McGulpin Point Lighthouse, Straits of Mackinac, McGulpin Point, Mackinaw City, Michigan
McGULPIN POINT LIGHT, MICHIGAN
SOUTH POINT MICHILIMACKINAC HARBOR, LAKE MICHIGAN, NEAR MACKINAW CITY, MICHIGAN
Station Established: 1869
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1869
Foundation Materials: UNKNOWN
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: OCTAGONAL
Markings/Pattern: NATURAL WITH DECAGONAL LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: THIRD AND A HALF ORDER FRESNEL
- As maritime traffic increased in the Straits of Mackinac the need for lights along the way also increased. Waugoshance Light marked the entrance to the Straits but sailors were on their own when they entered.
- Congress approved the construction of a lighthouse and fog signal at McGulpin Point in 1854. However, 15 years would pass before construction began in 1869.
- McGulpin Point Lighthouse was built using the same “Norman Gothic” design as Chambers Island and Eagle Bluff. This design would also be the template for Eagle Harbor, White River, Passage Island, Sand Island and Squaw Island.
- The tower and attached Keeper’s Quarters were built of “Cream City” brick, which are bricks made from clay found near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The color of the clay which was used heavily in the area, gave it the name Cream City.
- The tower is attached to the Keeper’s Quarters on the Southwestern corner. It was topped of with a decagonal (ten sided) cast iron lantern and fitted with a Third and a Half Order Fresnel lens.
- In 1906, it was decided that McGulpin Point Lighthouse was no longer of aid as the Old Mackinac Point lighthouse was more visible to traffic in the Straits. It was decommissioned after just 37 years in service and at some point the lantern and Fresnel lens were removed.
- The property was sold to a private owner and was a private residence until 2008. Emmet County bought the property and have restored the lighthouse including installing a rebuilt lantern. The lighthouse is now a private aid to navigation and is open to the public.