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Upper Peninsula Lighthouses

Photo-IroquoisPoint-Winter-Penrose

Point Iroquois Lighthouse

"The Lighthouse"
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The rocky ledge runs far into the sea, and on its outer point, some miles away, the lighthouse lifts its massive masonry, A pillar of fire by night, of cloud by day.

Even at this distance I can see the tides, Upheaving, break unheard along its base, A speechless wrath, that rises and subsides in the white tip and tremor of the face.

And as the evening darkens, lo! how bright, through the deep purple of the twilight air, Beams forth the sudden radiance of its light, with strange, unearhly splendor in the glare!

No one alone: from each projecting cape And perilous reef along the ocean's verge, Starts into life a dim, gigantic shape, Holding its lantern o'er the restless surge.

Like the great giant Christopher it stands Upon the brink of the tempestuous wave, Wading far out among the rocks and sands, The night o'er taken mariner to save.

And the great ships sail outward and return Bending and bowing o'er the billowy swells, And ever joyful, as they see it burn They wave their silent welcome and farewells.

They come forth from the darkness, and their sails Gleam for a moment only in the blaze, And eager faces, as the light unveils Gaze at the tower, and vanish while they gaze.

The mariner remembers when a child, on his first voyage, he saw it fade and sink And when returning from adventures wild, He saw it rise again o'er ocean's brink.

Steadfast, serene, immovable, the same, Year after year, through all the silent night Burns on forevermore that quenchless flame, Shines on that inextinguishable light!

It sees the ocean to its bosum clasp The rocks and sea-sand with the kiss of peace: It sees the wild winds lift it in their grasp, And hold it up, and shake it like a fleece.

The startled waves leap over it; the storm Smites it with all the scourges of the rain, And steadily against its solid form press the great shoulders of the hurricane.

The sea-bird wheeling round it, with the din of wings and winds and solitary cries, Blinded and maddened by the light within, Dashes himself against the glare, and dies.

A new Prometheus, chained upon the rock, Still grasping in his hand the fire of love, it does not hear the cry, nor heed the shock, but hails the mariner with words of love.

"Sail on!" it says: "sail on, ye stately ships! And with your floating bridge the ocean span; Be mine to guard this light from all eclipse. Be yours to bring man neared unto man.

A special thank you to Pam Wilson, Penrose Outdoor Photography, and Michele Maki for giving us permission to use some of their lighthouse photographs to illustrate this page. Click on their names in the photo credits to visit their web sites. Framed prints of the lighthouse photographs provided Penrose Outdoor Photography are available for purchase through their web site.

Lighthouses

Au Sable Light Station, Highway 28 to Highway 77, Grand Marais, MI 49839, Phone: (906) 387-3700. The AuSable Light Station is listed on the national register of historic places. Built in 1874 to warn mariners of a dangerous reef off of the AuSable Point. Now automated, the light station is being restored to its 1910 appearance. Guided tours are offered July and Aug., the grounds are always open, access is limited by snow from Nov.- April.

Big Bay Point Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast, 3 Lighthouse Road, Big Bay, MI 49808, Phone: (906) 345-9957.  One of the few surviving resident lighthouses in the country, our guests enjoy half-mile of Lake Superior shore, viewing tower, sauna, library and fireplaces. Enjoy biking, waterfalls, skiing and snowmobiling nearby. Summer lighthouse tours available.

Cedar River Lighthouse, Highway 35, Escanaba, MI 49829, Phone: (906) 786-2192.  While originally proposed as a coast light, the Lighthouse Board determined that the area would be better served by a beacon on the pierhead currently under construction by the Army Corps of Topographical Engineers.

Copper Harbor Lighthouse and Tours, Fort Wilkins Historic State Park, Copper Harbor, MI 49918, Phone: (906) 289-4215.  A narrated cruise through Copper Harbor's once bustling port takes you to one of Michigan's oldest lighthouses. Restored to its original 1866 beauty overlooking the majesty of Lake Superior, you are met by a staff member from the Michigan Dept. of History who will assist you through the interior complete with furnishings from the 1866 era. Please allow one and a half hours for the round-trip tour of the Lighthouse, new Maritime Museum, with easy walking paths leading to more historical artifacts and Michigan's first commercial copper mine site. Exhibits in the 1848 lightkeeper's dwelling show why the light tower was built, how the lights worked, who maintained the light and the overall context of the site. The 1866 lighthouse features exhibits that recreate the lives of keepers and their families during the early 20th century. Accessible only by ferry from the Copper Harbor Marina mid-May thru Mid October.

