
Original Lens: 12” DIAMETER LENS LANTERNS IN BOTH TOWERS.

Historical Information:

Keepers:

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

EAGLE HARBOR FRONT RANGE LIGHT

EAGLE HARBOR REAR RANGE LIGHT


EAGLE RIVER LIGHT

EAGLE RIVER, LAKE SUPERIOR, EAGLE RIVER, MI
Station Established: 1854 
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1857
Operational? NO
Automated? N/A
Deactivated: 1908
Foundation Materials: CRIB (CONCRETE AND STEEL)
Construction Materials: STONE
Tower Shape: SQUARE W/CONICAL LANTERN
Markings/Pattern: WHITE
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: SIXTH ORDER, FRESNEL

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

NO PHOTOGRAPH AVAILABLE


ESCANABA LIGHT

MARKS SHOAL/LAKE MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1938
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1938
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1976
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: CRIB
Construction Materials: STEEL
Tower Shape: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: WHITE
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Original Lens: 375 mm
Characteristic: FL. W., 6 SEC.
Fog Horn: HORN, DIAPHRAGM AIR; BLAST 2 SECONDS, SILENT 18 SECONDS

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

ESCANABA LIGHTHOUSE


FORT GRATIOT (PORT HURON) LIGHT

LAKE HURON/ST. CLAIR RIVER
Station Established: 1825
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1829
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1933
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: DRESSED STONE/TIMBER
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: CONICAL ATTACHED TO WORKROOM
Markings/Pattern: WHITE
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Original Lens: FIFTH ORDER, FRESNEL

Historical Information:

As early as 1823, the government recognized the importance of protecting commerce on Lake Huron and, on March 3rd of that year, Congress appropriated $3,500 to construct "a lighthouse near Fort Gratiot, in Michigan Territory". Winslow Lewis, a Massachusetts contractor specializing in lighthouses was awarded the contract and he, in turn, contracted Daniel Warren of Rochester, New York to build the light tower and keeper’s dwelling. April 2, 1825, Congress appropriated an additional $5,000 for the project and on August 8th, it was completed. The tower rose 32 feet above ground level and was 18 feet in diameter at the bottom and 9½ feet at the top. It was the first lighthouse constructed on Michigan shores.

Rufus Hatch and Jean B. Desnoyers operated the light until December 2nd when George McDougall of Detroit arrived. McDougall had been appointed as official keeper after pulling some political strings. He was a large man, weighing over 200 pounds and finding that the specifications for the lighthouse varied considerably from what actually existed, he reported his dismay to William Woodbridge, then Collector of Customs at Detroit. Woodbridge would later become Governor of Michigan and a Senator, but as Collector of Customs, McDougall would inform him that the stairs were so steep that they had to be ascended sideways and the trap door, measuring 18 inches by 21¼ inches was barely large enough to squeeze through.

The light had other problems also. It was not only poorly located, not being visible until boats were too near the river’s mouth, it was poorly constructed. During the summer of 1828 the walls began cracking and the tower sagged toward the east. Erosion, caused by the current was also eating away the ground and after a violent three-day storm in early September, the tower was so severely damaged that in late November it collapsed completely. Immediate steps were taken to erect a new structure, at a better location. $8,000 was appropriated for the project by an Act of Congress, March 2, 1829. Lucius Lyon, who later became a U. S. Senator was awarded the contract in April. The structure was 74 feet high and 25 feet in diameter, constructed of brick and completed in December, 1829. In 1861, the height was increased to 86 feet and in 1874 a brick duplex was added for the keeper and his assistants. The structure still stands today. McDougall remained keeper until his death in October, 1842. Since he was constantly bothered by gout and numerous other ailments, an assistant keeper was always employed by him to do the actual work. Reuben Hamilton performed the work for many years, being paid directly by McDougall since the government did ot authorize an assistant keeper until June, 1870. Today’s light is completely automated, has a range of 8 miles and flashes for one half second every 15 seconds.

151 years after the first light was exhibited at Fort Gratiot, a silent sentinel still beams out to guide a new generation of Lake Huron mariners. In 1971, the Michigan Historical Commission named Fort Gratiot Light a historic site. As Port Huron grew and the St. Clair River became a popular spot for tourists and recreational boaters, lifesaving operations, which for years had centered around the Lake View Beach Station, began a gradual shift southward.

In 1931, 3½ acres of land adjoining Fort Gratiot Lighthouse was purchased by the government and on April 13, 1932, the Coast Guard opened the Port Huron Station. Originally, the station consisted of a main building, boathouse and lookout tower with crew quarters, breakwater and fog signal added later. Among the duties assigned to the Port Huron Station was the responsibility of providing supplies and transportation to the men aboard the Lightship Huron. The Lightship’s station had been established in 1893 on Corsica Shoals, replacing a somewhat ineffective gas buoy. Three vessels bore the designation as Huron Lightship from 1893 to 1970. The first of these was a wooden-hulled vessel, painted red with the words "Corsica Shoals" painted white on her sides. Officially listed as Lightship No. 61, she served from September 1893 until 1921. During the November storm of 1913, in which at least 12 ships and 200 lives were lost, the lightship was torn from its moorings and forced onto the Canadian shore near Point Edward. She was replaced in 1921 by Lightship No. 96, the first vessel to actually be called Huron Lightship.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

FORT GRATIOT LIGHTHOUSE


FORTY MILE POINT LIGHT

LAKE HURON, ROGERS CITY, MI
Station Established: 1897
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1897
Operational? YES
Automated? 1969
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: WOOD PILINGS
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: SQUARE 
Markings/Pattern: WHITE W/BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

FORTY MILE POINT LIGHTHOUSE


FOURTEEN FOOT SHOAL LIGHT

SHEBOYGAN HARBOR ENTRANCE/LAKE MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1930
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1930
Operational? YES
Automated? YES
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: PNEUMATIC/SUB
Construction Materials: REINFORCED CONCRETE/STEEL
Tower Shape: CONICAL ON RECTANGULAR HOUSE
Markings/Pattern: WHITE W/RED TRIM
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL
Characteristic: FL. W., 3 SEC.
Fog Signal: DIAPHONE, AIR; BLAST 1 SECOND, SILENT 14 SECONDS

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

FOURTEEN FOOT SHOAL LIGHT


FOURTEEN MILE POINT LIGHT

BETWEEN ONTONAGON/KEWEENAW WATERWAY/LAKE SUPERIOR
Station Established: 1894
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1894
Operational? NO
Automated? UNK
Deactivated: 1934
Foundation Materials:
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: RED BRICK
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL 1894

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

NO PHOTOGRAPH AVAILABLE


FRANKFORT NORTH BREAKWATER LIGHT

LAKE MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1873
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1932
Operational? YES
Automated? YES
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: PIER
Construction Materials: STEEL
Tower Shape: PYRAMIDAL SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: WHITE
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FIFTH ORDER, FRESNEL

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

FRANKFORT NORTH BREAKWATER LIGHTHOUSE


FRYING PAN ISLAND LIGHT

ST. MARY’S RIVER, LAKE HURON, NEAR DETOUR VILLAGE, MI
Station Established: 1879
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1882
Operational? NO
Automated? N/A
Deactivated: UNKNOWN
Foundation Materials: EMPLACED
Construction Materials: CAST IRON
Tower Shape: HEXAGONAL 
Markings/Pattern: BROWN, LATER PAINTED WHITE
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPERATE
Original Lens: SIXTH ORDER, FRESNEL

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

FRYING PAN ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE


GRAND HAVEN SOUTH PIERHEAD LIGHTS

GRAND RIVER/LAKE MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1839
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1905
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1969
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: PIER
Construction Materials: CAST IRON; Second Tower: CAST IRON OVER WOOD FRAME
Tower Shape: CONICAL; Second Tower: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: RED
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE; Second Tower: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: SIXTH ORDER, FRESNEL

Historical Information:

Keepers:

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

GRAND HAVEN SOUTH PIERHEAD REAR RANGE LIGHT

GRAND HAVEN SOUTH PIERHEAD FRONT RANGE LIGHT


GRAND ISLAND EAST CHANNEL LIGHT

GRAND ISLAND/LAKE SUPERIOR
Station Established: 1870
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1870
Operational? NO
Automated? NO
Deactivated: 1913
Foundation Materials:
Construction Materials: WOOD FRAME
Tower Shape: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern:
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens:

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

NO PHOTOGRAPH AVAILABLE


GRAND ISLAND HARBOR RANGE REAR LIGHT

LAKE SUPERIOR, NEAR CHRISTMAS, MI
Station Established: 1868
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1914
Operational? NO
Automated? NO
Deactivated: 1969
Foundation Materials: CONCRETE PIER
Construction Materials: STEEL
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Markings/Pattern: BLACK TOWER/WHITE LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPERATE
Original Lens: SIXTH ORDER, FRESNEL

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

NO PHOTOGRAPH AVAILABLE


GRAND ISLAND NORTH (OLD NORTH) LIGHT

GRAND ISLAND/LAKE SUPERIOR
Station Established: 1854
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1867
Operational? NO
Automated? YES 1961
Deactivated: 1961
Foundation Materials:
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: SQUARE BRICK TOWER ATTACHED TO DWELLING
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

GRAND ISLAND NORTH LIGHTHOUSE


GRAND MARAIS HARBOR RANGE LIGHTS

GRAND MARAIS HARBOR/LAKE SUPERIOR
Station Established: 1895
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1895
Operational? NO
Automated? NO
Deactivated:
Foundation Materials: PIER
Construction Materials: STEEL
Tower Shape: SKELETAL
Markings/Pattern:
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Original Lens:

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

NO PHOTOGRAPH AVAILABLE


GRAND TRAVERSE LIGHT

GRAND TRAVERSE POINT, LEELANAU PENINSULA, NORTHPOINT, MI
Station Established: 1852
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1858
Operational? NO
Automated? 1972
Deactivated: 1972
Foundation Materials: DRESSED STONE/TIMBER
Construction Materials: BRICK/WOOD/IRON
Tower Shape: SQUARE ON ROOF ON DWELLING 
Markings/Pattern: RED W/BLACK TRIM
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FIFTH ORDER, FRESNEL

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

GRAND TRAVERSE LIGHT


GRANITE ISLAND LIGHT

NW END GRANITE ISLAND/LAKE SUPERIOR
Station Established: 1868
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1869
Operational? NO
Automated? YES 1939
Deactivated:
Foundation Materials: ROCK
Construction Materials: GRANITE
Tower Shape: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: NATURAL W/BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL 1869

Historical Information:

Keepers:

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

GRANITE ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE


GRASSY ISLAND NORTH CHANNEL RANGE LIGHTS

The front light is in 3 1/2 feet of water, near the northerly end of the flats lying to the northward and westward of Grassy Island, Michigan.  The rear light is in 5 1/2 feet of water, 2,000 feet S. 27* 20'W in rear of front light.
Station Established: 1897 (Both lights)
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1897
Operational?
Automated?
Deactivated:
Foundation Materials:
Construction Materials: Wood
Tower Shape: Square, enclosed pyramidal wooden tower.
Markings/Pattern: Yellowish drab
Original Lens:

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

GRASSY ISLAND NORTH CHANNEL RANGE FRONT LIGHT, 1904

GRASSY ISLAND NORTH CHANNEL RANGE REAR LIGHT, 1904
(Note the two keepers standing on the tower balcony)


GRASSY ISLAND SOUTH CHANNEL RANGE LIGHTS

GRASSY ISLAND LIGHT-STATION, DETROIT RIVER
Station Established: 1849 (Rear), rebuilt 1881; 1896 (Rear)
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1896
Operational?
Automated?
Deactivated:
Foundation Materials:
Construction Materials:
Tower Shape:
Markings/Pattern:
Relationship to Other Structure:
Original Lens:

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

GRASSY ISLAND SOUTH CHANNEL RANGE FRONT LIGHT, 1896

GRASSY ISLAND SOUTH CHANNEL RANGE REAR LIGHT, 1904


GRAVELLY SHOAL LIGHT

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

GRAVELLY SHOAL LIGHTHOUSE


GRAYS REEF LIGHT

GRAYS REEF EAST CHANNEL/LAKE MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1891
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1936
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1976
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: SUBMERGED STONE/CONCRETE CRIB
Construction Materials: REINFORCED CONCRETE/STEEL
Tower Shape: OCTAGONAL ON SQUARE DWELLING
Markings/Pattern: WHITE W/BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: THIRD AND HALF ORDER

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

GRAYS REEF LIGHTHOUSE


GROSSE ISLE NORTH CHANNEL RANGE LIGHTS

DETROIT RIVER
Station Established: 1894
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1906
Operational? NO
Automated? UNK
Deactivated: 1963
Foundation Materials: CONCRETE PIER
Construction Materials: WOOD
Tower Shape: OCTAGONAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Original Lens:

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

GROSSE ILE NORTH CHANNEL REAR RANGE LIGHT, 1904


GROSSE ISLE SOUTH CHANNEL RANGE LIGHTS

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

GROSSE ISLE SOUTH CHANNEL FRONT RANGE LIGHT, 1904

GROSSE ISLE SOUTH CHANNEL REAR RANGE LIGHT, 1904


GULL ROCK LIGHT

Location: WEST OF MANITOU SOUND, LAKE SUPERIOR, NEAR COPPER HARBOR, MI
Station Established: 1867
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1867
Operational? YES
Automated? 1913
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: MASONRY
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: SQUARE 
Markings/Pattern: ORIGINALLY YELLOW LATER PAINTED WHITE
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL
Characteristic: FLASHING RED, 0.4 SECONDS
Fog Signal: NONE

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

GULL ROCK LIGHTHOUSE


HARBOR BEACH LIGHT

N. SIDE BREAKWATER ENTRANCE/LAKE HURON
Station Established: 1858
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1885
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1968
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: TIMBER CRIB
Construction Materials: CAST IRON W/BRICK LINING
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL
Characteristic: WHITE FLASH 1 SECOND, ECLIPSE 4 SECONDS, RED FLAS 1 SECOND, ECLIPSE 4 SECONDS
Fog Signal: DIAPHONE, AIR; BLAST 5 SECONDS, SILENT 25 SECONDS
Radio Signal: RADIOBEACON (TRANSMITTED ON 304 KC; GROUPS OF 2 DOTS, 1 DASH

Historical Information:

Keepers:

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

HARBOR BEACH LIGHTHOUSE


HOLLAND HARBOR (SOUTH PIERHEAD) LIGHT

BLACK LAKE, LAKE MICHIGAN, NEAR HOLLAND, MI
Station Established: 1872
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1936
Operational? YES
Automated? 1932
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: PIER
Construction Materials: WOOD
Tower Shape: SQUARE 
Markings/Pattern: RED TOWER ON RED DWELLING
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs

Holland (Black Lake) Range Light: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); Original caption: "HOLLAND (BLACK LAKE) RANGE [;] NINTH NAVAL DISTRICT (CHICAGO) [;] REAR LIGHT & FOG SIGNAL. 100 FT. S. S. E. [;] AUGUST 1913."; No photo number; photographer unknown.

