Yesterday & today at Round Island Lighthouse

Since yesterday was technically not Michigan in Pictures, here are two photos for today!

Round Island Lighthouse, c 1920

Round Island Lighthouse c. 1920, courtesy Archives of Michigan


Light House, photo by frostman721

You can see more historical photos of Round Island Lighthouse in the Archives of Michigan’s Lighthouse Collection. Terry Pepper’s Seeing the Light has a great history of the Round Island Lighthouse that begins:

The area around the Straits of Mackinac is riddled with islands and reefs, which made vessel traffic at the transition from Lakes Huron, Michigan and Superior particularly difficult. While the construction of the Old Mackinac Point Light in 1892 eased the situation, the Lighthouse Board requested funds from Congress to augment the Mackinac Light with a second light in the Straits to be located on a shoal off Round Island.

Congress responded to the request with an appropriation of $15,000 for the construction of such a light in 1894. The construction contract was awarded to the local contractor Frank Rounds. The construction was completed, and the light first exhibited on May 15.

Terry has a number of views of the light, including the one above which he dates around 1900 (which might make more sense in light of the schooner pictured). There’s also a shot of the Round Island light nearly destroyed following a violent 1972 storm. For many of Michigan’s lighthouses, such an event was a death knell, but Mackinac Islanders rallied and work continues through the Boy Scouts and the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association. You’ll probably also want to see check out Wikipedia’s entry on Round Island (info about the uninhabited island and a cool aerial view of the light!), the Mackinac Visitors Bureau photos of the light, this page with interior and exterior photos of Round Island Lighthouse and this view of restoration work and Round Island (he also has a cool shot of the lighthouse in the fog).

Speaking of lighthouses, if you’re in the Alpena area this weekend (Oct 11-14), be sure to check out the annual Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival.

3 thoughts on “Yesterday & today at Round Island Lighthouse

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