Sunday, October 22, 2017

HURON ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE

WEST HURON ISLAND/LAKE SUPERIOR
Station Established: 1868
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1877
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1972
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: SURFACE ROCK
Construction Materials: GRANITE/BRICK
Tower Shape: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: NATURAL W/WHITE LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: THREE-ONE-HALF ORDER FRESNEL 1868
Characteristic: FLASH WHITE 1 SECOND, ECLIPSE 2 SECONDS, FLASH WHITE 1 SECOND, ECLIPSE 6 SECONDS
Foghorn:DIAPHONE, AIR, GROUP OF 3 BLASTS EVERY 60 SECONDS, 3 BLASTS 2 SECOND EACH, 2 SILENCES 2 SECONDS EACH, 1 SILENCE 50 SECONDS
Radiobeacon: TRANSMITTED ON 314 KC, GROUPS OF DASH, DOT, DASH

Historical Information:

  • The Huron Islands are a group of seven small islands located in the shipping channel below the Keweenaw Peninsula in Lake Superior. The lighthouse is located on the western-most island.
  • 1860 – The side-wheeler Arctic shipwrecked in May on the eastern-most island of the Huron Islands. Even though no lives were lost, the wreck became the final straw in the battle to get a lighthouse in this location.
  • 1867 – Congress appropriated $17,000 for a lighthouse “somewhere” in the Huron Islands. Surveyors later recommended that it be placed on the western-most island.
  • 1868 – The first lighthouse was lit on October 20.
  • 1881 – Two fog signal buildings were built a half mile away from the lighthouse.
  • 1883 – A new boathouse and dock were constructed. A tramway was built from the dock to the fog signal building.
  • 1890 – Lightning strike damaged the lighthouse.
  • 1898 – Larger fog signal building built.
  • Circa 1930s - Compressed air diaphone fog signal installed. Ship to shore radio installed.
  • Post 1939 – Lighthouse electrified by Coast Guard installed diesel powered generators.
  • 1940s – Coast Guard built new keeper’s house to accommodate the five med stationed there.
  • 1961 – New barracks built near the fog signal building.
  • 1972 – Lighthouse automated.

Keepers:

  • Abel Hall (1868 – 1879)
  • Duncan Cameron (1881 – 1891)
  • Francis Jacker (1892 – 1897)
  • Charles Schulz (1897 – 1900)
  • Frank White (1901 – 1914)
  • James Edwin Collins (1935 – 1951)

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