Holland Harbor Pierhead Light: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); Original caption: "Light #1538"; Photo No. 537; photographer unknown.


HURON ISLAND LIGHT

WEST HURON ISLAND/LAKE SUPERIOR
Station Established: 1868
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1877
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1972
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: SURFACE ROCK
Construction Materials: GRANITE/BRICK
Tower Shape: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: NATURAL W/WHITE LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: THREE-ONE-HALF ORDER FRESNEL 1868
Characteristic: FLASH WHITE 1 SECOND, ECLIPSE 2 SECONDS, FLASH WHITE 1 SECOND, ECLIPSE 6 SECONDS
Foghorn:DIAPHONE, AIR, GROUP OF 3 BLASTS EVERY 60 SECONDS, 3 BLASTS 2 SECOND EACH, 2 SILENCES 2 SECONDS EACH, 1 SILENCE 50 SECONDS
Radiobeacon: TRANSMITTED ON 314 KC, GROUPS OF DASH, DOT, DASH

Historical Information:

Keepers:

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

HURON ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE


ISLE ROYALE LIGHT

MENAGERIE ISLAND, LAKE SUPERIOR, NEAR HOUGHTON, MI
Station Established: 1875
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1875
Operational? YES
Automated? 1913
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: ROCK
Construction Materials: RED SANDSTONE
Tower Shape: OCTAGONAL
Markings/Pattern: RED
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL
Characteristic: FLASHING WHITE 0.4 SECOND
Fog Signal: NONE
Radiobeacon: NONE

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

ISLE ROYALE LIGHTHOUSE


KALAMAZOO LIGHT

MOUTH OF KALAMAZOO RIVER/LAKE MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1858
Year Current Tower(s) N/A
Operational? NO
Automated? N/A
Deactivated: 1914
Foundation Materials: 
Construction Materials: 
Tower Shape: 
Markings/Pattern: 
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens:

Historical Information:

Keepers:

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

KALAMAZOO LIGHTHOUSE


KEWEENAW WATERWAY ENTRANCE LIGHT

PORTAGE RIVER ENTRANCE, PORTAGE LAKE, LAKE SUPERIOR, NEAR JACOBSVILLE, MI
Station Established: 1868
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1920
Operational? YES
Automated? 1973
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: CRIB
Construction Materials: BRICK WITH REINFORCED CONCRETE
Tower Shape: OCTAGONAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPERATE
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

KEWEENAW WATERWAY UPPER ENTRANCE LIGHT

KEWEENAW WATERWAY LOWER ENTRANCE LIGHT


LAKE SAINT CLAIR LIGHT

Location: West side of mid-lake channel at turn, Lake St. Clair
Station Established: 1941
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1941
Operational: Yes
Automated: Yes, 1941
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: Crib
Construction Materials: Steel, reinforced concrete
Tower Shape: Cylindrical
Markings/Pattern: White
Relationship to Other Structure: N/A
Original Lens: 375 mm

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

LAKE SAINT CLAIR LIGHTHOUSE


LANSING SHOAL LIGHT

NORTHERN LAKE MICHIGAN, NEAR NAUBINWAY, MI
Station Established: 1900
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1928
Operational? YES
Automated? 1976
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: CRIB (CONCRETE AND STEEL)
Construction Materials: REINFORCED CONCRETE AND STEEL
Tower Shape: SQUARE 
Markings/Pattern: NATURAL
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: THIRD ORDER, FRESNEL
Characteristic: OCC. W., 15 SECONDS
Fog Signal: DIAPHONE, AIR; BLAST 2 SECONDS, SILENT 18 SECONDS
Radiobeacon: TRANSMITTED ON 296 KC, GROUPS OF 2 DASHES, 2 DOTS

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

LANSING SHOAL LIGHTHOUSE


LITTLE POINT SABLE LIGHT

EAST SHORE OF LAKE MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1874
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1874
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1955
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: WOOD PILINGS
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Markings/Pattern: RED BRICK/ORIG. WHITE
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: THIRD ORDER, FRESNEL 1874

Historical Information :

Little Sable Lighthouse, a white brick tower, 107 feet in height, connected to the keeper’s dwelling, and surrounded by a picturesque group of trees, stands on a point about 10 miles south of Pentwater. The lighthouse was built in 1874, and the light now shown from the tower is fixed and flashing white, the flashes being of 40,000 candlepower. Several miles to the northward is Big Sable Lighthouse, on the point of that name, distinguished at night from Little Sable by having a fixed white light, and by day by the color of the tower, banded in black and white. Big Sable Lighthouse is the same height as the tower at Little Sable, but was erected in 1867.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

LITTLE POINT SABLE LIGHTHOUSE


LITTLE RAPIDS CUT LIGHT

MISSION POINT/ST. MARYS RIVER
Station Established: 1858
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1895
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1911
Deactivated: 1929
Foundation Materials: TIMBER CRIB
Construction Materials: WOOD FRAMING
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Markings/Pattern: BLACK LANTERN ON YELLOW DWELLING
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FIFTH ORDER, FRESNEL

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

LITTLE RAPIDS CUT LIGHTHOUSE


LITTLE TRAVERSE (HARBOR POINT) LIGHT

NORTH SIDE OF LITTLE TRAVERSE BAY/LAKE MICHIGAN, NEAR HARBOR SPRINGS, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1884
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1963
Operational? YES
Automated? YES
Deactivated: 1963
Foundation Materials: CUT STONE
Construction Materials: RED BRICK
Tower
Shape: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: NATURAL WITH BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

·         In 1871, funds were requested for the building of a lighthouse on Harbor Point on Little Traverse Bay. However, Congress did not approve the request simply because they had no funds to offer. Another point of contention was most of the land in Harbor Point belonged to the native people.
·         A treaty originally signed in 1855 was “modified” in 1875 to allow settlers to move into the area of Harbor Point. Lumber companies quickly moved in to harvest the nearby forests. Along with commerce, came recreation. Little Traverse Bay was known for its beauty and traffic on the bay quickly increased. The need for the lighthouse was once again put before Congress.  This time the funds were secured.
·         Construction began on the site in 1884. A one and a half story dwelling with a 10 foot square 40 foot tall tower attached was completed in September. A Fourth Order Fresnel lens was installed.
·         Elizabeth Whitney Williams, one of the first female keepers on the Great Lakes, had accepted a transfer from St. James Harbor Lighthouse, and lit the beacon on September 25, 1884 which could be seen 13 miles away.
·         A square pyramidal bell tower was added to the station in 1896 and stands in front of the tower. Other structures built at the site include a brick paint locker, a summer kitchen which is attached to the lighthouse by a covered portico, a wooden boat storage shed and a modern automobile garage.
·         A new 41 foot skeletal tower was built in 1963 and the brick lighthouse was decommissioned. The property was sold to the Harbor Point Association which is the community where the property is located. This is a gated community with no public access to the lighthouse. It can be seen from the water. The new skeletal tower is still an active aid to navigation.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

LITTLE TRAVERSE LIGHT


LUDINGTON NORTH BREAKWATER LIGHT

PERE MARQUETTE HARBOR/LAKE MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1871
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1924
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1972
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: PIER
Construction Materials: STEEL/REINFORCED CONCRETE
Tower
Shape: SQUARE PYRAMIDAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE W/BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL

Historical Information:

Keepers:

  • Frederick Samuelson (1924-1937)
  • John Paetschow (1937-1940)

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

LUDINGTON NORTH BREAKWATER LIGHT


MACKINAC POINT LIGHT (OLD)

STRAITS OF MACKINAC PASSAGE, LAKE HURON, NEAR MACKINAW CITY, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1889
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1892
Operational? NO
Automated? N/A
Deactivated: 1957
Foundation Materials: STONE
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: CYLINDRICAL
Markings/Pattern: NATURAL
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPERATE
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

  •  Long before the settlers came to Great Lakes, the native people burned fires along the shores of the Straits of Mackinac. The Straits are littered with shoals and islands which make navigation hazardous.
  •  As maritime traffic on Lake Huron increased, the need to light the Straits became apparent. In 1829 the Bois Blanc Island Lighthouse was built to guide ships into the Straits and to warn them of the shoals. McGulpin’s Point Light Station, three miles west of Old Mackinac Point. Fog was a considerable problem on the Straits and it was decided that Old Mackinac Point’s location would be ideal for a light station.
  •  A fog bell was built at the site in 1890. Construction of the actual lighthouse commenced in 1891 and was completed in 1892.
  •  The tower which is 40 or 45 feet tall was made from Cream City brick named for the clay found near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The bricks were widely used in the area and gave the nickname “Cream City”. The tower is attached to a “duplex” keepers quarters that more than a little resembles a castle. Perhaps that is the basis for the statement “lighthouses are to Americans what castles are to Europeans.”
  • A Fourth Order Fresnel lens was installed and was visible for 16 miles.
  • The Mackinac Bridge was completed in 1957 and the lights on the structure at night rendered the lighthouse obsolete. The property was purchased by the Mackinac Island State Park Commission in 1960. Restoration has been completed and the lighthouse is open to the public.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

MACKINAC POINT LIGHTHOUSE


MANISTEE LIGHT

ENTRANCE TO MANISTEE RIVER, LAKE MICHIGAN, NEAR MANISTEE, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1867
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1927
Operational? NO
Automated? N/A
Deactivated: 1927
Foundation Materials: STONE
Construction Materials: WOOD
Tower Shape: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: WHITE WITH BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FIFTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

  • The first lighthouse at the mouth of the Manistee River from Lake Michigan began shining on the first day of the navigational season in 1870. An integrated tower sat atop a wooden dwelling and a Fifth Order Fresnel lens was fitted.
  • A major fire that had been ripping through area forests reached the Manistee River. It jumped across the river and burned everything in its path as it headed south. The town of Manistee was devastated.
  • The Keeper, John McKee, established a temporary light on a pole until the lighthouse could be rebuilt.
  • In 1873 the new lighthouse was complete and appears to be a duplicate of the original. The original lens was destroyed in the fire and a new Fifth Order was installed.
  • Two piers that were constructed to mark the entrance of the Manistee River were extended 150 feet into Lake Michigan. This meant the Manistee Light was now a distance from the water. The decision was made to establish lights at the end of the piers which made the Manistee Main Light obsolete three years after it was rebuilt. The dwelling was used as the Keeper’s Quarters.
  • In 1893 the Manistee Main Light was relit for use as a coastal light. In 1894 the station was officially reestablished but in 1927 the light was officially moved to the north pier. The lantern was removed and the dwelling was sold into private ownership. The structure was moved to a residential area and is unrecognizable as a lighthouse.
  • The pier head lights remain active aids to navigation.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

MANISTEE LIGHTHOUSE


MANISTEE (NORTH PIERHEAD) LIGHT

MANISTEE RIVER ENTRANCE/LAKE MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1875
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1927
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1927
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: PIER
Construction Materials: CAST IRON
Tower Shape: CYLINDRICAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Original Lens: FIFTH ORDER

Historical Information:

  • 1894 – Pierhead built. A light was located on a trolley which traveled along a conduit which ran from the pierhead to the fog signal building.
  • 1900 – The conduit system was discontinued and a lantern and gallery added to the fog signal building. As a result, the fog signal whistles had to be raised by 4’.
  • 1914 – The Army Corps of Engineers built the South Breakwater.
  • 1925 – The lighthouse was electrified.
  • 1927 – Fog signal building removed, new iron tower constructed at the end of the North pier.
  • 1994 – The Coast Guard repaired and renovated the lighthouse.
  • 2009 – The General Services Administration issued a Notice of Availability for the lighthouse under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act.

Keepers:

  • Octavius Barney (1869 – 1871)
  • John McKee (1871 – 1875)
  • William King (Acting) (1875 – 1883)
  • John Roberts (1883 – 1888)
  • Thomas Robinson (1888 – 1903)
  • Milton McClure (1903 – 1923)
  • Wallace Hall (1923 – 1939)

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

MANISTEE CAST-IRON LIGHT TOWER

MINISTEE LIGHT TOWER INCORPORATED IN TO THE KEEPER'S DWELLING


MANISTIQUE (EAST BREAKWATER) LIGHT

MANISTIQUE RIVER ENTRANCE/LAKE MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1915
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1917
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1969
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: CONCRETE PIER
Construction Materials: STEEL
Tower Shape: SQUARE PYRAMIDAL
Markings/Pattern: RED W/BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL

Historical Information:

  • 1892 – Lighthouse Board recommended a light at this location.
  • 1917 – Pierhead light constructed on end of east pier. It was originally painted white – then the color was later changed to red.
  • 1969 – Light automated.
  • 2000 – Corps of Engineers replaced the breakwater with rip-rap.

