Grand Traverse (Cat's Head Point) Light
By Dave Wobser and Colt Edin

This lighthouse marks the entrance to Grand Traverse Bay from Lake Michigan. It is the second light to serve this location. The present light was built in 1858 to replace a separate round tower that was built in 1853.

The rectangular two-story brick Victorian style keeper's dwelling has a square frame light tower on the roof. The nine-sided lantern room is 47-feet above the water and the light was visible for 10 miles.

A rectangular Flemish Revival style brick fog signal building, built in 1899, and a small rectangular brick oil house remain. The fog signal was originally a steam whistle. The steam whistle was replaced in 1934 with a Diaphone Horn, which was replaced by an Electric Oscillator in 1966.

In 1972 an automated light on steel skeletal tower replaced the light. The original Fourth Order Fresnel lens was removed an is on display in the museum.

Located in Leelanau State Park, north of Northport, Michigan. From Northport, take M201 north to CR-629 to the end follow signs. A museum and gift shop, operated by the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Foundation, is open June 26 through Labor Day, Noon to 5:00 pm, and weekends June 1-25 and September and October.

The museum recruits volunteers who take turns living at the lighthouse for two week tours from April 1 through the end of December.
For more information, or e-mail or call 231-386-7195.

Click on image to enlarge

Photograph by Dave Wobser

Location: Grand Traverse Point, Michigan
Date Built: 1858
Active: No

Open to


15300 N. Lighthouse Road, Leelanau State Park/Route 201 North.
(gift shop)
Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum
P.O. Box 43, Northport, MI 49670.

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