Old Presque Isle Light
By Dave Wobser

Presque Isle means "almost an island" in French. This Presque Isle peninsula (there are several on the Great Lakes) forms one of the best harbors of refuge between the Straits of Mackinaw and Port Huron. This light was built to guide coastal sailing vessels into the harbor of refuge which was also a source of cordwood for their boilers.

The lighthouse was completed in September, 1840. The conical tower is 30-feet tall and 18-feet in diameter at the base. The bottom 2/3 are built of stone and the top 1/3 is brick. The tower walls are 4-feet thick at the bottom, and the circular steps are carved from blocks of stone.

The original octagonal iron lantern room has been replaced, and the Fourth Order Fresnel lens is gone.

The light served only for 30 years when the Lighthouse Board decided to build a taller light nearby. When the new Presque Isle Light became operational in 1871, the keeper Patrick Garraty moved to the new station.

The Federal Government sold the old light to E. O. Avery in 1897, but it had been in the Stebbins family since the turn of the century, until ownership was transferred to the Presque Isle Township in 1995. The lighthouse became listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

The dwelling and grounds have been turned into a museum and antique collection.

Visitors can climb the tower, during the summer months, to get a great view of Lake Huron.

Click on image to enlarge

Photograph by Dave Wobser

Location: Presque Isle, Michigan
Date Built: 1840
Active: No

Open to
public:

Yes
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