Crisp Point Lighthouse, PO Box 229, Paradise, MI 49768, Phone: (906) 492-3206. Located approximately 12 to 13 miles west of Whitefish Point in a remote area in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It was constructed in 1903 and 1904 and became operational on May 5, 1904. It was decommissioned in 1993. The lighthouse was once crowned with a fixed 360 degree, red, fourth order light and stands 58 feet from its base to the ventilator ball of the lantern. Originally this site contained a lifesaving station and quarters, a two family brick light keeper's house with basement, a brick fog signal building, an oil house, two frame barns, a boat house and landing, a tramway, a lighthouse tower, and a brick service room entrance building. Today all that remains is the lighthouse tower and part of the brick service room. Most of the service room was washed away by Lake Superior in November of 1996. In January of 1998, the Crisp Point Lighthouse Historical Society had stone placed in front of the lighthouse tower to protect it from Lake Superior.

DeTour Reef Light, PO Box 307, Drummond Island, MI 49726, Phone: (906) 493-6609. Located in northern Lake Huron, this active aid to navigation is one mile offshore at the far eastern end of Michigan's Upper Peninsula between DeTour Village and Drummond Island. It is the only crib based Light to offer tours. The narrated tours are limited to six persons per tour, assuring a personalized and thorough inspection of this fascinating lighthouse. LIGHTHOUSE TOURS - Treat yourself, your family or friends and enjoy a 15 minute ride on a licensed charter boat from Drummond Island to the historic DeTour Reef Light for a memorable two hour, guided, narrated, educational and entertaining tour of the lighthouse. Learn and appreciate what it was like to be a keeper on this still active (but automated) Great Lakes' lighthouse. Climb the circular stairway to the top of the tower and view passing freighters through the 1861 lantern that was originally located on DeTour Point. LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER PROGRAM - Exciting opportunities for lighthouse enthusiasts offered where keepers are in residence at the lighthouse from Friday evening through Sunday evening. Assist with light maintenance and tour visitors. Keepers provide their own linens and meals. Four keepers are in residence. A keeper application can be downloaded from www.DRLPS.com. Click on Lighthouse Keeper Program.

Eagle Harbor Lighthouse and Museum, M 26, Eagle Harbor, MI 49950, Phone: (906) 289-4990. This light is located 32 miles northeast of Houghton and was built in 1851 as an octagonal brick tower with an attached dwelling. A fog signal building was added in 1895. It is still an active light and the keeper's dwelling is operated as a public museum. The Keweenaw County Historical Society operates a fascinating nautical and historical museum in the lighthouse and surrounding buildings.

Eagle River Lighthouse, Coastline, Eagle River, MI 49950, Phone: (906) 337-4579.  Built in 1855 at the south end of the Eagle River. It is now a private residence.

East Channel Lighthouse, Hiawatha National Forest, Grand Island, Munising, MI 49862, Phone: (906)786-4062.  Built in 1863, this lighthouse sits on the southeast shore of Grand Island on private property and was automated in 1913. The lighthouses function was replaced by the Munising Range Lights.

Fourteen Mile Point Lighthouse, Lake Superior, Ontonagon, MI 49953, Phone: (906) 884-4735.  Fourteen Mile Point Light Station is located on private property some 14 miles east of Ontonagon. The old trail the keepers used has long since overgrown and has become impenetrable. While views of the station can be had from a boat, we ask that anyone attempting to photograph the station honor the privacy rights of the owners, and do so from offshore. Special arrangement can be made through the Historical Society at (906) 884-6165.

Grand Island North Lighthouse, Grand Island, Munising, MI 49862, Phone: (906) 387-2138. On the northwest point of Grand Island. Since the Grand Island North Lighthouse is on private property, it cannot be viewed from land. Also, its location atop the cliff precludes viewing from the water, leaving views from the air the only possibility.

Grand Marais Harbor Range Lighthouse, Coastline, Grand Marais, MI 49839, Phone: (906) 494-2381. Located in Alger County at the outer end of pier. Lighthouse is on private property so viewing is from water only. The Grand Marais Historic Society operates the Lighthouse Keepers House and Museum.

