Gull Rock Light
By Colt Edin & Dave Wobser

Gull Rock is tiny island, that is the peak of an underwater mountain, located between the tip if the Keweenaw Peninsula and Manitou Island. The rock is an obvious hazard to vessels traveling east and west past the Keweenaw.

The station is a typical, brick, two-story "schoolhouse" design which has been often duplicated around the Great Lakes. The square brick tower is attached to the front of the dwelling and supports a 10-sided cast iron lantern room.

The light was first exhibited late in 1867 through a Fourth Order Fresnel Lens manufactured by Barbier & Fenestre of Paris. The focal plane is 50 feet above Lake Superior.

The present lens in the lantern room is a modern plastic 250mm lens and it is powered by solar panels located on the walkway (parapet) around the lantern room. The original Fourth Order Fresnel lens is on display at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, Whitefish Point, Michigan

The station has been automated and abandoned for many years, and the neglect is showing.

Lighthouse cruises run past the island by the Keweenaw Star out of Houghton, Michigan.

2006 Update
The newly formed Gull Rock Lightkeepers and the Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy have teamed up to take title to the light station and are working on plans for restoration and preservation.

Donations are being accepted and are encouraged, as the groups will need to build up the funding base necessary for grant applications and immediate restoration needs.

For more information, email the keepers at or visit their website at

Click on image to enlarge

Photograph by Dave Wobser

Location: East of the end of the Keweenaw Peninsula.
Date Built: 1866
Active: Yes. Automated

Open to

No. Visible only from a boat.

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