Saginaw Bay lies between Michigan's "thumb" and "mitten" and Tawas Point is at the northwestern entrance to the bay. The original light was built in 1853 on what was then the end of the point. By the 1870s, the sand had shifted so much and lengthened the point, that the lighthouse was almost a mile from the lake! The current structure was built in 1875, and is now part of the Tawas Point State Park. The tower is 67 feet high, made of brick. The light is an active Coast Guard facility and the keepers house is occupied, however, the grounds are accessible
This active light was built in 1870 and is currently maintained by the Coast Guard. Several times a year the 70 foot tower is opened to visitors. In one of the buildings there is a unique maritime museum run by the Alcona County Historical Society.
New Presque Isle
Established in 1870, the 109 foot tower is the tallest light structure on the Great Lakes. This light is still in service, but the tower is opened to the public twice a year, on the 4th of July and Labor Day. The attached keepers dwelling is a museum that is open from mid-May through mid-October.
Forty Mile Light
This light, built in 1896, has duplex keepers quarters. Currently one half is being restored as a museum and the other half is the residence for the Lighthouse Park Manager. Also on the property are the old oil house and fog signal buildings. The Light tower is 12 feet square and 52 feet high. The site is about six miles northwest of Rogers City, in Presque Isle County's Lighthouse Park.
Cheboygan Crib Light
This is was originally a crib light, crib meaning a wood box is constructed as a base, then filled with large rocks that are covered with concrete to form a solid foundation, but the foundation continuously settled until the entire structure tipped over in the river channel. The residents of Cheboygan pulled it ashore and set it at the beginning of a short pier on the west bank of the river mouth. The building is circular steel, only 25 feet tall, and not opened to the public.
Round Island is a complete wilderness, part of the Hiawatha National Forest, completely opposite of the island it faces, Mackinac Island, and with all the ferries bringing people to and from Mackinac Island, Round Island is the most viewed light on the Great Lakes! (Coincidentally, this is how I got my picture, from the ferry!) The light was constructed in 1896 to enable ships to pass the shorter route between the two islands. The lighthouse was abandoned in 1947 and was saved in the late 1970s by local citizens groups after high lake waters had washed away the breakwater at the base of the brick keepers dwelling, creating a hole in the foundation. The full restoration was completed in 1979.
The first structure built was a fog signal in 1890, then 2 years later the 40 feet tall light and keepers dwelling was constructed. The beacon was visible for sixteen miles and it remained in active service through 1957, at which time the Mackinac Bridge had been constructed and mariners then used the bridge lights as their guide, which made the light obsolete. The property was acquired by the Mackinac Island State Park commission in 1960 and is now a maritime museum. Even though the light is inactive, it's a fantastic light to visit. The building looks like a castle, and the location is in a park just east of the bridge - an ideal spot to watch boat, sunsets, and the bridge at night is awesome!