Granite Island Lighthouse, Coastline, Marquette, MI 49855, Phone: (906) 228-7749.  Located in Marquette county on the northwest tip of granite island in Lake Superior.

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum & Whitefish Point Light Station, 18335 North Whitefish Point Road, Paradise, MI 49768, Phone: (906) 492-3747.

Gull Rock Light, Coastline, Copper Harbor, MI 49918, Phone: (906) 337-4579.  This lighthouse must have been one of the loneliest assignments a Lake Superior lighthouse keeper would have to endure. The island is so small that during stormy weather waves wash over the entire area, leaving only the house and its square brick tower to withstand the forces of nature. 

Jacobsville Lighthouse Inn, 38741 Jacobs Street, Lake Linden, MI 49945, Phone: (906) 523-4137.  A quiet retreat like and romantic setting to relax and unwind. Honeymoon, anniversary, scenery, nature, enjoy the beautiful quiet setting on the big lake or just love lighthouses. Come and enjoy this old historic setting, Built in 1869 and Located on Lake Superior on Keweenaw Bay of Lake Superior. Right now Rooms are available for you to stay in the old keepers quarters or in a new out building opening summer of 2007. See our web site for pricing and more details. Opened all year round, take walks, ride a bike, go Kyaking or boating. There is a park with a white sand beach and a boat ramp nearby! Check our small gift shop with items specific to this lighthouse and the history of the area.

Lansing Shoal Lighthouse, Coastline, Gulliver, MI 49840, Phone: (906) 341-5010. Located in Mackinac County about 9 miles north of Beaver Island, this light was built in 1928. In 1985 it was converted to Solar Power, it's third order fresnel lens were removed and put on display in the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing.

Manistique East Breakwater Lighthouse, Coastline, Manistique, MI 49854, Phone: (906) 341-5010. Located in Schoolcraft county on the end of the east breakwater.

Manitou Island Lighthouse, Manitou Island, Copper Harbor, MI 49918, Phone: (906) 337-4579.  Built in 1850 on an island at the eastern tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula, this is the oldest iron skeletal light tower on the Great Lakes. This was a particularly difficult post, isolated and very exposed. Keepers seldom served more than three years.

 

Mendota Light Station, PO Box 225, Bete Gris, MI 49950, Phone: (248) 288-4410.  Welcome to the Bete Gris Light Station. This is a working lighthouse with its original fourth order Fresnel Lens. Built in 1895, this lighthouse and its reservation remain unchanged from that time. Plans are underway to completely restore all the out-buildings. We have put together one of the most detailed collections of original maps of the Great Lakes and the Keweenaw Peninsula ever amassed.

Menominee North Pier Light Station, Harbor Drive, Menominee, MI 49858, Phone: (906) 963-2679.  The first light was built in Menominee in 1877 to guide ships to the Menominee River. The current tower was built in 1927. The 34-foot tower was painted white and integrated with an attached fog signal building. The light was automated in 1972 and at that time the iron catwalk was removed from the pier. The tower was then painted red and relocated to a concrete platform in the center of the crib. The octagonal cast iron lantern room once housed a fourth order Fresnel lens. Today, a 300mm optic lens operates.

Ontonagon Lighthouse, 422 River Street, Ontonagon, MI 49953, Phone: (906) 884-6165.  Located in Ontonagon County on the south bank of Ontonagon River. Daily tours given, call for times.

Peninsula Point Lighthouse and Surrounding Area, Hiawatha National Forest, Country Road 513, Rapid River, MI 49878, Phone: (906) 474-6442.  Built in 1864 to aid sailing ships to avoid dangerous shoals hidden off the channels. The 1 1/2 story brick home was destroyed in 1959 by fire, but the 40 foot light tower is open. Also, a hiking trail through the wooded shoreline offers down to earth wildlife viewing. Commonly seen are ducks, geese, gulls and shorebirds. During the migration seasons look for monarch butterflies, spring warblers and blue herons. Restrooms and picnic areas are available.

Point Iroquois Lighthouse, Hiawatha National Forest, 6 Mile Road (Lakeshore Drive), Brimley, MI 49715, Phone: (906) 437-5272. This lighthouse was first illuminated in 1857 and it's fourth order Fresnel lens shone over one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world from the entrance to the St. Mary's River and the Soo Locks. The 65 ft. tower is open to the public during certain viewing hours or from top of the sandy shoreline.

