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Northeastern Michigan Lighthouses


Sturgeon Point Light-EF-02

"The Lighthouse"
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The rocky ledge runs far into the sea, and on its outer point, some miles away, the lighthouse lifts its massive masonry, A pillar of fire by night, of cloud by day.

Even at this distance I can see the tides, Upheaving, break unheard along its base, A speechless wrath, that rises and subsides in the white tip and tremor of the face.
And as the evening darkens, lo! how bright, through the deep purple of the twilight air, Beams forth the sudden radiance of its light, with strange, unearthly splendor in the glare!

No one alone: from each projecting cape And perilous reef along the ocean's verge, Starts into life a dim, gigantic shape, Holding its lantern o'er the restless surge.

Like the great giant Christopher it stands Upon the brink of the tempestuous wave, Wading far out among the rocks and sands, The night o'er taken mariner to save.

And the great ships sail outward and return Bending and bowing o'er the billowy swells, And ever joyful, as they see it burn They wave their silent welcome and farewells.

They come forth from the darkness, and their sails Gleam for a moment only in the blaze, And eager faces, as the light unveils Gaze at the tower, and vanish while they gaze.

The mariner remembers when a child, on his first voyage, he saw it fade and sink And when returning from adventures wild, He saw it rise again o'er ocean's brink.
Steadfast, serene, immovable, the same, Year after year, through all the silent night Burns on forevermore that quenchless flame, Shines on that inextinguishable light!

It sees the ocean to its bosom clasp The rocks and sea-sand with the kiss of peace: It sees the wild winds lift it in their grasp, And hold it up, and shake it like a fleece.

The startled waves leap over it; the storm Smites it with all the scourges of the rain, And steadily against its solid form press the great shoulders of the hurricane.

The seabird wheeling round it, with the din of wings and winds and solitary cries, Blinded and maddened by the light within, Dashes himself against the glare, and dies.

A new Prometheus, chained upon the rock, Still grasping in his hand the fire of love, it does not hear the cry, nor heed the shock, but hails the mariner with words of love.

"Sail on!" it says: "sail on, ye stately ships! And with your floating bridge the ocean span; Be mine to guard this light from all eclipse. Be yours to bring man neared unto man.

Charity Island Lighthouse & Bed & Breakfast, 3660 E. Huron Road, Big Charity Island, Au Gres, MI 48703, Phone: (989) 876-8929

Photo-40 Mile Point Lighthouse 250x188Forty Mile Point Light, Lighthouse Park, 7323 US 23 N, Rogers City, MI 49779, Phone: (989) 734-4587.  Forty Mile Point Lighthouse is located on the northern shoreline of Lake Huron in Presque Isle County’s Lighthouse Park, Rogers City, Michigan. At a cost of $25,000, the station was completed by the end of 1896. Its 4th Order Fresnel lens has been a welcoming beacon to sailors since May 1897 and is still operating today. In 1996, the 40 Mile Point Lighthouse Society began restoring the lighthouse, outbuildings and grounds. Several years ago, the pilot house from the Steamer Calcite, built in 1912 and the first self-unloading steamer on the Lakes, was relocated to the reservation. The Society, with the help of many retired Great Lakes sailors, has also restored and preserved this structure. The park is open to the public year-round. The lighthouse and complementary buildings are open noon to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday from Memorial Day weekend through mid-October. Group tours can also be arranged.

gravellyshoalGravelly Shoal Lighthouse, Coastline, Au Gres, MI 48703, Phone: (517)876-8811.  Come see one of Michigan's beautiful lighthouses. Point Lookout juts from the shore on the western shore of Lake Huron, approximately half-way between the mouth of the Saginaw River and Tawas Point. With only five to eighteen feet above it, Gravelly Shoal extends some 3 miles southeasterly from Point Lookout towards Big Charity Island. To help guide down-bound vessels headed for Saginaw Bay through the deeper water lying between the southeast end of Gravelly Shoal and Big Charity Island.  Photograph courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard.

Martin Reef Light, Coastline, Cheboygan, MI 49721, Phone: (231) 436-5580.  Located in Cheboygan county, four miles south of Cadogan point, on Lake Huron. The Martin Reef light can only be viewed by private boat or airplane.

Photo-New Presque Isle Lighthouse 250x188New Presque Isle Lighthouse Park and Museum, 4500 East Grand Lake Road, Presque Isle, MI 49777, Phone: (989) 595-5419. Presque Isle Light Station is a complex of three historic buildings including a lighthouse tower and two keeper's residences. Located on the Lake Huron shoreline near Presque Isle Harbor, the "New Presque Isle Light" is the tallest lighthouse tower accessible by the public on the Great Lakes. Built in 1870, it replaced the 1840 harbor light. The light station complex is part of a 99-acre township park that includes a playground, picnic area, pavilion and nature trails. A gift shop is located in the original keeper's quarters connected to the tower. Visitors, for a nominal fee, may climb the 130 steps to the top of the tower for a spectacular view. An unattached 1905 keeper's dwelling has been painstakingly restored. It is now a museum that provides visitors with an opportunity to learn about local history, as well as how keepers and their families lived. The buildings and grounds are open to the public daily from 9am - 6pm, mid-May through mid-October. The 1905 House is open Memorial Day through Labor Day, 11am- 5pm Tuesday through Saturday, 1 pm - 5 pm Sunday, closed on Monday.

