Rock Harbor Lighthouse, in lifting fog – Isle Royale National Park
July 23, 2008
This was one of my favorite photographs made during my last visit to the island in spring 2006. I’ve been to the wilderness isle many times and every time is special. It’s ruggedly beautiful, inspirational and one of the most exciting places in Michigan to make photographs if you appreciate pure nature.
You can see more from the island in Mark’s Isle Royale gallery, and more of Michigan in his other galleries and in his book Michigan, Simply Beautiful. Along with fellow photographer Mark also operates Great Lakes Photo Tours, providing personalized and in-depth instruction in nature photography in some of Michigan and the region’s most beautiful locations.
The entry for Rock Harbor Lighthouse at Terry Pepper’s Seeing the Light tells the history of this remote lighthouse and includes a number of historical photos. With the boom of mining on Isle Royale and the new lock at the Soo, a light at Rock Harbor was approved by Congress (for the outrageous sum of $5000). The light was completed in 1856 and:
The station’s rubble stone tower stood 16 feet 11 inches in diameter at the foundation, with its 49 foot 11 inch high walls tapering gently to a diameter of 14 feet 1 inch below the circular gallery. A set of spiral pine stairs supported by a central pine post wound within the tower from the first floor to a trap door in the gallery floor to provide access to the lamp. The lantern itself was fabricated of cast iron, and featured a domed copper roof. Centered within the lantern, a fixed white Fourth Order Fresnel lens sat at a focal plane of 70 feet above lake level, and cast its light 15 miles across the lake The attached rubble stone dwelling, stood 29 feet square and 20 feet 9 ½ inches high at the apex of the cedar shingled roof.