Portage Lake Lower Entry Lighthouse, Coastline at Jacobsville, Lake Linden, MI 49945, Phone: (906) 337-4579.  Built in 1930, it is located at the end of the long breakwall at McLain State Park, this light sits on a square concrete base that also holds a foghorn building. Diamond-shaped windows in the lantern room gives the black iron parapet a distinctive appearance, and a red cap gives it color. The pier leading out to the light makes for a lovely walk, but has no fence or railing to mar your view of the beautiful bay that surrounds you.

Portage Lake Upper Entry Lighthouse, McLain State Park, Hancock, MI 49930, Phone: (906) 337-4579. Located at the outer end of the east breakwater on Portage Lake at McLain state park.

Rock Harbor Light, Isle Royale National Park, Isle Royale, MI 49921, Phone: (906) 482-0984. Established in 1855 and the tower was constructed in 1855, this light is made of brick / stone and has a white with black lantern. It was deactivated in 1879. Self guided tours and the tower is open daily during the summer months. Call (906) 487-7153 for hours.

Round Island Lighthouse, Hiawatha National Forest, Coastline of Lake Huron, Mackinac Island, MI 49757, Phone: (906) 847-3783.  Built in 1895 for the dangerous shoals around the channels between Mackinac Island and Round Island, this lighthouse was damaged but restored in 1995. The Round Island Lighthouse is also well-known for those that are familiar with the movie "Somewhere in Time" with Christopher Reeve & Jane Seymour. It was automated in 1924 and decommissioned in 1947.

Sand Hills Lighthouse Inn, Five Mile Point Road, PO Box 414, Ahmeek, MI 49901, Phone: (906) 337-1744. Located on the Keweenaw Peninsula of the U.P. this romantic Victorian Inn has eight lovely rooms, all with private baths and is widely known for its warm gracious hospitality and gourmet breakfasts. The Inn is a totally smoke free, adult environment with no pets and has 3000 ft of private Lake Superior shoreline. We offer one daily lighthouse tour. Call for more information and time.

Sand Point Lighthouse, 16 Water Plant Road, Escanaba, MI 49829, Phone: (906) 786-3763.  Established in 1867 by the National Lighthouse Service, Sand Point's light has guided ships through squalls and shoals throughout its colorful history. A fire in 1886 destroyed the structure, but the lighthouse was rebuilt and served the sailing public until its decommissioning by the Coast Guard in 1939. Today an electronic club light guides boats into the harbor, and the lighthouse has been restored as a maritime museum.

St. Helena Island Lighthouse, Saint Helena Island, Saint Ignace, MI 49781, Phone: (231) 436-5580.  This lighthouse was built in 1873 and it was automated in 1923. In 1986 the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association along with local Boy Scout troops started preservation. This lighthouse is a constant reminder of the many small vessels that took refuge in the natural harbor on the north side of St. Helena Island.

Seul Choix Point Lighthouse, 672 N. West Gulliver Lake Road, Gulliver, MI 49840, Phone: (906) 283-3183.  This conical brick light tower was originally built in 1895 at a cost of $18,500, it stands at 78'9". It produces a lens focal plane 80' above the mean low water level of Lake Michigan. The tower is surmounted by a 10-sided cast iron lantern. The lantern originally held a third order Fresnal lens, but is now fitted with a modern airport beacon lens. Tower tours are available and visitors are welcome to enjoy the surrounding grounds, which includes a picnic area, walking paths, and public boat launch.

Lighthouse Preservation Groups

Big Sable Point Lighthouse Keepers Association

The Friends of Point Betsie Lighthouse, P. O. Box 601, Frankfort, MI 49635,
(231) 352-4915, E-Mail: info@pointbetsie.orgGreat Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association, (313) 436-9150

Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum

Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival, 7406 US 23 North - Suite C, Alpena MI 49707

Great Lakes Lighthouse Museum Initiative, (231)436-3333

Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy

Michigan Lighthouse Project, Michigan Preservation Office and Michigan Register of Historic Places, (248) 625-8181

Sturgeon Point Lighthouse (Alcona Historical Society)

Waugoshance Lighthouse Preservation Society, P. O. Box 1061, Mackinaw City, MI 49701, E-Mail: volunteer@waugoshance.org

 

 

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