Photo-Old Presque Isle Lighthouse 250x188Old Presque Isle Lighthouse, 5295 E. Grand Lake Rd., Presque Isle, MI 49777, Phone: (989) 595-6979. The Old Presque Isle Lighthouse is one of the oldest surviving lighthouses on the Great Lakes. Built in 1840 by Jeremiah Moors of Detroit, the harbor light operated until 1871 when the keeper transferred to a new, taller, coastal lighthouse a mile to the north. The Old Presque Isle Lighthouse park is a complex composed of two main structures, a keepers dwelling and a light tower. The stone and brick tower measures thirty feet tall and eighteen feet in diameter. Visitors can climb the hand-hewn stone steps for a panoramic view of the Lake Huron shoreline and Presque Isle Harbor. Nearby is the one-story side-gabled brick keeper’s dwelling which serves as a hands-on museum. Here, visitors can blow foghorns and examine other interesting artifacts. They can also ring the bell from the Lansing City Hall clock tower. Tipping the scales at an impressive 3,425 pounds, this bronze behemoth is much bigger than the Liberty Bell, which weighed 2,080 pounds when cast. Visitors may also pose for the perfect photo opportunity with head and hands in an old set of punishment stocks. The buildings and park grounds are open to the public daily, from 9am until 6pm, mid-May through mid-October. A nominal fee is charged for tower climbs.

Poe Reef Light, Coastline, Cheboygan, MI 49721, Phone: (800) 828-6157.  Lighthouse located in Cheboygan county. While a private vessel is undoubtedly the best way to obtain close-up views of this Light, Sheplers Ferry Service out of Mackinaw City offers a number of lighthouse cruises during the summer season. Their "Eastbound Tour" includes passes by Round Island, Bois Blanc Island, Poe Reef and Fourteen Foot Shoal.

Presque Isle Range Light Park, At Presque Isle Harbor, Presque Isle, MI 49777, Phone: (989) 595-6526.  By the time the New Presque Isle Light Tower was erected in 1870, Presque Isle Harbor was a routine stop for many vessels conducting trade along the Lake Huron shoreline. A natural harbor of refuge, Presque Isle also provided safe and welcome shelter from sudden and powerful storms. The New Presque Isle Light Tower alerted the mariners to impending dangers while the two smaller Range Lights guided them safely into harbor. When the lights were aligned, the mariner knew the safest and easiest path into-or out of-the harbor. The rear range light included living quarters for a keeper and family and is now a private residence. Modern, automated lights have replaced historic ones, but most of the original structures remain. The old front range light was relocated to the entrance of the Old Presque Isle Lighthouse grounds, where it stood for many years. It was moved back to near its original location in 2004 and there faithfully restored. The grave of Adeline Sims, wife of range light Keeper William Sims, is located to the side of the keeper's path in a small, fenced-in area. Legend has it that while her husband and fellow Masons held meetings in the rear range light, she overheard and memorized secret passages. To seal her lips, she was made a member. Adeline Sims died an invalid in 1881, and was buried with a Masonic emblem on her gravestone. Sims is the only woman so honored by the Masons.

Spectacle Reef Light, Coastline, Cheboygan, MI 49721, Phone: (231) 436-5580.  Northern Lake Huron. Approximately (16) miles Southeast of Les Cheneaux Islands

Photo-Sturgeon Point Light 250x188Sturgeon Point Lighthouse, Alcona Historical Society, P.O. Box 174, Harrisville, MI 48740, Phone: (989) 724-6297. Sturgeon Point Lighthouse is located five miles north of Harrisville on Lake Huron and was completed in November 1875. The tower is 70 feet, 9 inches tall and is 16 feet in diameter at its base. The light is 3.5 order Fresnel lens made in Paris, France. The light is still maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard. The keeper's house is now a maritime museum which is open to the public seven days a week from Memorial Day to mid-September. The lighthouse tower is open to the public for a small fee. The tower is open from mid-June to mid-September.  The grounds are open all year.

Photo-Tawas Point Lighthouse 250x188Tawas Point Lighthouse, 686 Tawas Beach Road, East Tawas, MI 48730, Phone: (989) 362-5041. Tawas point Lighthouse, in operation since 1876, and now part of Tawas Point State Park, is a fascinating attraction for maritime buffs. Tawas Point is also a mecca for birdwatchers, especially in the migration seasons of spring and fall. Tawas Point also offers spectacular views of sunrises over Lake Huron and sunsets over Tawas Bay. Guided tours are available. Also, a gift shop.


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