Grand Traverse Lighthouse, Northport, Michigan
GRAND TRAVERSE LIGHT
GRAND TRAVERSE POINT, LEELANAU PENINSULA, NORTHPOINT, MI
Station Established: 1852
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1858
Foundation Materials: DRESSED STONE/TIMBER
Construction Materials: BRICK/WOOD/IRON
Tower Shape: SQUARE ON ROOF ON DWELLING
Markings/Pattern: RED W/BLACK TRIM
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FIFTH ORDER, FRESNEL
- The original lighthouse at Grand Traverse Point was built in 1852 at a cost of $4000. The tower was constructed from rubble stone and a keeper’s dwelling was nearby.
- By 1858, the tower was in danger of falling into the water. It and the keeper’s quarters were demolished to make way for a more suitable light station. The new light station was built on higher ground.
- A square tower was mounted on the roof of the keeper’s dwelling. The nine sided lantern room was fixed with a fifth order Fresnel lens.
- In 1899 a fog signal building was added to the station. With the addition of the fog signal a keeper’s assistant was needed at the station. The dwelling was enlarged to a duplex.
- In 1972 the light station was replaced by an automated light on a skeletal tower. In 1985 the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Foundation began restoring the lighthouse. It was opened to the public in 1987 as a museum and the grounds are on Leelanau State Park. The light is sometimes referred to as “Cat’s Head Point light” or the “Northpoint light”.
Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.