Keepers:

  • Charles Corlette (1914 – 1920)
  • Walter Ottesen (1920 – 1940)
  • William Keller (1947 – 1949)
  • Anton Jessen, Jr. (1949 – 1951)

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

MANISTIQUE LIGHTHOUSE


MANITOU ISLAND LIGHT

KEWEENAW PENINSULA, LAKE SUPERIOR, NEAR COPPER HARBOR, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1850
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1861
Operational? YES
Automated? 1978
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: DESTROYED BY EROSION
Construction Materials: IRON
Tower Shape: SKELETAL WITH CENTRAL COLUMN
Markings/Pattern: WHITE
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: THIRD ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

  •  The first lighthouse on the eastern point of Manitou Island was a 60 foot rubble stone tower with an attached keeper’s quarters. The tower deteriorated at an alarming rate and had to be replaced just ten years later.
  •  The second lighthouse was an 80 foot iron skeletal tower built in 1861. The lighthouse is identical to Whitefish Point. The tower was fitted with a Third Order Fresnel lens, one of only nineteen on the Western Great Lakes.
  •  The original lighthouse tower and dwelling were in such disrepair, they were destroyed when the new structures were completed.
  • The station was automated in 1978 and remains an active aid to navigation. The Keweenaw Land Trust now owns the property. The lighthouse is not open to the public but the grounds are.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

MANITOU ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE


MARQUETTE HARBOR LIGHT

NORTH POINT, LAKE SUPERIOR, NEAR MARQUETTE, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1853
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1866
Operational? YES
Automated? UNKNOWN
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: DRESSED STONE/TIMBER
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: RED
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

  •  The original tower built at Marquette Harbor has been lost to time. It is thought it would have been a short rubble stone tower attached to a keeper’s dwelling with a Sixth Order Fresnel lens. It was completed in 1853 but had to be replaced by 1866.
  • The current lighthouse is a one and a half story dwelling with an attached tower. A Fourth Order Fresnel lens was installed.
  •  In 1875 a 2,000 foot breakwater was built to combat the wind and waves. A light was established at the end. Two whistle signals were installed on the point. These additions required the help of an assistant keeper. However, the dwelling was not large enough for everyone. A barn was converted as a temporary solution for the assistant keeper.
  •  In 1909 a second story was added to the keeper’s house and other additions were done in the 50’s. It is unknown at what date the light was automated.
  •  A US Life Saving Station was established on the lighthouse grounds. When that organization merged with the US Coast Guard, it became a training station.
  •  In 2002 the Marquette Maritime Museum signed a 30 year lease on the lighthouse. Public access to the lighthouse is available through the museum only as the site is still an active Coast Guard station.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

MARQUETTE HARBOR LIGHTHOUSE

MARQUETTE HARBOR LIGHTHOUSE AFTER THE DWELLING MODIFICATIONS


MARQUETTE BREAKWATER LIGHT

SOUTH END OF THE BREAKWATER, MARQUETTE HARBOR/ SOUTH SHORE OF LAKE SUPERIOR
Station Established: 1875
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1908
Operational? NO
Automated?
Deactivated: 1985
Foundation Materials: wood crib
Construction Materials: wood, steel
Tower Shape: square, pyramidal
Markings/Pattern: white w/ black lantern
Relationship to Other Structure: on end of breakwater
Original Lens: 4th order Fresnel

Historical Information:

  • 1867 -1875 – The breakwater was constructed during this time frame. In 1875, once the breakwater was completed, a wooden tower containing a light was placed on the end. This tower was originally used at Mendota and was moved here from there.
  • 1886 – A storm washed away the light along with much of the catwalk above the breakwater. The tower ended up on the beach. It was then repaired and placed back in service.
  • 1890 – A new, longer breakwater built. This breakwater contained a tunnel to give the keeper a safer means of access to the light tower. A new tower was built and the light apparatus was changed to a 6th order lens.
  • 1898 – An electric cable was run to the light tower. It was among the first towers on the Great Lakes to be electrified. Whenever a power outage occurred, the keeper had to go back to using the old kerosene lamp.
  • 1908 – The breakwater was extended again and a new tower was placed at the end.
  • 1985 – Coast Guard removed the breakwater light. The lens and lantern are on display at Marquette Maritime Museum.

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

MARQUETTE BREAKWATER LIGHTHOUSE


MARTIN REEF LIGHT

REEF EAST OF STRAITS OF MACKINAC/LAKE HURON
Station Established: 1927
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1927
Operational? YES
Automated? YES
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: CRIB
Construction Materials: REINFORCED CONCRETE/STEEL
Tower Shape: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: WHITE W/RED ROOF
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: THIRD ORDER, FRESNEL

Historical Information:

  • 1927 - Completed lighthouse replaced the lightship which had marked the reef since 1906. The lighthouse was duplicated at Poe Reef.
  • 2000 – Ownership transferred to Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Keepers:

Herbert Crittenden (1927 – 1928); Lawrence Clark (1928 – 1930); Frank Davis (1931 – 1940)

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

MARTIN REEF LIGHTHOUSE


MCGULPIN POINT LIGHT

SOUTH POINT MICHILIMACKINAC HARBOR, LAKE MICHIGAN, NEAR MACKINAW CITY, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1869
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1869
Operational? NO
Automated? N/A
Deactivated: 1906
Foundation Materials: UNKNOWN
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: OCTAGONAL
Markings/Pattern: NATURAL WITH DECAGONAL LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: THIRD AND A HALF ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

  • As maritime traffic increased in the Straits of Mackinac the need for lights along the way also increased. Waugoshance Light marked the entrance to the Straits but sailors were on their own when they entered.
  •  Congress approved the construction of a lighthouse and fog signal at McGulpin Point in 1854. However, 15 years would pass before construction began in 1869.
  •  McGulpin Point Lighthouse was built using the same “Norman Gothic” design as Chambers Island and Eagle Bluff. This design would also be the template for Eagle Harbor, White River, Passage Island, Sand Island and Squaw Island.
  •  The tower and attached Keeper’s Quarters were built of “Cream City” brick, which are bricks made from clay found near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The color of the clay which was used heavily in the area, gave it the name Cream City.
  •  The tower is attached to the Keeper’s Quarters on the Southwestern corner. It was topped of with a decagonal (ten sided) cast iron lantern and fitted with a Third and a Half Order Fresnel lens.
  •  In 1906, it was decided that McGulpin Point Lighthouse was no longer of aid as the Old Mackinac Point lighthouse was more visible to traffic in the Straits. It was decommissioned after just 37 years in service and at some point the lantern and Fresnel lens were removed.
  •  The property was sold to a private owner and was a private residence until 2008. Emmet County bought the property and have restored the lighthouse including installing a rebuilt lantern. The lighthouse is now a private aid to navigation and is open to the public.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

MCGULPINS POINT LIGHTHOUSE


MENDOTA (BETE GRISE) LIGHT

MENDOTA SHIP CHANNEL/LAKE SUPERIOR
Station Established: 1870
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1895
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1933
Deactivated: 1960-1998
Foundation Materials:
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: YELLOW W/BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL 1895

Historical Information:

  • Name “Bete Grise” is French for “Gray Beast”, a Native American reference to the fog.
  • 1867 – Congress approved $14,000 for a lighthouse to be built at the end of the pier.
  • 1870 – The lighthouse was decommissioned, dismantled and moved to Marquette Breakwater.
  • 1870 – 1890 – Without an official light to mark the shoreline, a local woman, at the request of her husband, lit a kerosene lamp in her window to guide him home.
  • 1893 – The Lighthouse Board authorized $7500 for a new light to be placed in the old keeper’s house.
  • 1895 – $7500 appropriated for a new lighthouse.
  • 1913 – The light was electrified.
  • 1933 – The light was automated.
  • 1956 – The lighthouse was decommissioned and sold to private owners.
  • 1998 – The light was re-lit as a private aid to navigation.

Keepers:

Henry Kuchli (1869 – 1870); William Kirby (1870); William Jilbert (1895 – 1933)

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

PHOTOGRAPH NOT AVAILABLE


MENOMINEE (NORTH PIER) LIGHT

MENOMINEE HARBOR, LAKE MICHIGAN, MENOMINEE, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1887
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1927
Operational? YES
Automated? 1972
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: PIER/CONCRETE
Construction Materials: CAST IRON
Tower Shape: OCTAGONAL
Markings/Pattern: RED WITH BLACK LANTERN/WHITE BASE
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPERATE
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

  •  A lighthouse was built on the Menominee Harbor in 1877. Sadly no record exists of this lighthouse so its design, building materials and location are unknown at the present time.
  •  As a result of large scale mining in the area, massive improvements were made to the Menominee Harbor in the 1920’s. In 1927 a cast iron lighthouse was installed on the north pier of the Harbor. It was 37 feet tall, white and housed a Fourth Order Fresnel lens. An attached fog signal building was also built, along with a raised wooden catwalk to keep the keepers from being washed out to sea when the waves would wash over the pier.
  •  While the exact date is unknown, at some point the wooden pier was replaced with a concrete structure which included a forty foot diameter crib under the lighthouse and the fog signal building was dismantled.
  •  The light was automated in 1972 and the catwalk was removed. The lighthouse was placed on a white base and painted bright red. The light remains an active aid to navigation and is not open to the public.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

ORIGINAL MENOMINEE LIGHT TOWER

MODIFIED MENOMINEE LIGHT TOWER


MIDDLE ISLAND LIGHT

BETWEEN THUNDER BAY ISLAND/PRESQUE ISLE/LAKE HURON
Station Established: 1905
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1905
Operational? YES
Automated? YES
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: DRESSED STONE/TIMBER
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE WITH ORANGE BAND IN MIDDLE
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL

Historical Information:

The name comes from its location – halfway between Thunder Bay Island and Presque Isle.

1896 – Lighthouse Board first recommended a lighthouse for this location.
1902 – Congress finally approves the request.
1904 - $25,000 appropriated for the construction of the lighthouse.
1905 – Lit for the first time.
1906 – Oil building built.
Circa 1928 – 4th order Fresnel lens replaced with a third order lens.
1939 – Daymark changed to white tower with horizontal black band.
1961 – Light automated.
1992 – Middle Island Lightkeepers Association formed.
2001 – Light station operated as bed and breakfast inn.

Keepers:

Patrick Garraty, Jr. (1905 – 1917); Michael Nolan (1923 – 1928); Stanley Clark (1934 – 1939)

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

MIDDLE ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE


MINNEAPOLIS SHOAL LIGHT

10 MILES SOUTH OF PENINSULA POINT, LAKE MICHIGAN, NEAR ESCABANA, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1935
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1935
Operational? YES
Automated? 1979
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: CONCRETE PIER ON CONCRETE CRIB
Construction Materials: STEEL/REINFORCED CONCRETE
Tower Shape: OCTAGONAL
Markings/Pattern: CREAM COLORED
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

A lightship marked the position where the Minneapolis Shoal lighthouse sits. The light marks the entrance of Little Bay De Noc on Lake Michigan.  The light is identical to Gray’s Reef.  The tower is in the Art Deco style and sits on a concrete crib that houses the Keeper’s Quarters.  Recent pictures show it has been painted white with a red band covering most of the top half of the tower.

 The light is still an active aid to navigation and is not open to the public.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

MINNEAPOLIS SHOAL LIGHTHOUSE


MISSION POINT LIGHT (OLD)

OLD MISSION PENINSULA IN GRAND TRAVERSE BAY
Station Established: 1870
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1870
Operational? NO
Automated? YES
Deactivated: 1933
Foundation Materials: NATURAL/EMPLACED
Construction Materials: WOOD
Tower Shape: SQUARE TOWER ON DWELLING
Markings/Pattern: WHITE W/BLACK TRIM
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: 1870

Historical Information:

Located exactly on the 45th parallel.
1838 – Mission established in accordance with the Treaty of 1836.
1870 – Light exhibited for the first time.
1889 – Timber revetment built in front of lighthouse to stave off erosion of the sandy bank. Brick cistern constructed in cellar.
1899 – Oil storage building built.
1901 – Walkways and fences constructed.
1940s – Ownership transferred to the state of Michigan.
1948 – Ownership transferred to Peninsula Township.

Keepers:

Jerome Pratt, Sr. (1870 – 1877); John McHaney (1877 – 1881); John Lane (1881 – 1906); Sarah Lane (Acting - 1906 – 1907); James Davenport (1907 – 1919); William Green (1919 – 1924); Emil Johnson (1924 – 1933)

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

MISSION POINT LIGHTHOUSE


MONROE LIGHT

MOUTH OF THE RIVER RAISIN, WESTERN LAKE ERIE, MONROE, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1829
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: N/A
Operational? NO
Automated? N/A
Deactivated: 1916
Foundation Materials: UNKNOWN
Construction Materials: MASONRY
Tower Shape: ROUND
Markings/Pattern: UNKNOWN
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPERATE
Original Lens: UNKNOWN

Historical Information:

 There is very little information available regarding this lighthouse.  The original light was a 40-foot masonry tower.  A canal was built that moved the Monroe Harbor four miles north of the lighthouse in 1843.  In 1849 a second Monroe Light was built. An octagonal, wooden tower was built at the new location of the Monroe Harbor.

In approximately 1885 a third light house was built. This was a tower a top a one-and-a-half story dwelling. The light was deactivated in 1916 and destroyed at an unknown date.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.


MONROE PIERHEAD LIGHT

Location: On a crib at the outer end of the north pier at the entrance to the ship canal leading to the Raisin River, westerly shore of Lake Erie, Michigan, and about 1-1/2 miles to the northward of the mouth of the river.
Station Established: 1849
Year Latest Tower First Lit: 1884
Operational: No
Automated: N/A
Deactivated: 1916
Foundation Materials: Stone pier
Construction Materials: Wood, corrugated iron
Tower Shape: Conical
Markings/Pattern: White, conical tower surmounted by a black lantern; brown, corrugated iron fog-signal house; on hexagonal stone pier
Characteristic: Fixed red
Relationship to Other Structure: Integral
Original Lens: 4th Order
Foghorn: Yes; 10-inch steam whistle; blasts 5 seconds, silent intervals 25 seconds

Photographs: 

Monroe Pierhead Light, circa 1911: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); Original caption: "MONROE, MICHIGAN [;] NINTH NAVAL DISTRICT (CLEVELAND)"; photo dated June, 1911; Photo Number 81; photographer unknown.

Monroe Pierhead Light, circa 1911: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); Original caption: "MONROE, MICHIGAN [;] NINTH NAVAL DISTRICT (CLEVELAND) [;] Looking W 400 ft.."; photo dated June, 1911; Photo Number 80; photographer unknown.

Monroe Pierhead Light, circa 1911: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); Original caption: "MONROE, MICHIGAN [;] NINTH NAVAL DISTRICT (CLEVELAND) [;] Looking S 200 ft."; photo dated June, 1911; Photo Number 83; photographer unknown.


MUNISING RANGE LIGHTS

MUNISING BAY CHANNEL/LAKE SUPERIOR
Station Established: 1908
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1908
Operational? YES
Automated? YES
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: CONCRETE
Construction Materials: STEEL PLATE
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Original Lens: ADAM & WESTLAKE REFLECTORS 1908

Historical Information:

1905 – Lighthouse Board requested an appropriation of $13,500 from Congress in order to erect a set of range lights in this location to replace the Grand Island Range lights. Congress ignored the request.
1906 – Lighthouse Board reiterated the need for the new lights.
1907 – Congress approved $15,000 for the needed lights.
1908 – Steel towers lit for the first time.
2002 – Ownership transferred under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Keepers:

George Prior – (1909 – 1912); Alfred Evenson – (1913 – 1940); Capt. Thomas Robinson – (1940)

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

NO PHOTOGRAPH AVAILABLE


MUSKEGON SOUTH BREAKWATER LIGHT

MOUTH OF THE MUSKEGON CHANNEL, LAKE MICHIGAN, MUSKEGON, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1851
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1903
Operational? YES
Automated? UNKNOWN
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: PIER
Construction Materials: CAST IRON
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Markings/Pattern: RED
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPERATE
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

  • The first lighthouse in Muskegon, Michigan was a wooden tower atop the Keeper’s Quarters built in 1851. It was situated on land.
  •  In 1871 a square, steel tower was built on the end of the breakwater and the main light was rebuilt.
  •  A third light was built in 1903 on the south pier head. This red conical tower and the light on the south breakwater replaced the light that was built in 1851. Both lights are active aids to navigation and not open to the public.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

MUSKEGON SOUTH BREAKWATER LIGHTHOUSE


NORTH MANITOU SHOAL LIGHT

OFF NORTH & SOUTH MANITOU ISLANDS/LAKE MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1935
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1935
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1980
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: CONCRETE CRIB
Construction Materials: STEEL
Tower Shape: SQUARE ON SQUARE HOUSE
Markings/Pattern: WHITE
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER

Historical Information:

  • Lighthouse is similar in structure to Detour Reef lighthouse.
  • 1935 – Crib light built. The 4th order lens was relocated from the North Manitou Island lighthouse.
  • 1980 – Lighthouse automated.

