Ontonagon Lighthouse, photo submitted c. 1975
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Ontonagon Lighthouse
Off M-64 at the mouth of the Ontonagon River, Ontonagon - Ontonagon County
Property Type lighthouse
Historic Use DEFENSE/coast guard facility
Style Other
Architect/Builder W. F. Chittenden
Narrative Description The Ontonagon Lighthouse is composed of a simple one-and-one-half story gable-roofed brick rectangular keepers' dwelling fronted by a three-story squared light tower that is surmounted by an iron polygonal beacon. The whole structure is constructed of cream-colored brick and rests on a high stone foundation. Located at the mouth of the Ontonagon River, the station shines onto Lake Superior.
Statement of Significance The Ontonagon Lighthouse was the second light station constructed on the southern shore of Lake Superior making it one of the oldest on the Great Lakes. The station, built by Detroit contractor W. F. Chittenden in 1866, replaced an earlier structure constructed in 1852. The light aided navigation during the height of the shipping boom and was operational until 1964 when it was leased as a private residence. The light from the tower was given to the Ontonagon County Historical Society in 1965 and the structure has been restored by the Flotilla and Ontonagon Historical Society.
Period of Significance 1866-1900
Significant Date(s) 1852, 1866, 1884
Registry Type(s) 10/07/1975 National Register listed
05/17/1973 State Register listed
Site ID# P24510