It was a cold, windy, rainy day when I stopped along the beach of Lake Huron to take this shot of Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse at the tip of Michigan’s mitten in the Lower Peninsula.
One of three lighthouses along the narrows of the Straits of Mackinac, the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse joined the McGulpin Point Lighthouse and Bois Blanc Lighthouse in guiding ships through the treacherous straits where Lake Huron meets Lake Michigan.
Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse
Built in a castle-like architecture of Cream City brick trimmed with Indiana limestone in 1892, the lighthouse was an extension of the fog light built in 1890.
The light from the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse could be seen for 14 nautical miles; the lens is a fourth order Fresnel Lens.
Operated from 1892 to 1957, the lighthouse was a helpful guide for the railroad ferries that operated between Mackinac City and St. Ignace.
With the Mackinac Bridge opening in 1957, the lighthouse was no longer needed. Lights from the bridge helped guide ships through the straits.
In 1960, the lighthouse was bought by the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, which incorporated it into what is now known as the Michilimackinac State Park.
The lighthouse was added to the Michigan Register of Historic Places in 1972. After extensive renovations started in 2000 to restore it to its original state, the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse was opened to the public in 2004.