Rock Harbor Lighthouse, photo taken 1985
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Rock Harbor Lighthouse
S side of Rock Harbor, on SW side of Middle Islands Passage, Isle Royale National Park - Keweenaw County
Property Type lighthouse
Historic Use DEFENSE/coast guard facility
Style Other
Narrative Description Rock Harbor Lighthouse is a fifty-foot-high cylindrical tower of randomly combed stone and brick surmounted by a metal octagonal beacon. The tower is attached to one end of a one-and-one-half-story, gable-roofed keeper's dwelling. The lighthouse is located on a high wooded bluff overlooking Lake Superior's dangerous Middle Islands Passage.
Statement of Significance The Rock Harbor Lighthouse is significant as the earliest lighthouse erected at Isle Royale and one of the oldest lighthouses on the Great Lakes. Built by the federal government in 1855 at a cost of $5,000, the lighthouse guided ships supplying the mining centers of upper Michigan through the shoal-filled Middle Passage. Some alterations were made to the keeper's dwelling around 1910, including the addition of dormers. In 1939 the station was transferred to the National Park Service. The original wood roof was resheathed with rolled asphalt in 1962 and its foundation was stabilized in 1969. The interior of the keeper's dwelling has also been substantially altered. The station is currently vacant.
Period of Significance 1826-1865
Significant Date(s) 1855, 1873
Registry Type(s) 03/08/1977 National Register listed
06/18/1976 State Register listed
Site ID# P23805