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Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, Mackinaw City

4.6
#3 of 6 in Historic Sites in Cheboygan County
Lighthouse History Museum
Mackinaw Point marks the junction of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Founded in 1889, the Old Mackinac Point Light Station was in operation from 1890 until 1957.HistoryPreparationsEven before the advent of European explorers, the Straits of Mackinac were a significant hazard to water borne travelers. Consequently, before lighthouses, the Ojibwa lit the shore with fires.In the early 19th century, with large vessel traffic increasing from Lake Huron into the Straits, the first step in guarding the Straits was taken in 1829, through the construction of Bois Blanc Lighthouse to both guide mariners in making the westerly turn into the Straits, and to warn them of the shoals and shallows surrounding the island.Three years later in 1832, Congress acted on Stephen Pleasonton’s recommendation that a lightship be placed on Waugoshance Shoal as the first attempt to mark the western entrance to the Straits. In 1838, Lieutenant James T. Homans reported that the lightship was wholly inadequate. He recommended a better solution for Waugoshance and also that a light be built on the point to the west of Mackinaw Harbor. Nothing came of Homans' recommendations. In 1854, the new Lighthouse Administration decided (against the recommendation of local residents) to put a light at McGulpin Point, approximately 3mi to the west of Old Point Mackinaw.ConstructionIn 1889, the United States Lighthouse Board realized that Mackinaw Point was a better location. Their first inclination was to put a fog signal there, but when asking Congress for funding, they requested funding for both a fog signal and a first class lighthouse. Congress chose to accept their recommendation, but only voted the funding for a steam-powered fog-signal. The fog signal was built in 1890. The signal proved to be exceptionally necessary for navigation in the often fog-choked Straits of Mackinac; during one exceptionally humid fortnight, the Old Mackinac Point signal personnel reported burning 52 cords of stove wood in order to keep steam up for the foghorn.
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3 days in Mackinaw City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 10 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Michigan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Michigan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Michigan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, teens, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Michigan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 8 days in Michigan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Michigan BY A USER FROM CANADA August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in Michigan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: July, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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429 reviews
Google
4.7
  • Hate the fog horn. Way to loud. Scared the dog to death while walking in the park. Gave me a headache. Takes away from the quiet park in the morning. I'm sure if you are a Lighthouse enthusiast you wo...  more »
  • This was one of the few lighthouses we've seen made entirely of rock and brick. Prior to the building of the lighthouse itself, another structure housed the steam-powered foghorn to warn boats of the ...  more »
  • The kids loved it they enjoyed it all seeing the way things were years ago they want to go back in August  more »
Google
  • Nice place, good layout. It was a good way to spend about an hour (to view everything and do the tower tour.)
  • Neat old building. The surrounding area/grounds are worth checking in to.
  • I came here after everything was closed for the season. Great photo op so I am still happy with the side trip.
  • Fun place to visit and the beach here is one of the best in Michigan.
  • The lighthouse gives you a great view of the Mackinac Bridge.