Keepers:

  • George Larson (1875 – 1882)
  • Ernst Hutzler (1946 – 1958)

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

NORTH MANITOU SHOAL LIGHTHOUSE


ONTONAGON LIGHT, MICHIGAN

ONTONAGON RIVER MOUTH/LAKE SUPERIOR
Station Established: 1852
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1866
Operational? NO
Automated? UNK
Deactivated: 1964
Foundation Materials: NATURAL/EMPLACED
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower
Shape: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: YELLOW BRICK W/BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FIFTH ORDER, FRESNEL 1857

Historical Information:

1852 – First brick tower was built. The original lighthouse was an integral design with the lantern on top of the keeper’s dwelling.
1866 – Second tower built.
1964 – Ownership was transferred to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
2003 – Ownership passed from the Corps of Engineers to the Ontonagon County Historical Society. The Fresnel lens is on display at the OCH Museum.

Keepers:

Samuel Peck (1853-1857)
Michael Spellman (1857-1862)
Adolphus Schuler (1862-1864)
Thomas Stripe (1864-1883)
James Corgan (1883-1919)
Charles Henry (1922-1925)
Earl Hand (1922-1925)
Fred Warner (1925-1939)
James Gagnon (1939-1944)
Alvah Carpenter (1944)
Arnold Huuki (1945-1963)

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

NO PHOTOGRAPH AVAILABLE


PASSAGE ISLAND LIGHT, MICHIGAN

PASSAGE ISLAND OFF ISLE ROYALE, LAKE SUPERIOR, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1882
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1882
Operational? YES
Automated? 1978
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: NATURAL/EMPLACED
Construction Materials: FIELDSTONE
Tower
Shape: OCTAGONAL
Markings/Pattern: NATURAL W/RED AND WHITE LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

As shipping traffic increased on Lake Superior due to mining, the need for a lighthouse to mark the channel between Isle Royale and Passage Island became apparent. The chosen site was the southern most tip of Passage Island making it the northernmost lighthouse in the United States.  Such a remote location increased the cost of the project. A request of $18,000 was made in 1871. Getting no response the request was repeated for the next four years.

A lighthouse was needed on Lake Erie at Colchester Reef to mark the Detroit River. Since this was Canadian territory, Congress used the Passage Island lighthouse site as leverage to get the Canadians to build the lighthouse on Lake Erie by authorizing the money for Passage Island with the condition that it would only be available after Canada built a light at Colchester Reef.

The Colchester Reef was built in 1885 and Passage Island was complete in 1882 so the money was released without the condition being met.  The lighthouse at Passage Island is in the “Norman Gothic” style. This style was used at other sites including McGulpin’s Point, Eagle Bluff, and Chamber’s Island. The keeper’s dwelling is a 26’ x 30’ fieldstone two story structure with a 44 foot tower in the southwest corner.

A fourth order Fresnel lens was installed with a fixed red light and lit on July 1, 1882. A 1,500 pound fog bell was completed in time for the lighting.  In 1898, it was determined a flashing white light would be more effective so the lamp was fitted with a rotating beacon.

The light station was automated on December 20, 1978. In 1989 the Fresnel lens was removed and replaced with a 190 mm acrylic optic. The Fresnel lens is on display at the Portage Coast Guard Station.  The Passage Island Lighthouse is still an active aid to navigation. It is not open to the public. The grounds are part of the Isle Royale National Park.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

PASSAGE ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE


PEACH ISLE REAR RANGE LIGHT

DETROIT RIVER NEAR LAKE ST. CLAIR
Station Established: 1908
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1908
Operational? NO
Automated?
Deactivated: 1983
Foundation Materials:
Construction Materials: STEEL PLATES
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Markings/Pattern:
Relationship to Other Structure:
Original Lens:

Historical Information:

Also known as Peche Island Lighthouse, Peche Island Rear Range, Peach Island Lighthouse.
1983 – The lighthouse was deactivated and moved to Marine City Waterfront Park.

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

PEACH ISLE REAR RANGE LIGHT


PENINSULA POINT LIGHT

PENINSULA POINT, LAKE MICHIGAN, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1856
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1866
Operational? NO
Automated? 1922
Deactivated: 1936
Foundation Materials: NATURAL/EMPLACED
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: NATURAL WITH BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE (ORIGINALLY ATTACHED TO DWELLING)
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER FRESNEL

HISTORICAL INFORMATION:

The name of the site is listed as both Peninsula Point and Point Peninsula.  The dangerous shoals that extend from Stonington Peninsula and the natural turn at Point Peninsula make Peninsula Point the logical choice for a light station. Congress appropriated $5,000 for the station in 1856. However, due to problems with obtaining a title to the land, the money was recalled and it would take ten years before a station was finally built on the site.

A one and a half story dwelling was built from “cream city brick” with a 40 foot tower built into the southern gable. A fourth order Fresnel lens was installed.  The light was automated in 1922.  The shipping lane moved further south by the 1930’s. A new light was built on the Minneapolis Shoal and was illuminated in 1934. By 1936 the Peninsula Point Lighthouse was no longer needed and deactivated.

The US Forest Service took ownership of the light station in 1937. The Stonington Grange restored the house and added picnic grounds. They won an award for the work they did. Unfortunately, the keeper’s dwelling suffered a fire in 1959 and was demolished.  The tower was repaired in 1962. It is no longer an active aid to navigation and is open to the public. The site is part of the Hiawatha National Forest and is an optimum site to witness the migration of the Monarch butterflies.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

PENINSULA POINT LIGHTHOUSE


PENTWATER PIERHEAD LIGHT

SOUTH PIER CHANNEL CONNECTING LAKE MICHIGAN AND PENTWATER LAKE
Station Established: 1867
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1867
Operational? NO
Automated?
Deactivated:
Foundation Materials:
Construction Materials: WOOD
Tower Shape: SQUARE PYRAMIDAL
Markings/Pattern:
Relationship to Other Structure:
Original Lens:

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

PENTWATER PIERHEAD LIGHTHOUSE


PIPE ISLAND LIGHT

Location: "On the southwesterly side of Pipe Island, Michigan, easterly side of channel, about 2 miles N. 1/4 W. of Frying -Pan Island Light-House, Detour Passage, St. Marys River."
Station Established: 1888
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1888
Operational? YES--DAYMARK
Automated? 1937
Deactivated: 1937
Foundation Materials:
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: OCTAGONAL
Markings/Pattern: NATURAL WITH SKELETAL DAYMARKER IN PLACE OF LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Tower Height: 15 feet from base of tower to center of lantern
Characteristic: Fixed Red
Original Lens: 5th Order
Fog Horn: No 

Historical Information:

Station was established in 1888.  It was built by the Lake Carriers Association to aid shipping entering the St. Mary's River from Lake Huron and included a detached on-and-one half story white frame dwelling about 50 feet from the tower.

According to the 1901 Lights and Fog Signals of the United States: "Coast Light. Marks a range with Frying-Pan Island Light, for entering and leaving Detour Passage, and marks turning point into channel."

In 1937 the lantern room was removed and a skeletal tower with a day marker was added.
The lighthouse is not open to the public but is an active aid to navigation.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs: 

Pipe Island Light, circa 1890; (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); original caption: Pipe Island Lt. Sta. 18?? [;] 11th Dist. Photo."; date obscured on photo: "18??"; no photo number; photographer unknown.

Pipe Island Light, circa 1890; (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); original caption: Pipe Island Lt. Sta. 18?? [;] 11th Dist. Photo."; date obscured on photo: "18??"; no photo number; photographer unknown.


POE REEF LIGHT

STRAITS OF MACKINAC SOUTH CHANNEL/LAKE HURON
Station Established: 1893
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1929
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1974
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: CONCRETE CRIB
Construction Materials: CONCRETE
Tower Shape: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: WHITE & BLACK BANDS W/RED ROOF
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: THIRD ORDER

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

POE REEF LIGHTHOUSE


POINT BETSIE LIGHT

NEAR CRYSTAL, LAKE MICHIGAN , MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1854
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1858
Operational? YES
Automated? 1984
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: CONCRETE
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: CYLINDRICAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE WITH RED ROOF
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

Construction was supposed to begin on the Point Betsie Lighthouse in 1854 but was not completed until 1858, costing $5000.  The 37-foot Cream City brick tower was fitted with a white fourth order Fresnel lens. A two-story keeper’s dwelling was attached to the tower with a covered passage way.

After just a few years of operation, repairs were needed at the station due to erosion of the dunes the light was built on. Timber was placed under the rock foundation to steady the tower. At the same time, repairs were made to the keeper’s quarter’s roof.

In 1875 a life-saving station was established at the light station, costing $3000.  By 1890 erosion was once again a problem along with moisture in the tower. This time a ring of concrete was inserted under the tower. A curved revetment was constructed at the water’s edge to absorb the energy of the waves crashing into the shore.

A fog signal building was added to the station in 1891. In 1892, the light pattern was changed from a fixed white light to a flashing light with the addition of a new fourth order lens.  An assistant keeper was assigned to the lighthouse. The keeper’s quarters were far too small for two keepers and their families. The house was enlarged to a duplex.

Point Betsie was the last manned lighthouse on the Great Lakes. It was automated in 1983. The Fresnel lens was removed in 1996 and replaced with a modern optic.   Ownership of the light was transferred to Benzie County in 2004. The light remains an active aid to navigation.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

POINT BETSIE LIGHTHOUSE


POINT IROQUOIS LIGHT

WHITEFISH BAY/LAKE SUPERIOR
Station Established: 1855
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1871
Operational? NO
Automated? YES 1962
Deactivated: 1971
Foundation Materials: CEMENT
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE TOWER/BLACK PARAPET & LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL 1870

Historical Information:

1870 – New keeper’s house was built.
1902 – Two-story keeper’s house added.

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

POINT IROQUOIS LIGHTHOUSE


POINTE AUX BARQUES LIGHT

POINT AUX BARQUES REEF, LAKE HURON, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1848
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1857
Operational? YES
Automated? 1958
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: DRESSED STONE/TIMBER
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE WITH BLACK AND RED TRIM
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: THIRD ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

Pointe Aux Barques means “point of little boats”.  Construction began on the Pointe Aux Barques light station in 1847. The tower was lit in 1848. There is no definitive record of the original tower or keeper’s dwelling. It is thought the station would have been similar to others lighting the Great Lakes at the time, perhaps a short tower with a small keeper’s quarters made of stone from the nearby shoreline.

In 1857 the station had to be rebuilt as the existing tower was no longer felt to be an effective aid to navigation. The new tower stood 89 feet tall and is one of the tallest in the Great Lakes. A two story keeper’s dwelling was attached via a covered passageway.  A third order Fresnel lens was fitted and visible 16 miles at sea.  In 1908 an assistant keeper’s dwelling was built at the site. An upgraded incandescent lamp replaced the third order lens and was visible 18 miles at sea.

The light was automated in 1958 and the grounds were sold to Huron County. The county opened the grounds as a park and two museums are housed in the keeper’s quarters, The Keepers of the Light and The Thumb Underwater Preserve.   The light remains an active aid to navigation.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

POINTE AUX BARQUES LIGHTHOUSE


PORT AUSTIN REEF LIGHT

LAKE HURON
Station Established: 1878
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1899
Operational? YES
Automated? YES
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: PIER
Construction Materials: YELLOW BRICK
Tower Shape: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: BUFF
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL 1899

Historical Information:

1899 – Pier was rebuilt and the present tower erected.
1984 – The lighthouse was scheduled to be demolished, but local activists stepped in and saved it.
1988 – The Port Austin Reef Light Association was formed. The 4th order Fresnel lens was replaced by a 300mm lens.

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

PORT AUSTIN REEF LIGHTHOUSE


PORT SANILAC LIGHT

POINT SANILAC, LAKE HURON, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1886
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1886
Operational? YES
Automated? 1925
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: DRESSED STONE/TIMBER
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: OCTAGONAL HOURGLASS
Markings/Pattern: WHITE WITH RED ROOF
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

The stretch of Michigan waterways between Pointe Aux Barques and Fort Gratiot was unlit leaving vessels 75 miles of treacherous coastline to navigate, 40 miles of which was beyond the range of visibility of either light station.

In 1875, the Sand Beach Harbor of Refuge light was built and left 30 miles still in the dark. In 1868, the Lighthouse Board asked Congress for $30,000 to build a lighthouse somewhere along the coastline but it was decided the need wasn’t there. The request was repeated for several years after and each year it fell on deaf ears. Finally in 1885, $20,000 was appropriated and Point Sanilac was chosen as the optimal site.   Construction began in June of 1886, leaving only four and a half months to complete the project.

The tower is fourteen feet in diameter at the base and gradually narrows to nine feet beneath the gallery. Immediately beneath the gallery, bricks were laid out to create an upside down staircase effect giving the lighthouse a sort of hourglass shape. Four windows were added to create a watch room, as each direction could be seen from the room.  The lantern was fitted with a fourth order Fresnel lens and could be seen 13 miles at sea. It was lit on October 20, 1886.

The keepers dwelling was built to south of the tower and connected to the tower by a covered walkway with the only entrance to both structures.  The light was changed to a fix red in 1889. Electricity came to the station in 1924 and it was automated in 1925.

The last keeper of the light left in 1928. The buildings went into private ownership some time after that though the Coast Guard maintains the tower and the lantern. The original fourth order lens remains in the lighthouse and the lighthouse remains an active aid to navigation.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

PORT SANILAC LIGHTHOUSE


PORTAGE LAKE LIGHT

Station Established:
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit:
Operational?
Automated?
Deactivated:
Foundation Materials:
Construction Materials:
Tower Shape:
Markings/Pattern:
Relationship to Other Structure:
Original Lens:

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

PORTAGE LAKE LIGHTHOUSE


PORTAGE LAKE PIERHEAD LIGHT

NORTH PIER OF PORTAGE LAKE HARBOR, LAKE MICHIGAN, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1891
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1930
Operational? YES
Automated? 1917
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: CONCRETE
Construction Materials: STEEL
Tower Shape: SKELETAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE WITH BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPERATE
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

There is very little information available for this lighthouse.  In 1891, a kerosene light was placed at the north end of the pier on Portage Lake Harbor. A metal cat walk to the light was added in 1901.  * The light was automated in 1917 and lit with acetylene.

