The Presque Isle Light Station, photo taken in 1990.
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Presque Isle Light Station
4500 Grand Lake Road, N end of Presque Isle Harbor Peninsula, Presque Isle vicinity - Presque Isle County
Other Names New Presque Isle Light Station
Property Type lighthouse
Historic Use DEFENSE/coast guard facility
Current Use DEFENSE/coast guard facility
TRANSPORTATION/water related
Style Other
Architect/Builder United States Coast Guard
Narrative Description The Presque Isle Light Station is a complex of three historic buildings and one contemporary structure located on the Lake Huron shoreline. The light tower is the most significant of the complex's buildings. Constructed in 1870, it is a conical brick structure measuring one hundred and ten feet in height and nineteen feet in base diameter. The light in the tower originally was fixed white with a French-made, third order Fresnel lens ground by Henry Lepaute. The light tower connects to a two-story, gable-roof, brick keeper's dwelling also completed in 1870. The cedar roof of the structure has recently been restored. The third historic building, an unattached, two-story, gambrel-roof keeper's residence constructed of concrete block in 1905 stands nearby. The U.S. Coast Guard automated the light in 1970 and continues to operate it today.
Statement of Significance The significance of the Presque Isle Light Station stems from two sources. First, the three historic buildings of the light station complex played a role in the expansion of shipping and passenger travel on the Great Lakes and the subsequent development of the northern counties of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. Second, the light tower and its associated keepers' residences are well preserved examples of functional architecture associated with safe travel along Michigan's coastline.
Marker Name Presque Isle Light Station
Marker Text PRESQUE ISLE LIGHT STATION This lighthouse, built in 1870 by Orlando M. Poe, is one of three Great Lakes towers built from the same plans. It replaced the smaller 1840 harbor light. The conical brick tower rises 113 feet from a limestone foundation. The Third Order Fresnel lens was made by Henri LePaute of Paris. Patrick Garrity, the keeper of the harbor light, lit the lamp for the first time at the opening of the 1871 navigation season. Garrity served here until 1885 when he became keeper of the Harbor Range Lights. His wife, Mary, sons Thomas, Patrick and John, and daughter Anna all served as light keepers in this area. In 1890 a steam-operated fog signal manufactured by Variety Iron Works of Cleveland, Ohio, was installed. The light was automated in 1970 by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Period of Significance 1866-1900
Significant Date(s) 1870-1871; 1905
Registry Type(s) 12/18/1990 Marker erected
08/04/1983 National Register listed
06/30/1988 State Register listed
Site ID# P24576