Point Iroquois Light

Point Iroquois Light


caption = Point Iroquois light -- historical U.S.C.G. photo
location = Whitefish Bay, Michigan
coordinates = coord|46|29.021|N|84|37.541|W|
yearlit = 1870
automated =
yeardeactivated = 1963
foundation = Cement
construction = Brick
shape = Conical
marking = White tower/Black parapet & Lantern
height = Tower - convert|65|ft|m
elevation = Focal plane - convert|72|ft|m
lens = Fourth Order Fresnel lens
currentlens = None
range = convert|15|mi|km
characteristic = flash every 30 seconds
owner = Bay Mills/Brimley Historical Research Society

Point Iroquois Light is a lighthouse on a bluff in the U.S. state of Michigan above Whitefish Bay that marks entrance to the St. Marys River, the connection between Lake Superior and other Great Lakes.

Point Iroquois includes a larger geographic area than the lightstation site. It was named for the Iroquois warriors massacred there by the Ojibwe in 1662. Native Algonkians called the point "Nadouenigoning," composed of the words "Nadone" (Iroquois) and "Akron" (bone).


In 1855 a wood and rubble stone lighthouse was built and commenced operations on Jun 18, 1856. It was a 45 foot tall rubble stone tower with a wooden lantern deck, outfitted with a flashing white fourth order Fresnel lens. Being built on the Point's highest ground, it had a 63 ft. focal plane, and a range of visibility of 10 nautical miles. It was then torn down in 1870. [ [http://www.terrypepper.com/Lights/superior/iroquois/iroquois.htm Terry Pepper, Seeing the Light, Point Iroquois Light.] ] [ [http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/hiawatha/recreation/lighthouses/point_iroquois_light/index.php National Park Service, Hiawatha National Forest, Iroquois Light and Museum.] ]

Following the Civil War, the United States Lighthouse Board went into a lighthouse (and life saving station) building boom on the Great Lakes. ["See the chronology at "cite web|url=http://clarke.cmich.edu/lighthouses/index.htm |author= Wagner, John L. |title="Beacons Shining in the Night: The Lighthouses of Michigan" | publisher=Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University]

In 1870, the first lighthouse was torn down; the present Cape Cod style white brick lighthouse was built and ran continuously for 93 years, guiding ships in and out of the Soo Locks. It has a 65 foot tower height, and a focal plane that is variously reported as 68 feet or 72 feet. [Compare, [http://www.cr.nps.gov/maritime/light/iroquois.htm National Park Service, Inventory of Historic Light Stations] and [http://www.terrypepper.com/Lights/lists/focalheight.htm Terry Pepper, Seeing the Light, Focal Height of Lighthouses] .]

In 1885, a bell tower was erected, which incorporated a Stevens automatic bell striking machine. [ [http://www.terrypepper.com/Lights/closeups/fogsignal/stevens/stevens.htm Stevens Automatic Bell Striker, Terry Pepper, Seeing the Light.] ] In 1890, the bell tower was torn down, and a fog signal building was built with steam whistles installed. In 1926 they were replaced by Type F diaphone fog horns. [ [http://www.terrypepper.com/Lights/superior/iroquois/iroquois.htm Terry Pepper, Seeing the Light, Point Iroquois Light.] ]

In 1902, a two-floor building was added to the 1871 building, providing living space for another assistant keeper, bringing the staff to three Lighthouse keepers. At one time, the station was manned by a Head Keeper and two Assistant Keepers. The children of the keepers and local fisherman were enough to populate a local school on the grounds for a period. Other buildings on the site included: an assistant keeper's quarters, fog signal building (now gone), three barns, a chicken house, boathouse, oil house, and well and well house. [ [http://lighthouse.boatnerd.com/gallery/Superior/Pt-Iroquois.htm Wobser, David and Colt Edin, Point Iroquois Light, Boatnerd.com.] ]

The station was deactivated in 1962, replaced by the Canadian operated Gros Gap Reef, an automatic buoy-type beacon in the channel.

The land and lighthouse are now part of the Hiawatha National Forest and the light is a Marine Museum. Restoration efforts are being conducted under the auspices of the Bay Mills/Brimley Historical Research Society, to whom the site is leased. [ [http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/hiawatha/recreation/lighthouses/point_iroquois_light/index.php National Park Service, Hiawatha National Forest, Iroquois Light and Museum] ]

In 1963, the original lens was sent to the Smithsonian Institution. A fourth order Fresnel lens taken from Martin Reef Light is on display in the Lighthouse keeper's house. [ [http://www.cr.nps.gov/maritime/light/iroquois.htm National Park Service, Inventory of Historic Light Stations.] ] [ [http://www.terrypepper.com/Lights/huron/martin_reef/index.htm Terry Pepper, Seeing the Light, Martin Reef Light.] ]

The double residence houses volunteers who work on the lighthouse restoration and give tours of the museum, gift shop and tower. [ [http://lighthouse.boatnerd.com/gallery/Superior/Pt-Iroquois.htm Wobser, David and Colt Edin, Point Iroquois Light, Boatnerd.com.] ]

eeing this light

*The tower and museum are open to the public from Memorial Day through October 15. Operations are seven days per week. Everyday from 10.00am to 5.00pm, seven days a week. Weekends, Friday through Sunday, they reopen from 7.00 p.m. to 9.00pm.
* then turn left onto 6 Mile Rd which leads to the lighthouse about 7.5 miles down the road.

