Lighthouses Near Presque Isle
Sunrise Side

With 3,200 miles of shoreline and one of the nation's most active waterways, it's no wonder that Michigan claims more lighthouses than any other state in the country.

Explore our neighboring lighthouses and enjoy learning Great Lakes history.

Michigan Lighthouses Map

Lighthouses in Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Sunrise on Lake Huron with historical Keeper's House.

1905 Keeper's House

Photographer: Katie Taylor

From Presque Isle driving south

Middle Island Lighthouse, red and white striped,  on a summer day.

Middle Island Lighthouse

Halfway between Thunder Bay Island and Presque Isle 

Middle Island Light Station is located in Lake Huron, halfway between Thunder Bay Island and Presque Isle. There are 7 buildings on the island, including a light tower, Keepers Quarters, an Oil House, Tool Garage, a Fog Horn building and two brick privies. The light is 78 feet above low water and can be seen for 17 miles and can be seen from a boat. 

https://www.visitalpena.com/visit-alpena/middle-island-lighthouse/

Little Red Lighthouse

Alpena, Michigan 49707

Little Red is the only lighthouse within the City of Alpena, and believed to be the only lighthouse of this type in the United States. The station was built of wood in 1877, rebuilt of wood in 1888 and finally constructed of steel in 1914. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. An automated active aid to navigation, the Alpena Light originally housed a Fourth Order Fresnel lens. 

https://www.visitalpena.com/visit-alpena/little-red-lighthouse/

Little Red Lighthouse in Alpena Michigan with a sunrise being reflected on Lake Huron.
Thunder Bay Lighthouse and the surrounding buildings.

Thunder Bay Island  Lighthouse

Alpena, Michigan 49707

In 1846, the first store in Alpena County was built on the island to support a fishing community, which harvested twelve thousand barrels of fish. At this time, 160 inhabitants called the island home, and operated a fleet of 31 fishing boats. 

The first light tower established on the island was constructed in 1832, making it the second oldest light tower still standing on Lake Huron. Jesse Muncy was the station's first keeper, and he kept the light to warn mariners of the dangerous limestone reef extending from the island to the north point of Thunder Bay.

The original tower was constructed of stone, stood forty feet tall, with a diameter of twenty-one feet at the base and over eleven feet at the top. The tower was raised ten feet in 1857 to improve its visibility, and the focal plane increased to sixty-three feet above lake level.

The present keeper's dwelling, which was erected in 1868, stands 28 feet by 43 feet in plan, and is connected to the tower by a covered walkway. The steam fog signal building was established in 1893.

The light station was managed by the US Lighthouse Service until 1939, when responsibility for the nation's aids to navigation was transferred to the US Coast Guard. The station was automated in 1983, and the Coast Guard crew reassigned. The station was placed on the National Historic Register in 1984, and sat empty and subject to the worst that Lake Huron and vandals could throw at it until 1996. 

https://thunderbayislandlight.org/

Sturgeon Point Lighthouse

6071 Point Road, Harrisville, Michigan 48740 

In 1876 the U. S. Life Saving Service established a Life Saving Station at the Sturgeon Point Lighthouse. This station provided around-the-clock rescue capability for vessels in distress. With the formation of the U. S. Coast Guard in 1915, Sturgeon Point became a Coast Guard station. The lighthouse was electrified and automated in 1939 and the last personnel left in 1941. The Coast Guard buildings were subsequently destroyed, however, the lighthouse itself survived but was severely vandalized.

In 1982 the Alcona Historical Society leased the lighthouse and began a three - year restoration project. The interior of the keeper's house was completely restored, and the buildings were painted. Almost all of the work was done by volunteers, directed by Floyd Benghauser. The lighthouse is of masonry construction on a limestone block foundation. The tower is 70 feet, 9 inches tall and is 16 feet in diameter at its base. The light is a 3.5 order Fresnel lens made in Paris, France. The Fresnel lens is still in the tower but is no longer in operation The Coast Guard does monitor a LED light to assist recreational watercraft. The keeper's house is now a maritime museum which is open to the public on weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day Weekend. The lighthouse tower is open to climb periodically throughout the summer season. Call us at 989.724.6153 for details. The grounds are open all year.

http://www.alconahistoricalsociety.com/index.php/admission

Sturgeon Point Lighthouse and Keeper's House on a summer day.
Tawas Point Lighthouse and Keeper's House with a clear blue sky on a summer day.

Tawas Point Lighthouse

686 Lighthouse Road, East Tawas, Michigan 48730 (in Tawas Point State Park) 

The Tawas Point Lighthouse, built in 1876, is equipped with a Frensnel lens built in Paris in 1880. It replaced the original Ottawa Point Lighthouse located near the present campground playscape. The lighthouse stands 70 feet above Lake Huron and the walls at the base are 6 feet thick. The Coast Guard station adjacent to the park on Lakeview Drive was also built in 1876 and is the only surviving example of the First Series Life Saving Stations built on the Great Lakes. Although it has been remodeled several times, the station serves as the sole representative of a true Victorian-era style station built on the Great Lakes. In 1991 the Coast Guard built a new station just outside the park entrance and decommissioned the old station.

The Tawas Point Lighthouse museum store is located on the lighthouse grounds and is open May-October.

