Built in 1895-96, the three-story brick structure is painted red on the bottom level and the upper stories are white. The 53-foot red brick tower rises out of the northwest corner. A black six-sided lantern tops the tower. In 1996 a modern 300 mm solar powered light was installed in the tower.
The light marked the Northern Passage through the Straits of Mackinaw which is used by ships traveling between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, and the St. Mary's River to Lake Superior.
The original privy and oil house remain. The light was automated in 1924 and abandoned in 1974, when the modern Round Island Passage Light was put into operation. The lighthouse was transferred to the U.S. Forest Service in 1958.
High water levels in the early 1970s washed away part of the foundation, but this has been restored in recent years by a group led by the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association.
The lighthouse was featured in the 1982 movie Somewhere In Time.
Located on a sandy point of Round Island, in the Straits of Mackinac, facing Mackinac Island. Close up views are provided from any of the ferries running between Mackinac City and Mackinac Island.
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