The wooden light was replaced by a steel skeletal tower in 1930 and cement was added to the pier in 1940.  The steel tower was removed in 1985 and replaced with a gas cylinder.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

PORTAGE LAKE PIERHEAD LIGHTHOUSE


PORTAGE LAKE SHIP CANAL LIGHT

WESTERLY SIDE OF THE CUT TO PORTAGE LAKE SHIP CANAL, KEWEENAW PENINSULA
Station Established: 1874
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1896
Operational?
Automated?
Deactivated:
Foundation Materials:
Construction Materials:
Tower Shape:
Markings/Pattern:
Relationship to Other Structure:
Original Lens: 3-½ order Fresnel Lens manufactured by Henry LePaute

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

PORTAGE LAKE SHIP CANAL LIGHTHOUSE


PORTAGE RIVER (JACOBSVILLE) LIGHT

PORTAGE RIVER ENTRANCE, LAKE SUPERIOR, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1856
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1870
Operational? NO
Automated? NO
Deactivated: 1920
Foundation Materials: NATURAL/EMPLACED
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Markings/Pattern: NATURAL WITH RED LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FIFTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

The building of the locks in Sault Ste. Marie changed the shipping routes on Lake Superior. The need for a lighthouse on the Portage River was apparent.  In 1855 construction began on a 39 foot stone tower and 1and a half story keeper’s quarters. The tower housed a fifth order Fresnel lens. The buildings were complete but failed inspection because they were not built according to the contract. In 1856, despite the fact the station had not been approved, the light was lit. It is unclear how the dispute was resolved as there are no further mentions of it in any historical record.

In 1868, major repairs were needed to the light station. It was deemed easier to rebuild the entire light station than to fix the problems with the existing one. A temporary structure was built to house the light while construction was taking place.

A new tower was built along with a keeper’s dwelling in 1870. The dwelling was a one and a half story house that attached to the tower by a covered walkway. The fifth order lens was removed from the temporary structure and placed in the new tower.

In 1919 construction began on Keweenaw Waterway light, a mile west of the Portage River light. When the light was lit in 1920, Portage River light was decommissioned.  The light was transferred to the state of Michigan only to transfer back to the Coast Guard. It was eventually sold to private owners. It is not an aid to navigation and is currently used as a bed and breakfast inn.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

PORTAGE RIVER LIGHTHOUSE


POVERTY ISLAND LIGHT

POVERTY ISLAND/LAKE MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1874
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1874
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1957
Deactivated: 1976-1982
Foundation Materials: DRESSED STONE/TIMBER
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: CONICAL W/OUT LANTERN
Markings/Pattern: WHITE
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER 1874

Historical Information:

Lighthouse is a duplicate of Wisconsin’s Sturgeon Point.
1867 – Lighthouse Board first requested $18,000 for a Light Station to be built on Poverty Island. Congress did not approve this appropriation until 1873.
1875 – An additional $3,000 was asked for and approved.
1885 – Fog signal building built.
1894 – Oil house built.
1957 – Lighthouse automated.
1976 – 300mm lens installed on a pole to replace the light. The Fresnel lens and the lantern were removed from the tower and the tower was then sealed. The lantern remained on the property.
1980s – The lantern was removed from the premises and is now on the Sand Island Lighthouse in Escanaba, Michigan.

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

POVERTY ISLAND LIGHT TOWER WITH LANTERN ROOM

POVERTY ISLAND LIGHT TOWER WITHOUT LANTERN ROOM


PRESQUE ISLE LIGHTS

PRESQUE ISLE PENINSULA, LAKE HURON, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1840
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1871
Operational? YES
Automated? 1970
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: BRICK
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: THIRD ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

Presque Isle means “almost an island”.   The first Presque Isle light was built in 1840 but 1868 it was in such bad shape that a complete rebuild of the station was more cost effective than repairs.  The new tower was built two miles to the north of the 1840 light. The new tower is 113 feet tall and was fitted with a third order Fresnel lens. The keeper’s dwelling is a two story building, connected to the tower by a covered passageway.

When the new light was completed in 1871, the old tower was rendered obsolete. It was decommissioned and sold into private hands. In 1995 the land was transferred from the private owners to the Presque Isle Township to be used as a museum and park.  The station was automated in 1970. The Coast Guard then leased the property to the Presque Isle Township to use a park.

In 1988 the tower was rebricked and restored. In 1998 the deed was officially transferred to the township with the Coast Guard retaining the Fresnel lens as the light remains an active aid to navigation. The grounds are open to the public and the 1870 keeper’s quarters are a museum and gift shop.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

1871 PRESQUE ISLE LIGHT TOWER

PRESQUE ISLE PIER HEAD LIGHT

PRESQUE ISLE FRONT RANGE LIGHT

PRESQUE ISLE REAR RANGE LIGHT


ROCK HARBOR LIGHT

MIDDLE ISLAND PASSAGE/LAKE SUPERIOR
Station Established: 1855
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1855
Operational? NO
Automated? NO
Deactivated: 1879
Foundation Materials: STONE
Construction Materials: BRICK/STONE
Tower Shape: CYLINDRICAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE W/BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL 1875

Historical Information:

This lighthouse was replaced by the lighthouse built on Menagerie Island.

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

ROCK HARBOR LIGHTHOUSE


ROCK OF AGES LIGHT

OFF ISLE ROYALE, LAKE SUPERIOR, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1908
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1908
Operational? YES
Automated? 1978
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: CONCRETE PIER/STEEL CAISSON
Construction Materials: STEEL/MASONRY/CONCRETE
Tower Shape: CYLINDRICAL “BOTTLE SHAPE”
Markings/Pattern: WHITE WITH BLACK BASE AND LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: SECOND ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

Rock of Ages is situated two and a half miles west of the Isle Royale and is literally a strip of rock. Due to the location of the rock a base station was established in Washington Harbor. Using a lighthouse tender, Amaranth, loaded with cement and stones, the concrete base was poured.  When the tower arose from the rocky base, it was capped with a temporary third order Fresnel lens with a fixed red light. The tower was eight stories in height with accommodations for four keepers.

A permanent second order Fresnel lens was installed and lit on September 15, 1910.  On a foggy May 27, 1933 the SS George M. Cox ran into the reef. The keepers of Rock of Ages rescued all 125 crew aboard the ship and they all spent the night in the light, sleeping wherever they could find the room until the Coast Guard was able to retrieve them the following day.

The lighthouse was automated in 1978. In 1985 the Fresnel lens was removed and replaced with a modern optic. The lens is on display at the Windingo Information Station in the Isle Royale National Park.  The light station is park of the Isle Royale National Park but is not open to the public. It remains an active aid to navigation.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

ROCK OF AGES LIGHTHOUSE


ROULEAU POINT RANGE LIGHTS

ST. MARY’S RIVER JUNCTION WITH LILY POND LOWER CANAL, LAKE SUPERIOR, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1897
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1937
Operational? YES
Automated? YES
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: EMPLACED
Construction Materials: FRONT RANGE - WOOD / REAR RANGE - STEEL AND WOOD
Tower Shape: FRONT RANGE - RECTANGULAR WITH SQUARE BASE / REAR RANGE - RECTANGULAR WITH SLATTED RECTANGULAR DAYMARK
Markings/Pattern: FRONT RANGE - NATURAL / REAR RANGE - BLACK AND WHITE
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Original Lens: 1,200 CANDLEPOWER ELECTRIC RANGE LIGHTS

Historical Information:

Little information is available on these ranges lights. They were first lit in 1897 to mark the St. Mary’s River junction with the Lily Pond Lower Canal, Portage Lake and Lake Superior.  The rear light is 1,280 feet away from the front light.  The original lights were rectangular in shape. The front light was a rectangular shape on a square base. The rear light was a rectangle with slats in the center on a tower.

In 1937 they were replaced with skeletal towers with rectangular dayboards with outer red stripes with a white stripe in the center.  A keepers’ house does exist but is privately owned. The range lights remain an active aid to navigation.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

ROULEAU POINT RANGE LIGHT STATION

ROULEAU POINT FRONT RANGE LIGHT

ROULEAU POINT REAR RANGE LIGHT


ROUND ISLAND (ST. MARY'S RIVER) LIGHT

ST. MARY RIVER/BETWEEN PT AUX FRENES & LIME ISLAND
Station Established: 1892
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1892
Operational? NO
Automated?
Deactivated:
Foundation Materials: BRICK
Construction Materials: WOOD
Tower Shape: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: BROWN SHINGLE/WHITE TRIM/BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: LENS LANTERN 1892

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

SAINT MARY'S RIVER LIGHTHOUSE


ROUND ISLAND LIGHT

STRAITS OF MACKINAC
Station Established: 1895
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1895
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1924
Deactivated: 1947-1996
Foundation Materials: CONCRETE PIER
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: RED W/BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: 1895

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

ROUND ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE


ROUND ISLAND PASSAGE LIGHT

STRAITS OF MACKINAC/LAKE HURON
Station Established: 1947
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1948
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1973
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: CRIB
Construction Materials: REINFORCED CONCRETE
Tower Shape: SKELETAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE TOWER ON RED HOUSE ON WHITE BASE
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: SEALED BEAM

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

ROUND ISLAND PASSAGE LIGHTHOUSE


SAGINAW RIVER (REAR RANGE) LIGHT

Location: Bangor Township, Michigan (Mackinac Straits approach/Lake Michigan)
Station Established: 1831
Year Current Tower First Lit:1876
Operational: No
Automated: 1954
Deactivated: early 1962
Foundation Materials: Reinforced concrete
Construction Materials: Brick
Tower Shape: Cylindrical
Height: 53’
Markings/Pattern: Yellow
Relationship to Other Structure: Attached
Original Lens: Fourth Order Fresnel
Height of Focal Plane: 103
Appropriation: $23,000

Historical Information:

1831: First light at Saginaw River was built south of the mouth of the river. A lighthouse was needed due to increase in vessels traveling through the river for lumber export.
1876: New lighthouse was built in a range light configuration.
1970s: Remained an active guide until the Coast Guard Station moved across the river due to needing more space.
1986: Dow Chemical, who owned the surrounding land, purchased the facility and boarded it up. Although it is not well documented, it is believed that the Saginaw River Light was the first location to install range lights.

Researched and written by Jamie Smith, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

SAGINAW RIVER REAR RANGE LIGHT


SAND HILLS LIGHT

FIVE MILE POINT/EAGLE RIVER/LAKE SUPERIOR
Station Established: 1919
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1919
Operational? NO
Automated? YES 1939
Deactivated: 1954
Foundation Materials:
Construction Materials: YELLOW BRICK
Tower Shape: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: NATURAL
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL 1919

Historical Information:

1916 – Barracks building built. It was later used during WWII.
1917 – Lighthouse commissioned for this site. Concrete breakwater built.
1919 – Lighthouse completed. It is a twin to the Scotch Cap Lighthouse in Alaska.
1939 – Lighthouse automated.
1942 – Lighthouse converted for use as a Coast Guard training facility.
1943 – Converted back to lighthouse use only.
1954 – Decommissioned.
1958 – Sold into private hands.
1992 – Converted into a Bed & Breakfast establishment.

Keepers:

1919-1939 William Bennetto (only head keeper ever for this lighthouse).
1919-1930 John Whelan (1st assistant)
1936-1940 Edward Tormala (1st assistant)
1919-1920 Louis Wilkes (2nd assistant)
1924-1928 Charles Miles (2nd assistant)
1936-1939 Samuel Anderson (2nd assistant)

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

SAND HILLS LIGHTHOUSE


SAND POINT (BARAGA) LIGHT

WEST SIDE OF KEWEENAW BAY NEAR BARAGA, LAKE SUPERIOR, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1878
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1878
Operational? NO
Automated? 1922
Deactivated: 1922
Foundation Materials: UNKNOWN
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: RED BRICK WITH WHITE LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FIFTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

L’Anse, Michigan had a bay and protected harbor which made it an ideal harbor for shipping iron ore in the beginning of the 1870’s. The Marquette, Houghton. and Ontonagon Railroad was scheduled to be completed in 1872 with the tracks ending in L’Anse. Wharfs and docks soon lined the shore. The need for a lighthouse was apparent.

The money was appropriated in 1873 and work began to find a site in L’Anse. However, the railroads were in financial crisis and shipping dried up. Work continued to find an appropriate site for the light station in the optimistic belief that shipping would once again pick up.  After two years of struggle to gain clear title to the land chosen in L’Anse, it was requested of Congress to change the wording of the appropriation to any acceptable spot for the lighthouse, not just in L’Anse. Congress agreed. Sand Point was selected. Coincidentally, a forest fire raged through L’Anse and lay waste to everything in its path, including the docks.

The site was to use the same plans as Port Austin which was the tower attached to the keeper’s quarters. It was a popular design and used on two other lighthouses in Sherwood Point and Little Traverse. Construction began in 1877.  The first keeper was John Crebassa. He lit the light for the first time on August 10, 1878. He would serve as Keeper for 30 years, retiring on March 1, 1908.

Automation came to the station in 1922. At the same time, a tank was erected with a 35 foot tall mast attached. A light was placed at the top of the mast and the Sand Point Lighthouse was replaced.  The lighthouse has passed in private ownership and is currently owned by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community. It is not open to the public.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

SAND POINT LIGHTHOUSE


SAND POINT (ESCANABA) LIGHT

Location: Ludington Park, Escanaba, on the west shore of Little Bay De Noc, Lake Michigan
Historic Tower with Lightkeeper’s Quarters
Date Built: 1867
Year light first lit: 1867
Deactivated: 1934
Type of Structure: Brick, Schoolhouse type
Foundation: Stone
Tower Shape: Square
Light height: 39 feet above base and 68 feet above lake level
Markings/Pattern: Original cream brick painted white with red trim
Relationship to Other Structure: Attached
Original Lens: Fourth Order Fresnel lens, manufactured by L. Sauttier & Co. of Paris
Status: Standing and not operational

Steel Tower
Date Erected: 1934 (previously on Sapelo Island, GA, 1905-1933)
Year light first lit: 1934
Year abandoned: 1958 (replaced with automatic light system)
Year deactivated: 1969
Type of Structure: Square pyramidal cast iron Steel skeletal, Sanibel Class
Foundation: Concrete foundation for the tower’s legs
Light height: 60 feet above base
Status: Standing and not operational

Historical Information:

The light was replaced by an offshore crib in 1939 which is still an operational aid-to-navigation.  The lantern was removed in 1939 and the station was used for Coast Guard housing until 1985.  The station was transferred to the Delta County Historical Society.