See also

*Lighthouses in the United States.
*Great Lakes Storm of 1913 and Shipwrecks of the 1913 Great Lakes storm.

External links

* [http://marinas.com/view/lighthouse/754 Aerial photos, Point Iroquois Light, marinas.com.]
* [http://www.baymillsbrimleyhistory.org/contact.html Bay Mills/Brimley Historical Research Society (Lots of photographs of the lighthouse).]
* [http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080520/SPECIAL01/80519001 Detroit News, Interactive map on Michigan lighthouses.]
* [http://www.exploringthenorth.com/ptiroquois/iroquois.html Exploring the North]
* [http://hunts-upguide.com/bay_mills_point_iroquois_light_station___museum.html Hunts' Guide to Michigan's UPPER PENINSULA: Point Iroquois Light Station & Museum]
* [http://www.lighthousesrus.org/Maps/GL/SuperiorEast.htm Interactive map of lighthouses in eastern Lake Superior.]
* [http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/lighthouse/miup.htm Lighthouse Digest, Michigan Upper Peninsula lights (University of North Carolina).]
* [http://www.cr.nps.gov/maritime/light/iroquois.htm National Park Service, Inventory of Historic Light Stations.]
* [http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/hiawatha/recreation/lighthouses/point_iroquois_light/index.php National Park Service, Hiawatha National Forest, Iroquois Light and Museum.]
* [http://www.terrypepper.com/Lights/superior/iroquois/iroquois.htm Terry Pepper, Seeing the Light, Point Iroquois Light.]
* United States Coast Guard's [http://www.uscg.mil/history/weblighthouses/LHMI.asp 's complete list of Michigan lights, with photographs and descriptions including Point Iroquois Light.]
* [http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pubs/LightLists/V7COMPLETE.PDF Volume 7, US Coast Guard Lightlist] in pdf.
* [http://lighthouse.boatnerd.com/gallery/Superior/Pt-Iroquois.htm Wobser, David and Colt Edin, Point Iroquois Light, Boatnerd.com.]

Further reading

*Bacon, Betty. "Lighthouse Memories—Summer [Point Iroquois] ." The Keeper’s Log (Summer 1987), pp. 17-19; "Fall," (Fall 1987), pp. 18-21; "Winter," (Winter 1988), pp. 8-11; "Spring," (Spring 1988), pp. 12-15.
* [http://www.michiganlighthouse.org/bibliography.html Bibliography on Michigan lighthouses.]
* Hyde, Charles K., and Ann and John Mahan. "The Northern Lights: Lighthouses of the Upper Great Lakes." Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1995. ISBN 0814325548 ISBN 9780814325544.
* [http://www.mackinac.org/article.aspx?ID=3991 LaFave, Michael (Mackinac Center), "Privatization Shines" (article on the general subject of privatization of lighthouses, with a large section specifically on] ] Granite Island.
* Oleszewski, Wes, "Great Lakes Lighthouses, American and Canadian: A Comprehensive Directory/Guide to Great Lakes Lighthouses", (Gwinn, Michigan: Avery Color Studios, Inc., 1998) ISBN 0-932212-98-0.
* Penrod, John, "Lighthouses of Michigan", (Berrien Center, Michigan: Penrod/Hiawatha, 1998) ISBN 9780942618785 ISBN 9781893624238.
* Penrose, Laurie and Bill, A" Traveler’s Guide to 116 Michigan Lighthouses" (Petoskey, Michigan: Friede Publications, 1999). ISBN 0923756035 ISBN 9780923756031
* Putnam, George R., "Lighthouses and Lightships of the United States", (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1933).
* Splake, T. Kilgore. "Superior Land Lights". Battle Creek, MI: Angst Productions, 1984.
* Wagner, John L., "Michigan Lighthouses: An Aerial Photographic Perspective", (East Lansing, Michigan: John L. Wagner, 1998) ISBN 1880311011 ISBN 9781880311011.
* Wargin, Ed, "Legends of Light: A Michigan Lighthouse Portfolio" (Ann Arbor Media Group, 2006). ISBN 9781587262517. [ [http://www.michigan.gov/hal/0,1607,7-160-17447_39583-134430--,00.html Michigan History Arts and Letters, review of "Legends of Light: A Michigan Lighthouse Portfolio", which has many pictures of this light.] ]
* Wright, Larry and Wright, Patricia, "Great Lakes Lighthouses Encyclopedia" Hardback (Erin: Boston Mills Press, 2006) ISBN 1550463993.


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