The lighthouse is open for tours on weekends Memorial Day through Labor Day. The tour offers a unique opportunity to walk to the top of the tower for a spectacular view of Tawas Point. Tickets are available at the museum store. For tour information please call 989.362.5658. 

https://www.tawaslighthousefriends.com/home

From Presque Isle driving north

Forty Mile Point Lighthouse

7323 US 23 North, Lighthouse Park, Rogers City, Michigan 49779 

In 1889, the Lighthouse Board recommended that $25,000 be appropriated for construction of a new light and fog signal near Hammond Bay on Lake Huron. Congress finally authorized the project in 1893, but failed to provide the necessary appropriation. The Lighthouse Board requested funding in its 1894 annual report and Congress authorized the funds as part of the Sundry Civil Appropriations Act. Major Milton B. Adams, Eleventh District Engineer selected and surveyed a site approximately 40 miles southeast of Old Mackinaw Point and 40 miles northwest of Thunder Bay.

The property, over 22 acres in all, was purchased for $200.00. Plans and specifications for the station were approved in February 1896 and contracts for the ironwork for the large fog whistles were awarded soon afterwards. When the materials arrived at the Detroit depot, they were loaded aboard the lightship, Amaranth, and arrived at 40 Mile Point on July 5, 1896. 

Work began immediately to construct a wood-framed building that would house the work crew during construction of the lighthouse and later serve as a barn for the keeper's horses. This structure still stands today and has been restored for use as a gift shop. The main lighthouse structure models the Big Bay lighthouse which was being constructed simultaneously near Marquette in the Upper Peninsula. 

Construction was completed by November 12, 1896, but winter was at hand and it was too late in the year to activate the light.  The light was first lit on April 30, 1897

The park is open to the public year-round. The lighthouse museum, pilot house and gift shop are open 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Tuesday through Saturday - Sunday 12am to 4pm - closed on Mondays, beginning Memorial Day weekend through mid-October. Admission is free.  

https://fortymilepointlighthouse.org/

Forty Mile Point Lighthouse and surrounding buildings.
Cheboygan River Front Range Lighthouse

Cheboygan River Front Range Light

606 Water Street, Cheboygan, Michigan 49721 

In 1870 Cheboygan had a population of approximately 800 and a growing number of lumber mills along the shores of the Cheboygan River. The Army Corps of Engineers conducted their first survey of the Cheboygan River that year to evaluate the possibility of improving navigation within the river. Determining that the channel could be enlarged to a width of 200 feet and a depth of 14 feet, Congress responded to the Army Corps of Engineers recommendation with an appropriation of $160,000 to begin the improvement the following year. After dredging the river to the required depths, a free-standing "dummy" crib was placed to mark the outer end of the channel.

Anticipating an increase in vessel traffic entering the improved harbor, Congress responded to the Lighthouse Board’s request for funds with an appropriation of $10,000 for the construction of a set of range lights in the river in July 1876. However, with the Corps of Engineers improvements still in progress, work on the range lights did not begin until 1880, four years later. The station was illuminated for the first time on the night of September 30, 1880. 

Volunteer keepers open the lighthouse to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursdays - Sundays from Memorial Day through Labor Day and Weekends after Labor Day to October. We are also happy to open the lighthouse to tour groups at any other time. Please contact the GLLKA office at 231.436.5580 for additional information.  

https://www.gllka.org/cheboygan-river-front-range-light

Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse

526 N Huron Avenue, Mackinaw City, Michigan 49701 

In 1870 Cheboygan had a population of approximately 800 and a growing number of lumber mills along the shores of the Cheboygan River. The Army Corps of Engineers conducted their first survey of the Cheboygan River that year to evaluate the possibility of improving navigation within the river. Determining that the channel could be enlarged to a width of 200 feet and a depth of 14 feet, Congress responded to the Army Corps of Engineers recommendation with an appropriation of $160,000 to begin the improvement the following year. After dredging the river to the required depths, a free-standing "dummy" crib was placed to mark the outer end of the channel.

Anticipating an increase in vessel traffic entering the improved harbor, Congress responded to the Lighthouse Board’s request for funds with an appropriation of $10,000 for the construction of a set of range lights in the river in July 1876. However, with the Corps of Engineers improvements still in progress, work on the range lights did not begin until 1880, four years later. The station was illuminated for the first time on the night of September 30, 1880. 

https://www.mackinacparks.com/parks-and-attractions/old-mackinac-point-lighthouse/

Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse with an American flag flying.
McGulpin Point Lighthouse and surrounding buildings, American flag flying from flagpole.

McGulpin Point Lighthouse

500 Headlands Road, Mackinaw City, Michigan 49770 

Emmet County owns the historic McGulpin Point Lighthouse, which protected shipping on the Straits of Mackinac against storms, fog and rocks between 1869 and 1906. It was purchased by the county in 2008, which reopened McGulpin to the public with a gala celebration on May 30, 2009.

The site is approximately 10 acres and is a half mile north of the Headlands. It includes 336 feet of shoreline on the Straits with a commanding view of the Mackinac Bridge. It was purchased for $710,000 from the Peppler family.

Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily from mid-May through September. In October, the lighthouse and gift shop are  open daily through October 29, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The lighthouse and gift shop will close for the cold season on Oct. 29, 2022. The park grounds around the lighthouse and down to the Straits of Mackinac, including a shoreline view of Mackinac Bridge, is always open to the public. 

https://www.mcgulpinpoint.org/

FacebookInstagramPinterestTwitter

© Copyright 2024
Presque Isle Township Museum Society
All Rights Reserved