April 9, 2012
Our tour of the lighthouses of the Keweenaw Peninsula with Aaron Jors continues with the light at Eagle Harbor.
The Eagle Harbor Lighthouse from Terry Pepper’s Seeing the Light tells of the first light built in 1850 at the western point of Eagle Harbor built in 1850 and the rubble stone keeper’s dwelling with a square white-painted wooden tower integrated into one end of the roof. As with many lights built during the penny-pinching Pleasonton administration, the light was judged to be “laid together in the rudest manner” and targeted for replacement.
Rather than creating a unique set of plans for the new station, Eleventh District Engineer Brevet Brigadier General Orlando M. Poe resurrected a plan which had been previously used on Chambers Island in 1867 and at Eagle Bluff in 1868. After blasting out a hole for the cellar, the masons crafted a two-story dwelling red brick dwelling, 29-foot by 25-foot in plan, with an integrated 44-foot tall tower oriented diagonally into its northeastern corner. The exterior of the first and second stories of the tower were approximately ten feet square with buttressed corners, while the tower’s upper portion consisted of a ten-foot octagon. The tower was double-walled, with a circular inner wall approximately four inches thick and eight feet in diameter. This cylindrical inner wall supported a cast iron spiral staircase which wound from the oil storage room in the cellar to a hatch in the lantern floor. Since these spiral stairs also served as the only means of moving between floors in the dwelling, steel doors provided access to landings on both the first and second floors to prevent the spread of any fire in either the dwelling or tower.
Many (many) more Michigan Lighthouses from Michigan in Pictures.