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 Lighthouse Database » North America » USA » Michigan

Rock Harbor Light
Houghton, Michigan

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General Information
Date Established: 1856
Date Present Tower Built: 1856
Height of Tower: 50 ft.
Height of Focal Plane: 70 ft.


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Open to Public?: Yes, in season - operated by the National Park Service

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The Rock Harbor lighthouse was built in support of the mining industry on Isle Royale in the 1800's. One of the two largest mining companies on the island was based in Rock Harbor. When copper prices fell, mines closed and in 1859, the Lighthouse Board deemed that Rock Harbor lighthouse was not needed and it was extinguished for the first time in 1859. The outbreak of the Civil War caused a mining flourish and Rock Harbor lighthouse was refurbished and returned to service in 1874. Following the end of the Civil War, copper prices plummeted. The establishment of the Isle Royale lighthouse on Menagerie Island numbered the days for Rock Harbor lighthouse and it was extinguished for the last time in 1879. The National Park Service took over Isle Royale in 1939 and restored the lighthouse during the 1960's. It now serves as a museum.

Rock Harbor lighthouse can be accessed by Isle Royale visitors by a NPS launch from Rock Harbor. The park can be accessed from either Grand Portage, MN or Houghton, MI. The Keweenaw Star based in Houghton, MI also does occasional trips to the lighthouses on Isle Royale.

Submitted by: lighthousephoto Date posted: Sun Dec 7, 2008 Views: 1398