Friday, December 15, 2017

FORTY MILE POINT LIGHTHOUSE

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Forty Mile Point Lighthouse Links

History of Forty Mile Point Lighthouse

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:

  • The Lighthouse Board decided to create a series of lights along the Michigan shore of Lake Huron. The plan was to situate the lights so mariners would always be in sight of at least one light. Forty Mile Point was nearly in the middle of an eighteen mile stretch of coast line that was dangerously unmarked. The point was named for the forty mile sailing distance from Mackinaw Point.
  • In 1896 construction began on the light station. The structure mirrored the Big Bay Lighthouse which was concurrently being built on Lake Superior. The dwelling was a two story duplex with a tower built into the lake facing wall. Skylights were built into each “apartment” of the duplex so the keeper and the assistant could monitor the light without having to climb the tower.
  • The station was completed as winter was setting in so it wasn’t operational until May 1897.
  • In 1969 the station was automated. Presque Isle County was deeded the property in 1998. While the light still remains an active aid to navigation, the grounds have been opened to the public as a park. One of the apartments in the duplex is a museum and the tower is open for climbing as well.

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