Keepers:

Henry J. Roe (1867-1871); William Bruin (1871-8176); Willis Warner (1876-1882); William Lewis (1882-1885); Capt. Joseph Fountain (1885-1891); Lewis Bourissau (1891-1915); James McCormick (1915-1923); William Green (1924-1940); Frederick Leslie (1940-1946); William Kruwell (1946-1947); Peter Timmer (1947-1948); Allen Cain (1948-1958).

Researched and written by Ed Shaw, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

PHOTOGRAPH NOT AVAILABLE


SEUL CHOIX POINTE LIGHT

UPPER PENINSULA/LAKE MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1892
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1895
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1972
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: ASHLAR STONE
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: THIRD ORDER, FRESNEL 1895

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

SEUL CHOIX POINTE LIGHTHOUSE


SKILLAGALEE (ILE AUX GALETS) LIGHT

SW OF WAUGOSHANCE ISLAND/LAKE MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1850
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1888
Operational? YES
Automated? YES
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: STONE
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: OCTAGONAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE W/BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

SKILLAGLALEE LIGHTHOUSE


SOUTH FOX ISLAND LIGHT

Location: Approach to straits of Mackinac/Lake Michigan
Historic Tower with Lightkeeper’s Quarters
Date Built: 1867
Year light first lit: 1867
Deactivated: 1934
Type of Structure: Brick, Schoolhouse type
Foundation: Stone
Tower Shape: Square
Light height: 39 feet above base and 68 feet above lake level
Markings/Pattern: Original cream brick painted white with red trim
Relationship to Other Structure: Attached
Original Lens: Fourth Order Fresnel lens, manufactured by L. Sauttier & Co. of Paris
Status: Standing and not operational

Steel Tower
Date Erected: 1934 (previously on Sapelo Island, GA, 1905-1933)
Year light first lit: 1934
Year abandoned: 1958 (replaced with automatic light system)
Year deactivated: 1969
Type of Structure: Square pyramidal cast iron Steel skeletal, Sanibel Class
Foundation: Concrete foundation for the tower’s legs
Light height: 60 feet above base
Status: Standing and not operational

Historical Information:

Fox Island is located in Lake Michigan approximately 17 miles off the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula.  In 1867 Congress granted $18,000 for construction of the lighthouse.  Tower is square with 13 inch thick walls, with circular iron stairs with two landings leading to the lantern room.  A board fence was constructed around the station in 1880 to help keep drifting sand and snow from interfering with access to the stations buildings.

In 1895 a fog signal building was erected and a ten inch steam whistle fog signal was put into operation. Also, a brick oil house was built for kerosene for the new lantern that replaced the lard oil lantern.  In 1897 a new boat house was built. In the following year of 1898 a well was dug and a pump house constructed for supplying the fog signal. A wood frame assistant keepers dwelling consisting of five room for two keepers was constructed.

The assistant keepers dwelling was replaced in 1910 with a red brick building. During this time period the tower was given a coat of white brick to protect the tower from wind and rain.  Other historical structures include a carpenter’s shop in the former summer kitchen, a well house, and privy. 

Light was fixed red, varied by red flash.  In 1916 the intensity of the light was increased to show fixed light and flash, with duration of flash at five seconds.  The light was changed to electricity, provided by generators, in 1929, and the steam fog signal was replaced with an air diaphone signal.

Due to its location the station was difficult to maintain and in 1933 the decision was made to replace the use of the brick tower with a more permanent structure. A steel skeletal tower was acquired in 1933 from Sapelo Island, Georgia and erected in 1934 near the original lighthouse on the southern tip of the island closer to the shoreline.

In 1958 the light station was converted to an automatic light and the last light keeper left the island.  In 1959 the equipment from the lantern room including the fourth order Fresnel lens of the original tower was moved to the Old Presque Isle light on Lake Huron.  The automatic light system was shut down in 1968, being rendered obsolete by electronic navigation.

In 1971 the US Department of Interior transferred the southernmost 115 acres of the island to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.  In 1980 the US Department of Interior transferred the lighthouse and grounds to the State of Michigan.

In 2005 a group name the Fox Island Lighthouse Association (FILA) applied to non-profit status and achieved non-profit status in 2006. FILA have performed and are continuing many actions toward restoration and preservation of the lighthouse station.

Keepers:

Henry J. Roe (1867-1871), William Bruin (1871-8176), Willis Warner (1876-1882), William Lewis (1882-1885), Capt. Joseph Fountain (1885-1891), Lewis Bourissau (1891-1915), James McCormick (1915-1923), William Green (1924-1940), Frederick Leslie (1940-1946), William Kruwell (1946-1947), Peter Timmer (1947-1948), Allen Cain (1948-1958).

Researched and written by Ed Shaw, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

SOUTH FOX ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE


SOUTH HAVEN SOUTH PIERHEAD LIGHT

BLACK RIVER ENTRANCE/LAKE MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1872
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1903
Operational? YES
Automated? YES
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: PIER
Construction Materials: CAST IRON
Tower Shape: CYLINDRICAL
Markings/Pattern: RED W/BLACK TOWER
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Original Lens: FIFTH ORDER, FRESNEL 1903

Historical Information:

1868 – Lighthouse Board requested $6,000 appropriation for a pierhead light and keeper’s house. The appropriation was granted by Congress but then rescinded in 1840 before construction was completed.
1871 – Funds restored by Congress and construction began.
1890 – South Haven selected as a trial site for a Wolsbach burner gasoline light.
1901 – Wooden tower moved to the newly constructed end of the pier.
1902 – 5th order Fresnel installed and plans begun to replace the wooden tower with a metal one.
1903 – Pre-fabricated steel tower delivered to the pierhead and installed.
1913 – Pierhead lengthened again and light tower moved to the new end.
1991 – Michigan Maritime Museum began leasing the keeper’s dwelling from the Coast Guard.
2000 – Lighthouse property deeded to city of South Haven.

Keepers:

1871-1873 William Bryan
1874-1875 James Donahue (acting)
1875-1909 James Donahue (permanent assignment)
1909-1913 Louis De Diemer
1913-1919 Jesse Brown
1919-1932 John Langland, Jr.
1932-1940 Robert Young

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

SOUTH HAVEN SOUTH PIERHEAD LIGHTHOUSE


SOUTH MANITOU ISLAND LIGHT

SOUTH MANITOU ISLAND, MANITOU PASSAGE, LAKE MICHIGAN, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1839
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1872
Operational? NO
Automated? 1935
Deactivated: 1967
Foundation Materials: SCREW PILING WITH PLATFORM
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: HEXAGONAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE DWELLING WITH RED PILES
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: THIRD ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

The Manitou Passage is between a band of small islands known as the Beaver Archipelago and the coast of Michigan. This passage can reduce the shipping distance between the southern shores of Lake Michigan and the Mackinaw Straits by almost sixty miles. South Manitou is the southerly end of the island chain. It offers ships shelter from the harsh conditions of the open seas of the Great Lake.  The mouth of the Manitou Passage is narrow and therefore hard to navigate. The call for a light station rose and was answered. In 1839 construction began on the South Manitou site. A small keeper’s quarters was built with a lantern room on the roof of one end.

Responsibilities of the light station were not taken seriously. Soon trees had grown to obscure the light. By the 1850’s the house was in disrepair. Inspection reports went largely unnoticed. In 1857, the lens was to be replaced. Work crews found that replacing the entire site was the only viable option.  Work began in 1858 on the new structure using plans for two lighthouses built on the Great Lakes previously, Port Washington and Grand Traverse. Built of “cream city bricks”, the keeper’s quarters had a wooden lantern affixed to one end of the roof which housed a fourth order Fresnel Lens.

At this time in US Lighthouse history, many of the previous antiquated light devices where being replaced with the new more power, more efficient Fresnel lens.  By the end of the 1860’s it was evident that the small squat lighthouse was ineffective. A tower would be needed to light the passage. Work began in 1871 on a 65 foot brick tower. The house was retained and attached to the new tower with a covered walkway. The lantern was removed from the roof.

A Third Order Fresnel lens was shown for the first time in late September 1872. In 1875 the addition of a fog signal building was complete. It housed the first steam powered fog signal on Lake Michigan.  The station was automated in 1935. In December 1958, the last keepers left the station. 1958 also saw the National Park Service mulling the idea of making the Sleeping Bear area a park. In 1970, this became official and the park service took over the light station.

The station remains in the care of the National Park Service and is open to the public. It has been restored and re-lit with a replica lens.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

SOUTH MANITOU LIGHTHOUSE


SPECTACLE REEF LIGHT

Location: STRAITS OF MACKINAC/LAKE HURON
Station Established: 1870
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1874
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1972
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: CRIB
Construction Materials: LIMESTONE
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Markings/Pattern: NATURAL W/RED TRIM
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: SECOND ORDER, FRESNEL 1874

Historical Information :

The Spectacle Reef Lighthouse cost $406,000 and is the best specimen of monolithic stone masonry in the United States. The work on the lighthouse, which stands on a submerged limestone reef off the eastern end of the Straits of Mackinaw, was commenced in May 1870. It was planned and built by Maj. 0. M. Poe, who was General Sherman’s chief engineer on his march to the sea. The light was first exhibited from the finished structure in June 1874. The available working time on the structure was, however, only about 20 months, because no work could be done on it during the winter months.

The nearest land to Spectacle Reef is Bois Blanc Island, 1012 miles away. The stone for it was prepared at Scammon’s Harbor, 16 miles distant and one of the items in its cost was the purchase of a steamer to convey the materials to the site.

The waves at Spectacle Reef have a fetch of 170 miles to the southeastward and the ice fields, which are moved by a current and are thousands of acres in area, are often 2 feet thick. These had to be especially provided for because when they move in mass, they have an almost irresistible force. This force was overcome by interposing a structure against which the ice is crushed and by which its motion is so impeded that it grounds on the 7-foot shoal, which thereby forms a barrier against other ice fields.

The tower, in the shape of a frustrum of a cone, is 32 feet in diameter at the base and rises 93 feet above the base, which is 11 feet below the water. The focal plane is 4 feet 3 inches above the top of the parapet, making it 97 feet 3 inches above the top of the submerged rock and 86 feet 3 inches above the surface of the water. For 34 feet up the tower is solid and from them on up it is hollow. In it are five rooms, one above the other each 14 feet in diameter, with varying heights. The walls of the hollow portion are 5 feet 6 inches at the bottom, tapering to 16 inches at the spring of the cornice.

The blocks of stone below the cornice are 2 feet thick, and those of the solid portion of the tower are cut to form a lock on each other in each course, and the courses are fastened together with wrought iron bolts 2 1/2 inches thick and 2 feet long. The tower is bolted to the foundation rock with bolts 3 feet long which enter the bed rock 21 inches, the other courses receiving the bolts for 9 inches. Each bolt is wedged at both ends, and the bolt holes, which were made with a diamond drill, after the stones were in place, are plugged with pure portland cement, now as hard as the stone itself. Hence the tower is, in effect, a monolith.

The stones were cut at the depot at Scammon’s Harbor, 16 miles away, and fitted, course by course, on a platform of masonry. The stones were so well prepared that a course could be set, drilled, and bolted in 3 days.

The foundation, 11 feet under water, was laid in a cofferdam protected by a crib work of 12-inch timber, built upon ways at the depot, as a ship might have been, than launched and towed by a number of steamers to the reef and grounded on the site. This crib was 92 feet square and 24 feet high. This afforded a protected pond for the cofferdam, a landing wharf, and quarters for the men all 12 feet above water. The cofferdam was then pumped out until the bedrock was exposed and on this bedrock the masonry courses were laid.

A severe gale in September 1872 did considerable damage, though only of a temporary character, exposing the east face of this crib at a point where it had not been sheathed to protect it from the ice during the winter. It swept away the temporary cribs and nearly destroyed the workmen’s quarters.

After the winter of 1873-74, when the keepers returned to the newly completed tower, they found the ice piled against it at a height of 30 feet, or 7 feet higher than the doorway, and they could not gain entrance until they had cut away the iceberg of which the lighthouse formed the core.

The light now flashes alternately white and red, every 60 seconds, the white light being 400,000 candlepower and the red light 80,000 candlepower, both second-order electric, and visible for 17 miles. There is also a 100 candlepower white winter light which flashes every 5 seconds. An air-diaphone fog signal is also located at the station.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

SPECTACLE REEF LIGHTHOUSE


SQUAW ISLAND LIGHT

NORTH OF BEAVER ISLAND/LAKE MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1892
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1892
Operational? NO
Automated? UNK
Deactivated:
Foundation Materials:
Construction Materials: RED BRICK
Tower Shape: OCTAGONAL
Markings/Pattern: NATURAL W/BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens:

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

SQUAW ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE


ST. CLAIR FLATS RANGE LIGHT STATION

Location: SOUTH END OF HARSENS ISLAND, NEAR ALGONAC, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1934
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1934
Operational: No
Automated: 
Deactivated: 
Foundation Materials: 
Construction Materials: Steel 
Tower Shape: Skeletal
Markings/Pattern: White
Relationship to Other Structure: Separate
Original Lens: 
Height: 
Characteristic:
Fog Signal: None

Historical Information:

  • Station established in 1934, replacing the two 1871 St. Clair Flats Canal lights.
  • Station included a two-story keeper's house.
  • An assistant keeper's residence was built in 1938.
  • Station reduced in size in 1985
  • From 1985 to 1991 station used as a summer substation
  • Station was sold to a private individual in 2003

Photographs:

Flats Light Station, 1940: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); Original caption: "ST. CLAIR FLATS LIGHT STATION - Harsens Island, Michigan; 24 July 1940. Left to right: 1st Assistant Keeper's Dwelling, range light, Keeper's dwelling. Photo taken from boat."; Photo No. 19-093; photographer unknown.


ST. CLAIR FLATS SOUTH CHANNEL RANGE LIGHTS

Location: OFF HARSENS ISLAND/LAKE ST. CLAIR
Station Established: 1859
Year Current Towers First Lit: 1859
Operational: 
          Front Range: Yes
          Rear Range: No
Automated:  ?
Deactivated: (see historical description below)
Foundation Materials:
          Rear: Wooden crib filled with stone
          Front: Submerged timber crib
Construction Materials:
          Rear: Brick
          Front: Brick
Shape:
          Rear: Conical 
          Front: "Small, yellow-brick tower, on crib"
Tower height:
          Rear: 44 feet above lake level
          Front: 28 feet above lake level
Original Optics:
          Rear: 4th Order
          Front: 6th Order
Markings/Pattern:
          Rear: Yellow brick
          Front: Yellow brick, on crib, connected with dwelling by covered way.
Characteristics: fixed white (both)
Foghorn: None

Historical Information:

  • Construction of the South Channel Range Lights began in 1855 and was completed in 1859.
  • The front light began to lean in 1875 and was dismantled, the crib rebuilt, and the light returned to service.
  • The lights were taken out of service in 1907.
  • At some point the front light was put back into service and remains an active aid to navigation
  • The keeper's house on the rear light was dismantled in the early 1930s.

