Friday, August 18, 2017

GRAND ISLAND HARBOR RANGE REAR LIGHTHOUSE

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:

  • The Grand Island Range Lights were first lit in 1868. The front range light was a wooden pyramid structure with a sixth order Fresnel lens. The rear range sat 500 feet behind, on a tower atop a keeper’s dwelling and also displayed a sixth order Fresnel lens.
  • By 1914 the wooden structures were rotted beyond repair and were replaced. The new rear light sat atop a 64 foot tower, the upper 32 feet were part of a tower relocated from Vidal Shoals. The front range light was 23 foot tall iron mast and was now 750 feet in front of the rear range light.
  • The original Fresnel lenses were replaced in 1939 with modern optics. The rear range light has weathered time very well but the front range did not fair as well. In 1968 it was replaced with a tubular steel structure. It is sometimes referred to as a “D9” derived from the Coast Guard district that designed it.
  • The range lights are sometimes called the Bay Furnace Range Lights. The Bay Furnace Company operated a blast furnace in the area.

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