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Name: Whitefish Point Light  

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Nearest Town or City:
Paradise, Michigan, United States

Location: Whitefish Bay, Lake Superior.

Click to enlarge: Photo   
Photo: Alan Culley
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Managing Organization:
Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society

Telephone: 877-744-7973


Contact Address Information:
111 Ashmun Street
Sault Ste. Marie
Michigan, 49783, United States

This is the oldest active lighthouse on Lake Superior. The keeper's house has been fully restored by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society, and overnight stays are available. The area near this lighthouse is known as the "Graveyard of the Great Lakes" because of the high number of shipwrecks.

Tower Height: 76

Height of Focal Plane: 80

Description of Tower: White, square skeletal cast iron tower.

This light is operational

Other Buildings?
1861 two-story keeper's house, oil house, wood shed, two garages, paint locker.

Earlier Towers?
1849: Stone tower.

Date Established: 1849

Date Present Tower Built: 1861

Date Automated: 1970

Optics: 1857: Third order Fresnel lens; now DCB-24.

Current Use: Active aid to navigation, museum.

Open To Public? Yes.

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum is open mid-May to mid-October, seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The bell of the famous Edmund Fitzgerald is displayed in the museum as a memorial to her lost crew. Guided tours of the lighthouse keeper's dwelling are available, and there is also a museum store.

Take M-123 to Paradise, Michigan. Once in Paradise, continue north on Whitefish Point Road for 11 miles to the Whitefish Point Light Station. The lighthouse can also be seen from tours offered by Mackinac Seaplane Tours -- see or call 906-632-9746. It is also accessible via a tour offered by the Mackinaw Trolley Company; see or email or call 231-436-7812 (Toll Free: 877-858-0357).

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Keepers: J.B. Van Rensselair (1849-?); Joseph Kemp (c. 1861); Charles Kimball (C. 1880-1903); Robert Carlson (1903-1931); Anna Carlson (assistant, c. 1903-1931); Frank H. Mersy, Sr. (First Assistant Keeper, 1910-1913 and 1916-1918)

Nearby Lodging: There are overnight accommodations overnight accomodations at Whitefish Point Light Station in the remodeled crew's quarters. Call 1-888-397-3747 for information.

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