Photographs

South Channel Rear Range Light: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); Original caption: "St. Clair Flats Range, Front, 1904 (Lt. Discontinued: Close Navigation 1907)"; no photo number; photographer unknown.

South Channel Front Range Light: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); Original caption: "St. Clair Flats Range, Rear, 1904 (Lt. Discontinued: Close Navigation 1907)"; no photo number; photographer unknown.


ST. CLAIR FLATS CANAL, LOWER

Location: ON THE LOWER END OF THE WEST PIER OF THE UNITED STATES SHIP CANAL
Station Established: 1871
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1871
Operational: No
Automated: No
Deactivated: 1934
Foundation Materials: ?
Construction Materials: Brick
Tower Shape: Octagonal tower
Markings/Pattern: Red brick
Relationship to Other Structure: Integral
Original Lens: 4th Order
Height: 40 feet
Characteristic: Fixed red 
Fog Signal: None

Historical Information:

Station established in 1871
Lights marked the U.S. Ship Canal.

Tied in with the front range light, located at the "upper end of the west pier. . .about 7,000 feet NE 3/8 N. from" the rear range light.
The pier was removed and both lights burned down in 1934.

Photographs

Flats Canal, Lower, circa 1904: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); Original caption: "St. Clair Flats Canal, lower, 1904."; no photo number; photographer unknown.


ST. HELENA ISLAND LIGHT

Location: STRAITS OF MACKINAC/LAKE MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1873
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1873
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1922
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: LIMESTONE
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE W/RED LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: THIRD-ONE-HALF ORDER, FRESNEL 1873

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

SAINT HELENA ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE


ST. JAMES (BEAVER ISLAND HARBOR) LIGHT

Location: Charlevoix, Michigan (Western approach Mackinac Straights/Lake Michigan)
Station Established: 1852
Year Current Tower First Lit: 1870
Operational: Yes
Automated: 1927
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: N/A
Construction Materials: Brick
Tower Shape: Cylindrical
Markings/Pattern: White (originally yellow)
Relationship to Other Structure: Separate
Tower Height: 41
Original Lens: Fourth Order Fresnel
Height of Focal Plane: 38’

Historical Information:

1838: Whiskey Point got its name because the first white habitation clustered around a trading post that was built at the location. They made profits by trading provisions, mainly whiskey for the produce gathered from the archipelago. 
Early 1850’s: Paradise Bay eventually surpassed Mackinac Island as the economic center of northwestern Michigan in the early 1850’s. The harbor became a regular stopping and refueling point for boats between Chicago and Buffalo. The fishermen, fish buyers and shippers of sawmill products filled the harbor with dozens of boats each day.
1856: The second Beaver Island Lighthouse was built.
1870: A taller tower, standing at 41’, was built due to the mortar in the first tower being defective.
1874: Congress created the Life Saving Service, which was the precursor to the Coast Guard.
1915: The Life Saving Service merged with other agencies to form the Coast Guard.
1939: The Life Saving Service at Beaver Head was added to the Coast Guard. This station acted as the fire department, an elevated look-out station was built at Sucker Point to keep an eye on the Garden Island channel. Only phone on island was located at the Coast Guard station.
October 4, 2000: St. James Harbor Light received a completed Historic Property Lease. The lease is for 10 years, and is renewable for two additional 10 year periods. The lease provides an opportunity for the community to work on preserving the lighthouse. The Coast Guard will continue to operate the light as an active aid to navigation, while St. James Township will have control of the tower and the surrounding land. With the Historic Lease Agreement, the Township will be eligible to apply for grant funding to restore the lighthouse and grounds. The work will need to first be approved by the State Historic Preservation Officer.

Keepers:

*A taller tower, standing at 41’, was built in 1870 due to the mortar in the first tower being defective. After the new tower was built, a sequence of keepers took up residence in the keeper’s quarters. Peter McKinley, nephew of the President, was the second keeper, followed by Clement Van Riper. He died trying to save the crew of the Thomas Howland. His widow, Elizabeth Whitney, took up the position in his place. She was the author of the memoir of Mormon times, Child of the Sea. The last keeper, Emil Winter, was allowed to live at the keeper’s house with wife after the lighthouse was automated.
Captain Owen Gallagher was in charge, and was followed by former Mormon “Tip” Miller. Miller was credited with saving the Martin brothers. Both men would need to put together a crew immediately from the available fishermen. Even with these difficulties, there was never a man lost during the last quarter of the nineteenth century.
This expanded the Service’s role on Beaver Island. Some Islanders enlisted in the ten-to-twelve man crew. John Andy Gallagher joined the station in 1934 and was stationed at Beaver Head.

Researched and written by Jamie Smith, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

SAINT JAMES LIGHTHOUSE


ST. JOSEPH NORTH PIERHEAD LIGHTS

Location: ST. JOSEPH RIVER ENTRANCE/LAKE MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1832
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1906
Operational? NO
Automated? UNK
Deactivated:
Foundation Materials: PIER
Construction Materials: CAST IRON
Tower Shape: CYLINDRICAL; Second Tower: OCTAGONAL ON SQUARE HOUSE
Markings/Pattern: WHITE W/BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE; Second Tower: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FIFTH ORDER, FRESNEL; Second Tower: FOURTH ORDER 1907

Historical Information:

1906 – Cast iron pierhead light installed.
1907 – Inner pier light built.

Keepers:

1906-1910 Edward Mallette
1906-1924 Samuel Jacobson (1st assistant)
1906 Adolph Palter (2nd assistant)
1910-1922 George Cornell
1922-1927 Ferdinand Ollhoff
1925-1935 Paul Walters (1st assistant)
1927-1928 Charles Grenell
1928-1936 Owen McCauley
1936-1941 Charles Carlson
1939-1941 Frank Rydlewicz (1st assistant)

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

SAINT JOSEPH NORTH PIERHEAD LIGHTS


ST. MARTIN ISLAND LIGHT

ST. MARTIN ISLAND, NORTHWESTERN LAKE MICHIGAN, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1905
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1905
Operational? NO
Automated? YES
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: GRANITE
Construction Materials: REINFORCED CONCRETE
Tower Shape: HEXAGONAL EXOSKELETAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE WITH BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: SPERATE
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

With the completion of the Peninsula Railroad in 1864 which connected Escanaba, Michigan to the Negaunee Iron Mines. Ships loaded with ore had to navigate the treacherous shoals and islands along the coast. Any ship heading south out of the port Escanaba had to traverse the St. Martin Passage.

The Lighthouse Board appealed to Congress for the funds to construct a lighthouse on St. Martin Island to help the ships navigate the shoal that extended a mile from the island. Congress refused the request. The Board felt so strongly about the need for a light on this vital shipping route, it repeated the request for seven years.  Congress agreed to the funds in 1898. This site was approved but the owners did not want to sell. It wasn’t until 1901 the title was clear and the project could begin.

Since so much time had passed between the original approval of funds and the start of construction, another $10,000 was needed. The money was appropriated and work was set to begin 1902. Unfortunately, there was an iron shortage. Construction was halted until September, 1903.   Due to the harsh winter conditions in the Great Lakes, shipping and construction have “seasons”. At the end of the construction season in 1903 a two story duplex style keeper’s house was underway.   When construction resumed in 1904 the “cream city brick” keepers house was completed using the same plans as the Plum Island Light built in 1897. The fog signal building was also built using plans from previous lighthouses built on the Lakes, Old Mackinac and Beaver Island.

The tower remains unique in it’s design. It is hexagonal in shape with an iron exoskeleton and extends to a height of 75ft. The curved lantern room housed a Fourth Order Fresnel lens. The lighthouse was completed in 1904. However, it was not lit until the navigation season opened in 1905 due to a lack of funds to hire keepers.  Before 1939, the steam whistles were removed from the station. Telephones lines and electricity lines were run to the station as well. It is unknown when the station was automated. The original lens was removed and sent to the Point Iroquois Light Station and is displayed in the keeper’s quarters.

The light station is in private ownership and is not open to the public.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

SAINT MARTIN ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE


STANNARD ROCK LIGHT

Location: OFF KEWEENAW PENINSULA/LAKE SUPERIOR
Station Established: 1868
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1882
Operational? NO
Automated? YES 1962
Deactivated:
Foundation Materials: CRIB
Construction Materials: DRESSED STONE
Tower Shape: CONICAL TOWER ON CYLINDRICAL CRIB
Markings/Pattern: NATURAL W/BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: THIRD ORDER, FRESNEL 1882

Historical Information :

Stannard Rock, lying about 23 miles southeast of Manitou Island, was for years the most serious danger to navigation in Lake Superior. The rock was first marked by a day beacon in 1868, but by 1871 the rapid increase in commerce between Duluth and the lower lakes demanded the construction of a lighthouse on the rock. The construction of Spectacle Reef Light, that presented a similar problem had been started in 1870 and it was believed that all the costly apparatus and machinery purchased for that job could be made available for constructing a lighthouse on Stannard Rock.

In 1873, when the Spectacle Reef construction was three-quarters completed, Congress appropriated $10,000 for a preliminary survey. This indicated that a structure would be needed of the most substantial and costly kind, that it would probably be located in 11 feet of water and would cost $300,000. As a matter of fact the final cost was $305,000.

It was not until 1877, 4 years after Spectacle Reef Lighthouse had been completed, that Congress appropriated $50,000 for commencing the construction of the lighthouse. All the machinery that had been used in constructing Spectacle Reef was moved to the depot at Huron Bay where necessary quarters, docks, shops, etc., were erected. The tower was to be similar to that of Spectacle Reef, with the addition of a permanent protective crib. This crib was begun at Huron Bay in July 1877 and taken out to the rock in August, where soundings were made to fit it to the bottom. It was then returned to Huron Bay and built up to 14 courses and in August 1878 was taken out and placed in position at Stannard Rock. By October it had been filled with concrete and stone mined from a quarry opened on Huron Island. Congress had meanwhile appropriated another $100,000 for this work.

By June 1879 the iron casting for the concrete pier was in place and the pier had been built up to the surface of the water with another $50,000 appropriation. By midyear 1880 the work was 14 feet above lake-level. The tower was completed and the light first exhibited July 4, 1882, with another $123,000 made available.

Work on the tower and its various appliances continued in 1883. The light is exhibited 102 feet above water and shows a 20,000 candlepower flashing white light of the second order, visible about 18 miles. There is also an air diaphone fog signal at the station.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

STANNARD ROCK LIGHTHOUSE


STURGEON POINT LIGHT

Location: STURGEON POINT/LAKE HURON
Station Established: 1869
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1869
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1939
Deactivated:
Foundation Materials: LIMESTONE
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE W/RED TRIM
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: SIXTH ORDER, FRESNEL 1869

Historical Information:

1866 – Lighthouse Board requested an appropriation in the amount of $15,000 for a lighthouse at this site.
1869 – Construction began.
1886 – Breakwater built to protect the light station from erosion.
1913 – Lighthouse automated/
1939 – Electricity brought to the lighthouse.
1941 – Coast Guard left the station.
1982 – Property leased to the Albion Historical Society.

Keepers:

1869-1873 Percy Silverthorn
1873-1875 Noah Farr (acting)
1875-1876 Noah Farr (permanent appointment)
1876-1877 John Pasque (acting)
1877-1882 John Pasque (permanent appointment)
1882-1883 Louis Cardy, Sr. (acting)
1883-1913 Louis Cardy, Sr. (permanent appointment)

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

STURGEON POINT LIGHTHOUSE


TAWAS POINT (OTTAWA POINT) LIGHT

TAWAS BAY, TAWAS POINT, LAKE HURON, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1853
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1876
Operational? YES
Automated?
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: DRESSED STONE/TIMBER
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE WITH RED TRIM
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

The hook of Tawas Point offered ships protection in Tawas Bay from the winds of Lake Huron. However, it was dangerous to navigate the end of the point in bad weather or darkness.  Construction began on a light station on Ottawa Point as it was known in 1852. A squat 45-foot rubblestone tower was completed at the end of 1852.  A small keeper’s quarters was also built. Since the station was completed so late in the “shipping season” the decision was made to wait until the shipping season of 1853 to light it.

The original system of lighting was a system of “Lewis Lamps”. These proved on more than occasion to be inadequate. With the establishment of the Lighthouse Board by Congress, one of the priorities of the new board was to replace the Lewis Lamps with the much more effective and powerful Fresnel Lens manufactured in Paris, France. Ottawa Point received a Fifth Order lens in 1856.  By 1867 the tower was disintegrating. Another natural phenomenon was also at play. Ottawa Point was “growing”. The short tower was of little real use to mariners as it was now almost three quarters of a mile from the end of the point.

Construction began on a new tower in 1876. Just like the first tower, it was completed at the end of the season and the onset of winter so lighting was postponed until the following spring. During the winter the Fifth Order lens was removed from the original tower and placed in the newly completed structure.  The date of the first lighting is unknown but some time during the 1877 shipping season it was shining. In 1891 a new Fourth Order lens was installed.

The tower is attached to the keepers quarters by a small passageway. As the need for an assistant became clear, so did the need for quarters for such a position. In 1922 a house in town was purchased and moved to the site for the assistant.  In 1902 the name of Ottawa Point officially became Tawas Point. Electricity arrived in 1935. The actual date of automation is unknown but it is believed to be in 1953. By this time the lighthouse was again far from the actual point. In 2001 ownership moved to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources who are currently renovating the property. They have demolished the 1922 Assistant Keeper’s Quarters.

