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.