The light station is located with the Tawas Point State Park and is open to the public. It remains an active aid to navigation.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

TAWAS POINT LIGHTHOUSE


THUNDER BAY ISLAND LIGHT

Location: Southeast end of 215 acre Thunder Bay Island/ State of Michigan/ Lake Huron/Alpena County
Historic Tower:
Date Built: 1832.
Date Light first lit: 1832
Date Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: Dressed stone and timber
Construction Materials: Brick
Tower Height: Originally 40 feet, raised 10 feet higher in 1857
Markings: White with red lantern
Relationship to other structures: linked by a covered walkway to keeper’s quarters
Builder: Jeremiah Moors
Original Lens: Fourth Order Fresnel, manufactured by Sauttier of Paris
Status: Operational, Automated in 1983

Historical Information:

1831 - Construction began in 1831 but the first tower fell and a 40 foot tower was begun and completed in 1832 with a detached 1 ½ story keeper’s dwelling.
1832 - The first keeper took office and the light began operation.
1847 - A new keeper’s dwelling was constructed.
1857 - The lighthouse was rebuilt and raised to 50 feet tall and equipped with a Fresnel lens. The focal plane was increased to 63 feet above the lake level.
1858 - A fog signal bell was installed.
1868 – Attached lighthouse keeper’s quarters was constructed of yellow brick.
1872 - Steam fog whistle and building constructed.
1876 - Life Saving Station opened on the island and manned by the US Lighthouse Service until 1939.
1884 - A storm house was added to the keeper’s quarters and a tramway constructed for delivery of coal to the fog signal building.
1892 - A new landing dock was built for the lighthouse.
1894 - A second fog signal was installed.
1903 - A brick oil house was constructed.
1907 - A brick fog signal building was constructed and the wooden cistern replaced with a brick cistern.
1913 - The lighthouse lamp was converted from kerosene to oil vapor fuel.
1916 - The old fog signal building was converted into a residence for the assistant keeper and family.
1921 - A Type C diaphone fog signal was installed.
1927 - A radio station building was constructed near the fog signal building.
1932 - A Type F diaphone fog signal was installed. Additions were made to the Second Assistant Lighthouse Keeper’s dwelling and an addition made to the fog signal building for fuel storage.
1938 - The lighthouse received a coating of cement.
1939 - US Coast Guard took over operation of the lighthouse.
1980 - The lighthouse was automated through installation of a 190 mm acrylic optic in the lantern powered by solar cells on the ground and storage batteries in the tower. The station then closed.
1984 - The lighthouse was designated a historic site in the National Register of Historic Places.
1997 – The Thunder Bay Island Preservation Society was formed and signed an agreement with the US Coast Guard for responsibility of the lighthouse grounds and buildings.
Current – The Thunder Bay Island Preservation Society is involved with restoration of the light station.

Keepers:

Joseph Duchene (1832), Jesse Muncey (1832-1843 appx.), William Terry (1843-1845), J. Malden (1845-1860), Daniel Carter (1860-1861), A Persons (1861-1873), Patrick McGuire (1874-1882), John Sinclair, Jr. (1882-1894), Michael Cooney (1894-1901), William Bennetts (1902-1919 appx.), Paul Klebba (1919-1928 appx.), Archebald Davidson (1929-1930), William DeRusha (1932-1939), Mathew Storback (1939-1940 appx.).

Researched and written by Ed Shaw, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

THUNDER BAY ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE


WAUGOSHANCE LIGHT

Location: Northwest of Waugoshance Island at the western edge of the Straits of Mackinac/ Lake Michigan/Emmet County
Historic Tower:
Date Built: 1851
Date Light first lit: 1851
Date Deactivated: 1912
Foundation Materials: Timber crib filled with stone and cement base
Construction Materials: Originally brick, encased with iron plate in the 1880’s.
Tower Height: 76 feet
Markings: Natural
Relationship to other structures: keeper’s quarter is integral part of lighthouse
Original Lens: Fourth Order Fresnel
Status: Standing, not operational, optic removed

Historical Information:

Site was original location of the wooden lightship Lois McLane in 1832.  Lightship was replaced by the tower constructed on the shoal in 1851. A crib was taken to the site and a coffer dam built allowing the water to be removed and cement was placed on the shoal for the base. Limestone slabs were then placed on the cement base and finished with solid masonry.  The 76-foot high tower was built upon the crib base, twenty feet in diameter at the bottom, with five foot thick walls.  The tower was topped with a large “bird cage” style lantern room, one of only three of this style in the Great Lakes.
The lantern was equipped with a Fourth Order Fresnel lens, the first one of these lenses in the Great Lakes.  The light had a fixed white light varied by a white flash every 45 seconds.

Two-and-a-half story keeper’s quarters were constructed in 1852 as an integral part of the lighthouse station. The building is made of brick with iron plating on the outside.  Due to the hard climate of Lake Michigan and winter ice, the lighthouse needed major repairs in 1865 and again in the late 1880s.  In 1883 a contract was given the Buhl Iron Works Company of Detroit to encase the entire tower with iron plate. Upon completion the tower was painted with horizontal red and white bands.

A steam whistle fog signal was installed in 1883.  In the early 1896 further deterioration to the crib and pier resulted in Congress approving funding for major renovations. Stone and old timber were removed and new timber, steel casing for the enlarged pier, and stone and cement added.  In 1902 the west corner of the protecting pier was filled in with concrete and stone and faced with iron plating.

In 1891 a lightship had been stationed on nearby White Shoal. Due to the short working season for lightships it was decided to construct a lighthouse on White Shoal to provide better protection for shipping in this part of Lake Michigan. In 1908 a lighthouse was begun and completed in 1910 and known as the White Shoal Light.  Due to the larger and more powerful White Shoal Light a few miles away, the Waugostance Light was no longer needed and was decommissioned in 1912.

In the early 1940s the lighthouse was used for bombing practice from military aircraft and a hit caused a fire that gutted the interior of the tower and keepers dwelling of anything combustible.  In the 1980s the iron plating peeled off, exposing the tower brick. The copper roof of the lantern room and the iron stairs within the tower were removed.

The US Coast Guard recommended the structure be demolished.  In 1998 the Waugoshance Lighthouse Preservation Society was formed with a goal of complete restoration of the structure. The Society is working to raise funds to stabilize the lighthouse structure.  The lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Keepers:

John Levaks (1852), Lewis Laskey (1852 and 1853-8155), Nathaniel Johnson (1852-8153), Augustus Todd (1855-1861), Noal Leville (1861-8164), Charles Wackler 1864-8165), John McHaney (1865-1877), John Mulcroone 1877-1881), Levi Chapman (1881-1882), Thomas Marshall (1882-1886), George Marshall (1886-1890), John Herman (1890-1900), James Gallagher (1900-1902), Ingvald Olsen (1902-1910), Joseph Kilgore (1910-1911), Everitt Sterritt (1911-1912).

Researched and written by Ed Shaw, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society

PHOTOGRAPH NOT AVAILABLE


WHITE RIVER LIGHT

Location: Fruitland, MI (White Lake Channel/Lake Michigan)
Station Established: 1875
Year Current Tower First Lit: 1875
Operational: no
Automated: 1945
Deactivated: 1960
Foundation Materials: Limestone
Construction Materials: Limestone
Tower Shape: Octagonal
Markings/Pattern: Natural with black lantern
Relationship to Other Structure: Attached
Original Lens: Fourth Order, Fresnel
Tower Height: 38’

Historical Information:

During the 1860s, after the Lighthouse Board was formed, several standard lighthouse designs were created by the Board to meet specific site criteria. One of these designs was the ‘Norman Gothic’ style, and this style was used to build the White River Light Station. Other lighthouses to use this style was Chambers Island (the first to used this design, in 1868), Eagle’s Bluff, McGulpin’s Point, Eagle Harbor, White River, Passage Island, Sand Island, St. Clair Flats Canal and Squaw Island.

August 28, 1875: Construction began on the lighthouse when keeper William Robinson was instructed to employ five men. Grading the hill-top was the first work to be done at the site.   Early September 1875, the grading work was completed.

September 28, 1875: Mr. E. Rhodes, the Lighthouse Service construction foreman, began the construction of the main tower. William Robinson aided in the construction by doing some masonry work. The yellow colored bricks and limestone foundation came from various parts of Wisconsin and Michigan, while the Lighthouse Service brought in many parts to form the cast-iron lantern room. The cast iron staircase in the tower was made by the Ryerson Company, which was located 20 miles south of the site.
December 28, 1875: Work was completed on the tower.

April 1876: Mr. Crump, the Lighthouse Service Lampist, arrived at the site to fit the lighthouse with a lens and lamp.  May 13, 1876: The new light was exhibited for the first time.  In 1902 the Fresnel lens was reduced to a sixth order with a Kerosene lamp. This reduced the range of the light to nine miles.

The South Pier-head Beacon Light housed a fifth order Fresnel lens and lard oil lamp. It produced a fixed red light that was visible for eleven and a half miles. The tower stood at 27 feet, and set the focal plane of the lens at 33 feet above sea level. The framework was a square pyramid. The lantern room was black metal, while the wooden tower was painted white. On April 19, 1917, the tower was re-painted red.  The South Pier-head Beacon Light was accessible from a double deck walk along the south pier. It was originally made of wood and consisted of a walkway on top of the wooden pier. There was a second, elevated wooden foot-walk above the walkway. The elevated foot-walk was built to protect the keeper from waves during storms and to reduce the effect of ice during the winter months. Unfortunately, the foot-walk did not completely protect the keeper from some of the elements.

The construction of the original elevated foot-walk began in August 1875. A construction crew was sent by the Lighthouse Service to build new pier cribs to lengthen the South Pier. Two crews were involved; one from the Lighthouse Service and a second that was made up of local contractor personnel. On August 25, 1875, the timber frames for the first foot-walk were installed, and a dispute occurred later that day. The engineer of the project, Mr. S.M. Mansfield, halted production. He discharged the foreman of the local contractor and inquired into the conduct of Mr. E. Rhodes. Mr. Rhodes was eventually cleared, and work resumed several days later. Work was finally completed in November 1875. In December 1875, the construction crew completed the final pier-end crib. The Light was then moved to its new location on December 6, 1875.

The wooden foot-walk was partially converted to metal in September 1901, and was fully converted to metal in 1910. Ice flow damaged the foot-walk and began settling down into the water. It was torn down and removed on May 14, 1925 and was never replaced.  The original name White River Pier-head Light was given to the lighthouse, which was located on the end of the South Pier, at the entrance of the New Government Channel into White Lake. This name was used until 1875, when the lighthouse construction was completed on a small sand bluff near the shore. At the point forth, both lights were named in the official records. On May 9, 1910, the Lighthouse Board officially changed the name from White River Lighthouse to White River Light Station. Current government charts no longer list the White River Light Station, but the South Pier-head light is still listed in the official records. 

The light had a female light keeper, Frances Johnson, who served from 1948-1954. In 1960 the lighthouse was deactivated. The Coast Guard turned over the property to the General Services Administration.  The Fruitland Township proposed to purchase the property so it could be used as a museum and public park in 1965. The property was appraised at $12,500, and the township was required to pay one-half of the cost. The other half was paid for by gifts from local residents.

The property was turned over to the Township in 1966.  The property was cleaned up, and a parking lot was created for the park.  In 1970 a curator was chosen to collect artifacts for the museum and the museum was opened to the public in the late summer of 1970.

Researched and written by Jamie Smith, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

WHITE RIVER LIGHTHOUSE


WHITE SHOAL LIGHT

NW OF WAUGOSHANCE ISLAND/LAKE MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1891
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1910
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1976
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: TIMBER CRIB/CONCRETE PIER
Construction Materials: TERRA COTTA/STEEL W/BRICK INT.
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE/ORIG. RED AND WHITE SPIRAL BANDS
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: SECOND ORDER, FRESNEL

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

WHITE SHOAL LIGHT TOWER WITH WHITE & RED BANDS

WHITE SHOAL LIGHT TOWER WITHOUT BANDS


WHITEFISH POINT LIGHT

WHITEFISH POINT LIGHT, MICHIGAN
Location: WHITEFISH BAY/LAKE SUPERIOR
Station Established: 1848
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1861
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1970
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: CONCRETE/PILE
Construction Materials: CAST IRON
Tower Shape: SKELETAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE W/RED ROOF
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: THIRD ORDER, FRESNEL 1857

Historical Information:

1847 - $5,000 appropriated to build the lighthouse.
1848 – Construction began on stone tower. The final cost was $8,298.
1849 – The light was exhibited for the first time from the lantern.
1857 – Lamp array changed to 4th order Fresnel lens.
1859 – Bill introduced in Congress requesting the Commerce Committee to investigate the possibility of improving the lighthouse.
1861 – Construction began on pre-fabricated cast-iron tower.
1862 – New tower placed in service.
1871 – Fog signal building constructed.
1893 – Characteristic changed from fixed to flashing.
1895 – Keeper’s house changed to duplex.
1896 – Fog signal building renovated.
1905 – New corrugated iron fog signal building built.
1935 – Fog signal building destroyed in storm.
1936 – Brick fog signal building built.
1937 – Protective piers built along the shoreline.
1968 – Fresnel lens removed and DCB224 aerobeacon installed.
1971 – Station automated.
1973 – Placed on National Register of Historic Places.
1985 – Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum established at site.

Keepers:

1848-1849: James Starr
1849-1851: James B. Van Renselaer
1851-1853: Amos Stiles
1853-1856: William C. Crampton
1856-1859: Belloni McGulpin
1859-1861: Charles Garland
1861-1864: Joseph Kemp
1863-1864: Charles Caldwell (1st assistant)
1864-1868: Thomas Stafford
1864-1868: E. Stafford (1st assistant)
1868-1874: Edward Ashman
1868-1874: Reuben Ashman (1st assistant)
1874-1882: Charles J. Linke
1874-1875: Thomas Tate (acting 1st assistant)
1875-1876: Richard Russell (1st assistant)
1876-1879: Nicholas Gengrew (1st assistant)
1879-1883: Joseph Linke (1st assistant)
1882-1883: Edward Chambers
1883-1903: Charles Kimball
1883-1895: Alonzo Kimball (1st assistant)
1894-1895: Charles Schulz (acting 2nd assistant)
1895-1897: Charles Schulz (1st assistant)
1896-1899: Donald Harrison (2nd assistant)
1897-1901: William Bennett (1st assistant)
1899-1901: James Kay (2nd assistant)
1902: Alfred Evenson (2nd assistant)
1902-1905: James Kay (1st assistant)
1903-1931: Robert Carlson
1903-1904: Charles Price (2nd assistant)
1904: William Mabee (2nd assistant)
1904-1905: Klass Hamringa (2nd assistant)
1905-1910: Herbert Crittenden (1st assistant)
1905-1906: Henry Noel (2nd assistant)
1906: William Duggan (2nd assistant)
1906-1907: John Clarke, Jr. (2nd assistant)
1907: Frederick Burnham (2nd assistant)
1907: Joseph Pigeon (2nd assistant)
1907-1908: William Gates (2nd assistant)
1908-1911: Arthur Clement (2nd assistant)
1910-1913: Frank Mersy (1st assistant)
1911: George Frederick (2nd assistant)
1911-1912: Edward Nordstrom (2nd assistant)
1922-1929: Carl Hagstrom (2nd assistant)
1923-1928: Peter Day (1st assistant)
1929-1939: (first name unknown) Robinson (2nd assistant)
1931-1933: Harry House
1933-1939: Charles Lewis
1936-1938: Wilbur Ranville (1st assistant)
1938-1941: Louis DeRusha (1st assistant)
1939-1940: Joseph Schmitz (2nd assistant)
1939-1941: William Campbell
1941-1947: Samuel Anderson (1st assistant)


Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs (click on light name below to access image): 

WHITEFISH POINT LIGHTHOUSE


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